Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Baldwins

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1850. The Wilden Works.
April 1903.
1912
June 1923.
August 1926.
November 1926.
December 1926.
1927.
October 1931.
1933. Wilden Iron Works.
1934.
1934.
1934.
1934.
Col. Sir W. Charles Wright.
1934. The Panteg Works.
‎‎
Aug 1935. GWR Centenary.
1938.
January 1939.
1940.
1945

of Wind Street, Swansea. Works: King's Dock, Swansea; Mansel, Port Talbot; Wern, Briton Ferry

Midland Branch: Wilden Iron Works, Stourport-on-Severn

1902 The company was established and registered on 7 April, to acquire the businesses of iron and steel manufacturers, and colliery and iron proprietors, of E. P. and W. Baldwin, Wright, Butler and Co, Alfred Baldwin and Co, the Bryn Navigation Colliery Co and the Blackwall Galvanised Iron Co[1]. Alfred Baldwin was the first chairman and his son Stanley was managing director. Stanley had sole responsibility for the Midland Division which accounted for about one quarter of the turnover[2]

1906 Acquired and re-opened the Port Talbot steel works, Glamorgan[3] with Gloucester Railway Carriage and Wagon Co, which were incorporated as the Port Talbot Steel Co[4]

1914 Iron masters and colliery proprietors. Specialities: round, square and hoop iron; bar, angle and tee steel; black and galvanized sheets, tinned sheets, tinplates etc. The company has its own blast furnaces and steel works and numerous factories where steel bars are converted into a variety of metal sheets. Employees 6,000. The following brands are important features of the company's output:

  • In galvanized sheets: "Phoenix" corrugated, plain and best sheets for seaming and working-up; "Lion and Crown" best dead flat galvanized sheets.
  • In black sheets: "Vale", "Shield" and "Lion and Crown" dead flat and suitable for trunks, pipes etc., "Plough", a cheaper brand for ordinary use.
  • In tinned sheets: "Baldwin-Wilden", "Cookley K" and "Lion and "Crown" made in best coke finish and heavily-coated charcoal finish for dairy work, gas meters etc.
  • In tinplates: "Cookley K", "Cookley CSS" or "Wilden", "Wolverley", "Unicorn", "Cookley Coke" and "Stour"; and for Welsh tinplates "Kemys", "Kama", "Keblah", "Kaolin", "Karoo", "King's Dock, Swansea" and "Galles". [5]

1917 Work started on new steelworks at Margam with government support; the foundations for three blast furnaces were laid although only two were actually completed.

1918 Baldwins acquired control of the Brymbo Steel Co[6].

1918 New private steel company formed by Baldwins, their bankers and associates; it was called the British Steel Corporation; it had acquired the Briton Ferry Works and extensive land between the Swansea docks and the Neath River to host blast furnaces and coke ovens[7].

1918 Two 70 ton open-hearth furnaces went into production at Margam; the steel went to Port Talbot Steel Co for rolling.

1919 the British Steel Corporation was acquired by Baldwins which then would have more productive capacity than any similar undertaking in the U.K.; Baldwins was also said to be planning to move into the manufacturing side of the steel business[8].

1920 Steel making subsidiaries included[9]:

Other steel works were:

  • Swansea Hematite Iron and Steel Works, Landore;
  • Elba Steel Works, Gowerton;
  • Panteo Steel Works, Newport;
  • Netherton Works, nr Dudley

Sheet, tinplate and galvanizing works:

as well as coke ovens at Landore, Cwmavon and Port Talbot, and by-product plant at Margam, plus 8 collieries, 3 iron ore mines, 2 quarries, 2 brickworks, and 2 tube works as well as works in Canada.

1920 Two blast furnaces were operating at the new Margam steel works by mid-year[10]

1925 Baldwins, in conjunction with Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co built a new tinplate works at Crymlyn Burrows, Swansea[11]

1926 Colonel Sir William Charles Wright was chairman.[12]

By 1927 Baldwins had acquired the Brymbo Steel Co, the Coytrahen Park Colliery Co, the Cribbwr Fawr Collieries, the Taff Rhondda Steam Navigation Coal Co, and the Ton Phillip Rhondda Colliery Co in South Wales, as well as other metallurgical and allied companies[13].

1927 See Aberconway Chapter 17 for information on the company and its history.

1930 Amalgamation of South Wales Steel works with those of GKN to form British Iron and Steel Co.

1934 See Baldwins: 1934 Review

1935 Sold the Eaglesbush tinplate works to Metal Box Co

1937 British Industries Fair Advert for Welsh Tinplate Works. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport Section - Stand No. D.328). [14]

1937 Steel sheet manufacturers[15].

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1945 Baldwins and Richard Thomas and Co merged creating Richard Thomas and Baldwins, an organisation of some 27,000 employees.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. Biography of Stanley Baldwin by Stuart Ball; ODNB
  3. Alfred Baldwin's biography: ODNB
  4. The Times, Aug 28, 1908
  5. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  6. The Times, Apr 26, 1918
  7. The Times, 30 October 1918
  8. The Times, 21 January 1919
  9. The Times, Jun 06, 1921
  10. The Times, Jul 08, 1920
  11. The Times, Dec 19, 1925
  12. The Engineer 1926/11/26
  13. Aberconway Chapter 17
  14. 1937 British Industries Fair Advert pp666 and 667; and p331
  15. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  • History of the Steel Industry in the Port Talbot Area 1900-1988 [1]