Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,199 pages of information and 245,645 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Baildon

From Graces Guide


Genealogy and Early Years

From Baildon Family Website [1]:-

William Baildon (baptised 15th December 1661) was the son of Christopher Baildon and his wife Elizabeth (maiden name Tyas).
William Baildon married Elizabeth Bayley of Briestwell near Huddersfield in 1690 or 1692 and they had two sons, John (baptised 21st November 1705) and Adam who was born in 1712.
Adam Baildon married Mary Newton and their son William was baptised at Sandal near Wakefield on 5th March 1736 or 1737. Mary died in 1749.
William Baildon, son of Adam and Mary was educated as a civil engineer and went to Falkirk, Scotland before 1765 together with Dr. John Roebuck of Sheffield, who started the Carron Ironworks, near Falkirk. William Baildon was engaged in the smelting of iron.
William Baildon married Elizabeth Anderson at Falkirk on the 22nd March 1765. She was born on the 19th October 1741 at Falkirk.
William and Elizabeth had four sons and three daughters. John Baildon was born on 11th December 1772 at Larbert.

John Smeaton's reputation as an engineer spread throughout Europe and many foreigners came to England to consult him. Amongst these was a land owner from Upper Silesia, now in Poland, called Count Fredrich Wilhelm Reden. John Smeaton recommended John Baildon to the Count and in 1793 John Baildon left for Tarnowitz, Upper Silesia, to assist in the building of a canal and iron works.

John Baildon eventually left the service of the Count and built Laasan Bridge (Poland), the first iron bridge on the continent of Europe.

Prior to 1834, together with three partners John Baildon also founded the iron works called 'Baildonhutte' at Kattowitz on the River Rawa.

He died on 7th August 1846

Career in Europe

From Wikipedia, English version:-

In 1793, he went to Prussian Silesia (modern day Upper Silesia, Poland). During the remainder of his life in Silesia, Baildon was involved in numerous pioneering industrial undertakings, including construction of the first blast furnaces fired by coke in continental Europe (in Gleiwitz (Gliwice) and Königshütte (Chorzów), the first pig iron produced on 21 September 1796), and the Klodnitz (Klodnica) Canal.

John married Helene Antonie Galli, daughter of an Italian merchant, in Gleiwitz in 1804 and had 7 children (5 sons, 2 daughters). He died in Gleiwitz and is buried there (at the "Hutniczy" cemetery).

A major steel works (Baildon Steelworks, Katowice, established in 1823, liquidated in 2001) was named after him.

Additional Information from Wikipedia in Polish

From Wikipedia (Polish):-

John Baildon studied mechanics , hydraulics and mechanical drawing under Daniel Manson in Stirling.

He was responsible for the construction of the Royal Prussian Iron Foundry in Gliwice, including the design and commissioning of coke blast furnaces for smelting iron ore, which produced their first pig iron on September 10, 1796. His blast furnace was the first of its kind on the European mainland. The smelters in Domb in Katowice became known as Baildon Steelworks. Iron puddling furnaces were also constructed. A road at the Baildon Steelworks was named after him - Baildonstraße (ulica Johna Baildona).

From 1792-1812 he planned the Klodnica Canal, with a length of 46 km.

He was involved in the construction (1794-6) of Laasan Bridge (Poland).

In 1799, Baildon and Johann Friedrich Wedding produced construction plans and cost estimates for the iron works in Chorzów. Baildon designed the first steam blowing engine here.

He was also the designer of the first operating steam engine in Germany. The machine parts were cast in the Royal Foundry in Gliwice. This steam engine was in operation from from 1800 to 1824 in the Royal Porcelain Manufactory Berlin (KPM).

In 1804 John Baildon married Helene Galli, settled down in Gliwice and lived there until the end of his life. The tomb of cast iron is in the Gliwice Steelworks cemetery and was reconstructed in 2012. His son Arthur Adam John Baildon (1822-1909) was knighted as "Baildon and Briestwell" in 1881.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Baildon Family Website, 'BAILDON FAMILY HISTORY
  • 'The Life and work of John Baildon, the man who took British 18th century iron innovations to Prussia between 1793 and 1836 by Richard Williams'. Int J, for the History of Eng, & Tech. Vol 90 No. 1 January 2020 , 18-52