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British Industrial History

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Buckley and Taylor

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Buckley & Taylor mill engine in a shopping mall in Porto
Steam-driven pump preserved with the Porto engine. The photo also shows the arrangement of a small hydraulic motor which turns the engine via teeth in the flywheel rim, originally provided for hand barring the engine

Buckley and Taylor of Castle Ironworks, Oldham were engineers whose products included mill engines and gear wheel moulding machines

1861 Company established by Samuel Buckley and James Taylor

1883 Oldham Exhibition: 'The engines by which the power is applied are situated on the ground floor of No. 1 annexe. The principal are a pair of horizontal compound steam engines driving machinery by ropes. They are each of 40-horse power nominal, and of the type known as Tandem. Having both a high and a low pressure, they possess the advantage of utilising the steam not once but twice. They are further characterised by great regularity and noiselessness in working, and their finish is remarkably good. Although exhibited by Messrs. Buckley and Taylor, they are really the property of Messrs. Marsden, of the Screw Bolt Works, Manchester.'[1]

1884 Horizontal twin tandem compound engine for Fern Mill, Shaw. The engine was removed for preservation, and languished in secure (but open) storage until November 2011 until the parts were recovered for preservation at Ellenroad Mill. The story is told in a well-illustrated article in 'Old Glory' magazine [2]

1886 1200 HP Horizontal twin tandem compound engine for the Lees Brook Spinning Co., Lees, Oldham [3]

1889 150 HP engine for driving the rag engines, rag boilers, chopper, etc. at the Tees Paper Mills at Yarm , power being taken by six rope belts direct from the fly-wheel.[4]

1890 Engine for Wood Top Mill, Burnley[5]

1891 Directory: Listed as Cotton Spinner and Manufacturer. [[Cotton Mills in Oldham 1891|More details]

1892 See description of the works in Buckley and Taylor: 1892 Visit to Works

1892 James Taylor died, aged 54 [6]

1898-9 Supplied a cross-compound Corliss-type engine to a cotton mill in Portugal - see Buckley and Taylor engine in Porto. This followed an engine supplied to the mill in 1891.

1901 1500 HP four cylinder triple expansion engine for Wren Mill, Oldham. [7]

Twin tandem compound engine for Roy Mill, Royton. Approx 2000 HP. Flywheel 24 ft dia, 60 tons. 44 ropes.[8]

1902 Incorporated as a private limited company.

1914 Engineers, millwrights and ironfounders. Specialities: simple, compound and triple expansion steam engines of horizontal and vertical type form 100 to 3,000 hp; mill gearing for driving cotton mills; pumping engines for hydraulic power stations; large gear wheels with cast and cut teeth; rope pulleys for main drives; wheel moulding machines. Employees 300. [9]

1917 'MAN BURNED TO A SKELETON. terrible affair occurred the engineering works of Messrs. Buckley and Taylor, Oldham, a man named Joseph Henry Penrose, 58, being incinerated before the eyes of helpless fellow workmen. Molten metal for the casting of a 10-ton pump was being conveyed in a ladle attached to a crane, when a chain broke and the vessel fell to the floor. Penrose was buried in the molten metal. Before he could be released the metal had to be cooled with sand, and when the body was recovered it was little more than a skeleton. Flesh had been burned from his bones and his clothes had disappeared.[10]

The sale of Ruby Mill, Oldham, included a 1400 HP Buckley & Taylor engine, with flywheel for 28 ropes.[11]

1948 The company had become a subsidiary of the Brightside Foundry and Engineering Co, making marine distillation equipment and heat exchangers.[12]

George Watkins collected a number of Buckley & Taylor's works photographs and drawings, now archived in the National Monuments Record, Swindon[13]

An excellent summary of the firm's history, with short biographies of the founders, is available on the website of Oldham Engineering Ltd., here.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Evening News, 22nd October 1883
  2. 'Old Glory' February 2012
  3. Plate 143 'Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain, Volume 3.1: Lancashire' by George Watkins: Landmark Publishing Ltd.
  4. Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough, 13th March 1889
  5. Burnley Express, 11th June 1890
  6. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, Friday 11th November 1892
  7. Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 9 October 1937
  8. Letter in the Model Engineer, 24 Nov 1949, describing the engine (no illustrations)
  9. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  10. Yorkshire Evening Post, Thursday 13th September 1917
  11. The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 28 July 1934
  12. The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, 19 October 1948
  13. * 'Stationary Steam Engine Makers Volume 1' Compiled by George Watkins, Catalogued by A P Woolrich, Landmark Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84306-200-3