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FUEL

The earliest form of fuel was wood, especially the branches that were too small for other uses. Peat was an important fuel in Cardiganshire. Straw and furze or gorse were used on fires in Wales, particularly for baking. Tallow (animal fat), bees wax and blubber from whales and dolphins was used to make candles. Culm was made from coal dust, brought from the coal mines in Pembrokeshire, and clay. Coal was not common in Cardiganshire before about 1870s when it was brought from the big coal mines by train. Paraffin was used in 'oil' lamps from about the 1880s; a by-product of refining oil was paraffin wax candles. Petrol and diesel was available from the early years of the 20th century. Acetylen gas, was used for house lamps, bicycle lamps and in one case at least, a whole house in Llanbadarn Fawr.

The poor lost their free source of fuel - thorn and furze when the waste land on which it grew was cultivated from the end of the 18th century

Turner and Lloyd, A General view of the Agriculture of the County of Cardigan, 1794.

WOOD

CHARCOAL

PEAT CUTTING

TALLOW

DOLPHINS OFF THE COAST OF CEREDIGION

CULM

GLO

PARAFFIN

PETROL

ACETYLENE