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Techniques taken around the World

Cousin Jack Moonta poster copyright the Geevor Archive

Cornwall pioneered the transfer of the British industrial revolution overseas.

Cornish mining expertise and products began to be exported throughout the world during the nineteenth century, wherever mining operators sought the latest technology and working practices. The core of the export trade consisted of steam engines, the engineers needed to install and operate them, mining equipment and miners.

Cornish engine houses, which are among the most distinctive industrial buildings in the world, survive in Spain, Mexico, South Africa and Australia. They are striking evidence of this world wide impact. 

The Cornish did not just export their technology, they also took their culture with them, forming tight-knit communities.  Wrestling, Pasties and Saffron Cakes became well known in Australia and America.  Cornish Methodist chapels were even built in Mexico. Cornish places names can be found on every continent.

The Cornish even brought football to Mexico, playing the first game in Pachuca in 1900. The Yorke Peninsula became known as Australia’s ‘Little Cornwall’, with the Cornish constituting over 42% of migrants to South Australia by 1865.


Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of the Geevor Archive

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