Thursday 10th August 2017, 6pm
Dr Barry and Prof Sue Golding – “Doctor Copper and King Coal”
The Mining and Mechanical Engineers of Great Britain made significant advances in the technology to extract both copper and coal and these are explored in Dr Barry and Professor Sue Golding’s book Metals, Energy and Sustainability: The Story of Doctor Copper and King Coal. Their talk to the institute will focus on just some of these early advance in technology in and around the coalfields of Great Britain.
‘We shall exhaust their chamber and devour
Their treasures of Guildhall, the Mint, the Tower.
Our staiths their mortgaged streets will soon divide’
Copper was the first industrial metal and for over 7,000 years has been one of our most essential metals. Coal resources have only been developed in the last few hundred years although the contribution of coal to human welfare has been just as significant. Today copper is the conduit for energy, information and water in our homes and offices. The benefits that copper and coal have provided are fairly obvious; however, the connections between the two are not self-evident. Their presentation to The Institute will explore the evolution of our use of both copper and coal and explain the connection. The reader will get a glimpse of civilisations past as the story of copper unfolds from the Stone Age to the Computer Age.