Not only did the railroad become the first commercial passenger railway in the world, it was also seen as a commercial venture for both national and local businesses.

The relevance of the railway to both local and national business’ can be seen by exploring advertising ledgers that are housed in the collection. Altogether, 406 businesses advertised on the railway itself. These businesses ranged from the local – such as The Swansea Grand Theatre and Swansea Town A.F.C, to more national companies such as The Daily Express, and South Wales Furniture Company.

Each company respectively would pay for advertising space on a range of spaced offered by the various railway companies. Advertising spaces on the train included – doors, windows, side panels, backs of seats, billboards at both stations and along the track, the roof and window cards.

Using the Advertising Ledgers within the collection, you can track each respective company, their advertising space, how much they paid for it, and how long they kept their spot for.

For example:

Name C. K. Andrews
Business Garage
Space 8 Windows
Cost (Per Annum) £4
Duration (Years) 5
Name Daily Express
Business Newspaper Organisation
Space 30 Sides of Train
Cost (Per Annum) £260
Duration (Years) 5
Name Edwin. Y. Yarley
Business Chemist
Space 6 Windows
Cost (Per Annum) £3
Duration (Years) 5

LAC/85/C27-28, ©FirstGroup, Source: 
Richard Burton Archives, Swansea University

These business ventures ranged from both local and national, but also global. Towards the middling years of the twentieth century it possible to track involvement in the railway coming from Jamaica, Nigeria and central America. This demonstrates the wide scale interest in the Swansea & Mumbles Railway.

With railways initially being solely an industrial means of transportation, The Swansea and Mumbles Railway illustrated the growing commercialisation in relation to transport links.

For more information on how to use an advertising ledger, Click here