OREALD.COM - An Old Electronic Library
eng: a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Sheffield as the Metropolis of Steel page 2


Pages: 1 <2>

They are very famous for their projectiles. It was Hadfield's shells, used by the Japanese under Togo, that destroyed the Russian fleet. Protective shields for the guns of ships are largely made from Hadfield's steel. The firm makes castings for all kinds of railway materials, mining, and marine and general engineering. One of the first of the great works to adopt an eight-hours' day for its workmen, Hadfield's has also persisted in declining to join combinations of employers. If times of dispute come, it deals separately with its own workpeople.

William Jessop & Sons, of the Brightside Works, is one of the oldest of the Sheffield firms. It dates from 1774; was removed to Brightside in 1845; and formed into a company in 1876. The works cover 40 acres, and employ about 1,500 men. Steel-making is the special work of the firm, the annual output being about 10,000 tons of crucible steel, and 22,000 tons of open-hearth steel.

Samuel Osborn & Co., of the Clyde Works, is one of the firms that hold a place in the history of the steel industry, for here the Mushet process of self-hardening steel, the beginning of the highspeed steel improvement, was introduced. Osborns have also taken a leading part in the study and perfecting of high-speed steels. The firm has a high reputation for its railway carriage springs. It has a department for general engineering forgings, and still sustains its original trade in files. The name of Osborn means, in Sheffield trade circles, all that is honourable.

So many are the varieties of work carried on in Sheffield by firms which have a wide-spread reputation that only the merest mention can be made here of some, omitting others probably that have an equal claim. For example, there are in Sheffield, or the district this book covers, such firms as Steel, Peech & Tozer, largely producing railway material, but also known as steel smelters; Edgar Allen & Co., specially notable (with Hadfield's and Osborn's), for hardened tramway points and crossings; Jonas & Colver, high-class steel makers, particularly of the high-speed type; Brown Bayley, railway material and Bessemer steel; Howell & Co., tubes, particularly for engine boilers; J. H. Andrew, tool and mining steels, steel wire rods, and motor car springs; Seebohm & Dieckstahl, high-speed steels, mining tools, and finished tools; Sanderson & New-bould, crucible steel, sword bayonets, and machine knives; Doncasters, Swedish iron merchants, and steels supplied to the trade; Wardlows, high-grade steels; Seniors, shear steels for cutlery; Beardshaws, steel and saws; Spear & Jackson, saws; Burgon & Ball, sheep shears; Ellins, shop tools; Marsh Brothers (one of the oldest firms), fine crucible steels; William Cooke & Co., wire ropes for collieries, ships, and engineering works, and patent horse-shoes; Cravens, railway carriages and tram-cars; Laycock, railway carriages and fittings; Ibbotson, steel, saws, and files; Bury, forges and rolling mills for agricultural machinery; H. R. Waterfall & Barber, crucible steel, and steel for motor car chassis; Cocker Brothers, crucible steel wire; Skeltons, farm and gardening tools; Fox (Stocks-bridge), umbrella frames and wire; Hardy Patent Pick Co., mining tools; G. & J. Hall, mechanics' tools; John Bedford & Sons, crucible steel for tools, files, light edge-tools, shovels, and a compound of soft iron and hard steel welded together for the trade; Burrows, steel; Alfred Beckett &,Sons, files and machine knives; Chesterman, rules and measures; Shardlow, crank shafts; Hawksley, Wild & Co., boilers; Davy Brothers, boilers, engineering, and steel; Crowley, malleable iron, and iron castings; Sheffield Forge & Rolling Mills, castings; Park-gate Iron & Steel Co., plates for boilers, steel, and pig iron; Brightside Foundry Co., castings; Kenyon's, steel makers and filesmiths; Mellowes & Co., glass roofing; Newton, Chambers & Co., cast-iron work; Hoole, fire grates; and Hattersley & Davidson, machine tool makers.

Reverting to the cutlery trade, mention must be made of Joseph Rodgers & Sons, known throughout the world, and dating from 1724; Thomas Turner & Co., who largely supply the Army; Harrison Brothers & Howson, dating from 1796; George Butler & Co., whose "mark" was registered in 1681; Nowills, dating from 1700; Needham, Veale & Tysack, who have a large Colonial trade; Wostenholmes, with a great American razor trade; Lockwood Brothers, one of the oldest firms; Joseph Elliott & Sons; Francis Newton & Sons; and Michael Hunter.

We have already mentioned the great plate and cutlery firms of Walker & Hall, and Mappin & Webb, and the silver-ware firm of Dixon. Other silver firms are Bradburys, who have published a magnificently illustrated work on Sheffield plate; and Lee and W i g f u 1. Gold and silver refining is represented by t h e Sheffield Smelting Co.,

belonging to the Wilsons; and by other firms. The type-founding firm of Stephenson & Blake, now united with Sir Charles Reed & Co., occupies an unchallenged position. The break-up firm of T. W. Ward also has a commanding and national standing.

This bare outline of the trade of modern Sheffield, with gaps here and there that will, probably, be noticed by all who know the city in detail, may serve, nevertheless, to show how remarkably the city has responded to the world's call for steel of the finest type, and tools to "work" the commoner steels of other countries. Sheffield lives prosperously, from its manufacturers' point of view, not on the tonnage of its steel, but on its quality and high value. There may be more profit in a hundredweight of one kind of steel than in a ton of another kind. It has been the aim of the Sheffield firms to make what is valuable.

To that end all the ambitious firms have a scientific staff of steel chemists and microscopists, who are unceasingly busy testing and experimenting, so as to understand better and better the strangely elusive nature of the city's master-product, steel; and with them are working in closest sympathy and helpfulness the staff of the Applied Science Department of the University. In no other university city is the study at the seat of learning so bound up with the practical life of the place; and it is a thousand pities that so many of the studious and clever boys of Sheffield, who get scholarships, are led away to feed on the dry husks of bookish learning, instead of turning to practical science and seeking to push the bounds of knowledge further and further by such researches as will add to the wealth of mankind, through a greater knowledge of, and command over, such natural forces as meet in the making of steel.

A change came over the world when steel leapt into the position of prime material for all machinery. But this ancient centre of industry was awake and alert. It threw off its traditional love of the old ways. It marched with the times. It produced the steel the world wanted, and the result is that it is to-day perhaps the city most necessary to the world's business.

<<< Previous page <<<
Pages: 1 <2>

Pictures for Sheffield as the Metropolis of Steel page 2

SIR HENRY BESSEMER
SIR HENRY BESSEMER >>>>
Tilt Hammer for Forging Tool Steel
Tilt Hammer for Forging Tool Steel >>>>
Annealing and Casting
Annealing and Casting >>>>
Rolling an Armour Plate
Rolling an Armour Plate >>>>
150-TON SELF-CONTAINED HIGH-SPEED FORGING PRESS
150-TON SELF-CONTAINED HIGH-SPEED FORGING PRESS >>>>

Home | Privacy Policy | Copyright | About