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A presentation by Richard Williams – 

A ferrous metallurgist with a doctorate in metallurgical thermodynamics and 10 years’ experience of the foundry industry, Richard Williams has for the last seven years been studying both the science and the history of the change from charcoal to coke in all the iron making processes of the 18th Century, the essential pre-requisites for the industrial revolution. During that period our knowledge of the subject has improved significantly.  His updating of ‘myths’ will include (inter alia) the extent of the foundry industry that existed before Darby, the manner in which a small cold blast coke furnace really worked, the role of the Newcomen engine in allowing coke iron to be used in the forges for the first time and the real reason why Cort’s puddling process, as detailed in his patent, did not work.