Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Albion Ironworks

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The business of Walter Williams

c.1860 Closed due to lack of business

1870 "THE machinery, &c., at the above works was recently sold by auction by Messrs. Aston, Sollom, and Barnell, of Wolverhampton. The Albion Ironworks, which have now been standing about ten years for want of trade, are the property of Messrs. Williams, West Bromwich, and the Patent Punched Steel Tube Works have also lately fallen into the hands of the same proprietors. The Tube Works were started by a company who manufactured steel tubes from a solid lump by a patent process. The process was carried out in the following manner:-

The block of steel intended for the tube was heated and then placed under a steam hammer, which punched out the centre; the block was again reheated and drawn out on a mandril under another hammer, and after undergoing another heating process it was placed in a powerful pair of reversing rolls, furnished with graduating holes, and by this means drawn down to its finished state. This mode of manufacture proved unsuccessful, and the result was the failure of the company.

The machinery in these works was almost as good as new, having been little used. The steam hammers were by Messrs. Davy Brothers, of Sheffield, and in first-class condition; it will be seen that some of them fetched a very fair price. There were two patented articles combined in the works worthy of notice, Clayton's mill furnace and Wright's boiler. The furnace is constructed in the shape of a cross, having two fire-grates, one in each arm of the cross, the flue being at the bottom end; by this means the flame comes in at each side and traverses the whole length of the central part; doors for entering and withdrawing the charge are placed at each end. Wright's boiler acts partly as a stack for this furnace, and is placed vertically over it; the hot air passing through tho boiler generated the steam; a large wrought iron chimney surmouoted the boiler. There is one very good feature in the construction of the boiler, and that is the form of the seams, which are not straight, but twine as the thread of a screw from end to end. Lots 95 to 105, which comprised the engine, boilers, and driving gear in the Tube Works, were withdrawn before the commencement of the sale. The old-fashioned yet excellent condensing engines in the ironworks were also withdrawn, as no reasonable offer was made for them, and they will now be disposed of by private contract, at a low figure. The Tube Works have been taken by the Albion Sheet Iron Company, who will carry on part of their business there. Following will be found a priced catalogue with full criticism." (more) [1]

c.1873 Subsequently occupied by Albion Sheet Iron Co and Britannia Iron Co, and later by J. B. S. and C. Lees

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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1870