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1894 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Visits to Works

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1894. Visits to Works.
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Note: This is a sub-section of 1894 Institution of Mechanical Engineers

Visits to Works (Excursions) in the Manchester area


Hydraulic Power Supply - Manchester Corporation


The buildings forming this station are in two blocks, divided by a roadway giving access to the yard and to the Rochdale Canal. The main building consists of an engine house, boiler house, accumulator tower, and coal store. The office block has a show room for hydraulic appliances on the ground floor, with offices above approached by a staircase with a hydraulic balance-lift working in the well-hole; behind the office is a residence for the foreman, with workshop and stores.

The engines are at present four in number; but two additional engine foundations are prepared, and it is possible that within a year the station will be completely furnished with pumping plant. The type adopted is the inverted triple-expansion surface-condensing pumping-engine, each engine upon trial indicating rather over 200 H.P.; the specified duty is the delivery of 230 gallons of water per minute against an accumulator pressure of 1,120 lbs. per square inch, with 120 lbs. per square inch steam-pressure, the piston speed not exceeding 240 feet per minute. The steam at 120 lbs. pressure is supplied by five steel Lancashire boilers, each 30 feet long by 7 feet 6 inches diameter; they are furnished with Vicars' mechanical stokers, and have two Green's economisers of 360 pipes together. The coal is brought from the coal store to the stoker hoppers by means of a ladder elevator discharging into a worm conveyor-trough, which is carried along the wall of the boiler house; this in turn feeds the conveyor extending over the boiler fronts. Coal is delivered to the station either by barge or by road, and is handled by a 30-cwt. hydraulic travelling-crane. Three-cylinder Brotherhood hydraulic engines are provided for actuating the conveyors, stokers, and economiser-scrapers in the boiler-house, and also for working the lathe and drill in the fitter's shop. The two accumulators have rams 18 inches diameter and 23 feet stroke, and are loaded to give a minimum pressure of 1,000 lbs. per square inch at the consumers' machinery. The station having been opened in the present year is not yet working to its full capacity. The number however of machines already connected, and of others for which contracts are pending, is so large that in a few months the four engines already installed will be barely sufficient for the work to be done. The works were designed by Mr. Corbet Woodall, and are in charge of Mr. Frederic M. Evanson, Engineer and Manager.

Manchester Corporation Gas Works

Manchester Gas Works

Manchester has long enjoyed the reputation of being one of the best lighted cities in the kingdom, and the present gas works are extensive, important, costly, and the property of the citizens. In 1805 the first building was lighted with gas in Salford, and in 1807 the Police Commissioners of Manchester affixed a public lamp opposite their premises in Police Street; from that date to this Manchester has been prominent for the extent and success of its gas manufacture. Manchester men have contributed largely to the successful development of gas, eminent among them being the chemist, Dr. Henry, who was early in the field as an analyst; Murdoch also secured here one of his most brilliant successes. The gas meter was partly originated and successfully completed in this city by Mr. Clegg; and a former officer of health in Manchester, the late Mr. John Leigh, did much to develop the utilization of the products of tar for the production of the beautiful colours now so familiar. Manchester was also the first municipal authority to obtain powers in 1824 for the manufacture and supply of gas; and since that date the work has been increasingly successful. While on the one hand the convenience of the public has been promoted, on the other large contributions have been made to the city funds, and the rates have been correspondingly reduced. The gas works were transferred to the Corporation on 28th June 1843 by the Commissioners of Police, who had previously had charge of the lighting of the town, and who had been instrumental in obtaining the gas act of 1824, authorizing them to establish gas works.

The Corporation now possess four extensive gas stations, Gaythorn, Rochdale Road, Bradford Road, and Droylsden. At the first three, coal and cannel &c. forwarded by the Manchester Ship Canal can be delivered by rail from the docks; at Droylsden the Ashton and Oldham Canal runs alongside, and supplies of coal and cannel are received thereby daily.

Gaythorn gas station stands on nearly nine acres, and has two retort houses capable of carbonizing 430 tons of cannel and coal daily, producing 4,250,000 cubic feet of gas. The retorts in No. 1 house with 280 mouthpieces are charged by hand; whilst those in No. 2 house with 492 mouthpieces are charged and drawn by Foulis and Woodward's hydraulic machinery, to which is also adapted apparatus for breaking and conveying the coal and cannel. There are seven gasholders with three lifts constructed on the telescopic principle, having a storage capacity of over 6,000,000 cubic feet. The number of men employed varies from 269 to 409. These works have railway siding accommodation, and are in communication with the Manchester Sheffield & Lincolnshire and London & North Western Railways.

Rochdale Road gas station stands on over nine acres, and has four retort houses capable of carbonizing 830 tons of cannel and coal daily, producing 8,500,000 cubic feet of gas. House A with 252 mouthpieces is worked with Foulis' charging machines; House B with 294 mouthpieces is worked with Foulis and Woodward's machines; House C with 280 mouthpieces is worked with West's charging machines; and House D with 304 mouthpieces is worked with Woodward's gas stoking machines. The stack in House D was reconstructed in 1891 on the generator (cold air) principle; and the stack in House B was reconstructed in 1892 on the regenerator (hot air) principle. There are six gasholders with three lifts, constructed on the telescopic principle, with a storage capacity of 5,000,000 cubic feet. Storage is provided for 32,000 tons of cannel. The number of men employed varies from 410 to 662. These works have good railway siding accommodation, and are in direct communication with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway.

Bradford Road gas station comprises nearly fifty-two acres. There are two retort houses capable of carbonizing 830 tons of coal and cannel daily, producing 8,500,000 cubic feet of gas. Gas making was commenced in the first retort house on 16th December 1884, and in the second house on 11th November 1892. The retort settings are constructed on the regenerator principle. No. 1 house with 488 mouthpieces is worked with West's charging and drawing machinery, comprising air compressor, air receivers, air pipes and drums, coal breakers, elevators, and coal hoppers. No. 2 house with 464 mouthpieces is at present worked by hand, but arrangements are being carried out for the use of stoking machinery. There are four gasholders with three lifts, constructed on the telescopic principle, with a total capacity of 6,800,000 cubic feet. A new gasholder tank is being constructed by Mr. James Nuttall of Manchester, for a holder capable of containing 7,000,000 cubic feet of gas. The holder itself is being built by Messrs. Ashmore, Benson, Pease and Co., of Stockton-on-Tees; the outer lift will be 250 feet diameter by 50 feet deep, the middle lift 247 feet diameter by 50 feet, the inner lift 244 feet diameter by 50 feet. The number of men employed varies from 353 to 675. These works have good sidings for railway wagons, and are in direct communication with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway; and the Ashton and Oldham Canal runs by them.

Droylsden gas station stands on over four acres. The retort house has been reconstructed, and now contains 30 mouthpieces with settings of inclined retorts, and is capable of carbonizing 40 tons of coal and cannel daily, producing 400,000 cubic feet of gas. A new three-lift gasholder on Gadd and Mason's principle has been erected to hold 525,000 cubic feet of gas. These works were purchased from the Droylsden Gas Co. in 1869, and then occupied just over one acre. During the last three years more land has been purchased, the retort house has been altered for the adoption of inclined retorts, new buildings have been put up to accommodate the plant required, and a new holder has been erected.

For the distribution of the gas, the length of main pipes laid is 705 miles, and of service pipes 270 miles, making a total of 975 miles. The number of men employed is about 420.

The amount of gas made in 1893 was considerably over 3,600 million cubic feet, and the quantity of cannel and coal carbonized 365,235 tons; 21 1/2 million cubic feet of gas can be produced in twenty-four hours. The price of gas to the consumer is 2s. 6d. per thousand cubic feet, and the net profit was £64,793, the greater part being handed to the city fund, thus materially reducing the rates. The largest daily consumption of gas, over 22 million cubic feet, occurred on 8th December 1892.

S. and J. Watts Warehouse


The Warehousing business of this firm was established in Deansgate in 1796 by Mr. John Watts, and was afterwards transferred to larger premises in New Brown Street, where he was joined by his brothers Samuel and James. After a further removal to yet larger premises in Fountain Street, the present warehouse was erected in Portland Street on a site purchased in 1855 by the late Mr. Samuel Watts, and was opened in 1858. The building covers an area of 3,000 square yards, its length being 100 yards, its width 30 yards, and its height 100 feet. The great expanse of roof has a series of bays filled with ground glass, admitting an abundance of light; above it rise four dwarf towers. There are five floors, which with cellar and four towers give an aggregate area of 19,360 square yards or nearly four acres.

The several kinds of goods, representing all branches of the Manchester trade, are classified in thirty-two departments, arranged on the successive floors as follows:— ground floor, hosiery, linens, carpets, flannels, whites, greys, fustians; first floor, merinos, dresses, woollens, ready-mades, dyed goods, Scotch and muslin, worsteds, &c.; second floor, umbrellas, trimmings, fancy haberdashery, bags, satchels, portmanteaus, small wares, stays and corsets, waterproof goods, table oil baizes, boots and shoes, gloves; third floor, ribbons, bandanas, silks, skirts and underclothing, mantles and costumes, prints, fancy flannels; fourth floor, flowers, millinery, lace, sewed muslins, furs, straws. Each department has its own buyer; and the assistant and working staff make up a total of fully six hundred persons.

Another warehouse in Silver Street, formerly used for packing, and rebuilt a few years ago, is a commodious structure of three storeys and basement. It is devoted to the ready-made clothing and shirt departments, and is equipped with the best modern machinery and appliances for these trades, giving employment to upwards of three hundred workpeople.

The adjoining warehouse in Chorlton Street has recently been acquired for the hardware trade; and another in Chorlton Street and Major Street for the shipping business.

Shipping Offices and Packing Company's Warehouse


This company was formed in 1864 for the purpose of providing offices and ware-rooms for shipping merchants, whose goods they make up, pack, and send to the port whence they are to be shipped. The premises cover about 2,600 square yards, and about 45 shipping merchants occupy rooms in the building. There are fourteen hydraulic presses with rams ranging from 12 to 20 inches diameter, and plaiting machines are used in the process of making up the goods. The whole of the presses, passenger-elevators, hoists, &c., are worked by hydraulic power in connection with intensifiers and accumulators. The building is lighted by the electric light generated on the premises. All classes of soft goods are shipped, varying from canvas to silk, and are packed in materials suitable for their particular markets. Packages weighing altogether upwards of 25,000 tons are sent away annually to all parts of the world; they vary in weight from 50 lbs. to 30 cwts. each. About 150 workmen are employed.

Manchester Fire Brigade


The force consists of 89 men of all ranks, residing at seven engine stations. There are fifteen hose-cart escape stations, each with a fireman on duty by day and night, supplied with men from the engine stations; and one hose-cart escape station in Piccadilly has two men by day and two by night. These stations are so distributed that in any place in the city assistance in case of fire can be obtained within a distance equivalent to ten minutes. The whole of the branch stations and the subscribers to the telephone exchange are connected with the chief station by telephone.

The plant consists of eight steamers, three hand-worked engines, six tenders, twenty-three hose-cart escapes, one 80-feet and two 40-feet extension ladders, 13,675 yards of hose, 107 stand pipes, 115 branch pipes, and 27 horses. The city is well provided with hydrants on the constant-service water-mains, which afford a working water- pressure varying from 40 to 100 lbs. on the square inch. By coupling two hose pipes into a single jet, very powerful deliveries can be obtained.

Pendleton New Mills

Sir Elkanah Armitage and Sons

These mills are situated at Pendleton, near Manchester, and in them are carried on the processes of cotton spinning, dyeing, and weaving. There are 70,000 spinning and doubling spindles, and 1,450 looms. The number of workpeople employed is about 2,000.

Richard Haworth and Company's Salford Mills

Richard Haworth and Co

These cotton spinning and manufacturing mills are situated on the northern bank of the Manchester Ship Canal and opposite the Pomona docks. The Ordsal dock adjoins the western end of the premises, and when this is completed the mills will have a continuous frontage to the water of over 500 yards. They are of the most modern construction, due regard having been paid to ventilation, sanitation, and lighting; automatic sprinklers are fixed in almost every part for the speedy extinction of fire. The rooms and weaving sheds are lighted in winter by incandescent lamps from electricity generated on the premises. There are upwards of 100,000 spindles and over 3,000 looms, with all other necessary machinery; and the consumption of yarn at the present time amounts to nearly 100 tons a week. The number of workpeople employed is over 3,000.

