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British Industrial History

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Birmingham Patent Iron Tube Co

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1874.
June 1880.
1882.

of Smethwick Tube Works, and Birmingham

1847 'TO ENGINEERS AND BOILER-MAKERS. LAP-WELDED TUBES
For Marine and Locomotive Steam Boilers, Tubes for Steam, Gas, and other purposes.
ALL SORTS OF GAS FITTINGS.
THE BIRMINGHAM PATENT IRON TUBE COMPANY, 42, Cambridge-street, Birmingham, and Smethwick, Staffordshire, manufacture BOILER and GAS TUBES under an exclusive License from Mr. Richard Prosser, the Patentee. These Tubes are very extensively used in the Boilers of Marine and Locomotive Steam Engines in England and the Continent, are stronger, lighter, cheaper, and more durable than Brass orCopper Tubes, and warranted not to open in the Weld. 42, Cambridge-street, Crescent, BIRMINGHAM.

WORKS,—Smethwick, STAFFORDSHIRE,
LONDON WAREHOUSE.- 68, Upper Thames-street.'[1]

1849 Directory: Listed as Tube Makers. [2]

of West Bromwich

1851 Henry Johns of Patent Tube Co, Smethwick and 68 Upper Thames Street, London.[3]

1854 Advert: 'TO ENGINEERS, MACHINISTS, TUBE-MAKERS, MANUFACTURERS, MECHANICAL DRAUGHTSMEN, TOOL BROKERS AND OTHERS, PEREMPTORY SALE AT THE TUBE WORKS, CAMBRIDGE STREET BIRMINGHAM.
MESSRS. CHESSHIRE and GIBSON have received instructions from the Representatives of the late Richard Prosser, Esq., C.E., to OFFER by AUCTION, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, the 12th, 13th, 14th, and l5th days of December next, and on the Tuesday and Wednesday in the following week - the very costly MACHINERY and TOOLS and other Property belonging to the above Works.
THE MACHINERY comprises a COMPOUND STEAM HYDRAULIC PRESS (the only one of its kind in existence), invented by the late Mr. Prosser, and capable of giving an instantaneous pressure of upwards of 900 tons; a valuable PLANING MACHINE, by Shanks and Co to plane a surface of 16 feet by 3 feet 6 inches; two others, by Collier and Co., to plane a surface of 16 feet 6 inches by 3 feet each; two SKELP HOLDERS and compound tools (on a modern principle by Prosser), belonging thereto.
VERY SUPERIOR SLIDE AND OTHER LATHES, with cast iron beds, varying from 20 feet to 3 feet, for turning, drilling, screwing, cutting, lapping taper and conical boring, and other similar work, by Whitworth, Shanks, Prosser, Rowan, and others, with the valuable tools belonging thereto; two powerful DRILLING MACHINES, by Nasmyth and Shanks, and the tools belonging thereto ; punching presses, costly LAPPING MACHINE, powerful SHEARING and SLITTING MACHINES, by Prosser, with circular cutters belonging thereto; EIGHTY SINGLE-SIDED PRESSES, two double-sided presses, with dies and tools; pair of flattening rolls, with frame, pinions and couplings, and duplex rolls; notching machine, wire flattening and iron testing machines, a portable five-horse DIAGONAL STEAM-ENGINE on Brunel's principle, and a 2-horse DISC ENGINE, stationary TUBULAR BOILER, 4 feet 6 inches diameter, and 7 feet 5 inches long, containing thirty-two 3-inch tubes, STEAM DONKEY, by Nasmyth, for feeding boiler; water and steam indicators and vacuum gauges, two valuable ENGINE COUNTERS, superior bright shafting, of various diameters and lengths, with their couplings and carriages, turned iron driving and speed pulleys, mitre, bevel, and other wheels, ten sets very massive cast iron moulds, for making anti-welded tubes, from l½-inch to 4-inch diameter; cast iron dies, for drawing copper tubes, and for dishing copper.
THREE THREE-ROLL TUBE WELDING MACHINES, two cases of WHITWORTH'S SCREW STOCKS and DIES, and two cases of Whitworth s external and internal gauges; case of expanding and boring bits, by Shanks, and case of screwing apparatus, for gas tubing ; a large quantity of expensive button tools and dies ; portable smith's forge, vices, anvils, bellows, and smiths tools; useful wrought iron scrap, spelter, brass and copper scrap, TRAVERSING CRANE, weighing machine, &c. &c.
The sale also includes the valuable LITHOGRAPHIC AND PRINTING PRESSES AND MACHINES, consisting of a rotary lithographic printing machine, by Sharps, Roberts, and Co., three lithographic printing presses, nine founts of type, imperial lithographic stones, numbering machine, tracing apparatus, &c.


MATHEMATICAL, MECHANICAL, AND OTHER INSTRUMENTS, including and ELIPTOGRAPH by Fairey, an eidograph, four PENTAGRAPHS, sextant, theodolite, perspective and other drawing instruments, mountain barometer, electric machine, fourteen of Dr. Roth's automaton calculators, barometers and thermometers by various makers, &c, &c; also the stock of VALUABLE WOOD PATTERNS and expensive models, counting-house and a variety of miscellaneous fixtures, .....'[4]

By 1874 the company was named Birmingham Patent Tube Co (see advert)

Prosser The Engineer: "A Forgotten Birmingham Genius" - Richard Prosser's life and work is being studied in depth by Susan Darby, and a wealth of information has been made available online. The installment of his biography "Tubes: A Wealth of Trouble" Part 1 covers information concerning The Birmingham Patent Iron Tube Co.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Gore's Liverpool General Advertiser - Thursday 7 October 1847
  2. History and Directory of Birmingham, 1849: Tube Makers
  3. 1851 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: New Members
  4. Aris's Birmingham Gazette - Monday 20 November 1854