Samuel Baldwyn Rogers
Birth:  1778 famous Image
Death:  1863
Age at Death:  85
Occupation:  Publisher, Printer
Samuel Baldwyn Rogers was born in Ludlow, Shropshire, in 1778. On arrival at Chepstow he established himself as a printer, bookseller and publisher in a small shop at St Mary Street.  

Following a short spell at Pontypool he was to find employment as a metallurgist in Pontymister ironworks from c1816 to c1820. It was while working at Pontymister that he made such a major contribution to the national and international iron industry through his invention of a water-cooled iron-bottomed puddling furnace. Rogers could not afford to patent his invention and he made no profit from his own resourcefulness. It was to be quoted: ‘enabling many iron companies to realise the fortune of princes but only earning the inventor a nick-name – Iron-bottom’ Rogers. 

Publisher, printer, chemist, metallurgist, philosopher and author Rogers wrote many pamphlets. He proposed and described the construction of a stone and iron bridge across the River Severn near to the present day Second Severn Crossing (Published 1845). He proposed the construction of a new town and ironworks close to present day Llanwern. Rogers also proposed a new system of generating and piping gas to London. (Published 1841)

In c1820 he began writing his treatise ‘An Elementary Treatise in Iron Metallurgy’ and published the manuscript in 1860 while working at Nant y glo Ironworks. His book describes in analytical detail the most efficient working of blast furnaces, preparation of new fluxes and furnace mixtures, and the capturing of spent furnace gases to light the ironworks mills and forges and an adit.

Expressing his contempt for ironmasters, ‘there is very little honour left in the trade’ he became unemployed and offered his services ‘freelance’ to local industrialists.

Samuel ‘Iron-bottom’ Rogers spent his last days at Railway Street, Newport. The Times quoted: …’ when the distressed condition of the poor old man became known several persons connected with the iron industry assisted him with money.’

Prior to his death in September, 1863, Rogers expressed his wish not to be buried in a pauper’s grave. He was buried in Llanfoist Churchyard a few days later probably in the same grave as his late wife, Anne.