J. and N. Philips' Warehouse


This warehouse was established in 1832 for wholesale home and foreign business. The trade consists chiefly in supplying drapers in the United Kingdom with goods of almost every description. The number of persons employed is about 700.

Co-operative Wholesale Society

Co-operative Wholesale Society

This society, whose central offices are at 1 Balloon Street, is the practical result of numerous conferences which were held by the retail stores, with the object of giving effect to the idea of a wholesale agency for joint purchasing. It was registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act, 1862, and commenced business 14th March 1864. The premises in Manchester, which cover considerably more than an acre of ground, comprise the general offices, bank, board room, grocery, drapery, boot and shoe, and furnishing departments; also boiler and engine houses for generating the requisite power to work the numerous hoists, and the electric light by which the premises are lighted throughout. With the object of buying from the producers the society has established six purchasing depots in Ireland, whose combined shipments of butter and eggs amounted in 1893 to £400,000. It has also purchasing depots in Hamburg, Copenhagen, Aarhuus, New York, and Montreal; also works at Crumpsall, near Manchester, for the manufacture of biscuits, sweets, jam, marmalade, and dried goods, employing 300 hands, and producing in 1893 goods to the value of £84,000. Shoe works are established at Leicester and Heckmondwike, employing 2,300 hands, and turning out 1,200,000 pairs annually, valued at £287,000. It also has soap works at Durham, a woollen mill at Batley, a clothing factory at Leeds, a flour mill at Dunston-on-Tyne, and a cabinet factory at Broughton, near Manchester. The total capital employed in productive works amounts to about £400,000, the value of goods produced annually to £800,000, and employment is given to 3,500 hands. Distributive branches of the society are established in Newcastle-on-Tyne and London; and sale rooms and depots are also opened at Leeds, Nottingham, Blackburn, Huddersfield, Birmingham, Northampton, Bristol, and Cardiff. It owns a fleet of six steamers trading between this country and France and Germany. A tea, coffee, and cocoa department is in operation in London, employing over 300 hands and turning out an average of 60 tons of tea per week. In 1872 the banking department was opened, the turnover in 1873 being £1,581,495 compared with £30,000,000 in 1893. The total number of persons employed in 1893 was 5,200. The progress of the society has on the whole been rapid and continuous. The number of members belonging to shareholding societies has risen from 24,005 in 1865 to 873,698 in 1893; the total capital, shares, loans, reserve and insurance funds from £7,182 to £1,779,301; sales from £120,754 to £9,526,167; and net profit from £1,858 in 1865 to £84,156 in 1893.

Galloways' Knott Mill Iron Works


These works, situated close to the Knott Mill railway station, are in a thickly inhabited district on the banks of the Medlock, and are entirely devoted to the construction of steam engines, gearing, hydraulic plant and general engineering work, mostly of a heavy class. In addition to this they make all their own fittings for the large number of boilers which are constructed at their boiler works some distance away. The works were established in 1834 by William and John Galloway, whose sons were introduced in 1856, when the title was changed to W. and J. Galloway and Sons; and the firm was converted into a company in 1889. There are the usual pattern shops, a large foundry with glass roof, traversed by two travelling-cranes and provided with a number of jib cranes. This foundry stands on the site of the previous boiler shop before its removal in 1871. There is a smithy, dealing with fairly heavy work, and machine shops well provided with engineering tools, including a cross planing-machine for planing 25 feet long by 10 feet wide and 10 feet high; also a quadruple-geared lathe with 72-inch centres by 50 feet long and with face plate 10 feet 3 inches diameter. There is also a large erecting shop with travelling and jib cranes for the final fitting up of the work.

In connection with these works there is a small rolling-mill plant with heating furnace and steam-hammer for cleaning and working scrap into rivet iron, as large quantities of rivets are made both for use at the boiler works and for sale. Two of their own boilers fired in the usual way are used for providing steam, also one heated by gas from the forge furnaces, and a "Manchester" water-tube boiler on the plan which they have lately introduced. A twin compound Galloway engine with instantaneous cut-off provides the greater portion of the power for driving the machinery; and there is also a triple-expansion superposed engine for working with 200 lbs. steam, which is the pressure adopted in connection with the water-tube boiler. The number of men employed is about 400.

Rylands and Sons' Warehouses

Rylands and Sons

These consist of four piles of buildings in Manchester, situated in Market Street, New High Street, Bread Street, and Joiner Street. They are divided into forty-two departments, comprising all classes of textile goods for articles of dress and for the furnishing of houses; the four together employ about 1,200 persons. Their warehouses in Wood Street and Philip Lane, London, employ about 800. The firm was established in 1823; they import almost every variety of article, and from almost all parts of the world. Their most extensive import is raw cotton, averaging from 5,000 to 6,000 tons per annum, of the value of more than £250,000, most of which is spun and manufactured in their own mills. Their other imports from the continent amount to about 2,000 tons per annum. Selling or turning out some 30,000 tons of goods every year, they find fully two-thirds of these are for the home markets, and the remainder for export. As general merchants and shippers of dry goods, and as spinners, manufacturers, bleachers, dyers, and colliery owners, they employ more than 11,600 persons, of whom by far the largest proportion are operatives employed in their various works. Of these there are seventeen, situated chiefly around Manchester as the centre; the principal are the spinning and weaving mills, containing a total of 5,000 looms, with all spinning and preparation of yarns for the same. In the Gorton Mills, near Manchester, are produced grey daeca calicoes, sheetings, twills, and jeanettes; there are 1,550 looms, engines indicating 2,000 horse-power, and 1,600 workpeople. The Gidlow Works, Wigan, producing calico, employ about 1,600 persons, and contain 1,600 looms, with engines of 2,000 horse-power. The Swinton Mills, near Manchester, with engines of 300 horsepower, 700 looms, and 600 workpeople, produce regattas, oxfords, galateas, and special goods. The Heapey Bleach Works, near Chorley, together with their reservoirs, cover 40 acres; the daily consumption of water is over two million gallons, the engines indicate 2,000 horse-power, and 600 persons are employed in the scouring, bleaching, and dyeing, of calicoes, twills, and sheetings, &c. At Chorley are also works for snaking floor oil-cloth of all kinds; these employ engines of 250 horse-power, and 200 workpeople. Other works are in Manchester itself, and in Bolton, Crewe, and London.

Hulse and Co, Salford

Hulse and Co

These works were established in 1852 by the late Mr. J. S. Hulse on his retiring from the firm of Messrs. Joseph Whitworth and Co., after a connection of seventeen years. In 1881 the business devolved on Mr. W. W. Hulse, and has since been greatly extended, having now a floor area of over 8,000 square yards. There are four erecting shops, each provided with 25 to 30-ton overhead power cranes, specially designed by the firm for workshop use, and arranged to command almost the full length and width of each shop. Being glazed all over, these shops are pretty nearly as light inside as out of doors. In addition to the machine and erecting shops there are galleries devoted to cutter and gauge making &c., and other light work.

Some of the largest and heaviest machine-tools in existence have emanated from these works, including horizontal and vertical planing machines up to 100 tons weight; twin-screw lathes up to 100 feet long for turning marine cranks, propeller shafts, cannon &c.; heavy planing machines with tables propelled by twin-screws for machining large armour-plates; marine cylinder-boring machines with self-contained steam engines for boring and facing cylinders up to 12 feet diameter; large milling machines, both vertical and horizontal; vertical lathes up to 30 feet diameter. Special attention has of late been devoted to machines for marine, locomotive, and stationary boiler-work, such as machines for turning the ends of Lancashire and other similar boilers, and boring the circular and oval holes therein; multiple-drilling machines for water-tube boilers for torpedo-boat destroyers, and multiple-spindle boring, facing, and screwing machines for dealing with various parts of Belleville boilers. The smaller sizes of engineers' tools are also made, such as lathes from 4 1/2 inches centres, planing machines from 18 inches wide, shaping and slotting machines from 4 inches stroke upwards, small milling, drilling, boring, and wheel-cutting machines, &c.

Recently an important addition has been made by the acquisition of the adjacent works and business of Mr. Thomas Gadd, which were established in 1847 for the design and manufacture of machinery for calico printers, bleachers, dyers and finishers, and of steam engines and cranes.

Kendall and Gent, Victoria Works, Salford

Kendall and Gent

These works for the construction of machine-tools are situated on the Salford side of the River Irwell, close to Springfield Bridge. The first portion of the works was built in 1849 when the firm was established, the remainder having been built as the business developed. The buildings, which are mainly of two storeys, have on the ground floor planing shops, turning, smiths' and erecting shops for heavy tools; the first floors are reserved for the construction of light machines and some parts of heavier machines, also for general offices, drawing offices, pattern shops, &c. The continuity of the various processes to which parts of machines are subjected is carried out so far as the arrangement of the works will allow. Heavy castings are first dealt with by a series of planing machines varying in length from 4 feet to 38 feet, and in width from 2 feet to 7 feet. They are of the usual kind; but in some of the most recent the tables are traversed on flat slides, in order to diminish friction and to allow of heavier cutting, whilst the cutting and return motions are driven by separate belts. For planing the sides and ends of heavy pieces a highly useful type of side planing machine is employed, the work being fixed on a large foundation plate. The boring machines, which are of the universal kind as best adapted for dealing with the ever-changing designs of machine-tools, are mounted on planed foundation-plates in the erecting shop for heavy tools. The turning shop for heavy tools contains a great variety of lathes, among which the duplex shaft-turning, the screw-cutting, and the pulley-turning lathes are particularly interesting. Among the lighter lathes on the first floors the method of turning studs and screws from the solid bar is largely practised; and among other machines on these floors are a number of milling and other machines for the making, hardening, and grinding of milling cutters of all sizes, and also for the grinding and finishing of hardened steel spindles and other work where great accuracy is required.

A prominent feature of the works is the universal employment of tool-holders on both heavy and light machines, so that the workmen never need to leave their machines for the grinding of tools, as these are supplied to them in quantities ready ground to correct cutting-angles which cannot be deviated from. Another feature is the extensive adoption of milling for the finishing of work formerly done on shaping and slotting machines. The number of men employed is about 250.

William Miller and Co, Britannia Works, Strangeways

William Muir and Co

The business of this firm was established by the late Mr. William Muir in 1842; the present works were built in 1851, and have gradually extended until nearly all the available ground is occupied. The trade carried on is the manufacture of machine-tools for marine, general, and locomotive engineers, boiler makers, gun and small-arms manufacturers.

The number of persons employed is about 400.

Smith and Coventry, Gresley Iron Works, Salford

Smith and Coventry

This firm commenced business in Chapel Street, Salford, in 1859; and in 1861 the first portion of the Gresley Works in Ordeal Lane was built. They were among the first to adopt the principle, now more commonly in use among engineers, of building an open erecting-shop lighted from above, commanded by travelling cranes, and having galleries and machine-shops flanking and open to it on either side. A further enlargement of the works took place in 1873, and again in 1876, when the manufacture of twist drills was taken up; yet again in 1884, and in 1890, when a new boiler-house was built, with steel boiler having mechanical stoking and smoke-consuming apparatus, and also an economiser and case-hardening furnace. In 1891 new machine-shops, pattern-making shops, and stores, were constructed; no timber was used in their erection, the materials being rolled-steel girders, brick, masonry, and concrete. The pattern-shop and pattern-stores, besides being fire-proof, are provided with Grinnell sprinklers. In making these additions, a street was closed up and a portion of the buildings erected over it. In these premises a hydraulic elevator is at work, for carrying workmen, and loads up to half-a-ton weight, up or down from floor to floor. For connection with the street, a Barker's hoist is employed for lifting up and landing, on any of the four floors or on the roof, any pieces of work not exceeding two tons. This new extension adds one-third more floor-capacity to the old works, and provides space for the employment in all of 500 workmen. In 1893 new general offices, drawing office, stores and tool-room were built, this block of buildings also being fire-proof.

