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Note: This is a sub-section of the 1908 Iron and Steel Institute
The new docks and shipbuilding yards which have been constructed by Smith's Dock Company have a frontage to the river Tees of 800 feet, and are the largest works of their kind on the Tees. Dock No. 1 is 550 feet long, the width between the entrance walls being 67 feet, and the depth upon the sills at highs water of ordinary spring tides 26 feet. Dock No. 2 is 450 feet long, 61 feet wide-between entrance walls, and 26 feet deep on the sill at high water. Provision has been made for extensions, the inner ends of the docks having been designed so as to allow of their being moved further in if it should become necessary to secure greater length. It may be added that the width of the dock entrance is the actual available width of the dock, whilst ample height for the blocks in the dock floors has been provided for, as the dock floors will be 4i feet below the sill. The new shipyard will be spacious enough to allow of the simultaneous building of no fewer than twelve to eighteen trawlers of the largest class, whilst the whole frontage of 800 feet will be available for berthing vessels undergoing repairs, but which do not require docking. Besides the foregoing, a repairing wharf is being provided at right angles to the river, with a wet dock in front for the accommodation of vessels lying up for intended repairs. The cost of the entire enterprise will be about a quarter of a million sterling.
On Friday, October 2, a party of sixty-two members, under the guidance of Mr. A. B. Gridley, manager of the Cleveland and Durham County Electric Power Co., left Middlesbrough at 9 A.M. on a visit to the power stations of the Cleveland and Durham Power Co. and the Newcastle-uponTyne Electric Supply Co. Electric supply on the North-East Coast is being developed by three companies—the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Supply Co., the County of Durham Electric Poser Co., and the Cleveland and Durham County Electric Power Co. These three companies work on similar lines and operate over an area extending from Blyth in Northumberland to Loftus in Cleveland, serving the Northumberland and Durham coalfields and Tyne and Tees-side industrial centres and the Cleveland iron-mining district in Yorkshire. The main transmission systems of these companies are all inter-connected, so that there is one continuous line of cables from Blyth to Loftus, via Newcastle, Durham, Hartlepool, Stockton, and Middlesbrough, this being the longest continuous cable route in the country. Electric energy in the form of 3-phase 40 cycle current is fed into this common main system from several power stations.
Arriving at Newport at 9.4 A.M., the party was divided into groups, which were then conducted by their respective guides over the Exhaust-steam Driven Electric Power Station on the premises of Messrs. Sir B. Samuelson and Co., Ltd., and the electrically driven riverside pumping station in connection therewith.
The capacity of this station is 4000 electrical horse-power. The main equipment consists of two 1650 electrical horse-power turbo-alternators driven by exhaust steam from the blowing-engines at Messrs. Samuelson's ironworks. Before passing into the turbines, the temperature of the steam is, however, raised slightly in a superheater fired with blast-furnace gas. A! 700 horse-power turbo-alternator, driven by high-pressure steam, has also been erected in the turbine-house. This machine obtains high-pressure steam from the adjacent boilers belonging to Messrs. Samuelson, and is arranged to exhaust into the condenser attached to one of the low-pressure turbines. Each turbine exhausts into a surface condenser, circulating water for which is obtained from a pump-house on the riverside quay where two motor-driven pumps, each capable of dealing with 636,000 gallons per hour, are installed.
The current generated at 3000 volts, 3-phase 40 cycles per second, is transformed up to 11,000 volts in a sub-station containing three 1350 electrical horse-power transformers situated at the east end of the works. From the sub-station the current is fed into the Power Company's network of high-tension mains. The 1650 horse-power alternators are duplicates of those at the Weardale Station described below. This size is chosen because it is the largest machine that can be built for a speed of 2400 revolutions per minute, a relatively high speed being favourable to turbine economy.
The party left Newport at 9.50, and on arrival at Spennymoor at 10.30 were conducted over the Weardale Power Station. The capacity of this station is 6650 electrical horse-power, it being equipped with four " Nesdrum " water tube boilers, economisers, fans, &c., and four turbo-alternators of 1650 electrical horse-power, each of which generate electric energy at 3000 volts and 40 cycles per second. In the basement there are installed two sets of condensing plants, each set being coupled to two turbines. The condensers are of Richardsons, Westgarth's " contra-flo" surface type, with Edwards' type three-throw air pumps, designed to maintain a 90 per cent. vacuum. The condensing water for these is cooled in two cooling towers of the natural draught type by the same makers. The current is taken direct to a sub-station, having installed five 1350 electrical horse-power static transformers, which transform the current to 20,000 volts for transmission to the north and also by overhead line to the south. A motor generator is installed in the engine-house to supply the local direct current load.
The journey was resumed at 11.50 A.M.; the special train conveying the party arriving at Newcastle-upon-Tyne at 12.58 P.M.
The visitors then proceeded to the Central Station Hotel, where luncheon had been provided by the Local Reception Committee. Dr. J. T. Merz, Chairman of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Supply Co., Ltd., made a short speech of welcome, which was responded to on behalf of the visitors by Lieutenant-Colonel Hawdon. At 2.30 P.M. the party was conveyed by special electric train from Newcastle Station to Carville. Here the visitors were met by guides and conducted in groups through the Carville Power Station.
The Carville Power Station, which has a total capacity of 56,000 horsepower in plant installed, consists of the turbine-house and three boiler-houses placed at right angles to the turbine-house. Each boiler-house is complete in itself, with coal bunkers, boilers, mechanical stokers, economisers, induced draught fans, feed pumps, ash conveyers, &c. Coal is brought in by overhead sidings, and water for condensing is pumped up to the station from a pump-house at the river side. With the exception of the feed pumps all the auxiliary machinery is electrically driven. Each boiler-house accommodates ten Babcock & Wilcox marine type water tube boilers, or eight Stirling water tube boilers, making twenty-six in all. Each boiler is fitted with a chain grate stoker, fed with coal direct from overhead bunkers. The draught is on the " induced" system maintained by means of " Sirocco" fans driven by electric motors. The ashes pass from the grates into hoppers, which deliver direct on to longitudinal tray conveyers running in tunnels under the boilers. They are thence delivered into skips and hoisted up an inclined way to be finally dumped direct into railway wagons. The engine-house contains eight Parsons turbo-alternators of 7000 horse-power each, with condensers and air pumps beneath. The alternators run at 1200 revolutions per minute, and generate three-phase current at 6000 volts and 40 complete cycles per second. Each alternator supplies current at a reduced voltage by means of a transformer to its own auxiliaries, which include air pump, circulating pump, ventilating fan, and motor for operating main exhaust valve, and also to the corresponding auxiliaries for the boilers supplying the steam. There are in all forty-seven switches, each capable of controlling circuits normally carrying 10,000 horse-power. The whole system is operated and controlled from the control room situated at the station, but not in the main building, although in communication therewith by a gangway, by the " System Engineer," who is in direct telephonic communication with each sub-station in the area, which now covers some 700 square miles. The control room contains a large diagram of the whole system upon Which a record is kept of the position of all switches. Adjacent to the control room are the operation offices and telephone exchange, from which the large private telephone system of the company is operated. In the sub-station near the control room are installed two large step-up transformers for raising the pressure from 6000 to 20,000 volts for transmission to the extreme north and south of the area. The transformers are of the oil immersed air cooled type, each of 3300 electrical horse-power. There are in all eight transformers of this size on the system. At the north end of the power station there is a step-down sub-station of 4000 horse-power capacity, which supplies current to the adjoining works of Messrs. Swan, Hunter, and the Parsons Marine Steam Turbine Co. The circulating water pumps, seven in number, are of the centrifugal type, with vertical shafts, and are each capable of delivering into the 48-inch mains 400,000 gallons of water per hour at any state of the tide. In addition, in the old pump-house, which now acts as a stand-by, are installed two Gwynne pumps of 800,000 gallons capacity each, and two vertical shaft pumps of 400,000 gallons capacity. There are several sub-stations attached to the works, including one for the supply of current to the North-Eastern Railway Co.'s electrified line.
