Llyfr yn bwrw golwg ar sefydliad dyfeisgar Amgueddfa Genedlaethol y Glannau yn Abertawe sy'n dangos sut y datblygodd Cymru yn ganolbwynt y Chwyldro Diwydiannol. Ceir ynddo luniau arbennig, ac mae'r cyfan wedi ei osod yn eglur; yn cynnwys cyfoeth o ffotograffau archif, darluniau a delweddau newydd o'r amgueddfa. Mae fersiwn Cymraeg ar gael 0720005620.
A book exploring the story told at the innovative National Waterfront Museum in Swansea which shows how Wales became a powerhouse of the Industrial Revolution. It is richly illustrated and clearly laid out, containing a wealth of archive photography, paintings and stunning new images of the museum. A Welsh version is available: 0720005620.
This neat, well illustrated book explores the story behind the innovative National Waterfront Museum in Swansea, the result of years of development and planning.
As a city whose industrial past demonstrates many of the stories the museum aims to tell, Swansea was chosen as the perfect location. The new museum is a unique blend of modern and industrial architecture, combining a dockside warehouse dating from 1901 with an elegant modern slate and glass structure.
The Museum itself has over 1,000 items on display, designed around 15 themed exhibition areas, reflected in the book. In concise text accompanied by high quality photography and illustrations, the book explores the major industrial developments in metals, slate, textiles and coal and corresponding developments of the transport networks by land and sea which enabled these industries to flourish.
As well as celebrating Wales’s major achievements as an industrial nation the book and the museum both highlight the lives of its unsung heroes: the men and women on whose hard labour these industries thrived. In the iron towns such as Merthyr Tydfil, for example, tough working conditions, cramped housing and poor health led to an average life expectancy of somewhere between seventeen and twenty years in the 1840s. In all industries much of the work could be dangerous, requiring great skill, dexterity and strength, such as in the conversion of metal ores and most notably perhaps, in the coal mining industry, movingly illustrated here in original photographs of miners’ harsh working environment and of the survivors from the Tynewydd Colliery disaster.
Great achievers from Wales’s industrial past are also celebrated, such as Alfred Russel Wallace, born in Usk in 1823, who developed the theory of evolution at the same time as Darwin; Robert Trevithick (17711833) who built the first steam locomotive to run on rails which ran from the Penydarren Ironworks in Merthyr Tydfil; and, Aneurin “Nye” Bevan, famous both for his oratory skills in Parliament and as the principal architect of the National Health Service.
Looking back today in a society where the service sector dominates, the book shows us how much has changed. Standards of welfare and workplace facilities bear little resemblance to our industrial past and legislation is in place to cover working hours, rates of pay, as well as health and safety issues. We seem to have come so far and yet the authors offer us the startling fact that, in spite of all that progress, we work on average as many hours every week as we did in 1905.
With the development of so much technology and the benefit of the ‘labour-saving’ devices previous generations lacked, with better health, living conditions and a longer life expectancy, we might ask ourselves, how did today’s workforce end up working such ludicrous hours and being so seemingly ‘time poor’? Aren’t we missing something? Perhaps we should spend some of that precious time looking round the museum, time in which we might reflect on how much our forebears endured to improve life and working conditions for future generations, and how many of us have chosen to live our own hectic modern lives.
It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgment should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
Gellir defnyddio'r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.