Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,113 pages of information and 233,645 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Adam Woodward and Sons

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

of Queen's Foundry, Union Street, New Islington (Ancoats), Manchester


1835 Partnership dissolved between John Lillie and Adam Woodward [1]

1841 Listed as engineer, millwright, and drying & sizing machine maker, 26 Union Street. Adam Woodward's home address: 4 Carter Street[2]

1845 Newspaper advertisement: 'ADAM WOODWARD, Millwright, Engineer, and, machanist (sic), begs most respectfully to acquaint the Public, that he has REMOVED to more commodious Works in NEW ISLINGTON, Union-street, Ancoats (nearly opposite his old premises), where he trusts, by assiduity, with economy and despatch, to merit a continuance of past favours'[3]

1849 'Singular Circumstance.
— A Bird's Nest and Eggs Embedded the Trunk of a Tree.
—A curious discovery was made on Tuesday last by one of the workpeople in the employ of Mr. A. Woodward, of the Queen's Foundry, Union-street, Great Ancoats. A bird's nest, containing five eggs, was found embedded in a sycamore tree. When purchased, the tree was 24 feet long and 6ft. 6in. in circumference, and was bought by Mr. Woodward to cut up into boards for size machines. On Tuesday the workmen were to saw it into lengths suitable for the purpose, when in sawing off a piece measuring about twelve feet from the butt or trunk, they found a cavity in the centre of the tree, about 2ft deep, in which lay a bird's nest with 5 eggs! The original height of the tree is computed to have been 30 feet, and its age about 50 years, but how long the nest may bave been imbedded is matter for speculation. We may add that Mr. Woodward will afford the curiously disposed an opportunity of seeing the tree, on application.'[4]

1850 Millwright, engineer, iron and brass founder, manufacturer of condensing and high pressure steam engines and boilers, water wheels, sizing and drying machines, beaming machines, warping mills, cranes and hoists, iron roofs, beams and pillars for fireproof buildings, lifting and force pumps, steam and water valves and pipes.[5]

c.1851-1853 Cornish beam engine for Tower Works, a river abstraction and water treatment works built for the Chester Waterworks (later known as Boughton Water Pumping Station).[6]

1863 Queen's Foundry address given as 53 Port Street, New Islington.[7]

1867 Advertisement for sale at the warehouse, Nos. 5 & 7 Port Street, Manchester, included '14-horse horizontal ENGINE by the eminent maker Adam Woodward, Queen's Foundry, Manchester, with top steam chest, cylinder 12in. Diameter, stroke 2ft. 4in. and fitted with governor, fly spur-wheel 9ft. diameter by 5½in. face; cast-iron sole plate 12ft 1in by 2ft. …..Cornish steam boiler, 13ft.6in. Long by 5ft. 6in. Diameter with two flues through and all mountings by same maker as engine…'[8]

1870s retort charging machines for the Rochdale Road Station of the Manchester Corporation Gasworks.[9]

1876 partnership dissolved (on 6th November 1876) between Adam (elder), William Robert, John, Adam (younger), Richard, as Engineers at Queen’s Foundry and cotton spinners at Carruthers Street.[10]

1879 Death of Adam Woodward, 75, at his residence, Lime Grove, Longsight, on 11th November [11]

1882 Advertisement for auction sale of equipment (see below)

1884 - 1885 Advertisement: Queen's Foundry to be sold or let. Apply to Adam Woodward & Sons, Carruthers Street[12] [13]

1886 - 1888 Evidently the business was equipped with new plant in 1886, but the equipment and premises were advertised for sale in 1888 (see below)

1887 Advertisement: HOT AIR ENGINE. ROBINSON'S PATENT. The simplest engine in existence. Is fired by coke, coal, peat, or gas. The half-horse engine consumes only three pennyworth of coke per day.—For prices and particulars Apply ADAM WOODWARD & SONS. Engineers, Queen's Foundry, New Islington, Ancoats, Manchester; Sole Makers.[14]

1891 Directory: Listed as Cotton Spinners and Manufacturers. More details. Their cotton mill was on Carruthers Street in Ancoats.