At the conclusion of the inspection light refreshments were provided and the visitors left Carville Railway Station by special train at 4.15 P.M.
On, the afternoon of Tuesday, September 29, a special corridor train was provided for the conveyance to Grangetown of the large party who joined in the visit to Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co.'s Cleveland Steel Works. Much interest was taken in the visit, and about three hundred members attended. They were conducted round the whole of the plant by Mr. Arthur Windsor Richards (Works Manager), Messrs. T. Davies, G. Bellwood, C. Jones, J. Webb, D. Wilson, T. Prosser, W. Anderson, A. Stainsby, and a large staff of guides. The rail and plate mills were examined with interest, and after a tour of the works the guests were entertained by the firm to light refreshments, in the offices, where Mr. A. Tannett Walker, Vice-President, proposed a vote of thanks to Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., Ltd., for their hospitality, and to Mr. Arthur Windsor Richards personally for his kindness and courtesy. Mr. Richards, in reply, said he had been delighted to see them. It was rather an anxiety to get so large a party through the works without accident, but that had been accomplished, and he was glad to think that those present had been interested in what they had seen.
The works of Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., Ltd., are situated on the south side of the river Tees, about three miles from Middlesbrough, and comprise blast-furnaces, steelworks, and ironstone mines.
Blast-furnaces.— These are in six groups, twenty-five furnaces in all, of which nineteen are in operation, with the necessary hot-blast stoves, calcining kilns, blowing-engines, boilers, &c. Three of the furnaces are mechanically charged, the remainder being charged by manual labour. Several grades of iron are produced, viz. Cleveland, haematite, spiegeleisen, and ferro-manganese, the total output of all grades of iron being about 800,000 tons per annum.
There is in course of construction an installation of exhaust steam-turbines for generating electricity and for compressing air for the blast-furnaces.
One-half of the Cleveland ironstone used is conveyed over the company's private railway from their mines at Eston to the calcining kilns, a distance of a miles, the remainder of the ironstone required being brought from their mines near Saltburn. The total output of ironstone from the company's mines is about 2,000,000 tons per annum.
The haematite and other imported ores are discharged at the company's own wharf, which has a river frontage of about 1750 feet.
Steelworks.— The manufacture of steel is carried out by the following processes :—Acid and basic open-hearth, acid Bessemer, and the improved basic Bessemer process invented by Dr. Massenez, described before the Iron and Steel Institute in May 1907 by Mr. Arthur W. Richards.
There are two metal mixers, each of 150 tons capacity; ten converters, each with a capacity of from 8 to 15 tons; seven open-hearth furnaces, each with a capacity of from 20 to 60 tons; one 48-inch blooming-mill for rails, &e.; one 60-inch slabbing-mill for plates; one rail-mill for ordinary rails from 40 to 100 lbs. per yard, if required, by 60 feet long, also steel sleepers, joists, and merchant sections; one small mill for all sections of fishplates, light rails, &c., up to 40 lbs. per yard; two plate-mills, one capable of turning out plates from I inch to 3 inches thick by 108 inches wide, and the other mill from inch to 1 inch thick by 84 inches wide; the rail-finishing department contains all the necessary machines for preparing the rails, &c., for shipment.
At the open-hearth furnaces a very powerful Wellman platform charging machine has been at work for about twelve months.
The greater part of the auxiliary machines in the steel and iron works is electrically driven, the current being three-phase alternating and supplied from the company's own power station.
The total output of finished steel is 212,000 tons per annum. The company also own extensive collieries in the Durham coalfield, about thirty miles from Middlesbrough, the output from which is approximately 3,000,000 tons per annum.
The total number of men employed under the company is about 18,000.
Nearly 250 members of the Institute visited Messrs Dorman, Long and Co.'s Britannia Works, Middlesbrough, on the afternoon of Tuesday, September 29. On arrival numerous small parties were formed, and each, under expert guidance, inspected every department of the great establishment.
Among those who officiated as guides were Mr. A. M. Mosscrop, general manager; Mr. A. H. Cooper, general manager of the Clarence Steel Works; Messrs. A. Dorman, L. Ennis, C. Moody, R. Gray, R. Bedford, F. Tomlinson, R. Jameson, S. A. Roberts, R. Patterson, J. A. Russell, H. Fawcett, A. Wood, J. Douglas, C. Brown, C. Sladen, J. Rider, and Kirkhouse. The visitors were shown the electrical drive of the reversing rolling-mill, the first erected in this country. The mill is in process of erection, and the drive has been completed by the Electrical Co., Ltd. Much interest was also taken in the bridge and constructional shops, which are the largest of their kind in Europe. A copy of the company's "Pocket Companion," containing much useful information, was presented to each of the visitors, who, at the conclusion of the visit, were entertained to tea and light refreshments.
The Britannia Works of the company comprise steel furnaces, rolling-mills, and constructional and bridge shops. The steel is made by the basic open-hearth process, and is rolled into sections of all descriptions for use in engineering, shipbuilding, general constructional work, and allied trades. The sections rolled include beams 24 inches by 7.5 inches to 4 inches by 3 inches; channels 15 inches by 4 inches to 4 inches by 3 inches; angles 8 inches by 8 inches to 3 inches by 3 inches; bulb angles 11 inches by 3.5 inches to 5 inches by 3 inches, and a number of other special sections. The average output of the steel furnaces per week is about 3300 tons of ingots. The average output of the mills per week is 2800 tons of finished material, while the constructional shops have an average output of about 3000 tons of finished work per month. The equipment of the steel furnaces consists of eleven furnaces, two of 80 tons capacity, one of which has just recently been completed; three of 50 tons capacity, and six of about 40 tons. At one end of the furnaces is a gas-fired mixer of 300 tons capacity; and at the other end of the shop, just nearing completion, is another gas-fired mixer of 400 tons capacity.
Molten metal is brought from the blast-furnaces in ladles, charged to the mixers by 30-ton electric cranes, and is drawn from the mixers for use in the furnaces as required. The pig iron used is Cleveland iron. On the pit side the method of teeming is from ladles into moulds in the furnace pits. The moulds are stripped by steam travelling-cranes running on the tapping floor level, and, after being stripped, are placed on cars and run to the soaking pits. The soaking pits are of both types—gas-fired and coal-fired—served with a single crane, overhead type, which charges and draws, and handles its own doors. This crane is one of the few of its kind in Great Britain, though it is of a type generally used in the United States and on the Continent. The cogging-mill is a 40-inch mill serving two finishing-mills, one a 32-inch mill and the other a 29-inch mill, all of the two-high type.
All blooms from the togging-mill are sent to the wash heating furnaces, and are reheated before rolling in the finishing-mill. The togging-mill works continuously, but the finishing-mills alternately; when one mill is in operation, rolls are being changed in the other mill. The equipment of the mills is perhaps notable for the three-cylinder type of marine engine driving the finishing-mills, which is of 16,000 horse-power. The mills are equipped with overhead electric cranes for all roll-changing. It is thought that the improvement just completed in connection with the steel furnaces, involving the construction of an 80-ton steel furnace and a 400-ton mixer, including overhead charging machine having both a vertical lift and rocking motion in the charging arm, comprises the most modern and up-to-date practice.