At these works some of the most advanced machine-tools may be seen in operation. Many milling machines of different kinds have been designed and manufactured since 1876, and have been found most efficient for machining even the large parts of stationary and marine engines, locomotives &c., and for numerous other. purposes. Their application to the heavy classes of work has most cases been very efficacious, and the milling of large pieces has been done in England at an earlier period than in America, where milling has usually been confined to the production of small articles. A large number of twist drills are manufactured, the number made here in 1891 being 134,940. A severe test is applied to each taper-shank twist-drill, by drilling with it through wrought-iron or wrought-steel in a drilling machine having a coarse feed; each drill is required to stand this test satisfactorily before it is allowed to be sent out of the works.

At the present time some large boring and turning mills, to admit 12, 14, 16, and 18 feet diameter, are in course of manufacture; several rather smaller machines of this class have already been constructed. A large cylinder-boring machine, which will do four operations at once, is now approaching completion. The works are also engaged in the manufacture of cylindrical gauges as standards of measure, which are guaranteed correct to 1-25,000th of an inch. Another class of gauge for workshop use is also made; these are accurately got up and tested not to deviate more than 1-5,000th of an inch. An ingenious and novel lathe may be seen at work, turning hexagonal and square pieces of brass, suitable for steam and water fittings. The radial and other drilling machines in progress, and some at work, are of improved design, adapted to save time in drilling and tapping holes, and to produce the most accurate work. A double brass lathe, worked by one attendant, does the boring out of the internal taper part of the barrel of a steam or water tap, while at the same time its taper plug is being turned externally to exactly the same taper; not only therefore is the workmanship accurate, but the work is done with great rapidity. Lathes of great delicacy are at work producing the most accurate turning; also highly finished grinding machines, which grind to the accuracy of 1-40,000th of an inch: these two kinds of machines are working in combination with each other. A double sawing machine is used for cutting off dies, chasers, and other cutters to given lengths and to any angle. By means of special machinery bevel and mitre wheels are cut with absolute mathematical accuracy, and many milling machines can also cut spur wheels and pinions.

Among the earliest inventions at these works was a chasing lathe, which effected a complete revolution in the system of cutting screw-threads. With the old screw-cutting lathe, there was no gauge or stop to determine the exact diameters produced, and many traverses of the tool had to be taken over a bolt before it was completed. But in the chasing lathe a number of tools are arranged concentrically, and cut a screw by one single run over it, taking twelve to fifteen shavings off the screw simultaneously, and thereby increasing six-fold the production of chasing. Originally these lathes were all made with centres, but latterly they are mostly provided with hollow and open spindles, through which bars of metal are protruded; and by the capstan-rest method, which was soon afterwards introduced, set-screws, studs, pins, &c., are produced and cut off direct from the bar, thus saving the expensive item of forging, centering, driving by carriers, &c. Pointing, ending, and sliding are also done economically by these lathes. Other early inventions were a system of tool-holders and cutters to take the place of forged tools; and with this system the whole of the planing, turning, shaping, and the greater part of the slotting, are done here with great advantage, not only in the quality of work produced, but also in the rapidity with which it is accomplished. The costly forging and constant repairing of tools are thus entirely done away with, and each machine, which is daily supplied with a quantity of ready-ground cutting-tools, is enabled to be kept going without cessation, except for changes of work; great economy is thereby effected. Adjustable parallel blocks for use in many machine-tools are also being manufactured. The accurate workmanship in producing the Pearn lightning tappers by special tools and appliances is worthy of notice.

Salford Corporation Gas Works

Salford Gasworks

The Regent Road Works and the Liverpool Street Works are situated on either side of the London and North Western Railway to Liverpool, and are connected by a foot-bridge. They were commenced in 1858, and cover an area of 12 1/3 acres.

At the Regent Road Works there are two retort-houses, containing together 212 through retorts, capable of carbonizing 237 tons of coal, and producing 2,370,000 cubic feet of gas per day. In the larger of these two houses the work of charging and drawing the retorts is effected by machines actuated by hydraulic pressure. The coal for use in this house passes direct from railway trucks into coal breakers underneath, where it is broken to a convenient size. It is then elevated and conveyed to the charging machines in the retort house by Woodward's conveyors, which tip the coal into hoppers on the charging machines; and from these it is fed into the scoops which put it into the retorts. The average time taken by the machines in drawing the coke out of a retort and putting in a fresh charge of coal is one minute.

The hydraulic power is obtained by means of a pair of high-pressure horizontal engines, with cylinders 12 inches diameter by 15 inches stroke, driving two double-acting pumps, each pump 6 1/2 and 4 1/2 inches diameter. The hydraulic pressure employed in the machines is 175 lbs. per square inch. The coalbreakers and conveyors are driven by two high-pressure horizontal engines, with cylinders 12 inches diameter and 18 inches stroke. The machinery was designed by Mr. William Foulis, gas engineer to the corporation of Glasgow, and supplied by Messrs. Adam Woodward and Sons of Manchester.

There are two pairs of horizontal reciprocating gas-exhausters, each pair capable of passing 80,000 cubic feet of gas per hour, driven by high-pressure steam engines with cylinders 9 inches diameter and 20 inches stroke. The crude gas is first passed through a condenser, consisting of a number of horizontal pipes 10 inches diameter, of which a portion are exposed to the air, and the remainder immersed in water. It is here cooled to the temperature of the atmosphere, and then passes through two Livesey washers, where the tar is removed. From these it is forced through three tower-scrubbers 50 feet high and 12 feet diameter, to remove the ammonia. It then passes through six purifiers 30 feet by 30 feet, filled with lime and oxide of iron, where the remaining impurities are taken out. From these it goes through the station meters into the gasholders.

There are two telescopic gasholders; one 100 feet diameter, with two lifts each 24 feet high, having a total capacity of 400,000 cubic feet; and the other 150 feet diameter, with four lifts each 30 feet high, having a total capacity of 2,000,000 cubic feet.

The Liverpool Street Works have two retort-houses, the first containing 192 retorts 20 feet long by 22 inches wide and 16 inches high, heated by regenerative furnaces. They carbonize 264 tons of coal, and produce 2,640,000 cubic feet of gas per day. The coal for these retorts is supplied in railway trucks, which are lifted by two 20-ton hydraulic wagon-hoists on to elevated railways over the coal stores. There are two pairs of double-acting hydraulic pumps, each of the four pumps being 3 3/8 and 2 1/4 inches diameter and 18 inches stroke, driven by high-pressure horizontal steam- engines with cylinders 12 inches diameter and 18 inches stroke. The hydraulic machinery and engines were manufactured by Messrs. Tannett Walker and Co. of Leeds.

The other retort-house has just been completed. It is designed to contain four benches of 72 retorts each, but at present only one bench is erected. These retorts are built at an angle of 32 degrees, and will be charged with coal from the upper end by gravity. A considerable saving in labour is thereby effected. The coal falls from railway trucks into a coalbreaker underground, and after being broken is lifted by an elevator into large hoppers, placed above the retort bench. A smaller hopper which travels on rails in front of the retort bench conveys the coal from the large hopper to the retorts as required. In emptying the retorts, the lid at the lower end is opened, and the coke slides out into barrows placed beneath. The coalbreaker and elevator are driven by a 14-H.P. Otto gas engine, with cylinder 11 1/2 inches diameter by 1 foot 9 inches stroke, made by Messrs. Crossley Brothers of Manchester. The elevators, conveyors, and coalbreaker were supplied by West's Gas Improvement Co. of Miles Platting. When fully equipped this retort-house will carbonize 400 tons of coal, and produce four million cubic feet of gas per day. There are two pairs of rotary gas-exhausters made by Messrs. Laidlaw and Sons of Glasgow. Each pair is driven by a high-pressure steam-engine with cylinder 16 inches diameter by 22 inches stroke, and is capable of passing 200,000 cubic feet of gas per hour. There is an annular vertical atmospheric condenser, and a vertical tubular condenser for cooling the gas by water. There are two rotary washers, and four tower-scrubbers, the latter 12 feet diameter and 60 feet high. The purifiers are six in number, 24 feet by 24 feet; their lids are lifted by hydraulic pressure.

The ammoniacal liquor produced at all the works is converted into sulphate of ammonia by means of a Feldman sulphate apparatus; last year 14,000 tons of liquor were treated, and 1,250 tons of sulphate made.

The water required for cooling and washing the gas, working the hydraulic machinery, quenching coke, &c., is obtained from an artesian well, which was sunk on the works by Messrs. Mather and Platt of Salford. The well is 500 feet deep, and varies from 26 1/2 to 15 inches diameter. The pump is 12 inches diameter by 36 inches stroke, and is driven through helical gearing by a horizontal steam-engine having a single cylinder 12 inches diameter by 16 inches stroke. The well yields about 10,000 gallons of water per hour.

Salford Corporation Sewage Works


These works occupy a site of 34 acres, and treat an average of 10 million gallons of sewage per day, from a population of about 200,000. About 85 per cent. of the sewage is brought by a low-level intercepting sewer of 8 feet 9 inches diameter at the outlet, and the remaining 15 per cent. comes by a 4-feet high-level sewer and some small sewers. The low-level sewage is raised about 30 feet by pumping engines, made in 1883 by Messrs. James Watt and Co., but recently improved materially under the direction of Messrs. John Hopkinson and Son. There are two sets of almost duplicate engines, vertical compound, with double-acting rains, each capable of pumping 14 million gallons per day. The four boilers and the economisers are of the usual Lancashire type.

The sewage is treated in twelve tanks, having a total capacity of 5 million gallons; six of the tanks are generally receiving the sewage, while the other six are having the sludge removed from them. The effluent from the tanks is utilized to work turbines for driving the mixing machinery in the lime house, the works having been arranged for the simple and cheap lime precipitation process.

During the past five years extensive experiments have been carried on at these works, about twenty-five processes of sewage treatment having been carefully tested, either in small tanks specially prepared, or on the whole flow of sewage. Some experiments are still in progress at the works, and some of the tanks from former experiments are used for experimental sewage filtration through sand and cinders, with special means of aeration.

The sludge intercepted from the sewage, and thus kept out of the Irwell, amounts now to about 140,000 cubic yards; at present it remains on the site, pending its shipment to sea by a proposed sludge steamer like those used by the London County Council. A complete scheme for alterations and additions to the works, including filtration of the sewage effluent, has been prepared by Mr. Joseph Corbett, Borough Engineer, and is now under consideration by the River Conservancy Committee of the Salford Corporation.

Beyer Peacock and Co, Gorton Foundry

Beyer, Peacock and Co

These works are situated alongside the Manchester Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway at Gorton. They were founded in 1854, and at the present time occupy nearly 22 acres. The general offices are handsome and lofty, and the drawing office is exceptionally capacious, well fitted and well lighted. Electric light is employed throughout this department in conjunction with gas, both of which can be used at once or separately. Electric light is also used in the pattern-making shop and the pattern stores. Connected with the drawing office are photographic and model rooms, including a tracing-room, in which girls are exclusively employed. The works are arranged in three main avenues running north and south, the shops standing west to east across each avenue, with a large block of buildings to the south.

In the northern end of the western avenue are gas-fitting and steel-melting shops, and a brass foundry containing twelve furnaces. The next building is the iron foundry, a lofty structure in two bays, each 143 feet long, which is the length of all the buildings in this avenue. In each bay there is an overhead power-traveller of 10 tons, and in one of them an overhead 5-ton crane also. Besides these there are various jib-cranes ranging in power from 1 to 3 tons, worked by hydraulic pressure, which command the entire area. Leading from this department is the tool shop, also in two bays. This contains some exceptionally large and heavy tools, including a planing machine, designed to take the largest locomotive-frames that are made. The tool erecting shop adjoining is in one bay, and is provided with a powerful 25-ton overhead travelling crane. A room forming a wing to this bay is set apart for keeping templates of all kinds; and beyond it is a house containing a 50-ton Wicksteed machine for testing the materials used. The frame machine-shop consists of four bays, the first two being provided with machinery for preparing the frames for the subsequent fitting, which is performed in the other two. Among the machines in this shop are slotting machines fitted with three heads, and making a 12-inch stroke; and hydraulic machines for riveting. Next is a shop for locomotive erection, in a single bay 386 feet long. Lifting power is provided by one 25-ton and one 40-ton overhead traveller, which span the entire width of the section.

