Water‐powered wire drawing was introduced from Germany in 1567, when the Mineral and Battery Company was given a monopoly of brass manufacture. The failure to make satisfactory brass led to a concentration on iron wire, e.g. in the Tintern area. Wire making long continued as a manual process in small workshops, however, e.g. at Barnsley (Yorkshire). By the turning of a handle, annealed iron or steel was pulled through tapering holes in an iron or steel plate known as a wortle, and gradually reduced to thin wire.