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  1. #461
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    Asquith, a good write up for Richard Roberts, not sure if all credited to hm is correct ?
    http://www.prosiectmenai.co.uk/rroberts.php

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    Default Charleston, Thailand, Australia, Nails

    Bodger,

    Thanks. An excellent account of Richard Roberts and his great works, which deserve to be better known. Unlike some, such as Nasmyth and Fairbairn, he didn’t take the precaution of writing his autobiography. Perhaps the history of some of his inventions is more reliable as a result!

    Now, we were in Trumpet Street, and if we headed west along it in the mid-19th century we would come to the back of Union Foundry. The front was on Trafford Street which runs parallel and meets Deansgate. The 1850 directory tells us that the foundry belonged to John Glasgow, maker of screw bolts, lathes, tools and patent rivets.

    I wondered if John Glasgow was related to William Glasgow, who was in the partnership of Galloway, Bowman & Glasgow. William had two brothers, John and David, and they were mentioned in post #278. This shows that they were the same family:-

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...ow#post1002103

    William Glasgow lived at 56, and later 54 Great Bridgewater Street.

    In searching for info on William Glasgow, I came across some very interesting information in an online book:-

    http://books.google.com/books?id=EqX...hester&f=false

    This includes snippets about Galloway, Bowman & Glasgow’s export trade, giving an interesting insight into the very different worlds in which people moved. In 1820 they made gearing and engines for rice mills in Charleston, SC. From cold, dirty Manchester, to the heat of South Carolina. The customer was Lucas, Ewbank & Cordes, most of whose workers were slaves.

    The pieces of machinery were no doubt placed in a barge next to the works, transferred to a sailing ship in Liverpool, and first saw harsh sunlight in the strange surroundings of Charleston. Here, a kind of human misery prevailed that differed from that to be found in the hovels close by Galloway, Bowman & Glasgow’s works.

    Lucas’s son came over to learn engineering at the works, and there seems to have been some cooperation on the production of threshing machinery.

    The book also mentions that the firm supplied machinery for Mexican silver mines.

    A connection with a very different part of the world turned up in an old online Siamese book describing a visit to Britain in 1858 by ambassadors from Siam (possibly members of the Siamese Royal Family). It refers to their fascination with the various factories they visited, spending several hours in each. One of them spent no less than 3 hours at John Glasgow‘s fastener factory!

    Other factories are mentioned, including Sharp, Stewart’s, Fairbairn’s, and Whitworth’s. How exotic these visitors must have looked to the rough and ready natives, and what would the ambassadors have made of the smoky, noisy canyons of industry?

    http://books.google.com/books?id=0uI...20bolt&f=false

    Going back to the slave theme, words fail me. I can’t reconcile what was going on in the ‘developed’ world with the prevailing cruelty and misery. Taking Manchester as an example, many aspects of life in the early 1800s would not seem dated today. Many of the buildings are still standing, some of the manufacturing processes and machines wouldn’t seem all that ancient, they had street lighting and trade directories and general orderliness, yet there was a near-unbridgeable chasm between rich and poor. Many textile mill owners used children as slaves, literally. Taking them from orphanages and abusing them. Even Robert Owen, who became known as a reforming, socially-minded employer, wrote in 1857: ‘Your false, vile, ignorant, and most wicked system compelled me to learn the trade of buying cheap and selling dear, and I was compelled to pursue it to support life - for under this system to support life you must be tyrant or slave.’ Really?

    Intrigued by Messrs Lucas, Ewbank & Cordes and their activities in Charleston, I did a search and soon found a surprisingly interesting diversion. The Ewbank Nail. More information than you might ever need to know about nails, but there’s some fascinating information in this next link. Yankee ingenuity and British enterprise combined to mass produce nails which were ideally suited to some of the common timber found in the Southern hemisphere. The article refers back to the question of slavery, and for various reasons some members of the Cordes and Ewbank family found the business not to their liking, and came to Britain. James Jamieson Cordes set up the Dos Works in Newport, Monmouthshire. Worth a look, in my opinion:-

    http://www.tu-cottbus.de/bautechnikg...ess/how_oa.pdf

  3. #463
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    Interesting to read about nails, my paternal family were hand nail makers in Belper from the 1700s.

