Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,470 pages of information and 233,895 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Curr

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of Sheffield

1790 Constructed a Newcomen pumping engine for Attercliffe Common Colliery. This was served by two haystack boilers, each housed in a 'bottle-kiln' type structure[1]

Author of 'The Coal Viewer and Engine Builder's Practical Companion'. See below.

1798 Advertisement: 'This day was published, IN ONE VOLUME QUARTO, Price 2½ guineas in Boards, THE COAL VIEWER and ENGINE BUILDERS PRACTICAL COMPANION, By JOHN CURR, Colliery Agent to his Grace The Duke of Norfolk, at Sheffield; Containing his Improved Method of conveying Coals and Ores upon Cast Iron Rail Roads, on dead Levels and inclined Planes; Plans and Directions for Building Fire Engines of every Size, with the Strength of Materials adjusted to the Cylinder; Estimate of the Expence of Building Engines of 30, 40, 50, 60 and 70 inches Diameter of Cylinders; Tables of the Power of Engines, Weight of forged and rolled Iron, Weight of Ropes, and Quantity of Coals, contained in an Acre, &c &c.
Sheffield: Printed for the Author, by John Northall; and sold by I. and J. Taylor, at the Architectural Library, High Holborn, and Jos. Whitfield, Newcastle upon Tyne'[2]. Note: He was advertising for subscriptions for this book in 1793 [3]

1798 John Curr introduced standardized wire cables for mine hoisting.[4]

1823 'Died: On Monday last, in the 67th year of his age, John Curr, Esq. of Broom Spring, formerly a very active agent in the colliery of his Grace the Duke of Norfolk.'[5]

Described as 'One of the most outstanding coal viewers of his day, notable especially for his introduction of wheeled corves, running on cast iron rails, his invention of flat rope winding with rotative steam engines, introduction of steam haulage underground, etc.'[6]

For more information see Wikipedia entry

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Illustrated in 'The Non Rotative Beam Engine' by Maurice Kelly, Camden Miniature Steam Services, 2002
  2. Newcastle Courant, 6 January 1798
  3. Leeds Intelligencer, 2 December 1793
  4. 'A History of Technology and Invention - Progress through the Ages - The Expansion of Mechanization: 1725-1860' Edited by Maurice Daumas, translated by Eileen B. Hennessy, Crown Publishers Inc. First published in France in 1968 as 'Histoire Générale des Techniques', p.523
  5. Sheffield Independent, Saturday 1 February 1823
  6. 'Science and Technology in the Industrial Revolution' by A E Musson and Eric Robinson, Manchester University Press, 1969, p.112, being quoted from 'The Coal Industry of the Eighteenth Century', T S Ashton and J R Sykes, 2nd edition, Manchester, 1964