The constructional and bridge department is the best-equipped shop of its nature in Great Britain, and has no equal on the Continent. The shops are 540 feet in length, and consist of four bays, three of which are 65 feet wide and one 75 feet wide, with several " lean-to's " for special work. Each bay of the main shop is commanded by two fast-travelling overhead electric cranes besides independent small cranes.
Many novel features and improvements have been incorporated during the past five years. It is equipped with the most modern tools, the bulk of which have independent motor drives. The shops are provided with the latest pneumatic and hydraulic appliances, one duplex air-compressor with a capacity of 1200 cubic feet of free air per minute supplying the air, while the hydraulic pressure of 800 lbs. per square inch is furnished by a motordriven three-throw pump. The shops are well lighted. The current for both lighting and power purposes is generated at the company's own central station at their steelworks.
SHEET DEPARTMENT, MIDDLESBROUGH— The works comprise: six sheet mills, four galvanising baths, sixteen puddling-furnaces, two ball-furnaces. The capacity is 20,000 tons per annum of finished sheets, mostly iron, for roofing and other purposes, including guttering, ridging, louvres, downcomers, &c. 470 men and boys are employed.
A party of visitors also inspected the works of Messrs. Gjers, Mills & Co. and were shown round by Messrs. Gjers, Chambers, and Mills. They were shown the new cranes for the pig beds, and the breaker for pig iron. They also inspected the large cranes used by the firm for stocking ore.
The works were erected by the late Mr. John Gjers, and converted into a private limited company in 1901. They are situate in the West Marsh district, about one mile from Middlesbrough Station on the North-Eastern Railway, from which railway sidings run into the works. The Company also have a private wharf on the river Tees.
The plant consists of four blast-furnaces, 85 feet high and 21 feet diameter at the bushes. These furnaces are hand charged, the material being taken to the charging platform by a pneumatic hoist, "Gjers " type, which is simple and effective in operation, consisting of a cylindrical upright fitted with pistons which are operated by a diagonal engine having two single air cylinders. There are eight calcining kilns of the " Gjers" type. It should be noted that this kiln, which was designed by the late Mr. Gjers, is with more or less slight modifications the type commonly in use in the Cleveland district, and now generally known as the "Cleveland" kiln. The kilns at Ayresome Works are, except when employed in connection with making foundry irons, used for storage bins.
The stoves are of the " Gjers" cast-iron pipe type, now seldom seen in use, but found very satisfactory in working.
A striking feature of the works' plant is the recently erected and very complete equipment of cranes for dealing with pigs at the bed and at the stocking ground, as also for the handling of raw material. The electrical equipment, which was supplied by Messrs. Warren, Beattie & Company, is arranged for working on a 220-volt continuous-current circuit.
A number of members of the Institute were conveyed in brakes from the Town Hall to the works of the Linthorpe-Dinsdale Smelting Co., Ltd., where they were met by Mr. Penry Williams, Managing Director, and Mr. George Hedley, Works Manager. Under the guidance of these gentlemen, the visitors subsequently inspected the works, which are owned by the Linthorpe-Dinsdale Smelting Co., Ltd., and are situated to the west of the town of Middlesbrough, and about one mile from the railway station. They consist of six blast-furnaces with the necessary engines, stoves, &c., and a modern electrical generating plant. The furnaces are employed making haematite pig iron from imported ore, which is discharged at their own wharf adjoining the works.
Nearly 300 members visited these works on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 30. On their arrival they were met by Messrs. B. Talbot, J. J. Burton, and Walter Crooke, under whose guidance the various departments were subsequently visited, while each of the visitors was presented with a tastefully printed description of the various departments as a souvenir of their visit.
The works are situated on the south bank of the river Tees, about two miles from Middlesbrough, and consist of blast-furnaces, coke-ovens, and by-product plant, steel furnaces and rolling-mills.
The ore smelted at the blast-furnaces is produced at the company's own mines at Liverton, in Cleveland.
The capacity of the blast-furnaces is about 2500 tons per week of molten metal, and the furnaces are fed with coke manufactured at the company's own coke-ovens at the blast-furnaces.
From the blast-furnaces and cupolas the hot metal is taken in ladles direct to the steelworks, where it is converted into ingot steel by four furnaces of an average capacity of 175 tons each. The method employed is the Talbot continuous process, and the steel produced is Siemens-Martin basic open-hearth, which is cast into ingots of a varying weight of from 2 tons to 5 tons 10 cwts. The ingots are charged into soaking-pits, and afterwards rolled in a 40-inch blooming-mill. The blooms are then taken and reheated, and finished off into various sections suitable for shipbuilding, bridge work, and general engineering. The capacity of the mills is from 2500 tons to 3500 tons per week.
The sections of joists rolled are British standard, ranging up to 24 inches by 7i inches. The majority of the British standards for shipbuilding, channels, angles, and bulb-angles are also being rolled, and additional sections are being cut as time permits and demand justifies.
As ample room is provided on the hot banks and cold banks to deal with large quantities of material, every facility is given at the works for testing and examination of the bars manufactured.
The firm is at present supplying material to the Admiralty, Board of Trade, British Corporation, Lloyd's, German Lloyd's, Norske Veritas, Bureau Veritas, and Indian States specifications, and to the requirements of all the principal engineering surveyors.
The latest departure of the company is the manufacture of basic open-hearth rails from steel made by the continuous process. This has opened up a new field in rail-making, and the rails manufactured are giving more satisfactory results than by any other process known.
Shipment can be effected at the company's own wharf on the river Tees, where boats of a capacity up to 5000 tons mn be loaded, and also at the Middlesbrough docks.
BELL BROTHERS, LTD.-On the afternoon of Wednesday, September 30, about two hundred members of the Institute paid a visit to Messrs. Bell Brothers' Works, and to Messrs. Dorman, Long & Co.'s Steelworks at Port Clarence. Sir Hugh Bell, Bart., who was accompanied by Sir William White, ex-Director of Naval Construction, was among the party. Amongst the gentlemen officiating as guides were Mr. Maurice Bell and Mr. W. L. Johnson, Directors; Mr. Greville Jones, Works Manager; Mr. E. D. Morgan, Engineer; Mr. Hanson, Chemist; and Mr. Fletcher, Head Draughtsman, of Messrs. Bell Bros., Ltd.; and Mr. Arthur H. Cooper, General Manager; Mr. D. Jones, Steelworks Manager; Mr. Spencer, Assistant Mill Manager; and Mr. Douglas, Head Draughtsman, of Messrs. Dorman, Long & Co., Ltd. The visit commenced with an inspection of Bell Bros. Old Side blast-furnaces, from whence the party visited the New Side furnaces and the coke ovens. Subsequently a visit was paid to Dorman, Long & Co.'s Clarence Steelworks, first to the new mixer and the melting furnaces, and then to the rail mill and finishing banks. At the conclusion of the visit the company embarked on a Tees Conservancy steamer for the ceremony at Smith's Docks.
Bell Brothers' works are situated on the north or Durham side of the river Tees. They are connected with the Port Clarence branch of the North-Eastern Railway, and are also reached from Middlesbrough by the Corporation steam ferry. They are divided into two parts, namely, the "Old Side" with eight blast-furnaces, and the "New Side" with four.