In the central avenue the shops are 163 feet long; and the western erecting shop being coupled to the central by a length of 80 feet, the two powerful travelling cranes are thus enabled to serve the whole 386 feet length of erecting shop commanded by them. The floor of this shop is laid with six different gauges of railway, besides an 18-inch gauge line, which runs through all the shops and yards. The four bays which follow comprise the machine-shop, two being devoted mainly to wheels, and two to cranks &c. The travelling and jib cranes are driven by ropes. All the wheels and crank-pins are forced on by hydraulic power. The cylinder shops in two bays are succeeded by an erecting shop for tramway engines, and the latter by shops for wheel cutting and grinding.

The pattern-making shop and pattern stores at the northern end of the eastern avenue are on two floors, and are lighted by electricity from the adjoining electric-lighting house. The bays in the eastern avenue are all 123 feet long, and the twelve following the pattern department are occupied with the general smithy and boiler erecting and machine shops, in which hydraulic riveters are extensively used, and most of the flanging is also done by hydraulic power.

The southern block of buildings comprises an extensive forge, wheel-making and case-hardening shops, in three bays 164 feet long. In the wheel-making shop there are nine steam-hammers, ranging up to 6 tons. The west section of the southern block, comprising three bays, is given up to the fitting and erection of tenders, tanks, &c.; here hydraulic and steam riveters are almost exclusively used. Two separate buildings about 270 feet long, provided with an overhead traveller, are used for painting, packing, stores, &c.

In addition to locomotives, all kinds of tools required by locomotive and ordnance builders are manufactured here. Amongst the locomotives designed and constructed by the firm may be mentioned the large engines for the New South Wales Government lines and the Mersey Tunnel Railway, for both of which unusual power is required; in the latter case the gradients are from 1 in 27 to 1 in 30, up which a load of 150 tons has to be hauled. About 2,000 men aro employed at the works, and from 150 to 200 engines can be turned out in a year.

M, S & L Workshops, Gorton

Gorton Works

These works occupy about 50 acres, and comprise the locomotive and carriage and wagon workshops, together with a large running shed. Entering by way of the Gorton Station, the boiler shops are first approached. They cover an area of about 27,350 square feet, and in them all the flanging, planing, riveting, &c., are done. The boiler erecting shop has a 15-ton overhead travelling-crane worked by rope power; a large plate-edge planing machine, which will also face smoke-box tube-plates and fire-hole rings; punching machines, &c.; and a multiple drilling machine specially made for roof stays, with a milling machine also arranged for the same articles. The copper stays are all chased in this shop. Adjacent thereto is the boiler mounting and tube shop, where all the brass fittings, domes, safety-valves, &c., are faced and studded on, ready for testing previous to the boilers being sent into the erecting shop. Under the same roof as this shop is the tender shop, where tenders are built and repaired; it has a 25-ton overhead travelling-crane, worked by rope power from a wall engine. These two shops together comprise about 30,600 square feet.

Outside the boiler shop are the brass foundry and the forge. Here steam for the steam hammers is generated by means of vertical boilers. The smithy, which is close by, is a circular building with fires all round, and was the original running shed. Adjoining the boiler shop is a heavy turning and machine shop, which covers an area of about 48,200 square feet, and in which all crank and straight axles are turned, hopped, slotted, and bolted, wheels and tires turned, wheels pressed on to axles, frames slotted, drilled, and mounted, cylinders bored and otherwise machined, connecting-rods, coupling-rods, and all motion-work made and repaired, principally by milling machines. Wrought and cast-iron horn-blocks and brass axle-boxes are here machined and prepared for the erecting shop. Part of the shop in which the wheels, tires, and frames are dealt with is fitted with a 5-ton and a 15-ton overhead travelling-crane, worked by rope power from wall engines. On each side of the turning shop is a gallery carried on the same columns as those which support the roof, and on which are girders for a 10-ton rope-power crane. On this gallery all the brass-work, pins, bolts, studs, and other light articles are manufactured. The whole of this shop is driven by wall engines; this is found to be convenient, in case urgent repairs are necessary and only a portion of the shops are required to be worked for the purpose. At one end of the turning shop on the ground floor old tires are taken off and new tires shrunk on wheels by means of a ring jet, through which gas and air pass for heating. At the other end is the grinding shop, which is driven by a 20-horse-power gas engine.

The new erecting shop is 480 feet long by 250 feet wide, made up of five spans, each 50 feet. Each bay contains three runs, and two 30-ton rope-driven cranes. Line shafting passes through each centre line of columns for cylinder boring, valve facing, and other purposes. The power for driving the cranes &c. in this shop is given off from single-cylinder engines, bolted to the columns supporting the roof. A convenient portion of this shop is partitioned off and divided to accommodate coppersmiths, tube-brazing furnaces, spring smiths, motion washing, joiners, and locomotive painters. A few yards distant is the iron foundry with three cupolas. Here the locomotive castings, together with the chairs, &c., required for the permanent way, are manufactured; and in close proximity is the permanent-way shop, in which are manufactured all points, crossings, turntables, buffer-stops, water-columns, &c. In the same block of buildings are the drawing office, pattern shop, and pattern stores.

Near these buildings are the carriage and wagon building and repairing shops, in which the bulk of the carriage and wagon stock is built and maintained. These shops are replete with all necessary wheel and axle lathes, hydraulic press, the most modern woodworking machinery, smithy, &c.

Near the foundry is the principal running shed in this district. It has twenty roads, each capable of accommodating six large engines and tenders, with space between each for cleaning &c. These running sheds cover about 83,700 square feet, and are fully equipped. Here is kept the breakdown train, which consists of 20-ton steam travelling-crane and three tool-vans fully equipped, ready for any emergency. In this yard also is a set of engine balancing tables, made specially for the Liverpool Exhibition, by means of which the exact weight upon each engine and tender wheel is noted and registered. All engines, new or repaired, on coming out of the shops are brought over this table and adjusted, before being put into service. Adjacent to the running shed are large and commodious carriage storage and washing sheds. At Gorton also, though divided from the main works by a street, are situated the canal and gas works, large schools for the workmen's children, library and reading room. The rolling stock comprises 718 engines, 1,105 carriages, and 17,166 merchandise trucks. The chief locomotive engineer is Mr. Harry Pollitt.

Joseph Adamson, Boiler Works, Hyde

Joseph Adamson and Co

These works were established in 1874 for the construction of high-class steam-boilers, by the present proprietor in partnership with Mr. Henry Booth, who retired in 1887. They cover about half of a plot of ground of about four acres, closely adjoining Hyde station on the Sheffield and Midland Railway, with which they are directly connected by a private siding. They have from time to time been gradually extended to cope with increased trade, and with the heavier weights called for in boiler work during recent years.

In 1883 a new step was taken by the erection of a special shop, 200 feet long by 45 feet span, to contain a 500-ton hydraulic flanging-press and its necessary dies, which latter by the growing requirements of the trade have already accumulated to the amount of upwards of 400 tons. This flanging department is engaged, in addition to the special flanged work required in the works, is pressing and flanging plates sent in by other boiler-makers. In connection with the press is a hydraulic accumulator with 12-inch ram and 20 feet stroke, loaded with about 90 tons of pig-iron, and supplied by a set of quadruple fly-wheel steam-pumps, arranged to stop and start automatically according to the position of the accumulator ram. This hydraulic power is also used throughout the works for actuating the riveting machines, cranes, and also a smaller press. The pumps are situated in an engine-house, built close to the boiler-house; and under the same roof is intended to be placed a series of engines and dynamos forming a central station for the distribution of power and light throughout the works. The beginning of this installation is represented by a 50-H.P. Belliss high-speed engine, directly coupled to a Siemens dynamo running 500 revolutions, which at present is employed only in furnishing the power for the travelling cranes.

The boiler shop proper consists of four bays, each 45 feet span and 200 feet and upwards in length. One end of each bay is adjacent to the railway and sidings, while the offices, stores, &c., are situated at the opposite end of the shops.

The first bay, which may be called the shell shop, contains amongst other tools a plate-edge planing-machine capable of planing plates up to 30 feet long by 6 feet wide on both side and end at one setting, while by carrying the plate forward an indefinite length can be reached. Also two boiler-shell drilling machines, of ten and eleven drills each respectively, arranged to drill both the circular and longitudinal seams. Also a powerful horizontal turning machine, capable of edging plates up to 10 feet diameter, and up to 4 feet deep if required, with an additional boring head for cutting out the flue-holes, and the oval boles for manholes.

The next bay is occupied principally as a fitting shop, and is equipped with a number of engineers' tools, such as lathes, radial drills, slotting, screwing, planing, milling, and grinding machines. The end next to the railway is occupied by punching and planing machines, and a small set of bending rolls, all of which are employed in preparing the flue plates for the subsequent operations in the smithy. The opposite end of the bay is fitted up with the necessary plant for a pattern shop.

The third bay, which may be called the erecting shop, is 30 feet high to underside of roof principals, and is almost entirely roofed in with glass, like the two previous bays. This shop is equipped with three fixed riveters, situated under a brick riveting tower 60 feet high, which on the side next to the shop is open for the full width of 45 feet, the wall on this side being carried by a box girder 33 feet from the floor. There are also portable riveting machines slung from cranes, one being worked by compressed air, which are chiefly used in riveting the ends and flues into boilers. In this operation every rivet on the front ends of Lancashire boilers, inclusive of those connecting the flues to the end plates, is here closed by machinery; and throughout the work a preference is given to machine-riveting on account of its greater reliability than hand work. In this shop is also a range of pipes from the receiver of the air compressor, fitted with taps at intervals for the attachment of pneumatic caulking tools. There are also two or three rivet-heating furnaces, fired with oil in place of coal, in which the air supply is heated by the waste products of combustion.

The fourth bay is occupied by the smithy, at the lower end of which is situated the plant specially designed for drilling and turning the flanges and caulking strips for the internal flues of the boilers.

The two bays in which the heaviest weights have to be handled, that is the shell and erecting shops, are well equipped with power travelling cranes. There are also in course of construction in the works three travelling cranes for the shell shop, which are to be driven by electric motors; and alterations with the same view are in progress for two other cranes for the erecting shop, thus making five electric travelling-cranes in all for the two bays. It is considered that the output of a shop depends more directly on the efficiency of its lifting appliances than upon the actual speed of the machines doing the work.

The whole of the plant is arranged as far as practicable to save labour in handling the materials. The boiler shell-plates for instance are unloaded direct from the railway trucks in the shell shop, and are handled by overhead travellers throughout all the operations of planing, bending, drilling, &c., until the rings are finished ready to be rolled across to the riveting tower. After being hoisted up in the tower by power-driven crabs for the purpose of riveting, they are lowered down into the shell shop, where the travelling cranes again take charge of them during the various stages the boiler has to go through, before it is completed for the hydraulic test. This test takes place close to the railway trucks, upon which the boiler is then lifted for proceeding to its destination. In ordinary times about 200 hands find employment at these works.

Ashton Brothers and Co, Hyde

Ashton Brothers and Co

These mills have been built at various times from the beginning of the present century. The older mills are driven by compound engines with steam at 80 lbs. pressure, and the new mills by a pair of compound engines of 1,000 horse-power of the Corliss type, and two sets of triple-expansion engines, each 500 horse-power, all rope-driving, made by Messrs. Goodfellow, Hyde. The boilers are of steel, 30 feet by 8 feet diameter, carrying a pressure of 150 lbs., and made by Messrs. Joseph Adamson and Co., Hyde. The new mills are lighted electrically by about 1,000 incandescent lamps, put up by Messrs. Stanley and Davies, Hyde. There are 111,350 spindles and 2,302 looms, employing 1,650 workpeople; the average production per week is 567,000 yards of calico, weighing about 130,000 lbs. or 58 tons.

