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Bolton Iron and Steel Co

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A trade certificate showing an impression of the works and some of its activities is available online. Products included: rails, angles and bars, forgings in steel and wrought iron, boiler and firebox plates, steel tyres, decarbonised steel, steel castings including patent solid steel cast anvils[1]

1864 Part of the works that had been used by Rothwell and Co was taken over by the Bolton Iron and Steel Co

1865 'Monster Casting.— On Wednesday, at the works of the Bolton Iron and Steel Company, Bolton, Mr J. Ireland undertook the casting of the largest anvil block as yet made in England. The block, when finished, is estimated to weigh 210 tons. It was run out of two cupolas, the whole process occupying about eight hours, and being most successful in every respect. There were present on the occasion Messrs John Hick, Hargreaves, Bowler, Hill, T. B. Hetherington, W. J. Hetherington, Slayter, W. F. Hulton, Wren, Hopkinson, Eckersley, Sharp, &c. A collation was served during the proceeding, at which the Mayor of Bolton proposed success to the Bolton Iron and Steel Company, Messrs Hick, Sharp, and Hargreaves responding.'[2]

1869 Making steam hammers designed by Francis W. Webb [3]

Accident, 1873

THE EXTRAORDINARY ACCIDENT AT BOLTON. The accident which was caused by the bursting of a fly wheel at the Bolton Iron and Steel Works, on Wednesday, proves to be more disastrous in damage to property than was at first supposed. In addition to the demolition of two of the furnace chimneys, and the great gulf in the enclosure occasioned by their fall, two other stacks have been greatly damaged. One of them appears as if it had been subject to a cannonade, there being in the base of the brickwork a large "dint" some six or eight feet in length, laying bare the iron plates with which the chimney in braced. This stack will have to be pulled down, while the other one has been so battered and chipped as to necessitate its partial re-erection. About nine or ten bays of the boundary wall have also been partly destroyed. The body of Joseph Foster, the engine-tenter, was not discovered until half-past one yesterday afternoon. It was buried beneath the debris of the fallen chimneys. It is presumed the deceased, after he had started the engines, went to the boilers to see to the injectors, and that whilst standing there the fly-wheel burst. Two of the workmen, named John Mulloy and James Smith, noticed that the engines were working at an extraordinary speed, and they ran into the engine-house to ascertain the cause. Not finding the engine-tenter there, Mulloy placed his hand on the valve to stop the engines, when he heard a terrific crash, and the next instant both he and his companion were knocked down. Altogether some dozen men were injured ; but fortunately with one exception, none of them were seriously hurt. Patrick Walsh has sustained a fracture of the skull, and he now lies in a critical condition. The damage is estimated at from .£2000 to £3000. The accident will cause a stoppage of the rail mill department for at least three months, and throw nearly one hundred persons out of employment.[4]


'THE FLY-WHEEL ACCIDENT AT BOLTON. An inquest was held yesterday at Bolton as to the death of Joseph Foster, aged 20 years, engine tenter, who was killed at the Bolton Iron and Steel Works, on the previous Wednesday, by the bursting of a flywheel. —James Unsworth, the day engine tenter, stated that when he left work at six o'clock on Wednesday evening, the engines were working at a pressure of 45lb. In such circumstances witness considered that Foster might safely have left the engine and have gone to see to the boiler injectors. Witness could not account for the engines running away. He had known the governor strap to slip off, and the engines to run away; but on Wednesday the strap appeared to him to be in good order. —The strap was produced, and a juryman remarked that it had evidently been in use a very long time. Another juryman said, the strap was out of order; it contained a worn flaw. —Unsworth, in reply to questions, said he could not say whether the strap had broken and so caused the accident; but had the governor been in proper working order, the accident could certainly not have occurred. He also stated that if the deceased had been in the engine house when the engines ran away, he could have controlled the engines immediately; by turning off the valve. —John Potter, overlooker of the machinery, said the safety valves of the engines were in proper working order. Foster had been in charge of the engines for nearly 12 months. The governor strap was about six months old. —Verdict, accidental death.[5]

1903 The Bolton Works was acquired by Henry Bessemer and Co.[6]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1]Bolton Archives website
  2. Paisley Herald and Renfrewshire Advertiser, Saturday 10 June 1865
  3. 'Engineering' 6th August 1869
  4. Bradford Observer, Friday 10th January 1873
  5. Manchester Evening News - Saturday 11 January 1873
  6. The Engineer 1924/08/08