The Old Side furnaces are 80 feet high, by 17 to 25 feet diameter at the bosh, and 9 to 12 feet at the hearth. There are four hydraulic hoists. Blast is supplied to the furnaces by five vertical simple non-condensing engines, of which two, having 36-inch steam and 100-inch air cylinders, with 54 inches stroke, wore built by Messrs. Cochrane, Grove & Co., and three, having 42-inch steam and 100-inch air cylinders, with 60 inches stroke, by Messrs. Kitson & Co. Steam is supplied at a pressure of 90 lbs. per square inch by sixteen three-flue " Beeley " boilers, each being 30 feet long by 8 feet diameter. These are arranged in two rows, and are heated by the furnace gases; in case of necessity they can be fired by hand. They are fed by feed pumps. The blast is heated to a temperature of about 1400° F. by twenty " Cowper " stoves, each being 62) feet to the springing of the dome, and 21 feet diameter. Behind the furnaces is a row of sixteen kilns, 24 feet outside diameter by 40 feet high, for calcining the Cleveland ore, which is exclusively used, and is obtained from the firm's own mines near Guisborough, Skelton, Saltburn, and Carlin How. The loaded trucks reach the top of the gantry by a long incline, and subsequently descend the same way. Behind and parallel to the calcining kilns is a row of bunkers surmounted by a gantry, to which access is obtained by the same incline.
The New Side furnaces are each 80 feet high by 21) feet diameter at the bosh, and 11 and 12 feet at the hearth. There are two hydraulic hoists. The four blowing-engines are compound-condensing, the steam cylinders 48-inch high pressure and 84-inch low pressure; and the blowing cylinders, 84 inches, with a stroke of 60 inches, are by Messrs. Richardsons, Westgarth & Co., Ltd. The exhaust steam passes through a heater, where it raises the temperature of the feed-water to 212° F. Steam is supplied at a pressure of 90 lbs. per square inch by eleven " Beeley" boilers—nine being 30 feet long and 8 feet diameter, and two 30 feet by 8 feet 6 inches. All are heated by the furnace gases. The blast is heated by sixteen " Cowper " stoves of similar dimensions to those already described.
Behind the furnaces is a row of calcining kilns and bunkers, the gantry being approached by an incline. The number of kilns available is fourteen, 24 feet diameter by 45 feet high.
The hydraulic plant for working the furnace hoists at both sides consists of five double hydraulic pumps, with 16 by 17f inch steam cylinder and 3) inch ram, working in connection with four accumulators, the rams varying from 17 to 20 inches, loaded to give a pressure of 850 lbs. per square inch.
There are twelve "Cameron" pumps, two "Mather & Platt" electrical pumps, and four "Gwynne" pumps for pumping tuyere and other water. The Le Chatelier pyrometer and Uehling recording pyrometer are in regular use at these works. By means of these instruments the temperature of the blast or of the gases in the downcomer of any furnace can be readily ascertained. In connection with the first-named pyrometer there are two photographic instruments for special use.
Coke-ovens.—There are two batteries, each of sixty "Huessener" coke-ovens (with plant for the recovery of by-products), for the manufacture of coke for the blast-furnaces.
The "Huessener" oven is a rectangular chamber, usually 33 feet long, 6 feet 8 inches high, tapering slightly to one end, the mean width being 20 inches. The by-products recovered are tar, sulphate of ammonia, 90 per cent. benzol, pure benzol, toluol, solvent naphtha, &c.
A tar distillation plant has been put to work within the past two months, the following by-products being recovered : Creosote oil, naphthalene, anthracene oil, dehydrated tar and pitch.
The iron for the steelworks is brought direct from the blast-furnaces in the molten state and poured into a gas-fired mixer of 400 tons capacity, whence it is taken to the Siemens-Martin furnaces, of which there are eight, each having a capacity of 45 tons. The ladle containing 25 tons of molten metal from the mixer, on arriving in front of the steel furnaces, is lifted up on hydraulic tables and poured into the furnaces by hydraulic cylinders.
Rolling-mills.—The ingots are taken from the steel works and placed in coaland gas-fired soaking pits by two 5-ton electrically driven cranes, from whence they are taken to the rolling-mills, which consist of three stands of three-high rolls 34 inches diameter. The cogging rolls are driven by a vertical compound-condensing engine, having the high-pressure cylinder 32 inches, low-pressure cylinder 64 inches, with 60-inch stroke, the diameter of the fly-wheel being 22 feet. The roughing and finishing rolls are driven by a horizontal compound-condensing engine (by Messrs. Hick, Hargreaves & Co. ), having cylinders, high pressure 38 inches, and low pressure 72 inches, with 60-inch stroke. A 100-ton electrically driven overhead crane is provided for changing rolls, so that the mill can be readily changed to roll various sections. Duplicate standards are also provided, and a set is always ready fitted up with rolls and guides for the next section to be rolled. The blooms are cropped and cut to the required lengths by a pair of specially designed hydraulic shears. The blooms then go on to electrically driven lifting-tables, which move them to each pass in the rolls. When the finished bar is rolled it is taken by live rollers, also electrically driven, to the hot saws. There are three " hot banks " and two saws, the second one being placed 291 feet from the rolls.
The melting-shop department consists of a gas-heated metal mixer capable of holding 400 tons of molten iron, and eight open-hearth steel furnaces, each of 50 tons capacity. The bulk of the steel manufactured at these works is for special purposes in various carbons ranging from 0.08 per cent. to 1.5 per cent., a few of the specialities being soft steel for high-conductivity wire and locomotive tubes, and hard steel for saws, picks, wire ropes, files, edge tools &c.
The rolling-mills are three-high, and consist of three trains of rolls, viz. cogging, roughing, and finishing, the diameter of all three mills being 34 inches. The product of the mills is principally billets, bars, and slabs for the purposes above described.
WEST MARSH ROLLING-MILLS, MIDDLESBROUGH.— At these works the company is installing, as an addition to the existing guide-mill, a new 16-inch mill for rolling sections larger than those at present being rolled in the guide-mill, and smaller than can be readily rolled in their Britannia Mills. The mill forms part of an installation including a 28-inch cogging-mill, in which small ingots will be cogged down into blooms, which will afterwards be rolled down into sections in the 16-inch mill. The mill itself is contained in a building 450 feet in length by 107 feet in breadth, made and erected by Dorman, Long & Company's constructional department, the roof being formed of one span, so that there are no stanchions or pillars on the floor of the mill to interfere with working. Both the 28-inch cogging-mill and the 16-inch section-mill are being arranged to be driven electrically, and as they will also be reversing-mills, the "Ilgner " principle of driving has been adopted. For the 16-inch mill the Electrical Company (A. E. G., Berlin) have been entrusted with the work, whilst the motive plant for driving the cogging-mill is being supplied by the British Thomson-Houston Co., Ltd., of Rugby. The " Ilgner " system of electrical driving has been fully described in an article in Stahl und Eisen, and also in a paper read before the Iron and Steel Institute at the Vienna meeting last year. The 16-inch mill equipment includes a horizontal heating-furnace (Frederick Siemens' patent), cooling bank, skid gear, a complete set of live roller gear, saw, &c. The furnace will bo charged and the blooms drawn by means of a charging machine. The building is equipped with a 10-ton overhead crane, 105 feet span, travelling the full length of the building. For the 28-inch cogging-mill the ingots will be heated in a vertical heating-furnace. The 16-inch mill can be operated three-high continuously as well as two-high reversing, so as to permit the rolling of rounds and bars for ferro-concrete purposes to great advantage.