F W Ashton, Newton Bank Print Works

F. W. Ashton and Co

These works, situated on the Cheshire side of the river Tame, were established by Messrs. Ashton eighty years ago; since 1857 they have been worked by the present proprietors. The works were originally laid out for block or hand printing, combined with five pasting machines. The styles produced were then chiefly black and purples, better known as lilacs. Under the present proprietors extensive alterations and improvements have been made to meet the demand for better-class goods and variety of styles. There are now thirteen printing machines, hand printing having been superseded some time ago; they range from single colours to twelve colours, with improved drying appliances. As there is now a large trade in " discharge " styles, extensive preparations have been made for Turkey red and indigo blue dyeing, with their necessary accompaniments of open soaping and raising arrangements. The bleach works which were built in 1850 are on a scale equal to the other portions of the works. The cloth is received in the grey, and is completed on the premises, including packing for the market. The number of workpeople employed is about 350. The management of the works is in the hands of Mr. James Ashton, eldest son of Mr. F. W. Ashton; and the city warehouse at 59 Portland Street is managed by Mr. T. Parkinson, one of the members of the firm.

Nasmyth, Wilson and Co, Bridgewater Foundry

Nasmyth, Wilson and Co

These works had their origin in one of the flats of an old mill in Dale Street, Manchester, where Mr. James Nasmyth, founder of the firm, commenced business in 1834 as a mechanical engineer and machine-tool maker. Thence he removed in 1836 to a timber workshop at Patricroft, near the Bridgewater Canal and the Manchester and Liverpool Railway, more substantial buildings being afterwards substituted, which form part of the present works. Shortly after the establishment of the works at Patricroft, the great improvements made in ocean navigation called for larger engines, for which in consequence much larger forgings were wanted. For producing these he invented the steam-hammer in 1839, and in 1842 commenced making steam-hammers of all descriptions and sizes. In 1843 Mr. Robert Wilson joined the firm, and introduced the self-acting motion, by which the old form of hand gear for working the hammer was entirely dispensed with.

The smithy contains thirty fires and several steam-hammers, all pieces of work being blocked or stamped where possible. In the forge the large hammer " Thor," put up by Mr. Nasmyth about forty years ago for forging guns, is still in use for forging cranks and shafts up to 10 tons weight and 36 feet long. The self-acting motion originally fitted to this hammer has been removed and replaced by the simple circular balanced valve invented by Mr. Wilson, by which the hammer is worked with the greatest facility. The boiler shop is laid out for modern boiler making; all plates are planed on the edges, holes drilled mostly in position, and nearly all riveting done by hydraulic machinery. In the new part of the moulding shop are four 30-ton jib cranes, so arranged at equal distances from a centre that each can carry a suitable ladle for casting large presses and hammer frames; here Mr. Nasmyth's safety ladle is still working, nothing better having as yet been designed. In the heavy machine shop the machinery is being replaced by modern tools. The shop is warmed by cast-iron pipes coiled round the columns, through which steam passes; these pipes have been fixed here for nearly fifty years. In the middle machine-shop the crane gantries are slung from the roof, for allowing the shop cranes to travel well over and clear of the machines and driving gear; a second bay alongside is arranged in the same manner with a lighter crane for the lathes. A line of railway runs all round the works; and a large 40-ton crane travels the length of the yard, and lifts heavy weights, that cannot go by rail, into barges on the old Bridgewater Canal, now taken over by the Manchester Ship Canal.

Across the yard is a massive building of five storeys, each of unusual height, reached by a flight of stone steps running round inside a tower at the north-east corner. The two top storeys are filled with patterns. The second floor is the pattern shop, containing many labour-saving contrivances for woodwork. The first floor is the light tool room, where all brass work and templates are made; it contains many new tools, including copper stay and stud machines of the latest design, by Messrs. Kendall and Gent; also a wheel-cutting machine, made by Mr. Nasmyth about forty years ago for cutting iron or brass toothed-wheels. The ground floor is the general erecting shop, where hydraulic presses 80 feet high can be erected, the cylinders going into a well 25 feet deep; here also large stationary engines, hammers, cranes, and machine-tools are fitted up. The general work is kept quite distinct from the locomotive work, which is carried on in an adjoining shop, with its own machine-shops. Here the first slot-drill, invented by Mr. Nasmyth about forty-three years ago, is still in use; and near it is an old milling machine made about the same time, though not now used, having been superseded by more modern tools on the same principle. In another small machine-shop are some of Mr. Nasmyth's original shaping and slotting machines, working alongside others by Muir, Whitworth, &c. In the offices are drawings of the first locomotives made at these works in 1841. About forty locomotives are built in a year, all parts being made to templates and gauges so as to be interchangeable. In general work about twenty hydraulic presses and engines are turned out in a year, besides steam hammers, stationary engines, tools, and sundries, making altogether a total of about 3,000 tons of finished work. The number of men employed is over 500.

Manchester Crematorium


This crematorium, of which the Duke of Westminster is the president and Mr. Henry Simon of Manchester the chairman, is situated alongside the Manchester southern cemetery on the Barlow Moor Road, and is within one mile of the Chorlton-cum-Hardy station on the Cheshire Lines Railway. It was built in 1892, and consists of a hall or chapel, and a separate contiguous chamber containing the furnace. Columbaria for the reception of urns and memorial tablets are provided in arched recesses on the inside and outside of the principal walls of the building. The hall is about 50 feet long by 25 feet wide and of proportionate height. In the centre of the wall opposite to the principal entrance is placed the aperture leading to the furnace, which in the separate space occupies basement and ground floor. A vestry or record room, and a retiring room, lavatories, &c., are situated at the back of the hall, which is flanked on either side by open arched colonnades raised above the level of the ground, protecting the columbaria in the outside wall. Dignity is given to the main entrance to the hall by means of a lofty arched porch, from which steps connect on either side to the outer colonnades and columbaria. Draught is supplied to the furnace by a chimney hidden in a tower, which gives the building the appearance of a church. It is constructed throughout in terra cotta, and the style of architecture resembles that of some of the oldest churches in Lombardy and Venice. The general arrangement and details of the furnace are from the plans of Mr. Henry Simon, who personally superintended its erection. It is so constructed that the raw fuel does not come in contact with the body; the coffin is noiselessly introduced by invisible machinery. Coke or Welsh anthracite coal is used for the production of the gas; and the cremation is absolutely smokeless. The time of cremation of each body is about seventy-five minutes on an average; and since the opening about sixty cremations have taken place. The total cost of the building and furnace was about £7,000.

Yates and Thom, Foundry & Boiler Works, Blackburn

Yates and Thom

These works were established in 1826, and at present give employment to about 800 men, and cover about eight acres. They produce steam-boilers, stationary engines on the simple, compound, triple and quadruple-expansion principle, with Corliss and other valve-gear, pumping engines for waterworks, blowing engines, mill gearing, and general engineering work. The engines range up to 10,000 I.H.P. The shops are well laid out for dealing with work of the heaviest class, and are fitted with the most modern machine-tools and labour-saving appliances.

Lion Cotton Spinning Mill, Royton


This mill is situated near Royton station on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, and is one of the best examples of a modern Lancashire cotton mill. It has six storeys, is 355 feet long and 129 feet broad, and contains 107,000 mule spindles with the necessary carding and other preparation machinery, which have all been supplied by Messrs. Platt Brothers and Co., Oldham.

The mill is driven by a pair of high-speed compound horizontal engines, capable of driving 2,000 I.H.P. The high-pressure cylinders are 27 inches diameter and low-pressure 46 inches diameter, all 5 feet 6 inches stroke, making 75 revolutions a minute. The fly-wheel is 22 feet diameter, grooved for forty cotton ropes of 1 5/8 inch diameter, giving a rope speed of 5,175 feet a minute; the driving is direct from the fly-wheel to the line shafts, which in the mule rooms make 300 revolutions a minute; the present indicated horse-power is 1,640. The whole of this work with pipe connections to the boilers was made by Messrs. Pollit and Wigzell, Sowerby Bridge. There are six boilers, 8 feet diameter and 30 feet long, with 110 lbs. working pressure, four of which are fitted with McPhail and Simpson's dry-steam generators. They are placed in a house alongside the engine house, with a Green's economiser behind containing 480 pipes; and were made by the Oldham Boiler Co.

Oldham Electric Light Works

Oldham Electric Works

These works, which were commenced in 1892, were completed and inaugurated on 15th March 1894. The streets provided with the electric light are the principal business streets in the town, ami contain also the principal public buildings, the Town Hall, Art Gallery, Public Library, &c. Steam is provided by two steel Lancashire boilers, working at a pressure of 125 lbs. per square inch. The furnace gases pass through an ordinary brick flue and through a Green's economiser to a chimney of ample dimensions. Coal can be brought into the station either from the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, which adjoins it, when the siding is constructed, or from the street. The engine room adjoins the boiler house. Four dynamos have been provided, each driven direct by a Willans engine, the total horse-power being 320. A switchboard stands at one end of the engine room, the space beside the engines being utilized for stores; and at the other end is an engineer's office with lavatories, &c. In the space below the office are placed a condenser and air-pump worked by a separate engine; and between the boiler house and the railway there is a reservoir for condensing water. The engines are so arranged that they can be worked either with or without condensation. Above the office is additional store accommodation; and above the engine room is a battery room, containing a battery of 59 cells of 500 ampere-hour capacity.

The station is so designed and constructed that the offices can be readily removed to its eastern end when extension becomes necessary or desirable. What is at present the eastern end of the building will then become its centre, the future eastern end being practically in elevation a duplicate of the present building. The present buildings however are sufficiently large for double the power now put down in them.

The plant is sufficient for the simultaneous lighting of about 2,500 incandescent lamps of eight candle-power each, ample reserve being provided in case of any machines requiring repair. Experience derived from the lighting of other towns shows that 2,500 lamps alight at one time correspond with a total of about 5,000 lamps actually erected. As the area to be supplied is small, and as there are many hours during which the amount of lighting required will be very small, a low-tension system of the simplest possible kind has been adopted: namely a two-wire system in which the current is distributed at 105 volts, but arranged throughout so that it is possible at any future time to change it into a three-wire system with a minimum of alteration, and without pulling up the footpaths or roadways.

The mains are bare copper carried upon stoneware insulators in concrete troughs or conduits under the footpaths. Where roadways are crossed, or where there is not room for a concrete conduit, the mains are laid as insulated cable, carried in cast-iron pipes or casings. The conduits are so arranged that fresh copper can be pulled into them without opening up the roads or footways beyond lifting the covers of the manholes.

Batteries are provided partly for a reserve, but mainly for the purpose of supplying current during the hours of minimum demand, which in Oldham is often a long period. They are charged by the dynamos during the hours when the latter have to work for supplying current to the circuit. By allowing them afterwards to discharge, the whole station can be shut down at night, and often in the morning also, so as to economise expenditure in wages and fuel. It has also been arranged that the waste gases from the corporation destructor on adjoining ground can be utilized under one of the two boilers, thereby saving a certain amount of fuel. The works were designed by Professor Alexander B. W. Kennedy, and have been carried out under his direction; they are now in charge of the resident engineer, Mr. S. Wilmott Newington. The architect of the buildings was Mr. C. Stanley Peach, London.

Platt Brothers, Hartford Iron Works, Oldham

Platt Brothers and Co

This firm was founded in 1821 by Mr. Henry Platt, who previously had carried on a small business as a woollen carding-machine maker at Saddleworth. Prompted by a desire to extend his field of operation he removed to Oldham, and here began to make machinery for the manufacture of cotton. This enterprise succeeded so well that he deemed it necessary to introduce further capital into the business, which he did by entering into partnership with Mr. Elijah Hibbert, a prominent ironfounder in the town; and the firm then took the title of Messrs. Hibbert and Platt. Success attended their efforts to such an extent that in its subsequent development the firm has now attained a magnitude far above that of any other textile machine works in the world.