A Novelty in Iron Smelting, 1865

A new and very successful system of smelting was exhibited at Messrs. Woodward's Queen's Foundry, Ancoats, Thursday evening. The ordinary method of smelting iron by blowing through two or more tuyers a powerful blast of air into the cupola which has been charged with pig-iron and coke. To produce the blast in the cupola exhibited on the old method, a 4ft. fan, requiring eight horses' power, was employed. By the new method, invented by Messrs. Woodward, that fan and all its usual accompaniments of shafting, strapping, oil, and wear and tear have been dispensed with. The cupola shown on Thursday evenings is 2ft. 4in. diameter, and of the usual height. At its upper portion, immediatelv above the part where the charge is put into the cupola, a steam-pipe, l¼in. bore, is inserted a wrought-iron chimney, about equal in length to the depth of the cupola below. The action of the jet of steam thence projected is to create a partial vacuum below it, and, as a consequence, draught of air through the mass below. The working of the furnace is described as follows : The fire is lighted and the charge thrown on in the usual manner, after which the door at the charging hole is closed ; the steam is then turned on and admitted into the funnel. The column of steam now rushing along carries or draws with it a quantity of air from below, thus producing a partial vacuum immediately above the fuel and metal to be acted upon. All being closed at the top, the only place left for the air to enter is through ten openings at the bottom, through which it flows in one constant and unbroken stream, acting on all parts of the fuel alike, thus securing a general and uniform heat throughout the furnace, consequently a more perfect combustion of the fuel. It was stated that the new method saves a large quantity of coke, and that a much better kind of casting is now obtained from a common class of pig iron than could possibly have been got formerly. For smelting a ton of iron little over a cwt. of coke is required, while the bringing down of the molten metal is performed much quicker. An advantage to persons outside the works is the absence of glaring blaze and shower of fiery sparks found on the old method. In fact, a little steam issuing from the chimney top, or top of the of the cupola, was the only external indication that the furnace was at work. The extreme simplicity of this invention strikes one with wonder that so valuable a discovery had not been made long since, especially when we remember that in our locomotives a jet of steam has long been projected into the fire box to increase combustion, and by its aid raise steam from a pressure of 30lb. to one of 120lb. in twenty minutes. Another advantage of this invention consists in its easily allowing cupolas to worked in situations where it is inconvenient to have steam engines, as on men of war, and in warfare for casting shot, shell, &c., and in many other situations. In foundries where it is found requisite in cases of " breakdowns" to work unexpectedly late at night, this invention will of great vane, as it can be got work within very brief time without any engine power. We understand that a further improvement to this apparatus will shortly be completed, by means of which the upper portion of the cupola will be surrounded by a boiler, which will supply steam the cupolas at a still further reduction on the present operating cost. Several of the largest ironworks in town are applying the invention to their present cupolas ; and there is little doubt that in a few years this mode of smelting iron from the ironstone as well as from the pig will become general.'[15]

French navy engineer M. Benazé visited England to study engineering developments and produced a drawing, dated 1865, showing an example of Woodward's patented furnace in cross section. It shows a boiler incorporated in the top of the furnace. Steam generated in the boiler is directed through nozzles into three blast pipes to generate the draught through the smelting furnace. The furnace was located at the foundry of Mr Stephenson at Newcastle.[16]