WIRE DEPARTMENT, MIDDLESBROUGH.—The Cleveland Wire Mills were put down in 1894 and 1895, and were the first large works associated with steel manufacture in Great Britain to be driven throughout (with the exception of the wire rod rolling-mill) by electricity. They are capable of producing 350 tons of wire rods (hard and soft) per week, and from 200 to 300 tons of wire, depending upon the sizes and qualities turned out. The main speciality of output consists of high-grade wire for ropes, hawsers, deep-sea and other purposes. The works employ 331 men and boys.
Nearly one hundred of the members of the Institute paid a visit to the North-Eastern Steelworks on Wednesday afternoon, September 30. They were met at the offices and conducted over the works by Mr. Arthur Cooper, Mr. F. W. Cooper, Mr. P. S. J. Cooper, Mr. Calderwood, Mr. Ridsdale, Mr. S. Marston, and Mr. Neil. They first visited the " mixer" plant, which has just been completed at a cost of over £60,000. The party were next taken through the Bessemer shop. They inspected the operations of casting steel into ingots in the Bessemer pit, and then passed on to the soaking furnaces and rail mills. The party was then taken to the Acklam Ironworks, which form the blast-furnace department of the North-Eastern Steel Company, and was shown the engine-houses and the operations of running iron and granulating slag. At the close of the visit a cordial vote of thanks was passed to the managing director and the officials who had shown them over the works.
The North-Eastern Steel Company's works were built in 1881-3 for the express purpose of making steel from phosphoric iron by the basic Bessemer process.
ACKLAM IRONWORKS. —The company acquired the Acklam Ironworks in 1896, the plant consisting of four blast-furnaces, which have since been entirely remodelled, special attention being paid to the boiler plant and blowing-engines, the latter of which are amongst the finest in the country. They are all of the vertical cross-compound condensing type, so arranged that any pair of engines can be coupled direct to any of the furnaces. The boiler plant consists of eleven horizontal three-fined boilers and eight Babcock and Wilcox water-tube boilers. Three furnaces are in blast making basic iron for the steelworks. The iron production is from 1400 to 1600 tons per furnace per week. There are three steam-driven vertical hoists leading to a charging platform common to all the furnaces. The stoves are of the " Cowper " type, fifteen in number, 21 feet diameter by 90 feet high, so arranged that five of them can be coupled to any one of the furnaces if desired. In connection with the blast-furnaces, there is a coke plant of fifty ovens of the " Semet-Solvay " type, complete with recovery plant for the by-products. The output of the ovens is about 1500 tons per week.
Steelworks. —The iron is taken from the blast-furnaces in 30-ton ladles to the two new 400-ton mixers which have just been erected, and thence to the Bessemer shop. There are four converters, each of 12 tons capacity. The output of steel is about 4000 tons per week. The slag is taken away from the converters in a molten state and dumped in the open. It is then conveyed to the slag-mill and ground into fine powder known commercially as " Thomas phosphate powder " or " basic slag." The weekly output of this by-product is about 1200 tons.
The rolling-mills consist of togging-mill, driven by geared engines and having rolls 36 inches diameter by 7 feet 6 inches long, No. 1 roughing-mill with rolls 30 inches diameter by 7 feet long, and No. 1 finishing-mill with rolls 30 inches diameter by 5 feet long. No. 1 mill is used for the production of ordinary B.H. and F.B. rails, small slabs, billets, tinbars, sole-plates, and sleeper plates. The No. 2 roughing-mill has rolls 36 inches diameter by 7 feet 6 inches long, and No. 2 finishing-mill has rolls 32 inches diameter by 7 feet long. These latter mills are used chiefly for rolling tram-rails and girders.
The Bessemer blowing and hydraulic engines and the togging-mill and No. 2 roughing-mill engines are all high-pressure condensing, and the other large mill engines are compound condensing, all the condensing being done at one central station. The air pumps draw the condensing water from the river Tees, and the aggregate of condensed steam and condensing water return by means of a large culvert to the river. From the mills the rails and girders are carried by rollers to the spacious hot banks, which are wholly covered in to prevent injury to the finished product by exposure to the weather or too sudden cooling. By this means it is found that the work of the straightening machines is kept within reasonable limits. From the hot banks the materials are skidded to the cold bank and passed to the various machines for straightening, grinding, and drilling, and thence they are taken by electric cars to the various commodious inspection and stocking benches which are commanded by 4-ton electric overhead travelling cranes with magnet lifters. The fishplate and soleplate shop is roomy and well furnished with up-to-date tools.
The product of the company's works is shipped on the Tees running alongside their northern boundary, and at the North-Eastern Railway Company's docks, about one and a half miles down the river. The North-Eastern Railway Company's lines provide the railway service required.
A party of the members visited Skinningrove Ironworks, where they were entertained to luncheon by the Local Reception Committee, on whose behalf Mr. T. C. Hutchinson, managing director, extended a most cordial welcome. Dr. W. A. Bone proposed "Success to the Skinningrove Company," coupled with the name of Mr. T. C. Hutchinson, to whose zeal and efforts as head of the company since its inception he paid a high tribute.
Mr. Hutchinson, in the course of his reply, explained what had been done by his firm, and Mr. A. F. Pease proposed the health of the visitors, on whose behalf Professor Armstrong replied.
Subsequently the visitors were shown round the works by Mr. T. C. Hutchinson and Mr. Alfred Hutchinson. They first inspected the steel plant now being erected, then they visited the cleaning belt, which is one of the features of the works, and afterwards the blast-furnaces and the jetty, whilst they had also pointed out to them the arrangement by which the ironstone from Skinningrove Mine was conveyed to the furnaces.
The Skinningrove Iron Works consist of five blast-furnaces, four of which are at present blowing. One furnace is out for relining.
Cleveland ore only is smelted at the works, as they are immediately adjacent to the mines from which the ore is worked; underground communication from the mine to a shaft on the company's land secures the ironstone without payment of railway carriage. Before the ironstone is delivered to the furnaces it passes over a cleaning belt, on which impurities are picked out mechanically. This process formed the subject of a paper read by the managing director at the Tuesday morning session of the Institute at the Victoria Hall, Middlesbrough.
The calcining kilns and stoves are of the ordinary description, and at present the blast-engines are steam driven, the waste gases from the furnaces being used under boilers.
The output at present is about 3000 tons of pig iron per week.
Twenty years ago the company constructed harbour works, enabling them to ship all their iron, which is carried by the company's steamers to Scotland and to Continental ports.
The recent development of basic open-hearth steel has induced the company to put down a Talbot furnace, which will be supplied with liquid metal direct from the blast-furnace. A gas-washing plant is being installed, and when completed the furnace-gas will be available for gas-engines. It is proposed to do part of the blowing by an electrically driven Bateau blower.
The works are situated fifteen miles from Middlesbrough.
These works, which were visited on the afternoon of Thursday, October 1, are situated at the extreme west end of Middlesbrough on the river Tees, and can be reached by rail or tram.
The firm are makers of pig iron and retort-oven coke, with their by-products. They have eight blast-furnaces, but the plant is. for practical working purposes a five-furnace plant, as the blowing-engines and other accessories are not capable of running snore than five furnaces under modern conditions. The weekly output is about 6000 tons.
Three of the furnaces are making Cleveland iron, and two furnaces are making haematite iron.
