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British Industrial History

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John Hetherington and Sons

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1887. Carding engine.
1888. Hetherington radial arm drill, with Greenwood and Batley lathe in background, formerly on display at Dingles Fairground Heritage Centre, Devon.
Former Hetherington machine tool works, Pollard Street (photographed 2008)
Former Hetherington textile machinery works in Pollard Street
Former Hetherington textile machinery works in Pollard Street
Carding machine at Quarry Bank Mill
August 1899.
1903. Frame slotting machine.
1904. Duplex Milling Machine.
1904. High-speed headstock.
1904. Headstock.
1904. Loose headstock and bed.
1905. Two spindle drill.
1905. Special boring machine.
1905. Multiple drilling and tapping machine.
1906. 8 Foot Gear Cutter
1914 pit lathe. 98 inch centre height, 16 ft dia faceplate, 30 ft diameter swing in pit.
1914. Pit lathe.
1924. John Hetherington Nasmith Comber.
1930. Large boring and turning mill.

of the Vulcan, Hope, and Ancoats Works, Pollard Street, Manchester.

John Hetherington and Sons were makers of machine tools and textile machines.

1836 Company established by John Hetherington

1847 Back gear turning lathe (Mr Heatherington of Manchester). [1]

1851 Company employing 200 men [2]

1854 John Muir Hetherington becomes a partner in the company

1861 Company employing 490 men, 250 boys and 46 girls [3]

1862 London Exhibition, featured machinery for cleaning cotton and preparing, combing, and spinning including carding engines, drawing frame, slubbing frame, roving frame, and self-acting mule; also machine tools including self-acting slide and screw-cutting lathe, drilling and boring machines[4].

1871 Company employing 900 hands [5]

1888 The 'Draper-Hetherington' Automatic Sprinkler (by Hetherington and Co of Manchester). [6]

1888 Double Planing machine for Pembroke Dockyard (by Hetherington and Co of Manchester). [7]

1888 Double Cold Saw (by Hetherington and Co of Manchester). [8]

1890 Incorporated as a limited company.

1894 The company was registered on 29 November, to acquire the business of textile machinists and engineers of a private company of the same name. [9]. The prospectus includes the following information:-

Directors. John M. Hetherington, Esq., Chairman. John M'Queen, Esq., Vice-chairman. Clement V. Haworth, Esq., Manchester. Amos Mellodew, Esq., Oldham. .....The vendor company recently acquired the plant and business of the old and well-known firm of Curtis, Sons, and Co. whose speciality, in addition to cotton machinery, was the manufacture of spinning and other machinery for the woollen trade, and this is included in the present purchase. The works and premises comprise (1) the Vulcan Works in Pollard-street, Ancoats; (2) The Ancoats Works on the opposite side of the same street, and used for the purposes of the tool making and general engineering department; (3, The Hope Mills, adjoining the Ancoats Works ; and (4, The Phoenix Works taken upon lease at the time of purchasing the plant and business of the late firm of Curtis, Sons, and Co, Part of the Vulcan Works stands upon area of 8,268 square yards land or thereabouts, .... The rest of the Vulcan Works stands upon an area of 14,369½ square yards of land or thereabouts, which is freehold, .... The Ancoats Works, together with the Hope Mills, occupy an area of 6,304 square yards of land or thereabouts, which is freehold, .... The areas above-mentioned include portions the adjoining streets. The Phoenix Works are occupied upon lease which is about expire, but respect of which an offer of renewal has been received. The several works are centrally situated within the manufacturing district of the city. The extensive plant comprises engines, boilers, gearing, lathes, drilling, planing, shaping, and other special machines, tools, and appliances necessary to the best and most economical performance of the work undertaken the company, including automatic milling machines specially designed for manufacturing the detailed parts of the machines. The works and plant have been kept to the highest degree of efficiency. The whole the above-mentioned property, together with the loose tools, patterns, &c., have been valued by Messrs. Wheatlev Kirk, Price, and Goulty, at the sum of £211,221 9s. 3d,.....'[10]

1911 Railway wheel lathe, Boring and turning mills and Screw driven planing machines.

1914 Textile machinists and engineers' heavy machine tool makers. Employees 4,200. [11]

1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history.

1931 John Hetherington and Sons, Howard and Bullough, Platt Brothers, Brooks and Doxey, Asa Lees and Co, Dobson and Barlow, Joseph Hibbert sold their textile machinery making assets to Textile Machinery Makers (TMM) in return for shares. Tweedales and Smalley were initially not partners of the TMM scheme but they joined later.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Machine Tools by James Weir French in 2 vols. Published 1911 by Gresham
  1. Engineer and Machinist's Assistant 1847. plate XLI (see descriptions on p24)
  2. 1851 Census
  3. 1861 Census
  4. Catalogue 1862 London Exhibition: Catalogue: Class 7.: John Hetherington and Sons
  5. 1871 Census
  6. The Engineer of 2nd March 1888 p205
  7. The Engineer of 13th April 1888 p297
  8. The Engineer of 20th April 1888 p315
  9. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  10. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 1 December 1894
  11. 1914 Whitakers Red Book