Sale of Contents of Queen's Foundry, 1882

'Queen's Foundry and Engineering Works, New Islington, Manchester.— To Engineers, Machinists, Ironfounders, Machine Brokers, and others.—Sale of the entire contents the Above works, including the extensive stock of valuable patterns, &c. EDWARD RUSHTON & SON have received instructions from Messrs. Adam Woodward and Sons, engineers and cotton spinners (who are declining the engineering portion of their business), to SELL by AUCTION, …..on the premises, the Queen's Foundry, situate at New Islington, Manchester, the Whole of the very Valuable Modern ENGINEERING TOOLS, PLANT, PATTERNS, STORES, and EFFECTS, the whole in first-class working condition, comprising 17 powerful sliding screw-cutting, facing, boring, and break lathes, from 9in. to 27in. centres, double and treble-geared with planed straight, gap, and sliding beds, from 9ft. to 35ft. long, by Hulse, Kershaw, Hetherington. and other makers; four powerful planing machines to plane 18ft. by 6ft. 6in. by 4ft. 4in., 10ft. 6in. by 4ft. square, 6ft. 2tt. 6in. square, and 4ft. By 2ft. by 1ft. 6in.; powerful 15in. stroke slotting machine, will take 72in. diameter, self-acting in all movements, by Kershaw; 7in. stroke slotting machine, will take 40in. diameter; two 16in. and 4in.-stroke shaping machines; radial drilling machines, with 5ft. arm, almost new; three vertical drilling machines, will take in 24in. and 60in. diameter; boring machines, screwing and tapping machines, 15-cwt. steam hammer; pipe-facing machine, on 16ft. cast-iron bed; 16 swing and other cranes, viz , two 25-ton, one 10-ton, four 6-ton, seven 1-ton, one 10 cwt., and one 6-ton derrick, fit up with chains and blocks, several crabs, friction and other twists; iron circular saw bench, woodturning lathe, benches, vices, grindstones and iron troughs, 24in. blast fan, two large wrought-iron cupolas, stages and lifting crane, tram rails, store carriage, 60 tons of moulding boxes, anvils, and contents of smithy ; the whole of the loose working 'tools throughout the premises, 30-ton Tangye's hydraulic jack, Haley's and other screw jacks, together with the whole the very valuable iron, wood, and brass patterns, including large and small steam engines, pumps, valves, spur, bevel, and mitre wheels, segment and other fly wheels up to 38 tons weight, pulleys, hydraulic Bessemer steel plant, railway turntables, hoists, crabs, and large assortment of steam and hand swing and other cranes to large dimensions, and which are being used by the Lancashire and Yorkshire and other railway companies, the repairs of which are constantly being executed from these patterns; hydraulic packing presses and pumps, and large assortment of pipe, beams, pedestals, &c. The new stores comprise a fine pair of horizontal non-condensing steam engines, 14in. cylinders, 27in. stroke, on very strong iron bed, by Adam Woodward and Sons; horizontal non-condensing steam engine, 12in. cylinder, 24in stroke, with governors and fittings, iron bed; new iron bolts, washers, nails, and timber, and general stores. Also a useful black horse, 6-ton spring lurry, by the Beverley Iron Company; two box carts, hand carts, office fixtures safes, desks, chairs, and other valuable property. The premises, with power, to let, with immediate possession. ….'[17]

