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British Industrial History

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Harrison Lee and Sons

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Harrison Lee & Sons, City Foundry, Limerick

Engineers, Millwrights, Smiths, Boiler Makers, Brass and Iron Founders

An undated advertisement includes a drawing of the works (see illustration), showing that it was established in 1828.

c1849 Harrison's son joined the firm. Business known as Harrison Lee and Sons

Made numerous manhole covers and boundary signs.[1]

1849 Advertisement: 'HARRISON LEE AND SON, Millwrights, Engineers, Smiths and Iron Founders, Take this opportunity of returning their thanks to the Public for their kind patronage for the last Sixteen Years, and solicit the attention of Farmers and Poor Law Guardians, Governors of Gaols, &c. to the NEWLY INVENTED Steaming Apparatus, of DIFFERENT SIZES, For Cooking all descriptions of Food By Steam, and all sorts of Vegetables for Feeding Cattle.
In this Apparatus the Steam does not mix with the Food as in all others now in use, and the consumption of fuel is considerably less.
They now beg to call public attention to their improvements in the Establishment. Having engaged a competent Engineer as Manager, who has lately conducted business for a number of years for JAMES FAGAN, Esq. M.P. and for Sir JAMES ANDERSON. Bart., and Co., they can now, with confidence, engage to execute all orders, in MILL AND ENGINE WORK, Together with all Articles in the Foundry line to satisfaction, and with expedition not previously experienced.
H. LEE AND SON, Have present on hands their IMPROVED capstan mills. which, from simplicity and durability, renders it one the most valuable Machines ever invented for Workhouses, Gaols, and other places ; it being constructed so as to be worked by the inmates to grind any kind of grain.
Also, a 20 horse high pressure Steam Engine, two 6 horse do. and two smaller ones adapted for grocers, and every description of implements used in agricultural purposes ail of which are made on the most improved principles to reduce friction and render the machinery less liable get out of order than any other heretofore introduced.
Entrance and Field Gates to any pattern ; and all descriptions of Wrought Iron Work, Bells of all sizes, Soap Pans do. Salt Pans do. Weighing Beams, &c. ; Platform Weighing do ; Screws of all sizes. Hydraulic Presses, &c ; and an immensity of other articles too numerous for insertion.
H. L. & Son beg to inform Grocers that they have been appointed Agents for the Sale of HILL AND EVANS'S Best London-made Coffee Mills, SUGAR MILLS AD PEPPER MILLS
They would feel obliged to persons indebted to them to forward the amount, as they want to close all accounts for the year ; and those that have been applied to without effort will have to blame themselves for any expenses attending the recovery of same. Any person having lawful demand on them will please to furnish their accounts for payment. City Foundry, Limerick. Dec. 7, 1849.'[2]

1852 At the National Exhibition of the Arts, Manufactures, and Products of Ireland, held in Cork, they exhibited a beam engine and boiler (to drive a coffee mill), a large bell weighing 6 cwt. weight, with wheel, and 'two weighing beams, &c.'[3]

An account thought to have been published in 1892[4] states that the current proprietors were Samuel Edward Lee and Richard John Lee, both members of the IMechE. It is stated that they produced iron castings up to 10 tons, and machines including steam engines up to 25 HP and hydraulic presses. Mention is made of a pair of horizontal engines of 80 HP supplied to a local bacon curing plant.

1866 Harrison Lee died at the age of 56.[5]

1869 Eldest son, Harrison Lee Jnr dies.[6]

Three other sons, Joseph William, Samuel Edward and Richard John took charge of the foundry.[7]

At the tunr of the century the comapny carried out motor car repairs and in 1906 advertised the foundry as a 'Garage' in a newspaper advertisement.

1907 Won the silver medal for their agricultural implements at the Limerick Horse Show.[8]

1916 List of products included steam engines, saw benches, waterwheels, cranes, winches, pumps and column girders[9]

1916 Samuel E. Lee dies and less than 6 months later his brother Richard also dies.

The foundry continued to trade as Harrison Lee & Sons, City Foundry, and in 1918 it advertised the repair of ships and boiler making in addition to its traditional work.[10][11]

1930 Business had wound up by this time.[12]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Limerick Iron Foundries 1806-1989 (Unpublished article) by Patrick McDonnell Nov 2008 – May 2010
  2. Limerick Reporter, 21 December 1849
  3. [1] Official Catalogue of the National Exhibition of the Arts, Manufactures, and Products of Ireland, held in Cork, 1852
  4. Thought to be 'Stratten's Guide to Dublin, Cork and the South of Ireland', London, 1892
  5. Limerick Chronicle 22 February 1866.
  6. Limerick Chronicle 2 February 1869.
  7. Basset, William Limerick City and County Directory William Basset, Limerick, 1884, p. 29.
  8. Limerick Chronicle 20 July 1907.
  9. Limerick Chronicle 8 January 1916
  10. Limerick Iron Foundries 1806-1989 (Unpublished article) by Patrick McDonnell Nov 2008 – May 2010
  11. Limerick Chronicle 26 January 1918
  12. Limerick Chronicle 4 January 1930.