Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Frys Metal Foundries

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1923. Ton Melting Pot.
1923. Casting White Metal Ingots.
1923. Thurston Friction Testing Machine.
1923. Two Die-Casting Machines - Open.
1923. Die-Casting Machine - Closed.
May 1947. Frysol.
September 1950.
June 1951.
November 1954. Body Solders.
November 1957. Body Solders.

Fry's Metal Foundries of Tandem Works, Merton Abbey, London, SW19, makers of solder fluxes and other non-ferrous alloys.

Fry's Metal Foundry of Holland-street, on the south side of Blackfriars Bridge.

John Fry had a vision for a new business, bringing metallurgy and science to the type-metal (print metal) business. With the support of his wife and Alfred Mundey, Fry's Metals Foundries was formed. Mundey agreed to become Consultant Metallurgist for the new company.

1912 Opened premises at Holland Street, London. John knew that to improve the printing process he needed to understand more about the interaction of alloy composition with the process and the influence of impurities in the alloys. With this in mind he took the bold step of funding a young post-graduate to do research on the subject - Frances Weaver.

The outcome of Weaver's research was considered to be the definitive work on the subject and he was awarded a PhD. John Fry was in a position to use the firm knowledge base to expand his business. This new knowledge combined with the co-operation of Alfred Mundey enabled Fry's to become known as technical experts in the printing industry.

1923 Produced a range of white metal alloys, include all kinds of anti-friction metal, solders and white brass in addition to the type metal which the business had long produced.

1923 "The works in question ... have developed out of a business started in 1863 by Thomas Henry Fry for refining antimony and marking type metals. Since then, however the scope of work undertaken in the foundry has been greatly enlarged, and the premises have extended to both sides of the road, while a new foundry shop has just been added, so that an output of from 70 to 100 tons of metal per twenty-four hours can be attained..."[1] Read More

"...It is ... the practice of the company to undertake almost any research work concerning the metallurgy of the white metals for anyone interested in their use, and to advise on the best alloys for specific purposes."

" As an example of this investigatory spirit we might mention the little nozzle from a type casting machine... A customer had complained that the type metal continually choked up the orifice of the nozzle, but the engineer found that the fault was in the nozzle and not the metal. The jet, not that originally supplied with the machine, was made of soft machinery steel, and the type metal, by alloying itself with the inner wall of the nozzle, gradually closed up the orifice."

1925 Private company registered on September 1st 1925 with a nominal capital of £100,000. Mr Fry was chairman and managing director and the staff of the old firm remained unchanged and A. H. Mundey and Mr P. M. Parish were invited to accept seats on the board of directors.[2]

1937 Solder manufacturers. "Fry" Engraved Tinman's Soldiers. "Fry" Silver-Lead Solders for Aircraft Radiators. "Frysol" Soldering Fluxes.

WWII appears to have worked for Royal Aircraft Establishment, with another maker of solders[3]

1944 Goodlass, Wall and Lead Industries Ltd acquired Frys Metal Foundries and its subsidiaries except Fry's Diecasting[4].

1955 Allan Barnes and Ralph Strauss developed a better way of soldering components on printed circuit boards using a moving stream of solder - based on their experience with nozzles used in the print type process, they developed the wave solder process. The first practical machine was supplied to Plessey Co.

1956 Allan Barnes, Vic Elliot and Ralph Strauss applied for a patent for the invention. This invention was to help start the revolution in electronics by providing an efficient and economical method for the mass production of printed circuit boards.

1961 Manufacturers of non-ferrous alloys. Specialists in printing metals, soft solders and soldering fluxes. 1,000 employees.

By 2006 the wave solder process was carried out by Cookson Electronics Assembly Materials who continued to innovate in the wave solder process.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1923/02/16
  2. The Engineer 1925/09/11
  3. National Archives [1]
  4. The Times, 6 January 1944
  • History of Wave Soldering [2]