  4. #464
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    Asquith, interesting links to Bellhouse, Manchester engineers.
    http://www.stats.uwo.ca/faculty/bellhouse/chapter4.pdf
    http://www.stats.uwo.ca/faculty/bellhouse/chapter7.pdf
    Charles Debergue, Manchester, patent problem in USA, pg. 8
    http://www.arkansashighways.com/hist...%20(13045).pdf

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    Although not exactly the same type of nail, this 190 year old company makes a type of cut nail using 125+ year old machinery. Some interesting info on their site.

    http://www.tremontnail.com/index.htm

  6. #466
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    Bodger,

    Interesting stuff in the links you posted. I noticed that one of the engravings shows a hydraulic pump with similar architecture to that of the John Parrott pump in post #387. I’ll have to study the environs of Bellhouse’s works further, as looking at the 1849 map I find that that part of Manchester, round bustling Oxford Road, was entirely given over to engineering and textile manufacture. Impossible to imagine now, given that this is an area of offices and entertainment.

    Now, I’m returning to the Gaythorn/Knott Mill area because it was such a hive of industry. Much of it is now devoid of any character, and certainly exorcised of most of the ghosts of once-important manufacturers. There are, however, some surviving mill buildings, and also someone had the good idea of preserving bits of Gaythorn Gasworks as sculptures under the railway viaduct arches. I don’t know whether they’re still there, in their graffitoed state.

    Staying in Trafford Street where we were previously, in 1863 we would have encountered the Gaythorn Brass & Copper Works of Samuel Bennett, brass founders, coppersmiths and makers of fire engines and hydraulic pumps. The company was also listed as Bennett & Storey, and I wondered if it was the same Storey as in Isaac Storey, a company featured previously. Possibly not, as Isaac Storey was trading at the same time, being listed as brass founders, coppersmiths, makers of copper vacuum pans, stills, engines and boiler mountings, at 35 Little Peter Street. This was about 150 yards south of Trafford Street, and about 100 yards from Galloways works.

    I found this photo of Isaac Storey’s works:-



    Lots of annealing would be needed. I wonder if that’s what the iron table is for - fed with gas?
    Not much lighting for night work! Even if those arc lamps work, not much light would pentrate the carbon deposit inside the globes.

    Storey’s also made engine indicators. Why not, if you’ve got a brass foundry? See:-
    http://www.archivingindustry.com/Ind...discspring.htm

    This old house was owned by a Mr Isaac Storey, probably the same Isaac Storey, as the industrialist did live in Cheadle Hulme:-
    http://www.cheadlehulme.net/village/chulmehall.htm

    Storey’s also had a works in nearby Cornbrook, where they made compressors. See:-
    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...rey#post939229

    In about 1912 Storey’s amalgamated with several other firms to form United Brassfounders and Engineers Ltd.


    The area around Little Peter Street is now a quiet backwater that has retained a number of old buildings, but in its heyday it was clearly a hive of small industries. In 1850 along one side of Little Peter Street were a blacksmith, a shop, tinplate worker, beer retailer, John Sykes - boilermaker, and then Isaac Storey. I suspect that the latter pair were in the former cotton mill on this street.

    Heading due south off Little Peter Street was Jordan Street. I’ve previously mentioned (#458) the versatile James Evans & Co, at one time based at Egerton Mill. This mill also housed Thomas Evans, file maker and ‘mill furnisher’. I found a 1937 advert for Northern Aircraft Products, located in Jordan Street, whose business was ‘aircraft and general sheet metal work’. A most unlikely venue for aircraft work, but I wonder whether this reflects the development of a modern industry around the long-established skilled workers from the brass and copper-working trades in the immediate locality?

    Once again I’ll take the liberty of showing an extract of one of the excellent Alan Godfrey maps ( http://www.alangodfreymaps.co.uk/ ):-



    This shows the area in 1849, a mixture of mills and those cramped back-to-back houses put up by shameless landlords. In the bottom left hand corner is Galloways Knott Mill Iron Works. The dotted line going up the middle of the River Medlock is one of those precisely defined parish boundaries. Until very recently there was an old marker stone showing the exact line of the boundary, built into the bridge. It was a long time before I realised it was a bridge, such was the effort made to hide the River Medlock behind high walls. I’ve mentioned these odd boundaries before, intrigued by the way some ancient arbitrary division defined the shape of houses and factories many centuries after it was established.

