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Smelting Works

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Smelting Works

Smelting is the process of applying heat to ore to extract a base metal. There was a very large tin smelter or  mellanear works in Bootle, but it wasn’t based in Bootle originally.

Williams Harvey &Co Ltd Tin Smelters originated in Cornwall when it began in the 1850s however tin ore supplies began to dwindle in the area. Thanks to the docks at Liverpool, tin ore could be imported from South America, Singapore and Australia.

Did you know?

One of their slogans was: ‘the nicest toffee made’!

Workers at the Smelting Works

Did you know?

The workers were given accommodation but 3 people would share the same bed, taking turns, as they had 3 shifts at the factory.

Did you know?

To heat the ore, the furnaces were heated to 1400 degrees Celsius. 

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Smelting works from above

Did you know?

The workers got so used to the molten metal that it was said they treated the molten metal like it was water.

Because of this, Mr Williams researched moving to Liverpool and decided that Bootle was the best option thanks to the canal and easy access to the docks.

The building of the factory was begun in 1908 at Altcar Road. It became the largest tin smelter in the world.  

Did you know?

In one year, at the height of its business, they dealt with 62,000 tons of ore, on average 1200 tons a week. 1 ton = 1000kg or a Black Rhinoceros.  1200 rhinos running round Bootle every week - now that would be a sight!

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