David Allan painted a fascinating set of pictures when the Industrial Revolution was taking hold in Scotland. The setting is the famous lead mines at Leadhills in South Lanarkshire, owned by the 3rd Earl of Hopetoun, who commissioned these paintings. They show the four key stages in lead processing, of which this is the third. In the smelting house the ore was loaded into small blast furnaces with peat or turf or coal and a small portion of lime. The molten lead was then drawn off into a reservoir and ladled into moulds to form ingots.