The works are 55 acres in extent, exclusive of the collieries, and comprise the Old works, New works, Werneth spindle works, wood-sawing mill, forge and brick works, which are united by lines of railway connected with the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway. Several locomotives are kept constantly at work during the whole day, conveying the trucks of raw material between the stations and the various parts of the works, and also taking out the trains of finished machinery.

The Old Works are situated about two miles from the New Works, and are quite independent in their working operations, having iron foundry, smiths' shops, special tool-making and millwrights' departments, turning, planing, fitting, and erecting rooms &c., where all the machines for ginning and for opening and carding cotton, wool, and worsted are made and packed for conveyance to the station.

The New Works are the largest of all, and have also their own steel, iron and brass foundries, smiths' shops, turning, planing, fitting, and erecting rooms, as well as special tool-making and millwrights' shops, where machines for combing, drawing, preparing, spinning both by mules and by ring frames, warping, sizing, and weaving cotton, woollen, worsted, and silk waste, are constructed, and delivered on trucks to the railway.

The Werneth Spindle Works are in close proximity to the New Works, and all the spindles and flyers for speed frames, as well as the spindles for ring-spinning frames, and for self-acting mules, twiners, and doubling frames, are made here, together with tin rollers and copper cylinders for the various machines. File-cutting is also an important branch of this establishment.

The saw mill and timber yard cover a space of eight acres. Here are numerous vertical and circular saws at work, reducing the largest logs of wood to planks of various widths and thicknesses. The machines, which are nearly all of the firm's own make, are driven by a compound horizontal steam-engine of 400 I.H.P. The timber yard is of great extent, and amply provided with lines of rails and travelling-cranes for quick conveyance of the timber balks to the saws or elsewhere. In connection with the saw mill there are rooms in which all the operations of wood turning, planing, and joinering are carried on by means of the most improved appliances. There are also steam drying-stoves built on the fire-proof system, where the timber is dried before using; as well as large steers for seasoning the timber planks. The saw mill and timber yard are lighted by electricity by means of sixteen Brush electric lamps of 2,000 candle-power each. As much as 350,000 cubic feet of timber can be turned out of the saw mill in the course of twelve months. Adjoining the saw mill is the building devoted to the manufacture of the fluted iron rollers required in textile machinery. This building is in shed form, about 315 feet long by 100 feet wide, with a cellar under a portion of it. In the cellar the rollers are cut into the required lengths, and thence are taken into the shed above, where they are turned and fluted by means of lathes and fluting machines.

The stables, which are two storeys high, are close to the New Works, and built on the most improved plan. They have accommodation for 34 horses, and are independent of those at the Old Works and collieries. The new dining room, contiguous to the stables, is intended for the accommodation of the workmen and boys who live out of town; it is 200 feet long by 60 feet wide, and will seat comfortably 1,200 people; and it is amply provided with lavatories &c.

In the forge will be seen many furnaces, steam-hammers, and rolling mills at work, converting pig into wrought-iron for consumption in the various departments of the works; besides which a great quantity has also to be purchased.

In the brick works is fixed an automatic brick-making machine, capable of turning out about 34 bricks a minute, by what is known as the semi-dry process, which produces the smoothest and best surface bricks made by the trade (Proceedings 1859 page 42); the clay is passed through air-drying tubes, breakers, pulverisers, and disintegrators, from which it issues in fine dust; and is then pressed into semi-dried bricks ready for placing in the kilns, of which there are six, each capable of holding about 70,000 bricks. Fire bricks are also made here from material procured from the firm's own mines.

The collieries have been acquired with a view to secure an ample supply of coal and coke of undoubted quality for the requirements of the works. The Moston colliery is situated about half way between Oldham and Manchester; the seams yield an excellent house-fire coal, as well as furnace coal. The Tunshill and Butterworth Hall collieries at Milnrow and the Jubilee colliery at Crompton, about four miles from Oldham, raise mountain mine coal of very pure quality; and here smithy coal, coke, and foundry coke are produced, containing a minimum of sulphur. The plant includes coal-washing apparatus, 108 coke ovens, and coal-crushing machinery making coal dust for foundry purposes. The Brushes Clough Sand and Fire-Clay Works, also situated in Crompton, supply the forge and foundries with sand of various kinds, especially ganister, which is obtained here of excellent quality. About 1,000 men in all are employed at the collieries; and the total number of hands employed by the firm exceeds 10,000.

Peel Cotton Spinning Mills, Bury


These mills are among the best examples of modern mills for spinning American cotton. The machinery, which is of the latest and most improved kind, was supplied by Messrs. Platt Brothers of Oldham, and the blowing rooms were fitted by Messrs. Lord Brothers of Todmorden. They have their own railway sidings, and are fire-proof throughout, fitted with automatic sprinklers, and lighted by electricity, which is generated by castle dynamos, made by Messrs. J. H. Holmes and Co. The dynamos are in a separate house, and are driven by two vertical compound high-speed non-condensing engines, each 90 horse-power, working at 200 lbs. pressure. In these engines slide-bars are dispensed with; the upper ends of the links coupling the pistons to the triangular connecting-rods are provided with ball joints, and these are adjustable from outside the cylinders; they permit the pistons to revolve, so that all grooving of the cylinders, pistons, and trunks is avoided.

No. 2 Mill has a quadruple-expansion vertical engine, 1,600 horse-power, provided with Corliss valves throughout. The steam pressure is 200 lbs. per square inch, generated in four Lancashire boilers, 28 feet long and 8 feet diameter, made of steel and tested to 360 lbs. The cylinders are arranged in pairs on each side of the fly-wheel or rope-drum, the high-pressure and first intermediate cylinders on one side, and the second intermediate and low-pressure on the other. The cross-heads of each pair are connected by a pair of links and a triangular connecting-rod to a single crank; the two cranks of the engine are opposite to each other, so that the weights of the two sets of reciprocating parts are balanced. The action of the triangular connecting-rod is such that there is no dead centre. The cylinders are 18, 26, 37, and 54 inches diameter, with 4 1/2 feet stroke, and 80 revolutions a minute. There are two air-pumps, 26 inches diameter and 15 inches stroke. The rope drum is 21 feet diameter, with 36 grooves; the diameter of the ropes is 1 5/8 inch, and their velocity is 5,280 feet a minute or 60 miles an hour.

No. 1 Mill has a side-by-side compound engine of 1,300 horsepower, working at 95 lbs. pressure per square inch. The cylinders are 32 and 56 inches diameter by 6 feet stroke. The air-pump is 39 inches diameter by 31 inches stroke. The rope pulley is 32 feet diameter, and is grooved for 30 ropes of 1 5/8 inch diameter. The high-pressure cylinder is fitted with Corliss valves, and the low-pressure with slide-valves. Both engines were made by Messrs. John Musgrave and Sons of Bolton. The process of spinning yarn from the cotton as received in the bale to the finished cop will here be seen. The number of workpeople employed is 495.

On the occasion of the visit of the Members some particulars of the actual working of the mills were given by Mr. Henry Webb. The boiler house had originally been fitted up with what were believed to be the best mechanical appliances. Large cast-iron bins had been placed under the railway siding, so that the coal could be dropped into them from the wagons. Through small doors in the bottom of the bins the coal fell upon a wide belt, which conveyed it to two boots in the boiler house; out of these it was lifted by elevators, and delivered into a long trough extending over the front ends of all the boilers. A creeper in the trough conveyed the coal along it into the hoppers placed over each fire-grate. Mechanical stokers were fitted to each boiler, and also movable fire-bars with a steam jet underneath to keep them cool. Mechanically these arrangements were perfect, altogether automatic, and it had been intended to convey the ashes back again to the wagons; and there was little or no smoke. But the whole plan was too costly, the wear and repairs were excessive, while little if anything was saved in attendance, and the coal consumption was too high. After a fair and exhaustive trial, all the mechanical appliances had now been taken away; and hand firing had been reverted to, with a large saving in the weight of coal used. With the quadruple-expansion engines the best week's work had been a consumption of 64 1/2 tons of washed slack, costing 6s. 6d. per ton; the engines indicated 1,380 horsepower and drove No. 2 mill containing 100,000 spindles, half twist and half weft. The difficulties with the high-pressure steam had been in the main range of steam pipes, in which the flanges were too weak; but this had since been remedied. During the same week the side-by-side compound engine had used 64 1/4 tons of the same coal, and indicated 1,214 horse-power, driving No. 1 mill with 67,000 spindles, half twist and half weft. In both cases the coal used was all that came on the ground during that week, and included heating the mill both day and night. In cotton-spinning mills it is not usual to measure the quantity of water evaporated; what is wanted to be known by the owners is how much coal it takes to turn the spindles; in other words how much coal for the weight of yarn spun.

Felt Hat Manufactories, Bury

Adam Ashworth and Sons, Lucas and Co

These works are engaged in the manufacture of wool felt hats. Up to twenty-five years ago all hats were made by hand, and no change seems to have taken place in the manufacture previous to that date. All the special machinery now used is of American invention, if not of direct importation. The material used is called " noils," which is the fine short wool left after the longer fibre has been combed out. It is carded into a web, and wound on a revolving cone so constructed that the wool can be placed where it is wanted, making the hat thick or thin in the crown or brim as desired, varying from 1 1/2 oz. to 1/2 lb. This is then put through various processes of felting, until it is a suitable firm or solid felt. The processes are called " planking," and the product a " body." It is then carbonized by acid and heat, to burn out all vegetable matter, &c.; and stiffened with gums, and dyed to the colour required. The next process is " blocking," in which after being softened by steam the body is pulled on to a block of approximately the required shape. The " finisher " puts it on a block of the exact shape and size desired, and shaves and treats it according to the finish required. The hat is next subjected to a pressure of 400 lbs. per square inch in a hot polished dish, which ensures the exact shape and size, adding also solidity and smartness. The final process of " trimming" is performed by girls. A collection will be seen of various styles of hats worn in different countries, which are more or less characteristic of the people wearing them.

Thomas Robinson and Son, Railway Works, Rochdale

Thomas Robinson and Son

These works are situated close to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, and cover an area of about seven acres, Plate 104, employing about 1,200 men. Lying nearest to the railway are the saw mill and joinery works, where almost every kind of wood-work is produced direct from the log. The timber in the log is first sawn on a large horizontal double-saw frame, with two saws having a horizontal reciprocating motion; they are driven at a high speed from a double-throw crank, whose centres are opposite, so that the motion of the one saw balances that of the other. The saws cut in both directions of their stroke, so that the feed of timber is continuous. Alongside is a vertical log-saw frame, arranged to work with a number of saws at once for sawing up small logs and deals. There are also various kinds of self-feeding circular saws; also planing machines, mortising and tenoning machines, &c. In addition to joinery, this department is largely devoted to the manufacture of flour-milling machinery, principally flour-dressing machines, such as semolina purifiers, sieves, bran dusters, &c., which follow the work of the roller mills in the conversion of grain into flour.

The machine works are separated from the wood department by a street, across which runs a branch line of rails connecting with the railway. Adjoining the street are the general offices, drawing offices, pattern shop, and foundries for iron and brass casting. Parallel to these buildings are large stores, the smithy, and the dressing shop for castings. Alongside the latter buildings runs a spacious yard, over the whole length of which works an overhead steam travelling-crane; here are stored the machine castings, previous to their entry into the fitting shops, which are on the other side of the yard. The works are so arranged that the raw material enters by the main line, and is discharged from the wagons direct at the foundry and smithy, from which during the course of manufacture it passes in direct circulation to the fitting shops and packing department. The iron foundry is a large building 317 feet long by 94 feet wide, built in two bays. A line of columns passes down the centre, supporting the roof and crane road. Three overhead steam travelling-cranes traverse the whole length of the building, each capable of lifting a load of ten tons. A number of machines are at work here for moulding pulleys and wheels and from plate patterns. The smithy is a similar building to the foundry, being lofty and spacious. It is 150 feet long by 45 feet wide, containing fifteen fires, and is fitted with steam-hammers, forging machines, and tools for special work in cutter making and stamping forgings. The lower end of the fitting shop is devoted to the construction of woodworking machinery, and the upper end to roller mills for flour milling and to steam engines. The total length of the fitting shop is 537 feet, and its width 103 feet. In addition to many special turning, grooving, and milling machines, there is a balancing apparatus, by means of which pulleys and cutter-blocks are accurately balanced for the speed they are intended to run at. An overhead travelling-crane driven by rope works over the engine fitting shop, and is capable of lifting 15 tons. The machinery in this department is driven by a horizontal compound tandem engine of 40 horse-power, having an ordinary slide-valve with an arrangement whereby the cut-off is regulated by the governor according to the load.

