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Made in Wrexham

Transforming raw materials into manufactured goods has been key to the development of Wrexham County Borough and its communities.

The reason industry flourished in Wrexham was geological: coal, clay, iron ore, and other useful raw materials were all available here. The close proximity of these resources to each other created the perfect environment for the entrepreneurs of the industrial age. Moreover, Wrexham was well-located for markets in England and had long-established traditions in blacksmithing, lead smelting, leather and wool.

Advertisement poster. The Wrexham Lager Beer Company developed specific brands to appeal to its varied markets in India, Africa, Australia and Latin America. © Denbighshire Archives, DD/DM/456/1

Wrexham helped build modern Britain. Cylinders from Bersham powered the Industrial Revolution. Leather from Cambrian Leather Works in Wrexham kept the cotton mills of Lancashire running smoothly. Bricks from the Wilderness brickworks, Gresford, built the first 'red brick' university in Liverpool. Wrexham Lager quenched the thirst of the British soldier on campaign.

Commemorative medallion, Art Treasures & Industrial Exhibition of North Wales & the Border Counties, held in Wrexham, 1876. © Wrexham Heritage Service

Wrexham is still an important manufacturing centre today, with modern industrial estates attracting international investment from companies such as Sharp and JCB.

This on-line exhibition focuses on the industries of the past, because Wrexham's twenty-first century industries are part of your daily life already.

Use the arrows or thumbnails to navigate through the image gallery. If you want to view more information on the image click the "i" in the top left corner.

Copy of the famous letter sent from the Sudan to the Directors of the Wrexham Lager Beer Co., 1898. © Denbighshire Archives, DD/DM/195 Hafod Brickworks, near Ruabon, Wrexham, 1908. © Denbighshire Archives, DD/DM/278 Frontispiece from J C Edwards' catalogue, c. 1900. © Denbighshire Archives, DD/DM/278 Art Nouveau tile design illustrations, J C Edwards' catalogue, c. 1900. © Denbighshire Archives, DD/DM/278 Motorcycle, made at Powell Brothers' Cambrian Works, Wrexham, c. 1918–25. © Denbighshire Archives, DD/DM/5438 Advertisement poster, produced for the Wrexham Lager Beer Company. © Denbighshire Archives Medallion, issued to mark the Art Treasures & Industrial Exhibition of North Wales and Border Counties, Wrexham, 1876. © Wrexham Heritage Service Terracotta lion and its prey, produced by Dennis Ruabon Ltd, Hafod, Wrexham. © Wrexham Heritage Service Commemorative ales, brewed at Border Brewery, Mount Street and Tuttle Street, Wrexham, 1981. © Wrexham Heritage Service Lagers produced under license at Wrexham Lager Brewery, Central Road, Wrexham, c. 1980. © Wrexham Heritage Service Soda syphon, M.A.Ball, Yorke Street, Wrexham © Wrexham Heritage Service Soda syphon, The Botanical Mineral Water Co., Maelor Works, Rhostyllen (opposite the Parish Church). © Wrexham Heritage Service Wrexham Lager glasses, from early to late 20th century © Wrexham Heritage Service