Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Edward Christopher Blackstone

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Edward Christopher Blackstone (1850-1916) of Blackstone and Co

Born c1851 at St. Pancras the son of Joseph Blackstone, doctor of Camden Town doctor who came from Beverley, Yorkshire

Edward, was educated at Kings College

Apprenticeship with the hydraulic engineers J. and H. Gwynne

1876 March 16th. At Chigwell, he marries Myra, daughter of George Mills of Belmon, Chigwell, Essex [1]

1877 Becomes a partner in Jeffery and Blackstone later to become Blackstone and Co

1881 Living at Wothorpe, Northants (age 30 born St. Pancras), Manufacturer of Engines and Partner in Iron Foundry. Living with wife Myra (age 26 born St. Pancras) and sons George M. Blackstone (age 3 born Wothorpe), Harold V. (age 2 born Wothorpe) and Leonard C. (age 1 born Wothorpe) plus three servants [2]

1901 Living at Rock House, 44 Scotgate, Stamford (age 50 born St. Pancras), Mechanical Engineer and Managing Director of Company. Living with wife Myra (age 45 born St. Pancras) and daughter Winifred M. (age 18 born Wothorpe) plus a visitor and three servants [3]


1917 Obituary [4]

EDWARD CHRISTOPHER BLACKSTONE wan born in London on 14th August 1850.

In 1868, after a course of instruction at King's College, London, he was apprenticed to Messrs. J. and H. Gwynne, Hammersmith Iron Works, London, for four years, and was afterwards employed by them as draughtsman.

He was next engaged as assistant engineer in constructing the waterworks in Jersey, and he afterwards assisted in the office of Mr. W. H. Le Fevre, on railway and other work. He was for some time resident engineer with Messrs. Charles Nelson and Co., cement manufacturers, where he was employed in designing and superintending the erection of buildings and machinery.

Mr. Blackstone was subsequently engaged as draughtsman in the Trinity House under Sir James N. Douglass.

In 1877 he joined Mr. G. E. Jeffery of the Rutland Iron Works, Stamford, the firm being known as Jeffery and Blackstone.

In 1882 Mr. Jeffery sold his interest in the business, and Mr. Blackstone was joined by Mr. Mills, a relative. The want of more room became pressing, and in 1886 a new works was erected off the Ryhall Road. The new workshops were designed and the construction superintended by Mr. Blackstone.

Owing to the greatly increased demand for the products of the Rutland Iron Works, additional capital was needed, and in 1889 the business was converted into a limited liability company.

From that date to the present time the concern has been known as Blackstone and Co., Ltd., and Mr. Blackstone has been managing director.

He was the inventor of the first horse-power mechanical swath-turner in 1892, and since then his name has been associated with many improvements in these machines, which gained the first and second prizes at the Royal Agricultural Society's trials in 1907. In the making of hay this has been a great labour-saver, a pony and a boy doing the work of ten men. At this time he was also devoting his attention to what is known as a side hay-rake, and this machine won the first prize at the same trials.

He brought out many improvements in grass mowing-machines, horse-rakes, hay-tedders, corn-grinding mills, hay-loaders, and turnip-cutters. Probably his name will be best remembered by the Blackstone Oil Engines made under Blackstone and Carter's patents. He had been associated in the large number of 64 British patents.

When he joined Mr. Jeffery in 1877 about 100 men were employed at their Works, and in 1914 this number had increased to fully 1,000.

Mr. Blackstone was a Justice of the Peace for Stamford. He was a Member of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, and of most kindred societies in the kingdom.

His death took place at Stamford on 6th October 1916, at the age of sixty-six.

He was elected a Member of this Institution in 1898.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Essex Standard, West Suffolk Gazette, and Eastern Counties' Advertiser, Friday, March 24, 1876
  2. 1881 Census
  3. 1901 Census
  4. 1917 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries