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Extracts from newspapers and publications

This section contains text transcribed from articles and reports that appeared in contemporary newspapers, journals and other publications. In most cases, the museum does not hold original copies of these documents.

Such transcriptions are generally lengthy accounts and have been selected as they may be relevant to a number different areas of study, and may be referenced from different areas of the website.

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    Reports associated with operation of public companies

    Transcriptions by subject


  • Company prospectus
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  • Trade reports
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  • Beyond Scotland

  • Transcribed references relating to the North Wales coal oil industry
      • A History of Petroleum - a short account of the emergence of the Flintshire oil industry, quoting from pamphets on the history of petroleum production. From The Cheshire Observer, 28th January 1865
      • Flintshire has Struck Oil, - an account from the early days of the oil boom, drawing parallels between Flintshire and the oil rush towns of the USA and Canada. from Rylands Iron Trades Journal, 11th November 1865
      • Petroleum in Flintshire - a brilliant account of the Padeswood area during the height of the oil mania. From The Wrexham Advertiser, 6th January 1866
      • On the Manufacture of Coal Oil as conducted in North Wales - a newpaper account of a lecture to the Chemist's Association providing some historical details of the industry. From The Liverpool Daily Post, 9th November 1866
      • Ure's Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines. The entry for "paraffine" describing the technology of oil production at that time, with particular reference to the Flintshire industry. Sixth Edition, Vol. III, 1867
      • The Flintshire "Oil-Dorado" - a superb first hand account of the Flintshire oil industry once the oil mania bubble had burst, and an account of the reasons for this collapse. From Oil Trades Review, reprinted inThe North Wales Chronicle, 16th January 1869
      • Oil Works and River Poisoning - a letter to the editor responding to accusations of water pollution and highlighting the human cost of collapse of the oil industry. From The Wrexham Advertiser, 30th January 1869
      • Travels in Search of New Trade Products, - extract from a book by Arthur Robottom, published in 1893, providing a detailed account of his business dealings in the North Wales oil industry
      • The Former Cannel Oil Industry in North Wales and Staffordshire (PDF file) by H.P.W. Giffard. From Oil Shale & Cannel Coal, Proceedings of a Conference held in Scotland, June 1938, Institute of Petroleum.
      • The Distillation of Oil from Cannel Coal and Shales, by Harold G. Gregory (web link to the National Library of Wales), Flintshire Historical Society publications, Vol 25, 1971-72

      Court Cases

      • Young v. Fernie (1) - Opening statement for the plaintiff, (from 29th February 1864). Reprinted in The Journal of Gas Lighting, 22nd March 1864
      • Young v. Fernie (2) - Testimonies describing the operation of Leeswood and Saltney oil works. Reprinted in The Journal of Gas Lighting, 22nd March 1864
      • Young v. Fernie (3) - Testimonies describing the manufacture of tram oil in South Wales. Reprinted in The Journal of Gas Lighting, 22nd March 1864
      • Young v. Fernie (4) - Statement for the defence, (from 22nd March 1864). Reprinted in The Journal of Gas Lighting, 22nd March 1864
      • Appeal to the House of Lords - by the Flintshire Cannel Oil & Cannel Co. Ltd. providing detailed descriptions of the company's operations. From The Journal of Gas Lighting, Water Supply and Sanitary Improvement, 3rd April 1866
      • Damages by Fire - Davis v. Bagillt Oil Co. Were the stills allowed to overflow?, or where they struck by lightning? From The Wrexham Advertiser, 8th December 1866
      • Leeswood - a Treat for Workmen, account of a dinner at Pont-y-Bodkin, featuring a song and speech from the proprietor on the rights of the working man, From The Wrexham Advertiser, 5th January 1867
      • The Padeswood Retort Case; a dispute over the cost of constructing retorts at the Mold Valley works; From The Wrexham Advertiser, 23rd December 1871
      • Affairs of the Dee Oil Company, account for court proceedings from The Cheshire Observer, 11th March 1893

      Newspaper Articles

      • Property at Coed Talon - an advertisment for the sale of freehold property in Coed Talon, which provides evidence of the location of some early oil works. From The Wrexham Advertiser 9th June 1866
      • P.C. Lawley and the River Alyn Report; accusations of pollution from Pont-y-Bodkin Works and police ineptitude, From The Wrexham Advertiser, 29th December 1866.
      • Stealing Pipes. Confusion and dubious deals over the sale of scrap material from Barlow & Jeffs' works. From The Wrexham Advertiser, 16th May 1868
      • Leeswood; Telegraphic Communication; a campaign for the introduction of electric telegraph, listing some of the most important firms in the area. Fron The Wrexham Advertiser, 6th October 1866
      • Poisoning of the River Alyn; - allegations of pollution against W.B. Marston's Oil Work , From The Wrexham Advertiser, 23rd July 1870
      • Pontblyddyn - A Farewell Supper; an account of a dinner in the honour of John Kenny held by fellow employees of Coppa and Plasymhowys oil works. From The Wrexham Advertiser, 5th November 1870
      • Alleged pollution of the River Alyn, Bush v. Plas y Mhowys Oil Co. ; a case brought against the PlasyMhowys company which was dismissed as the company had taken measures to avoid reoccurance, From The Cheshire Observer, 27th January 1871
  • Transcribed references relating to the Dorset shale oil industry
    • General Descriptions

      • The Burning Cliff at Holworth. A vivid account of a spectacular natural phenominum, expressing a hope that this might attract additional visitors to Weymouth. The Mechanics Magazine, 15th January 1831
      • De Buisson's Retort. Extract from the patent specification for a type of process and design of retort that may have been used at oil works in Dorsetshire
      • Memoirs of the Geological Survey. The Geology of the Isle of Purbeck and Weymouth. By A. Strachan.1898. A description of the Blackstone and its chemical composition. 1898
      • Miscellaneous References; newspaper references relating to prospecting for Kimmeridge shale and other oil operations in the County of Dorset

      Court Cases

      • Bituminous Shale Co. v. Cassell. Account of the winding up of the company and a dispute over the ownership of land at Wareham Oil Works. The Law Times 11th March 1854
      • Binney & Co. v Clydesdale Chemical Co. Extracts from report of the jury trial held in Edinburgh in November 1860 which relate to oil operations in Dorsetshire. Download full document; BP collection 195537
      • Young v. Fernie (5) - Testimonies describing the operation of the Wareham oil works, (from 29th February 1864). Reprinted in The Journal of Gas Lighting, 22nd March 1864

      Advertisments and Testimonials

      • Bituminous Schale or Schistus. Newspaper advertisment for the products of the Weymouth Schiste Works. London Daily News, 23rd February 1850, and The Railway Times, 6th April 1850.
      • Excellent Manure. Newspaper advertisment for the products of the Bituminous Shale Co. Ltd. The North Wales Chronicle, 30th November 1850,. The Dorset County Chronicle, 28th August 1851 and The Newcastle Journal, 20th September 1851.
      • Hydro Carbon Oil. Testimony of the merits of lamp oils manufactured by the Wareham Oil & Candle Co. Ltd. The Sanitary Reporter, 10th July 1863.