The chief objects of interest are as follows : One of the furnaces on Cleveland iron is of novel construction, being built of oval section from hearth to top. It was blown in in April 1907, and has worked with great regularity, giving satisfactory results, the object of this design having been attained, viz., ass increased make with the low blast-pressure from old blowing-engines. One of the haematite furnaces is driven by a "Parsons" turbo-blower.
In connection with the blast-furnaces is the generating plant of the Cleveland and Durham Electric Power, Ltd., who generate their power by low-pressure turbines driven from the exhaust steam of the blowing-engines, and by certain surplus high-pressure steam in a high-pressure turbine. The output of this plant is 3000 kilowatts from two low-pressure and one high-pressure turbine-alternators. Additions will be made to this plant.
There are 130 Otto-Hilgenstock and 70 Simon-Carves coke-ovens, making 4500 tons of coke per week, which is conveyed direct to the furnaces. The by-products are sulphate of ammonia, tar, and crude naphtha. There is a sulphuric acid plant, making 3300 tons of sulphuric acid per year, for use in making sulphate of ammonia at the works. The firm are just completing bins for the storage of about 40,000 tons of haematite ore. They are designed to hold in separate compartments ores of various kinds and qualities, which will be drawn and thoroughly mixed as required for the blast-furnaces.
Electric cranes with jibs of 43 feet radius, and designed for a working load of 4 tons, are being put down on one of the company's wharves, which is being lengthened and largely reconstructed for the purpose of dealing with the larger ships now trading in the river. The cranes will be easily capable of loading and unloading ships of 7000 tons capacity. The company has another and older wharf, which was formerly its principal wharf. This wharf, the berth of which has recently been re-dredged, will, on completion of the newer wharf, be used only for the smaller ships.
The Thornaby Ironworks adjoin Thornaby railway station on the North-Eastern Railway, and are about three miles from Middlesbrough station and docks. Sidings from the railway pass on each side of the works, and the company own a private wharf on the Tees 600 feet long, at which they are able to accommodate vessels up to 5000 tons. The wharf is served by six electric jib cranes, each of a lifting capacity of 3 tons, current being conveyed to them by means of bare mains, protected with wooden culverts, and collected by means of slipper brakes.
The Thornaby Ironworks were founded by Messrs. William and Thomas Whitwell in 1861, and converted into a limited liability company under the style of William Whitwell & Company, Limited, in 1887.
The three blast-furnaces are each 75 feet high, of a capacity of 16,000 cubic feet, and are each capable of producing over 1000 tons of haematite iron per week. The material, which is charged by hand into the furnaces, is elevated by means of an incline hoist, with a double lift, each lift being capable of raising four barrows at a time. This is a form of hoist seldom seen in present-day works, though it is found very efficient and economical in working. It is operated by two tail-end ropes which are driven through gear by two horizontal engines, with cylinders 14 inches in diameter and a 2 feet 6 inches stroke.
The blast is heated by fourteen stoves, seven of which are of the old pattern, 30 feet high by 22 feet in diameter, and seven of the improved Whitwell" type, 70 feet high by 22 feet in diameter. The stoves are fired with the waste gases from the furnaces, the average temperature being 1400° Fahr.
The rolling plant consists of twenty-six puddling, one bushelling, two ball, and sixteen mill furnaces, two 18-inch forge trains, one 7-inch, one 9-inch, one 10-inch, and one 14-inch mill trains. The products are angles up to 40 inches, by Se inch by inch, rounds, squares, flats, channels, convex bars, girder iron, horse-shoe iron, half-round bars, &c., &c. The company make a speciality of high-class irons.
The visitors to these works, on the afternoon of Thursday, October 1, were received by Mr. Tom Westgarth (managing director), Mr. Jackson (works manager), and his assistant, Mr. Key.
Richardsons, Westgarth & Co. Ltd. (works within five minutes of the station), are marine and general engineers, boilermakers, &c.; they also build steelworks plant, gas-engines of large size, tilting furnaces, &c., and most of the machinery, including the Talbot furnaces, the togging and finishing mills with their 18,000 indicated horse-power engines, also the complete installation of gas-driven blowing-engines at the Cargo Fleet Company's Works, were built by Richardsons, Westgarth & Co., Ltd. A variety of work was seen in progress, including a double cylinder, tandem gas-engine of 1700 indicated horse-power to drive an alternator for an ironworks; a Theisen gas washer; a set of quadruple expansion marine engines of 5500 horse-power, with corresponding boilers for 230 lbs. working pressure, each weighing about 90 tons, also various engine work, and a 250-ton rocking Talbot furnace. The works are driven electrically, and the power is generated on the spot by a Richardsons, Westgarth " Cockerill " type gasengine working on producer-gas, which was interesting to the visitors.
Over a hundred and sixty members of the Iron and Steel Institute left Middlesbrough by a special train at one o'clock on Thursday afternoon, for the purpose of inspecting the works of the Darlington Forge Company at Darlington.
On arriving at North Road Station they were conveyed in brakes to the forge, where the managing director, Mr. Thos. Putnam, J.P., and his co-directors, Messrs. Reginald Pease, J. F. Pease, T. M. Bouch, and J. G. Sheldon and the heads of the several departments devoted themselves to the task of showing the visitors around. The first objects of interest to attract attention on entering the works were the wooden models of the steel stern-frames, brackets, and rudders of the Mauretania and Lusitania, which were made by the firm, and weighed close upon 200 tons per set, and a 12-inch gun jacket forging, weighing 46 tons. After these were minutely examined the visitors were then taken through the steel foundries and fettling-sheds, forges and smithy, machine shops, press department, and the electric power station, where they saw in various stages of manufacture —from moulding-sheds to the shops where they are machined and finished— propeller shafts, crank shafts (of all sizes and forms), enormous gun jackets, steel castings, and other specialities for which the firm has acquired a high reputation. Particular interest was evinced in the steam-hammers and the 4000-ton steam hydraulic press, which were seen in actual operation. At the latter a large propeller shaft was being forged from a 36-ton ingot.
The firm is building a new 2500-ton hydraulic press for its own use. It will take ingots of larger diameter than the one referred to, but will not have such enormous crushing power. Hydraulic pressure, of course, immediately strengthens such things as propeller shafts, the most vital portion of a ship's mechanism.
The site of the works, which adjoins the main line of the North-Eastern Railway, is a commanding one, and possesses excellent rail facilities for the transport of material All the developments and extensions have been rapid and continuous, and to-day the works may be said to be second to none in the completeness of their equipment, and in the rapidity with which the very largest work can be executed.
At the conclusion of the visit light refreshments were provided, and an interesting souvenir in the form of a book containing views of work done, beautifully printed on art paper and bound in red leather, was presented to each of the visitors.
The firm are manufacturers of steel and iron forgin5s and steel castings for every class and variety of engineering work, either in the rough, rough-machined, or finished, including gun forgings up to any weight, crank and other shafts (solid or hollow forged), turbine drums, connecting-rods, forged rolls, stern-frames, rudders, keel and stem bars, anchors, &c. The steel castings are made by the open-hearth acid process, to any weight. Amongst the most recent large castings made and machined were the stern-frames, brackets, and rudders of the Cunard Company's turbine mail boats, Mauretania and Lusitania, referred to above.
The plant comprises: Thirteen steam-hammers, varying from 5 cwts. to 15 tons, with the necessary heating furnaces, boilers, sorting sheds, &c., a 4000-ton steam-hydraulic press, served by two 100-ton electric overhead cranes, five heating furnaces and boilers combined, annealing furnaces, &c. A similar press is in course of construction, the building containing these presses being 650 feet long by 100 feet wide.
