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British Industrial History

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John H. Wilson and Co

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1867. Portable steam crane for the Argentine Government.
January 1872.
June 1872.
June 1872.
1879. Dock crane in Singapore.


January 1880.
1882. Steam and hand steering gear.
January 1888.
December 1889.
c1890s. Tierra del Fuego, Chile.
c1890s. Tierra del Fuego, Chile.
c1890s. Tierra del Fuego, Chile.
c1890s. Tierra del Fuego, Chile.
c1890s. Tierra del Fuego, Chile.
1891. Steam Crane Excavator.
1891. Steam Crane Excavator.
1894. Locomotive crane on the Manchester Ship Canal.
1895. Wilson steam Navvy.
Steam Crane at the Goulburn Rail Heritage Centre.
Steam Crane at the Goulburn Rail Heritage Centre.
Steam Crane at the Goulburn Rail Heritage Centre.
Locomotive crane on the Manchester Ship Canal.
Locomotive crane on the Manchester Ship Canal.
1899. Wilson long jib crane Navvy.
Winch is use in 2020 on the Murray River paddle steamer ‘Oscar W’ in Australia.
1903. Steam jib crane.
1905. 16 ton electric Goliath crane.
1907. 10-ton crane.
1909. Locomotive gantry jib crane.
1909. 3-ton electric contractors crane.
2018. Machinery found at tierra del fuego Chile.
2018. Machinery found at tierra del fuego Chile.

John H. Wilson and Company aka J. H. Wilson and Co of Dock Road, Seacombe, Birkenhead, and Bankhall Engine Works Sandhills, Liverpool.

of 15 Victoria Street, Westminster - see John Wilson and Co (of Westminster)

1860 Company established by John H. Wilson

1869 Improved Ships' Closet.[1]

1869 Bought the Mackay Gun and advertised it for sale (see advert)

1872 Patent plug valve for steam and water (see advert)

1870s Making the Selden steam pump under licence [2]

1875 Built a locomotive for the Welsh Slate Company at Blaenau Ffestiniog.

1875 J. H. Wilson and Co briefly referred to in 'The Engineer' in connection with Selden steam pumps, which they made under licence

1876 "NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership lately subsisting between us the undersigned, at Liverpool, in the county of Lancaster, as Engineers, Brassfounders, Ships' Ironmongers, &c., under the style or firm of John H. Wilson and Co., was dissolved, by mutual consent, on the 30th day of June, 1876."

Signed John Hays Wilson, Henry Alexander Wilson, Edward William West.[3]

1879 Crane for Albert Dock, Tanjong Pagar Dock Company, Singapore. Now preserved on public display near ferry terminal ('Harbour Front').

1891 Of Bank Hall Engine Works. For description of works see 1891 The Practical Engineer

1892 Incorporated as a limited company.

1894 Locomotive Crane, Manchester Ship Canal ('of Liverpool'). [4]

Manchester Ship Canal - Wilson were a major supplier to these works - either directly or to involved contractors during the construction phase; and to the organisation as a port authority. Note the typical MSC spark arresting bonnets on the chimney.

1897 -1905 Wilson also supplied about two dozen cranes to Pearson and Co, contractors for port and harbour works at Coatzacoalcos, Vera Cruz and Salina Cruz, Mexico. [5]

1903 of 15, Victoria-street, Westminster, and Liverpool. Issued a catalogue No. 52b showing by means of photographic illustrations the many types of cranes made by the company.[6]

1905 Advert for steam winches, windlasses, deck cranes, donkey pumps etc. (of 150 Sandhills, Liverpool) [7]

1911 7-ton floating jib crane for Spain. [8]

1914 Engineers and ironfounders. Specialities: steam and electrical cranes, excavators, windlasses, capstans, winches, concrete mixers, pumps and boilers. Directors: C. Q. Henriques and Samuel Porter. Employees 500. [9]

1918 Large steam excavator (face shovel) described and illustrated in 'Engineering'. Weight 90 tons. Bucket capacity 1.5 cu. yd. Lattice jib 75 ft long.[10]

1919 Locomotive cranes. [11]

A crane originally made for Russia (export stopped because of the revolution) was regauged and diverted to the Inland Waterways Transport section of the War Department; then shipped to Kantara Workshops on the Sinai Military Railway and finally into Palestine Railway's stock. [12]

1920 January. Issued leaflets on electrically driven cargo winches. [13]

1920 Produced a travelling gantry crane for dockyard use. [14]

1928 “Buildings plant and machinery, and business” advertised for sale.[15]

  • Goliath cranes, sometimes called portal cranes, are similar to overhead travelling cranes, but instead of running on rails at high level, or on a free standing gantry structure, they run on rails on the floor. One of the advantages of a goliath crane is that the absence of support gantry rails can save money.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1869/06/04
  2. [1]'Mine Drainage' by Stephen Michell
  3. London Gazette 17 August 1877
  4. The Engineer of 25th May 1894 p463
  5. Chris Capewell Queens Park London
  6. The Engineer 1903/05/29, p 558
  7. Mechanical World Year Book 1905. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p4
  8. The Engineer of 11th August 1911 p162
  9. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  10. Engineering, 6 Dec 1918
  11. Mechanical World Year Book 1919. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p109
  12. Chris Capewell, Queens Park London
  13. The Engineer of 9th Jan 1920 p53
  14. The Engineer of 5th November 1920 p462
  15. The Times; August 20th 1928.
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816