North End Cotton Mill, Bolton

North End Spinning Co

This mill containing 80,000 spindles was built and completed in 1890-91, and is an exceedingly good sample of a modern cotton-spinning mill suitable for producing Bolton counts. It is five storeys high, exclusive of basement, and is built of pressed brick, and fire-proof throughout, the floors being constructed of concrete and wrought-iron joists, laid on wrought-iron beams supported by cast-iron pillars. The whole of the joists and girders are of Belgian manufacture. One of the novel features in the construction of this mill is the position of the pillars, which are placed behind the mule creels, out of the way of the machinery and workpeople. The sanitary arrangements and ventilation have received special attention.

The engines, built by Messrs. J. and E. Wood of Bolton, are of the horizontal compound side-by-side kind, capable of working up to 1,200 I.H.P.; they are fitted with Corliss valves, and are supplied by four boilers of the ordinary Lancashire type, working at 100 lbs. pressure, and made by Messrs. Hick, Hargreaves and Co. of Bolton. The average amount of coal used for all purposes, including heating the mill, is under 2 1/2 lbs. per I.H.P. per hour. Power is transmitted from the rope pulley to the second motion or line shaft by means of ropes of 11 inch diameter.

The whole of the spinning machinery has been supplied by Messrs. Dobson and Barlow, and is specially adapted for making power-loom yarns of extra high quality. The machines in the card room on the ground floor comprise those for cleaning and preparing the cotton for spinning in the rooms above. The first two processes in the card room consist of taking out the seed and short fibre, &c. The remaining processes in this room are for strengthening and arranging the fibre ready for the spinning mules. The quality of the article produced depends much on this department, and great care has been taken in the details and arrangement of the machinery. The four large spinning rooms are filled with self-acting mules of the latest design, and are constructed so as to obtain the maximum of production, while the quality of the material produced is not interfered with. The card room is lighted by the electric light on the inverted-arc system, and the basement and spinning rooms by the ordinary incandescent lamp. The mill is fitted throughout with Grinnell sprinklers, and with automatic fire-alarm; and stand-pipes and hose are placed in the staircase, which is outside the main building; thus all means possible are provided for preventing accident by fire.

Dobson and Barlow, Kay Street Machine Works, Bolton

Dobson and Barlow

These works are situated on the north side of the town of Bolton, in what was formerly known as Little Bolton. They date from the year 1830, and were used in succession to the old premises in Blackhorse Street, which had been occupied for the manufacture of spinning machinery from 1790. As a curious instance of how Lancashire towns have grown, it was considered, when the nucleus of the present establishment was built, that it was in an isolated neighbourhood, and much too large for any possible requirements. Since then the works have been increased tenfold, and are now in the midst of a dense population extending for miles around.

The works occupy over twelve acres, and although large additions have been made to the original buildings, by great care the modern requirements have been maintained; and, with the exception of the style of buildings, no disadvantage exists. In a preparing and spinning-machine manufactory the variety of trades is enormous. Those under direct supervision in this establishment number no fewer than thirty-two.

The entrance gates in Kay Street open into a yard from which branch two main streets, one to the south and the other to the east, which lead to other streets and yards. The foundries are extensive; the heavy work is served by power cranes, the lighter by metal trams. There are five cupolas, capable of melting from 90 to 100 tons of castings per day. Two of the cupolas, on account of their proximity to the wood sheds, have the uptake turned over into a downtake, which is conveyed to the chimney by a flue, thus avoiding the dispersion of sparks in the air. The heated air, in passing, raises the temperature of the blast supplied to the cupolas, as the blast pipe passes through the hot-air flue. The cupolas are charged by power hoists. The chimney is 366 1/2 feet high, and was for long the largest stack in the world; even now it has only two or three competitors. It was constructed for a chemical works formerly upon the ground, which has been absorbed by the machine works. There is a small steel foundry; also a brass foundry, and softening, annealing, and hardening furnaces.

The machinery made in this establishment is principally for cotton spinning and doubling, although silk, wool, and other fibres are also dealt with. Thus the machines may be divided into those for ginning, scutching, carding, combing, drawing and preparing, ring and mule spinning, ring and mule doubling, winding frames, gassing frames, and bundling presses; in fact all the requirements of a cotton mill. The fitting rooms are arranged to suit this category, and there is one general preparation in the way of planing, milling, polishing, and turning. Many of the milling and turning machines are made to serve a special purpose, and not a few of them show great ingenuity.

Bolt and nut turning, automatic screw-making, automatic wheel-cutting machines, multiple milling machines, are of various kinds and considerable in number. Subdivision of labour is the secret of the existence of the machine trade: without it competition with foreign makers would be impossible. Therefore it is that the machine-tools in the works have all been designed with a view to economy of production. The work required is of the most exact character; in several cases pieces of 50 inches diameter of thin cast-iron have to be turned to the 1,000th part of an inch. The wood-working department is also extensive. Here again the object sought for has been to reduce the cost of labour. The multiplicity of pieces in a business of this description is almost incredible, the number of articles dealt with amounting to hundreds of thousands per week. The packing department for the large foreign trade is of great importance. Each framing and article of any weight is securely fastened by stays, which in turn are nailed to the case. About 1,000 cases of machinery per week are despatched to all parts of the world.

The boilers employed are of the Lancashire type, supplied with Galloway tubes, and furnished with mechanical stokers on the spreading system. Some of the engines are old; but there are three or four new ones, including two high-speed engines, one running at 240 revolutions per minute, and the other at 140. The bevel and spur wheels in connection with the driving gear have been abolished by degrees in favour of ropes or straps.

A large portion of the works is lighted by the inverted arc-lamp reflected from a white-washed ceiling (Proceedings 1893, page 396). In the dynamo room are different kinds of dynamo and switch arrangements. Electric welding is also a special feature in these works.

In the third storey of the building facing the principal entrance gates is an experimental room, where are samples, in working order, of the principal types of cotton-spinning machinery constructed. This room affords extremely interesting explanations of the principles of such machinery.

The offices are considerable in extent and organization. Their interest arises from the fact that the firm deals with cotton-spinning concerns in every quarter of the globe, and that it is necessary therefore to correspond in many different languages. The department for conducting the time and piece work and arranging the pay is an important feature. There are four pay offices, where 3,500 men and boys are paid in twenty minutes each week, the pay proceeding simultaneously in each office.

Hick, Hargreaves and Co, Soho & Phoenix Works, Bolton

Hick, Hargreaves and Co

The Soho Works were erected in 1832 as a general engineering establishment, the earlier products being stationary steam-engines, boilers, mill-gearing, hydraulic machinery, water wheels, marine engines, and locomotives; of the last a large number were made here for the Liverpool and Manchester and other early railways.

The firm were the first to introduce the Corliss engine into this country about 1865 (Proceedings 1868, page 181), and they have been closely identified with it ever since. Over 1,100 of these engines have been built of all sizes from 40 to 10,000 I.H.P., simple, compound, and triple-expansion, adapted for all pressures up to 200 lbs. per square inch. Great attention has been given to obtain the best results, as regards economy of fuel and water, and regularity of speed under varying loads; the consumption of water or steam is now under 12 lbs. per I.H.P. per hour, and the fuel 1 1/4 lb. per I.H.P. per hour under favourable conditions, whilst the variation in speed is practically so insignificant that it may be neglected.

Steel boilers were first made at the Soho Works in 1863; and their present capacity, including the Phoenix Works, is about 150 boilers a year. The boilers are mostly of the Lancashire type, but upwards of 200 torpedo-boat boilers of the locomotive type have been made; some of the most recent of these have each 2,400 square feet of heating surface, and whilst weighing only 16 tons have given 1,750 I.H.P. on the trial trip. Mill gearing in all its branches is also a speciality; some large fly-wheels for rope-driving have been made, a recent example being 32 feet diameter, grooved for 56 ropes, weighing 128 tons, and to transmit 3,000 I.H.P. Turbines and hydraulic machinery are also largely manufactured.

The works have been extended from time to time to suit the growing requirements of the business, and they now cover seven acres, and give employment to about 1,000 workmen. They are divided into nine departments: namely two pattern shops, brass foundry, three moulding shops, smiths' shop, heavy machine shop, light machine shop, with fitting and erecting shop, millwrights' turning shop, and millwrights' erecting shop. The tools are modern, many being of a special character to suit the work. There are ten rope-power travelling-cranes from 15 to 40 tons capacity. Some of the leading tools are of large size namely a lathe 4 feet 6 inches centres, 14-inch spindle, and bed 50 feet long; a side planer to plane 24 feet long by 12 feet high; a slotting machine with a stroke of 4 feet 6 inches; a pit planer to plane an object 20 feet long by 10 feet square; a tool for turning rope fly-wheels, capable of dealing simultaneously with four fly-wheels, each 32 feet diameter by 40 ropes, as many as thirty cutting tools being sometimes in use simultaneously on one wheel; and an 80-ton hydraulic riveter with 8 feet gap. The motive power consists of five Lancashire boilers 7 feet diameter by 30 feet long, working at a pressure of 70 lbs. per square inch; and six engines, giving altogether about 450 I.H.P. The works are advantageously situated, being traversed by sidings from the London and North Western Railway.

The Phoenix Boiler Works were purchased in 1891, the boiler department at the Soho Works having become inadequate to meet the demands upon it. It is contemplated to remove all the boiler-making plant to these works, and to utilize for other purposes the space now occupied by the old boiler shop at the Soho Works.

John Musgrave and Sons, Globe Iron Works, Bolton

John Musgrave and Sons

This firm of engineers, boiler makers, and millwrights, was established in 1839 by John Musgrave, and has been worked and carried on by his sons and grandsons up to the present time. At first the works employed only about fifteen men; but the growth of the business has necessitated continual alterations and additions, until the works now occupy over eight acres, almost entirely covered by buildings, including three foundries, with complete accessories of pattern shops, dressing shed, store rooms, &c. There are four shops devoted to engine work, and four others for mill-gearing, besides large engine-erecting shops, and extensive boiler works, smiths' shop, and all the numerous adjuncts, providing employment for about 1,000 men. The special work produced comprises quadruple, triple, and compound engines, with triangular connecting-rods, and having no dead centres; also quick-speed engines on this principle, designed specially for electric machinery; Musgrave's barring engine and Corliss valve-gear, Crompton's metallic packings for piston-rod glands, Buckley's piston-rod support, Tabor indicator, &c. The engines are constructed with a special view to high-class finish, steady turning, and economical running; they are driving a large number of the most successful cotton-spinning and weaving mills in this country, India, Russia, Germany, and Japan and examples of the work here produced have gone into nearly every part of the world.

L&Y Railway Works, Horwich

Horwich Works

These works, of which the building was commenced in 1886, have been erected for the purpose of repairing and renewing the locomotive stock, and of carrying out the mechanical engineering work of the railway. They are situated between the Chorley New Road, Horwich, and Red Moss; and are about one mile distant in an easterly direction from Blackrod Station upon the main line between Manchester and Fleetwood. The land enclosed for the works comprises 85 acres, and lies north-west and south-east, Plate 105. The covered area of workshops is 15 acres. They comprise offices, general stores with gallery, boiler shops, smithy, forge, foundries, tin and copper shops, machine shops, erecting and repairing shops, &c.