    But back to the map. Note ‘Brazil Mill formerly Knott Mill’. I think Knott was the name of the textile mill’s first owner. Before that there was a corn mill there. The 1841 directory shows the mill as the ‘Birch & Meyers Brazil Mill Co’. Some photos of Brazil Mill in 1896:-

    http://www.images.manchester.gov.uk/....php?irn=70734
    Interior shot. I’m wondering if the wooden frames were used for stretching cloth for fustian cutting, with the grindstone for frequent sharpening of the long knives used for cutting through the loops of cotton to produce velvet-like fustian.

    http://www.images.manchester.gov.uk/....php?irn=70736
    As owned by the Globe Mattress Co. Down the end of the street can be seen the canal warehouse, shown on the map as ‘The Old Warehouse’.

    http://www.images.manchester.gov.uk/....php?irn=70737
    Another view. To be let, ‘with an excellent foundry‘. Doesn’t look like the ideal foundry building, but the 1894 map shows that casting continued here, with ‘Commercial Foundry’ occupying most of Commercial Street. This is where I speculated (post #349) that Thos. Ryder & Co were based, doing coppersmith and general brewery engineering.



    A recent view looking north from Commercial Street, along what was formerly Greaves Street. Beetham Tower/Hilton Hotel looming.
    Halfway down the street on the right was the map shows an 'Indian Corn Mill'. That was the old UK name for maize. I won't show my ignorance by wondering about maize milling.

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    I’m now the proud owner of a letter from Knott Mill Iron Works signed ‘W & J Galloway'. I’d like to think it was signed by one of the Galloway brothers, but I don’t know whether it was. Probably not by a clerk, as a better standard of handwriting would be expected. An engineer or foreman, perhaps? It’s written with confidence, and signed with a flourish, so I won‘t totally rule out a Galloway as the author. I don’t suppose I’ll ever know.

    Dated 13 June 1854, addressed to Hugh(?) Fisher & Son

    Dear Sirs

    We have been down to the Dye Works in Salford, and find that we can get into the present Boiler House, two Boilers - each 26 feet long by 6 ~ 6 diam - the size Mr. Worrall named was 24 ft x 7ft diam, two of which (in diameter) could not be got in - therefore we have sent them down an estimate for one 26 x 6.6 with its fittings ? - which we consider to be the most judicious arrangement, as then another similar Boiler may be fixed alongside at some future opportunity.

    We can have this boiler done in a fortnight.

    Yours very truly

    W & J Galloway

    This presumably relates to James Worrall’s Ordsal Dye Works.

    It strikes me that there must have been a lot of correspondence like this. Not a formal quotation or anything major, just a way of passing on information quickly by post or messenger in the days before phones.

  8. #468
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    Asquith, welcome back. you mention Oxford Street, many years ago i drank there often, there was a bar under the Oxford cinema, and a chinese restaraunt across the road, im talking 5 0 years ago, there were still Yanks drinking in town from their base , Burtonwood up the East Lancs Road, they staightened out many of the round abouts, on a Sunday morning there was always a L/H drive car parked where it should'nt be

  9. #469
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    Asquith, welcome back, always a pleasure to read any post from you. Please excuse my shortness, in your honor I tried a few pints of Fuller's London Porter this evening...

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    Asquith, gooin up't rowd agen to Hyde, pg.183, Mr. Benjamin Goodfellow, steam engine builder ?
    http://books.google.ie/books?id=AiKg...age&q=&f=false
    Who is the Welch, [sic] "hero" setting up a turnery in Salford ?, pg. 34 of a similar anecdote to yours, but a year or two before you strolled the streets
    http://books.google.ie/books?id=00sO...idents&f=false

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    Bodger, Fasto,

    Thank you for the comments. I don't spend so much time here now, and have given up starting new threads, but I’ll continue with this one whenever I find something of interest (to me!).