Two steel foundries. The large foundry is 300 feet long by 100 feet wide, in two bays, and is served by two Siemens-Martin melting furnaces (50 and 60 tons respectively), four overhead electric cranes with a total lifting capacity of 220 tons, together with the necessary stoves, casting-pits, &c. The small foundry is served by two 7-ton melting furnaces and a 20-ton electric overhead crane. The annealing and dressing of castings is carried out in separate and specially constructed buildings.
Two machine shops. These shops are equipped with heavy planing, slotting, boring, turning, and other machines specially adapted for the particular class of work dealt with, and provided with electric overhead cranes.
The works are driven and lighted electrically throughout from the company's own generating station.
Established in 1862, the firm of Messrs. Sir Raylton Dixon & Co., Ltd., may be described as one of the pioneers of the shipbuilding trade in the North, and thanks to the progressive spirit which has always characterised the directors of this 'great enterprise, the Cleveland Dockyard now ranks as one of the largest, most up-to-date, and busiest yards in the district. The firm is engaged in all classes of shipbuilding, from first-class mail and passenger steamers, 500 feet long, down to steam trawlers, first-class cargo boats, and of late years their speciality has been the patent cantilever-framed boat, their clientele including such familiar names as the British Admiralty, Peninsular and Oriental Steamship Co., Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., Elder, Dempster & Co., British India Steamship Co. Lamport & Holt, Adelaide Steamship Co., Howard Smith Co., Ltd., Empreza Nacional, Hamburg South America Line, Hansa Co., German Australian Line, Chargeurs Reunis, Austrian Lloyds, &c.. The maximum annual output is 45,000 tons, an during the year 1907 there was launched from the yard shipping to the extent of 28,000 tons Board of Trade gross, of which nearly 23,000 tons were of patent cantilever type, and of which already in three years Sir Raylton Dixon & Co., Ltd., have built, and are building, eighteen steamers, aggregating over 100,000 tons deadweight, the largest of which was for the Adelaide Steamship Co., Ltd., of Australia- i.e. the Echunga, 8300 tons.
One English firm has placed three repeat orders, and four owners have contracted for repeats, whilst the popularity of this class of vessel has been such that the firm have granted licences to both British and foreign shipbuilders to build this type on payment of royalty. The work at present in progress at the Cleveland Dockyard includes:—
A large passenger steamer over 10,000 tons burden- the s.s. Vacari - for Liverpool owners, 502 feet long; the engines for which are being built by Messrs. Richardsons, Westgarth & Co., Ltd., Middlesbrough.
A steel twin-screw emigrant and passenger steamer with two funnels, named the Athinai, for Greek owners, 436 feet long, 7000 tons deadweight, the twin-screw engines for which have been built by the North-Eastern Marine Engineering Co., Ltd., of Wallsend-on-Tyne.
A patent cantilever-framed steamer, 373 feet long, with shelter deck, named the Konakry, with engines by the North-Eastern Marine Engineering Co., Ltd., of Sunderland; she will carry about 8000 tons deadweight, and is now ready for trial trip.
Another vessel of the same description and length as above for Sydney, N.S.W., engined by the North-Eastern Marine Engineering Co., Ltd., of Sunderland; and a patent cantilever-framed single deck steamer, the third of this type built for the same firm to carry over 3000 tons deadweight, with engines by Messrs. Richardsons, Westgarth & Co., Ltd., of Middlesbrough.
The Tees Dockyard, Middlesbrough, of Messrs. R. Craggs & Son; Ltd., is the oldest established in the shipbuilding businesses operating on the river or in the district, having been founded in 1832. It takes its style from the personality of the late Mr. Robert Craggs, who commenced business at Stockton-on-Tees. The business was removed to Middlesbrough in 1861, the management of the concern being in the able hands of Mr. Henry Foxton Craggs. Under his guidance the Middlesbrough site was purchased, two repairing slipways were equipped, and two or three building berths laid down. The shipbuilding side of the business developed to such an extent that in 1896 the freehold of the present site was purchased and up-to-date plant added, including a very complete central electrical power station for motive power, the firm being one of the first in this country to adopt this system. They have also a well-equipped hydraulic plant, including powerful cold-flanging machine, frame joggler, hydraulic press, hydraulic riveters, and other portable tools. There is also a very complete pneumatic plant which includes two large air compressors, from which are laid the pipes for carrying the compressed air to the numerous drilling, cutting, and caulking machines driven under this method. They have also a very complete system of travelling cranes, a special feature being the large berth cranes at present in the course of erection. One of these was seen already operating between two of the large building berths. With a capacity of 5 tons and a jib 65 feet long, it was capable of lifting all the material required for the construction of the hulls of the two boats building at either side. The building berths have been increased in size, and every appliance added to enable the yard successfully to undertake the largest class of work. The yard covers a total area of about 9 acres, and gives employment to about 1200 to 1300 men. The firm have ever been to the fore in adopting the most up-to-date methods employed in modern shipbuilding. It is not generally known that Messrs. Craggs were the first to use the overlap system of butt-plating inside and outside. They introduced this now universal practice in 1873. Again they early recognised the advantage, of scarfing. They were the first to purchase Messrs. Doxford's patent plant for carrying out the Bell-Rockliffe system of plating commonly known as " joggling." They have now come to the front again as pioneers of the new system of construction known as the Isherwood system. In this system the closely spaced transverse ribs which are familiar in ordinary vessels are omitted, and the transverse strength is obtained by fitting on the shell and deck plating a series of strong transverses at widely spaced intervals. These transverses extend completely round the sides, bottom, and deck of the ship, and are slotted to allow of longitudinal frames and beams being fitted continuously through the transverses. The new system enables steamers to be built of greater strength than ordinarily, and at the same time the deadweight-carrying capacity is considerably increased. The construction is simplified, and all parts are readily accessible, thus reducing maintenance repairs to a minimum, and offering greater facility for damage repairs. The first vessel to be built under this construction was the s.s. Paul Paix, an oil-tank steamer, built to the order of the Leonard's Carrying Co., Ltd., to carry about 6300 tons of oil. This vessel is now lying at their fitting-out wharf ready for receiving her engines and boilers. Upon the stocks there is another large steamer of the shelter deck type building for Liverpool owners. On the next berth is a patent coal barge, and on the third berth the firm has just laid down the keel of a second oil-boat. These three vessels are all designed on the same system.
The firm of Messrs. Blair & Co., Ltd., engineers and founders, Stockton-on-Tees, was originally founded in the fifties under the style of Fossick and Hackworth, and in 1865 was reconstructed as a private limited company, with the title of Fossick, Blair & Co., Ltd. Two or three years later Mr. Fossick retired, and the firm then assumed the present title, with Mr. George Y. Blair at its head, until 1894, when he died, and was succeeded by his son-in-law, Mr. Percy Blair. The latter gentleman died two years ago, and Mr. Walter Borrie, secretary to the company, was appointed to the position of managing director, Mr. G. E. Henderson, of Newcastle, being chairman of the Board of Directors. The firm of Blair & Co., Ltd., have supplied no mean proportion of the engine and boiler equipment for steam vessels built in the principal shipyards on the rivers Tees, Tyne, Wear, and Blyth, and have built and fitted on board at their wharves machinery for vessels constructed in Bristol, Scotch ports, Norway, Holland, and other shipbuilding centres on the Continent. They have also shipped machinery abroad for vessels built in Spain and other Continental ports. From the first the business has steadily and continuously expanded as indicated in the figures given below, representing their output for the last few years: 1902, twenty-three vessels, 39,200 indicated horse-power; 1903, twenty vessels, 39,000 indicated horse-power; 1904, twenty-five vessels, 46,600 indicated horse-power; 1905, thirty-five vessels, 63,400 indicated horsepower; 1906, forty vessels, 76,350 indicated horse-power; 1907, thirty-one vessels, 57,300 indicated horse-power. The works have an area of 23 acres, including a wharf frontage on the river Tees of 500 feet, the riverside department covering about 2 acres of ground, upon which are situated shear-legs capable of lifting upwards of 100 tons, with every facility for dealing expeditiously with the shipping and fitting on board of machinery.
