13. Coal Owners: The Business of Coal

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Before nationalisation in 1947, the south Wales coal industry was run by a number of different coal owners and companies.

David Davies, founder of the Ocean Coal Colliery visiting Deep Navigation Colliery, c.1910 (DNCB/14/1/19)

In the late 19th century, many people sought to make their fortune in coal. Records for some of these companies, including those of two of south Wales’ largest companies, Powell Duffryn and Ocean Coal, are held at Glamorgan Archives.

Extract from report of the Ogilvie Colliery Pit Production Committee, 1945 (DPD/1/8/69)

Annual reports, cost books and pay books chart the profits and losses of the companies. Colliery agents’ and managers’ letters provide an insight into the day to day running of a colliery.

Extract from William Jenkins' notes on mines that he visited in Belgium and Germany, 1904 (D1400/3/4/1)

Research notes, such as those of a visit to mines in Belgium and Germany in 1904 by the Managing Director of Ocean Coal, show how companies sought to improve their facilities and output.

Merthyr Vale Officials, [c1910] (DNCB/14/1/41)