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British Industrial History

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E. T. Bellhouse and Co

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1870.Packing Machinery at the Warehouse of Alexander Collie and Co, Manchester.
ManchesterSalford1853 i1029.jpg
Three cast iron skew bridges made for the Manchester, South Junction and Altrincham Railway in 1848-9
Cast iron shop front in Carlton Street, Hebden Bridge

E T Bellhouse & Co of Eagle Foundry, Manchester


1842 July 1st. Company formed by Edward Taylor Bellhouse with his father David Bellhouse

1845 Registered a design for fire-proof doors for hoists in mills, warehouses and other buildings.[1]

c1848 Making prefabricated Iron Houses and many were shipped to California for use in the Gold Rush

1851 Award at the 1851 Great Exhibition. See details at 1851 Great Exhibition: Reports of the Juries: Class V.

1853 Patent for improvements in iron structures [2]

1853 Patent for improvements in steam boilers [3]

1853 Patent for improvements in pressing and extracting fluids [4]

1853 Described as makers of hydraulic presses and iron houses [5]

1855 Patent for improvements in the manufacture or working of marble, stone, glass etc to John Knowles, marble merchant and Edward Taylor Bellhouse, engineer. [6]

c.1856 50 HP engine and two boilers for a corn mill in Buenos Ayres. Engine cylinder 22" dia, 5 ft stroke: 22 rpm [7]

Gas works for Buenos Ayres constructed by Bellhouse under the superintendence of William Bragge.[8]

1862 Patent for improvements to hydrostatic presses by Edward Taylor Bellhouse and William John Dorning [9]

1862 Wrought iron lattice girder footbridge built to cross the River Mersey at Northenden. Girders 88 ft long, supported on eight 8" dia cast iron piles.[10]

1868 Made an iron lattice girder bridge for Pernambuco, Brazil. Five spans of 100 ft, two of 40 ft. The girders rested on cast iron columns filled with concrete. 600 tons of cast iron, 900 tons of wrought iron. Designed by William Martineau.

1869 Hydraulic press for cotton, wool, etc., patented by Edward Taylor Bellhouse and William John Dorning [11]

1870 Description of packing machinery made for the cotton textile warehouse of Alexander Collie and Co in Manchester (steam engine, boilers, cisterns, hydraulic pumps and presses, shafting, gears, etc.[12]. See above for illustration of hydraulic pump.

1871 Employing 200 men [13]

See here for an excellent account of the company and its work[14]

See here for an amusing tale concerning a large gear wheel casting.[15]

Traction Engine, 1859

'BOYDELL'S TRACTION ENGINE IN MANCHESTER.— On Wednesday, a trial journey from Manchester to Oldham was made with a new traction engine, which has been manufactured by Messrs. Edward T. Bellhouse and Co. of Manchester, to be sent out to Rio de Janeiro, for Messrs. Carruthers, de Castro, and Co. The engine, weighing about 15 tons, with a train of six waggons, loaded each with two tons of iron, making the whole a weight of 45 tons, was taken from Zara-street, through the streets of the city to Oldham Road and on to Oldham. The engine performed its duty well, proceeding at the rate of two and three miles per hour, and turning sharp corners with facility and accuracy, answering to the will of the steersman with wonderful promptness. The steep hills at Oldham were ascended a pace of above two miles hour with the heavy load, and one of the inclines mounted was at a rise of seven inches in ten feet, or a gradient of about 1 in 17. The performances of the engine at Oldham were witnessed by Messrs. Brunlees, C.E.; Webb, C.E.; Fox, C.E.; Palmer, of the firm of Platt Brothers; David Doig, E. T. Bellhouse, and others; and seemed to be considered highly satisfactory.'[16]

'The traction engine made by Messrs. E. T. Bellhouse & Co., the experimental trip of which to Oldham was made a few months since, has safely arrived at Mauá, near Rio de Janeiro. The ascent from Mauá to the city of Petropolis, 3,000 feet high in a length of eight miles, was achieved successful, and the very sharp angles were turned with ease and precision. This is probably the first instance of a traction engine for common roads having ascended so great a height.'[17]

In Brazil, the engine was attended by Robert Milligan, C.E., Managing Engineer of the Maua Railway.[18]

Location of Eagle Foundry

The 1849 O.S. map shows that the foundry was close to the western end of Hunt Street (now Whitworth Street) and backed onto the Rochdale Canal. Immediately west was the Eagle Mill, with a timber yard to the right.

Goad's Insurance Plans Map 19 dated 1886 (updated c.1901) shows the foundry as still being in use by Bellhouse & Co. Their immediate neighbours were A. L. Bostock (spinning mill) to the west and Galbraith and Co's shipping warehouse on the eastern side. Directly opposite at this time was Bloom Street Power Station.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 09 August 1845
  2. Bradford Observer - Thursday 30 June 1853
  3. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Sat 02 Jul 1853,
  4. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 19 November 1853
  5. 1853 Directory of Manchester and Salford
  6. Blackburn Standard - Wednesday 14 November 1855
  7. The Practical Mechanic's Journal 1856, p.230
  8. The Practical Mechanic's Journal, 1 April 1857, 1 January 1858
  9. Preston Chronicle - Wednesday 23 July 1862
  10. The Practical Mechanic's Journal, January 1862
  11. Engineering 1869/07/09
  12. [1] Engineering, 4 Nov 1870
  13. 1871 census
  14. [2] Bellhouse Family History website by David R. Bellhouse, 2001
  15. [3] Machinery, Sept 1907
  16. Rochdale Observer, Friday 9th December 1859
  17. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 18th August 1860
  18. The Practical Mechanic's Journal, Sept 1860, p.162