The period between 1760 and 1840 witnessed revolutions in the political, social and industrial spheres. These included canal `mania’, the heyday of the stagecoach, and the development of fire-resistant buildings. All of these areas required the use of new materials, particularly cast-iron. William Hazledine (1763-1840) was at the forefront of these exciting advances, supplying ironwork for at least five world `firsts’ – Ditherington Flax Mill, Shrewsbury; the aqueducts on the Ellesmere Canal; lock gates for the Caledonian Canal; a whole series of cast-iron arch bridges and the Menai and Conwy suspension bridges. Much of this work was done in conjunction with Thomas Telford. Andrew Pattison’s original research has rescued a hitherto little-known giant of industry from obscurity. This book is a summary of his researches.