Sale of Queen's Foundry, 1888

Auction Notice (Equipment): 'EDWARD RUSHTON & SON are instructed by Messrs. Adam Woodward and Sons to SELL BY AUCTION, on Wednesday, November 21st, 1888, on the premises, Queen's Foundry, New Islington, Valuable Modern ENGINEERING TOOLS, &c., comprising planing machine, to plane 3ft. 9in. wide by 3 ft high by 12ft. long, with two tool boxes on cross slide, self-acting on all motions, and on the latest principle, by J. and J. Kershaw, 1886; planing machine, to plane 2ft. 9in. wide by 2ft 9in high by 6ft. long, similar to last, by Tangye's Machine Tool Companv; very powerful double geared self-acting slotting machine, 12in. stroke, to take in 5ft. diameter,with circular table 28in. diameter and with all modern improvements, by W. Collier and Co., 1886; self-acting slotting machine, 6in. Stroke, to take in 34 diameter, with circular table, 20in. diameter, by Kendall & Gent, 1886; double-geared self-acting radial drilling machine, will take in 4ft inside spindle, by Tangyes, 1886; double geared self-acting vertical drilling machne. to take in 36in. diameter, by J. and J. Kershaw, 1886; two single-speed self acting vertical drilling machines, each to take in 36in. diameter, by J. and J. Kershaw 1886; self-acting slot drilling machine, 8in. stroke, by Kendall and Gent, 1886; single-speed stud and screw turning or capstan lathe, 7in. Centres, on bed, 7ft. long, Kendall and Gent, 1886; double-geared self-acting screw-cutting and surfacing lathe, l0in. raised to 13in. centres on gap bed. 17ft. 6in. long, by Tangyes, 1886; double-geared self-acting sliding, screw-cutting, and surfacing lathe. 9in. centres, on gap bed, 16ft-3in. long, by Tangyes, 1886; Brown's patent double-geared bolt screwing machine, with automatic releasing motion and carriage, and set of dies and taps to from ½in. to 2in., by Kendall and Gent, 1886; patent grindstone and trough, with adjustable tool holder, &c, by Kendall and Gent, 1886; single-speed wood turning lathe, 8in. centres 18ft. wood bed, by J. J. Kershaw; overhead driving apparatus, patent tool holders, steel tools, and accessories for the various machines, leather and other strapping, contents of smithy, Schiele's 20in. fan bellows, anvil, smiths' tools, vices, and benches, 20-cwt. platform weighing machine: nearly new horizontal direct-acting steam pumping engine, 6in. cylinder, 5in. ram, by Hayward, Tyler and Co., London; quantity of tool steel, new and old wrought and cast iron, bolts, nuts, stores, capital office furniture and other property. Sale to commence at 11 o'clock in the forenoon. May be viewed on Monday and Tuesday, November 19 and 20. Descriptive catalogues can be obtained from the Auctioneers, 13, Norfolk street, Manchester.' [18]

Auction Notice (Land and buildings): 'ALL that PLOT of FREEHOLD situate at New Islington. Manchester, containing in the whole 661 2-9 square yards or thereabouts and free from chief rent; and also all that plot of freehold land situate adjoining the last mentioned plot, and containing in the whole 1,458 square yards or thereabouts, subject to two yearly chief rents of £14 5s 6¼d. each; together with the valuable and well-adapted modern Works known as Queen's Foundry, the property of the old and well-known firm of Messrs. Adam Woodward and Sons. The building are substantial, brick-built, and comprise main building of four storeys, containing tool shop, fitting shop, joiners shop, and pattern-rooms; smithy and engine-house, with pattern-room over, two storeys high; modern foundry. 85ft. 3in. by 40ft. By 24ft. high; erecting shop, range of offices, storerooms, lodge, and other erections; also the excellent steam engine, steam boiler, wrought iron shafting, steam, gas, and water piping The property is vacant, and exceedingly well situated for almost any class of business, being within a mile of the Royal Exchange, and could subdivided to let off in small tenancies......'[19]

Location of Queen's Foundry

The 1848 36" map shows the foundry to occupy an area of about 80 ft by 110 ft, with its entrance on Pott Street, and largely bounded by houses and shops on Union Street, New Islington, and Clarke Street.[20]. The site is now a wedge of unused land between St Vincent Street and the Rochdale Canal.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Gazette - 25th May 1835
  2. Pigot and Slater’s Directory of Manchester and Salford 1841
  3. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - 18th January 1845
  4. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 19 May 1849
  5. Pigot and Slater’s Directory of Manchester and Salford 1850
  6. [1] British Listed Buildings Website
  7. Pigot and Slater’s Directory of Manchester and Salford 1863
  8. Liverpool Mercury, 17th December 1867
  9. 'Modern Appliances in Gas Manufacture' by Fletcher W. Stevenson
  10. London Gazette 24 November 1876
  11. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - 13th November 1879
  12. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - 10th November 1884
  13. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - 10th March 1885
  14. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - 5th November 1887
  15. Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Saturday 22nd April 1865
  16. [2] Source: [3] Service historique de la défense, 2010: Atlas du génie maritime, Image GM13PL0651
  17. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 17th June 1882
  18. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 10th November 1888
  19. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 10th November 1888
  20. The Godfrey Edition Old Ordnance Survey Town Plans: Manchester Sheet 25: 'Ancoats (North) 1848 [4]