Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Taylor and Martineau

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Taylor & Martineau had an extensive works on London's City Road.

The partnership involved Philip Taylor (1786-1870), who had initially studied surgery but later became a pharmacist, his brother John Taylor, and John Martineau, a member of a family that owned businesses in sugar refining, banking and brewing.

Taylor and Martineau acquired engineering works at Whitecross Street, Clerkenwell, from the print machinery manufacturer, Friedrich Koenig.

c.1800 Manufactured and supplied the Russell Press[1].

1812 Philip and his brother John started a chemical works at Stratford, East London. Initially Philip was concerned with pharmaceuticals and apparatus, while John worked on metallurgical chemistry. They were backed by the Martineau family. One joint invention was an "acetometer", used to check excise duty on vinegar. Philip Taylor resided in the adjoining parish of Bromley.

Philip Taylor and John Taylor went into business with John Martineau as J. P. Taylor and Martineau.

1817 Messrs Taylor and Martineau started producing gas of "great illuminating power" by decomposition of oil[2]. They supplied the equipment to many locations in UK and abroad.

It has been claimed that at this works, under John Martineau, Perkins (does this mean Jacob Perkins?) developed a pump for use with portable gas.

1820 Built portable printing machines for Marc Isambard Brunel.

Up to 1822 the partnership of J. and P. Taylor and Martineau carried on business as engineers and chemists at Bury Court, St Mary Axe, City of London and Whitecross St, Middlesex.

1822 John Taylor retired from the partnership which was continued by Philip Taylor and John Martineau, Junior.[3].

Later Taylor and Martineau moved their production to the Winsor Iron Works in the City Road. It was here and at the Bow works that they made steam engines.

1825 Erected patented plant at Canongate, Alnwick, for producing oil gas for illumination at cost of £2,000.[4]

c.1826 High pressure stationary steam engine, designed by Taylor and Martineau[5].

They built steam engines, gas generators and compressors and pumps.

1827 The partnership between Philip Taylor and John Martineau of City Road, engineers, was dissolved[6].

1828 Sale of Premises and Stock. 'To be sold by auction, by Mr Adamson on Monday, July 7, 1828, and two following days, at eleven o'clock, at the Manufactory, near the Canal Bridge, City Road, the truly valuable Stock, Implements, and Fixtures in Trade, including four twenty-horse power steam engines, six-horse power engine, and several of less power, several high pressure and other boilers, paddles and wheels, and various other machinery for water engines, pair of iron lathes of very large dimensions, for screw-cutting, powerful triangular and surface bar lathes, smaller lathes of various dimensions, large quantity of vices and benches, a set of pumps for compressing gas, seven Russel's printing presses, force, plunger, and other pumps, powerful three-throw cranks, with connecting rods, cross heads, 20-inch metallic pistons, nine pneumatic pumps for making ice on Professor Leslie's principle, Brunel's copying machines, tire engine, a large quantity of cast iron pipes of various dimensions, wrought iron gas tubing, gas burners and fittings, large assortment of portable gas valves, smiths' tools, anvils, troughs, mandrills, &c. chemical apparatus, glasses, &c. the valuable screwing tackle, boring bars, half-round bits, broaches, stocks, taps, and dies, a large quantity of bar iron, cast and wrought iron cisterns, copper and tin pipes, brass-founders, coppersmiths, and carpenters' implements, the whole of the machinery to work the lathes, &c. fitted up an immense expence. a large quantity of valuable patterns for new and improved machinery, counting-house furniture, four carts, one horse and harness, and a variety of other valuable property. On the first day's sale, and die first lot. will be sold the LEASE of the EXTENSIVE PREMISES, adapted expressly for an Engineer; consisting of a brick-built Manufactory with strongly timbered floors, counting-house, and principal rooms, numerous attached workshops, store-rooms, stabling and cart-houses, several newly erected buildings, each of which ample dimensions for a manufactory, engine house, dwelling house, and spacious yard, inclosed with a brick wall, occupying a frontage next the city road of about 180 feet. The buildings are erected in a very superior manner of sufficient extent for a business of any magnitude, and being situate only few paces from the canal, have the advantage of water carriage to all parts of England. Held for term of 34 years, low rent.'[7]

c.1830 The horizontal engines manufactured by Taylor and Martineau of London were an early example of the use of piston valves[8].


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. A dictionary of printers and printing By Charles Henry Timperley, 1839
  2. Mechanics' magazine, and journal of the Mechanics' Institute, Volume 8, 1836
  3. London Gazette, 20 August 1822
  4. History, directory, and gazetteer, of the counties of Durham and ... By William Parson, William White (of Sheffield), 1827
  5. Science and Society[1]
  6. London Gazette, 24 April 1829
  7. Birmingham Gazette - Monday 30 June 1828
  8. Wikipedia [2]
  • Early London Gas Industry [3]