    Thanks for the links, Bodger. Nice to read a Manchester tour description from a somewhat earlier era. The Welch hero was Richard Roberts. Regarding Benjamin Goodfellow, I made a brief mention of the firm in the post below, and noted that it once employed Gustav Wolff, a man with Titanic ambitions:-

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...low#post902891

    As food and drink have been mentioned by Bodger and Fasto, I’ll continue in that vein.

    The variety of food and drink in the UK has fortunately undergone a dramatic change for the better. Older Mancunians will remember the steamed-up UCP cafés. United Cattle Products. Tripe. Once eaten out of necessity, it became popular with many. Not with me. I could just about ‘stomach’ the rubbery grey stuff, but the mere sight of white cellular tripe made me heave.

    Foreign restaurants were far from common in the 1960s, and I remember having my first Greek meal, and first pizza, on Oxford Street. The taverna was authentic, mainly catering for Greeks, and all very strange to me. Delicious, though, and I well remember first encountering the unexpected power of green chilli peppers. Not like green beans at all.

    Ale was just beginning to be displaced by icy piss, thanks to the power of marketing. There was a great pub called The Grapes down near the Knott Mill end of Deansgate, where the long room gradually tapered away to almost nothing, and they sold all sorts of proper farmhouse cheese, some of which also tapered away to nothing.

    Most pubs in the area in the 1960s were owned by local breweries, and usually offered just two choices of beer on draught - Bitter or Mild. Neither were particularly strong by today‘s standards, being intended to slake the thirst of manual workers. I particularly liked Boddington’s (Strangeways) and Robinson’s (Stockport). Boddington’s was the subject of a big marketing campaign (‘The Cream of Manchester’), and was taken over by a big foreign brewery, and the Strangeways brewery was closed. Bastards. The beer is now brewed elsewhere and exported far and wide, and it’s nowt special.

    Pubs generally had a ‘lounge’ and a ‘public bar’ (known in Manchester as ‘the vault’). The vault would have a dartboard, and the beer would be about ½ d cheaper.

    I’ve come over all reminiscent now, drifting back the late 1960s. Folk nights in the Manchester Sports Guild. Winter evenings in the city centre when the sudden noise of starlings might presage the rapid descent of a blanket of smog, stinging the eyes and paralysing road transport.

    The homeward journey from Central Station, with the incomparable sound of steam locomotive’s exhaust blasts echoing round the great arched terminal building. Dirty trains, dirty buildings, the smell of decaying brickwork and damp overcoats. Lovely.

    Fish and Chip shops, often offering steak & kidney puddings (with a suet casing, served hot in an aluminium pot), and mushy peas.

    Here’s a couple of lovely atmospheric photos, featuring gaslights:-

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/asisawi..._of_manchester

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

    As I write this, ‘Dirty Old Town’ happens to be playing on the radio, sung by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. Right on cue. ‘Smelled the spring on the smoky wind…’

    A while ago in this thread there was a brief flurry of interest in big lathe headstocks, which unfortunately withered. I’d forgotten that I’d previously posted a picture of a big lathe of Galloway’s own manufacture:-



    I’ve now found a photo taken at Knott Mill (1920s?) and I spotted such a lathe in the background:-



    It’s lost a few spokes from its iron handwheel, and seems to be turning a boiler. However, it’s probably not a boiler. A rotary cement kiln? Who knows?

    That’s it for a while.
    Last edited by Asquith; 10-21-2009 at 01:13 PM.

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    I was going to stick around Galloways and Knott Mill, but instead we’ll leave the city and head a few miles west to prosperous suburb of Broadheath. We shall return.

    When I say ‘we’, I don’t know who reads this stuff. It’s a month since I last looked, and in that time there have been over 4000 viewings, and not a single comment. Is this a record?

    Broadheath has been featured before as home to a number of machine tool makers and other engineering firms. Some George Richards machines have recently been featured in the ‘ESC’ thread.

    I thought this picture was interesting for a number of reasons:-



    George Richards side planer with two tool posts. There are photos of a smaller one in action in the link below (post #20 also includes a clickable thumbnail with drawings showing how large components could be machined).

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...rs-182081.html

    Back to the old photo:
    Difficult to judge depth in these fine old photos, but it’s certainly a long planer.
    It’s working on an engine bedplate. All I can definitely make out on the bedplate is ‘Broadheath near Manchester’. It’s probably a Tilghman steam-driven air compressor, and the other words on the casting are probably ‘Tilghmans Patent Sand Blast Co Ltd‘. It could be in either Tilghman’s or Richards’ works - they were effectively the same company (the Tilghman Brothers took over Richards at an early stage).

    Note also the gas engine in the background driving the lineshafts. I’ll hazard a guess that it’s a Crossley. Incidentally, the Crossley brothers settled in the leafy suburbs nearby.

    Looking at the wall behind the gas engine, the presence of the window cills and the drainpipes suggests that it was once an external wall, and that the factory expanded.

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    Asquith,

    I think you're right about a Crossley engine, it looks like one of their large gas regulators in the rear arch of the left hand wall.

    Jim.

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    Asquith, any ideas who made this horizontal ? turret lathe in Manchester ?
    http://books.google.ie/books?id=990D...page&q=&f=true

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    Craven Bros.

    It's a Craven-Gridley, made under licence.

    Regards,

    Asquith

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    Quote Originally Posted by Asquith View Post
    When I say ‘we’, I don’t know who reads this stuff. It’s a month since I last looked, and in that time there have been over 4000 viewings, and not a single comment. Is this a record?
    I read regularly, Asquith. Fascinating stuff. You've done an amazing amount of research, and an excellent job. Being a colonial, I don't comment much...very little knowledge of industrial history in the mother land. I find the topic very interesting and enjoy reading though..and learning along the way. Carry on, sir! :-)

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    Jeff,

    Thanks for the encouragement. With that, I’ll press on.

    Normally this thread just drifts, but in the next few posts I know where I want to steer. We’ll stay in Broadheath for a bit, then bumble around Manchester, then look at some social history, before returning to Galloways.

    Back to Broadheath, and taking up the ‘colonial’ theme, Three of the major companies in Broadheath - George Richards, Tilghman Brothers, Charles Churchill - were all established by immigrants from the USA. However their names suggest that their ancestors were emigrants from the UK. I assumed that Tilghman was a foreign name, but no, it’s olde English. A variant is Tillman, as in tilling fields, and presumably so is the word tilth.

    Just down the road from George Richards and Tilghmans was the works of H W Kearns. They’ve been featured before, and specialised in horizontal boring/facing machines. This was a big one in its day (1922), and could face up to 9 ft diameter:-



    An article in ‘The Engineer’ 5 September 1913 described how Kearns machined a test piece on every horizontal borer before despatch, and the results and the test piece itself were supplied with the machine. Testpiece and machine here:-



    Details here, but no acceptance standards included!


    Mr Kearns was an industrial chemist by profession, and became a major shareholder in Wm Muir & Co, machine tool makers of Strangeways, Salford. Kearns wanted to move the Muir factory to the more pleasant environs of Broadheath, but he was outvoted, so he went his own way in 1907. He took 28 Muir men with him, and eventually employed 500 people. The source of this information can be found in post #121.

    A long-time employee was Curtis A Sparkes, latterly Technical Director. He was responsible for introducing computer control to Kearns’ machines in the 1950s. After retirement he worked as a consultant for various local engineering firms until the age of 95! He also wrote a book on the Broadheath machine tool industry, privately published recently. Someone was trying to find me a copy, and by coincidence the phone rang while I was typing this, to tell me a copy is found. The lady did warn me that it’s a heavy book. With machine tools and machine tool books, heavy is good.

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    Hi Asquith, just a small point, who would it have been who carried out the test machining ?, where i served my time each man built his machine personally from parts supplied, but these were only small machines, i assume the larger machines were built buy a crew.
    i was getting withdrawal symptoms, it is nice to see your posts back. bodger

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    Asquith - just a small entry to echo Jeff's post about the value of your threads. I don't feel at all competent to add to the majority of them, but they are always interesting to read. As you noted, the number of views is a better measure than the replies.

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    I'd love to read that book Asquith. I worked on both Kearns and Richards Borers for a large part of my life. I knew of Curtiss Sparkes by reputation, the men who worked for him all spoke very highly of him. He was obviously a man of great intellect and ability. His equals today would probably be pointed away from engineering and into some number crunching, bean counting occupation. Regards Tyrone.


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