The general stores contain light goods on the upper floor, and heavy material on the ground floor. The boiler shop is fitted with the necessary cranes, portable and fixed riveting machines, multiple drilling machines, pneumatic fullering tools, quadruple stay-tapping, and plate-edge planing machines. The boiler shop and smithy contain a hydraulic flanging press; and in the forge are a plate- straightening machine, rolling, tire, and merchant-mill engines, tire and merchant mills, and 30-ton duplex hammer. In the steel foundry are smelters, core-drying furnaces, and a wagon-wheel moulding-machine, &c.; and the iron foundry is adapted for light and heavy castings. The steel dressing shop contains annealing furnaces, and is used for dressing steel castings. The wagon-wheel shop comprises lathes for boring and turning wagon-wheels; one set of lathes rough the work, and the remainder finish it. Bolt machines, drop stamps, and nail-making machines are in the bolt shop of the smithy. The smithy is fitted with smiths' hearths, frame fires, and Roots' blower, &c.; whilst in the spring smithy are furnaces, spring thinning, punching, and shearing machines, and a hydraulic buckle-press, &c. The signal shop is used for the fitting up of locking frames and general signal work. The points and crossings shop contains machines for planing rails, points and crossings, &c. The fitting and machine shop comprises milling and other special tools adapted to the work required. For the conveyance of the material to the various machines, these shops are fitted with walking cranes to lift weights up to 5 tons. The brass moulding shop contains gas furnaces, corn stoves, &c.; and in the tinsmiths' shop are machines and tools for general work. The coppersmiths' shop is set apart for copper-pipe work, the making of dome covers &c., and contains brazing furnaces and copper-pipe bending press. In the telegraph shop are screw-making and other light machinery, and fittings for the electrical instruments required for the railway. The joiners' and pattern-makers' shop is fitted with modern wood-working machinery.

The erecting and repairing shop is provided with 30-ton cranes, portable hydraulic riveters, flexible-shaft drilling-machine, and the necessary complement of tools. Steel castings are largely used in the manufacture of the locomotives. The tender shop is for the making and fitting up of tenders; and the paint shop contains the necessary paint-grinding and mixing machinery and stores. In the chain-making and testing shop is a 100-ton chain-testing machine, together with the necessary chain-makers' fires, &c.

To facilitate the carriage of material from the stores, and of work to the various shops, a system of 18-inch gauge tramway is laid to the extent of 7 1/4 miles, the haulage being performed by small locomotives. The shops and offices are fitted with both arc and incandescent electric lights. The fitting shop is lighted with inverted arc lamps; and each department of the works is also in telephonic communication with the offices.

L&NWR Works, Crewe

Crewe Works

The chief objects of interest in the several departments of the works are as follows, Plates 106 and 107. Bessemer converting house. Siemens-Martin furnace house. Rail mill; rolling of 60-foot rails. Point and crossing shop; group of special machines for manufacture of points and crossings. Boiler shop; hydraulic riveting machines, boiler-stay tapping machine, electrical cranes and drills, pneumatic caulking machine, &c. Flanging shop; hydraulic presses punching and flanging boiler-plates. Boiler mounting shop; electrical tube-cutter, &c. Iron foundry. Tender shop; hydraulic riveting, and building of tenders and carriage frames. Repairing shops; horn-block planing-machine, valve-facing and cylinder-boring machines, &c. Forge and rolling mills; plate-mill for rolling boiler-plates; 7-foot saw cutting steel casting gates cold; 8-ton hammer working on crank-shafts; 30-ton hammer slabbing boiler-plates; carriage-tyre rolling; fish-plate rolling, punching, and straightening; and merchant and guide mill. Steel foundry. Bolt and nut shop; special group of machinery for forging and finishing nails, rivets, bolts, and nuts. Wheel shop; group of machines for finishing wheels and axles, electrical cranes, &c. Signal shop; electrical staff instruments. Paint sloop. Testing shop; machines for testing tensile strength of plates; hydraulic bending and drifting machine; chain, cement, and oil-testing machines. Millwrights' shop. Joiners' shop and saw-mill; special wood-working machinery.

Old Works.— Smiths' forge, smithy, and spring shop; electric welding machine. Locomotive erecting, wheel, and fitting shops.

Compound and Non-Compound Locomotives.— In order to test the capabilities and determine the relative advantages and suitability of Compound and Non-Compound Locomotives for working mineral and ordinary goods traffic, trials were made on 1st April 1894 with two trains running between Crewe and Stafford, worked by 4 ft. 3 ins. eight-wheeled coupled coal engines, one compound No. 50 and the other non-compound No. 2524, recently built at the locomotive works of the London and North Western Railway from the designs of Mr. F. W. Webb, Chief Mechanical Engineer.

The two trains were composed of loaded coal wagons and the necessary brake vans, which were all carefully weighed previous to the trials. No. 1 train consisted of one dynamometer car, fifty-two loaded wagons and three brake vans; total weight of train 695.68 tons, exclusive of engine and tender. No. 2 train was made up in the same way, except that in place of the dynamometer car a loaded wagon was substituted, equal in weight to the car; total weight of train 690.82 tons, exclusive of engine and tender.

In carrying out the trials, both trains were marshalled side by side on the main line opposite to the south junction signal box at Crewe. The engines were then attached, the compound to No. 1 train with the dynamometer car and the non-compound to No. 2 train. Each engine had the same amount of fire in the box, the same height of water in the boiler, and steam up to full working pressure. Both trains were started, and ran side by side to Stafford, instructions having been given to the drivers to keep the engines level with each other. On arriving at Stafford the engines were turned and re-attached to their respective trains, which they worked back to Crewe, side by side as before. The engines were then changed from one train to the other, and two more trips run to Stafford and back in exactly the same way as the two previous trips: so that all the conditions of working were the same for both engines. The coal used which was South Wales, was carefully weighed, that for lighting up and raising steam being kept separate from that used during the trips, which latter for convenience was put into bags weighing 84 lbs. each.

_________________________Compound and Non-Compound Locomotives ------------ Results of Trials._________________________

1 April 1891. Engine
No. 2524.
No. 50
Saving by
Compound Engine.
Mean weight of train
including engine and
tender . . . .
768.85 tons 767.565 tons
excluding engine and
tender . . . .
693.25 tons 691.715 tons
Ratio of weight of engine and tender
to weight of train
1 to 9.17 1 to 9.12
Number of axles in train, including engine and tender . . . 120 120
Mean speed, miles per hour . . 17.74 miles (sic) 17.74 miles (sic)
Maximum speed, miles per hour 34 miles 34 miles
Total length of four trips 96 miles 96 miles
Coal for lighting up and raising steam 1,039 lbs. 1,039 lbs. Per cent.
Coal consumed on trips 5,824 lbs. 4,162 lbs. 23.38
Total Coal consumed, including
steam raising
6,863 lbs. 5,501 lbs. 19.84
Coal consumed per mile
excluding steam raising 60.66 lbs. 46.48 lbs. 23.38
including steam raising 71.49 lbs. 57.30 lbs. 19.84
Total Water Evaporated 54,520 lbs. 41,125 lbs. 24.5
Water evaporated per pound of coal
excluding steam raising 9.36 lbs. 9.21 lbs.
including steam raising 7.94 lbs. 7.47 lbs
Total Ton-miles
including weight of engine
and tender
73,809.6 73,686.24
excluding weight of engine
and tender
66,552.0 66,404.64
Coal consumed per mile per ton of train Per cent.
Including weight of engine
and tender, and
excluding steam raising 1.262 oz. 0.969 oz. 23.2
including steam raising 1.487 oz. 1.194 oz. 19.7
Excluding weight of engine
and tender, and
excluding steam raising 1.400 oz. 1.075 oz. 23.2
including steam raising 1.650 oz. 1.325 oz. 19.7
Maximum pull on drawbar
at starting
10.75 tons 11.5 tons
while running 7.25 tons 6.6 tons
Highest indicated horse-power developed 608.6 I.H.P. 656 I.H.P.

Every care was taken to ensure the perfect accuracy of all the particulars taken during each trip, an assistant being stationed on each engine to take the steam pressures, measure the quantity of water used, and note the number of bags of coal used. Indicator diagrams were taken simultaneously on each engine at intervals in going up the banks on all the trips; and the pull on the engine drawbar and the speeds were accurately registered in the dynamometer car. The steepest gradient was 1 in 177. At the end of the trials a small fire only was in each of the fire-boxes, and the water level in the boilers was the same as at the start.

In page 460 is given a detail statement showing speeds, coal consumption, weight of trains, &c. The slight difference in the mean weight of the two trains is due to several wagons in No. 1 train having to be removed at the end of the second trip (Stafford to Crewe), owing to hot axles; and fresh wagons were put in their places, which on being weighed afterwards were found to be rather lighter than those removed.

Lancashire Watch Works, Prescot

Lancashire Watch Works

The industry of watch-making was first introduced into England during the Commonwealth, nearly two hundred and fifty years ago; and the trade seems soon afterwards to have been established in Prescot, and to have progressed concurrently with the development of the watch itself. All the other centres of watch-making in England, including London, Coventry, Birmingham, and Liverpool, have been dependent on Prescot makers for the foundation of the watch, called the movement, which consists of the frames, barrels, fusses, detent works, indexes, silver pieces, wheels, pinions, ratchets, springs, &c. Besides the movements, other branches of watch-making wore carried on in Prescot, such as the manufacture of balances, hands, rollers, levers, pallets and wheels, verges and motions. Ships' chronometer movements have likewise been manufactured here; and watch-tool making had its seat in the locality.

The buildings of the Lancashire Watch Co., which was established in 1889, occupy a rectangular plot of ground of about eleven and a half acres. When completed the front building will be 440 feet long by 28 feet wide and four storeys high, the central portion forming the administrative department. Behind the whole length of this building, and separated from it by areas for light, will be the main works corridor, 20 feet wide, from which the different workshops will be entered. The latter will be placed with their length at right angles to the corridor, and are intended to be seven in number; the outer will be three storeys in height, and the inner one storey. The rear of all the workshops is intended to be connected together by a rope-race for the transmission of power by cotton ropes, the areas between the workshops being approached through archways. The steam engines, boilers, and electric-lighting plant are intended to be in the centre of this rope-race.

The buildings already completed consist of one of the three-storey outer workshops and two of the one-storey inner shops, occupying a space of 300 feet by 260 feet, and having a total floor area of 59,325 square feet. The three-storey workshop is 300 feet long by 28 feet wide. The large one-storey workshop is 336 feet long by 100 feet wide, a portion at one end being temporarily divided off for the present engine and boiler and other purposes. The smaller one-storey workshop is 256 feet long and 45 feet wide. The present offices are contained in what will ultimately be the main works corridor.

The sidewalls of all the workshops are constructed of cast-iron stanchions, filled in to a height of three feet above each floor with brickwork, and over this with glass in wood frames, so that continuous windows are formed the whole length of each side. The ground floors are solid, formed with a layer of ballasting and a layer of Portland cement concrete. The upper floors are fire-proof, with steel girders supported on cast-iron columns. The three-storey workshop has an ordinary slated roof, but the one-storey workshops have saw-tooth shed roofs, with large skylights facing the north. Blackman air-propellers are used for ventilation; and the outlet ventilators are of the induced-current kind, preventing down-draft. The buildings are heated throughout by steam generated in a boiler 30 feet by 8 feet.

The motive power is provided by a locomotive-type boiler, working at 140 lbs. pressure, and supplying steam to a Marshall compound engine capable of developing 80 horse-power, from which the various shafts are driven by cotton ropes working in iron grooved pulleys. The shafting is of steel throughout, and the belt pulleys being made in halves will fit on it anywhere.

The work benches have wood tops 2 1/2 feet wide, carried on cast-iron standards, which are secured to the floor-boards and joists. The total area of bench tops is 14,480 square feet. Gas is used at present for lighting.

The smaller one-storey workshop is used for making tools, and has joiners' shop and smithy partitioned off at one end; it provides accommodation for about 100 mechanics. The larger one-storey workshop is employed in the making of watch movements, with accommodation for about 600 workpeople. The first floor of the three-storey workshop contains the flat-steel and stem-winding departments; the second floor is used for jewelling, gilding, and escapement and balance making; and the third floor for assembling-room, and dial and hand making. These three storeys give space for the employment of 700 workpeople. The press room is on the ground floor. The factory as it at present stands provides accommodation for at least 1,500 workpeople, and turns out now a minimum of 500 complete watches a day.

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Sources of Information