The principal works, consisting of iron and brass foundries, forges, boiler shops, fitting and machine shop, &c., are situated in Norton Road, and are connected with the North-Eastern Railway Co. The foundry is equipped for dealing with castings up to 45 tons weight, and the works throughout are provided with every convenience for the operation of an engineering business on a scale exceeded by no firm on the North-East Coast, the whole of the work auxiliary to marine engine building being dealt with by the firm without outside assistance. Although primarily marine engine builders, the firm do not confine their energies to this business alone, but deal with repairs both to ship and machinery, and employing as they do about 2200 hands in the various departments they are able to undertake at the shortest notice renewals or breakdown repairs both afloat and ashore. They also do a large and increasing business in the construction and repair of ironworks machinery; this is a departure recently added to their work, their facilities for dealing with this being recognised and taken advantage of by the principal firms in the neighbouring districts of Cleveland and South Durham. Messrs Blair & Co. have carried out important Government orders, and are on the Admiralty list of marine engineers.
Messrs. John Hill & Co., of the Newport Rolling-Mills, enjoy the distinction of being the only iron plate rollers in the Middlesbrough district. The business is an old-established one, and has always been prominently associated with the iron industry of the district. It was founded and carried on for many years by Messrs. Fox, Head & Co., being transferred to the present firm of Messrs. John Hill & Co. in 1888.
The plant consists of thirty-five puddling (fifteen double and five single), and five heating furnaces, one plate mill and one forge train. All these furnaces are fitted with "Neil" patent bars, which have been adapted to this class of work by Mr. John Hill, and have resulted in a very considerable saving in coal consumption. Above these furnaces, and fired by the waste heat from them, are two Babcock & Wilcox and eight egg-ended boilers. These, together with three hand-fired Babcock & Wilcox boilers, supply steam for the mill engines, and also for most of the auxiliary machines.
The Normanby Iron Works are situate about midway between the Cargo Fleet and South Bank stations, on the North-Eastern Railway, from which railway sidings run into the works. The company have also a frontage on the river Tees, some 500 feet in length, where they are able to berth vessels up to 5000 tons burden. The Normanby Works were originally established by Messrs. Edwin Jones and John Dunning. The business was transferred to a private limited company under its present style of the Normanby Iron Works Co., Ltd., in 1895, and was taken over by the present company in 1900, the joint managing directors being Mr. John H. Pease and Mr. James Callum.
The present plant consists of four blast-furnaces, which are chiefly devoted to the production of haematite iron, brand " N.H.H.," the brand for foundry irons being " Normanby"; foundry irons are, however, now very seldom made, the company chiefly confining their operations to the production of high-quality hematite irons, containing 2 to 3 per cent. of silicon; sulphur, 0.02 to 0.05 per cent.; phosphorus, 0.038 to 0.05 per cent.; manganese, 0.8 to 1.2 per cent.
The blast-furnaces are about 74 feet high, and of the usual internal dimensions. They are fired entirely with Durham blast-furnace coke. There are eleven " Cowper " stoves of improved type, which are heated by the furnace gases. The blast is blown by five high-pressure engines of local manufacture, and one vertical cross-compound engine by Messrs. Richardsons, Westgarth & Co. This engine has steam cylinders 37i inches and 84 inches in diameter, and two air cylinders 84 inches in diameter, by 5 feet stroke. The air cylinders are fitted with the patent sliding valve of the Southwark Foundry and Machine Company. This is believed to have been the first engine so fitted, set to work in the United Kingdom. The engine, which exhausts into a surface condenser supplied by the makers of the engine, was put in operation in 1900.
The works are situate at Cargo Fleet, adjoining that station on the North-Eastern Railway, while on the opposite side of the works is the river Tees, where the company have a private wharf, 520 feet long, at which they are able to berth vessels up to 5000 tons.
The four blast-furnaces are each 90 feet high; two are 27 feet diameter at the bosh, with 11 foot hearths; one 23 feet 6 inches diameter, with a hearth of 10 feet 6 inches; and one, known as No. 2 furnace, 28 feet diameter at the bosh, with a hearth 10 feet 5 inches; the latter originally had an 8-feet hearth, but has burnt out to the larger size. It is worthy of note that this furnace has been in blast since May 8, 1876, and up to Jesse 30 last the total make of iron from it had reached 1,118,790 tons. At the present time each of the four furnaces is capable of producing about 900 tons of Cleveland pig iron per week.
The stoves are of the improved " Cowper " type, with hexagonal bricks, and are 26 feet diameter by 62 feet high to the springing of the dome. There are thirteen kilns, seven being of the " Gjers" (now generally known as the " Cleveland ") type, and six of the older form of brick kilns.
The foundry consists of a large moulding shop, 125 feet by 102 feet, fully equipped with hydraulic cranes capable of dealing with the largest sizes of pipes; another shop, 208 feet by 45 feet, the floor of which is served by a number of 15-ton overhead electric cranes; and a further shop, 208 feet by 45 feet, for casting pipes from 8 inches up to 24 inches in diameter. This is served by hydraulic cranes, and there is a smaller shop for dealing with pipes from the smallest sizes up to 8 inches in diameter.
The machine shop, which is 205 feet by 36 feet, is a lofty, well-lighted building, thoroughly well equipped with modern tools. The locomotive repair shop, which adjoins the machine shop, is 74 feet by 50 feet. There is also a pattern shop, 142 feet by 36 feet, wherein is installed the most improved types of labour-saving wood-working machinery.
The firm was the first in the country to employ gas-engines driven by blast-furnace waste gases.
The Tees Ironworks constitute one of the oldest establishments in the Middlesbrough district, having been established by the late Mr. Edgar Gilkes, who blew in the first furnace in 1853. At a later date a private company was formed under the style of Gilkes, Wilson, Leatham & Co. These gentlemen gave the brand of "G.W.L." to the iron manufactured, which it has since retained. The business was transferred to Messrs Wilsons, Pease & Co., Ltd., in July 1901.
The present plant consists of three blast-furnaces with the usual auxiliaries, and open sand foundry, a direct-casting foundry, and a cupola foundry. The blast-furnaces are each 82 feet high, 24 feet diameter at the bosh, with 11 feet hearths, and have each a weekly output of some 800 tons. The furnaces are hand-charged, the material being conveyed to the charging platform by one electric and one steam-driven hoist. There are ten " Cowper" stoves, 70 feet by 24 feet, of improved type; these are heated by the furnace gases. The calcining plant consists of nine "Gjers" kilns. The trucks of material are raised to a gantry 45 feet high by means of a direct-acting steam ram, and lowered by the usual balance drop.
In the foundry department about 600 tons of railway chairs, brake-blocks, and general castings, both "sand" and "loam," are turned out per week. The "direct casting" foundry produces general castings up to 4 tons weight run direct from the blast-furnaces, and, in addition, some 60 tons per week of "open sand" castings are run on the pig beds.