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 146,706 pages of information and 232,164 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Hughes (1814-1889)

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

John Hughes (1814-1889)

c.1814 born at Merthyr.

At an early ago he entered the Cyfarthfa and the Ebbw Vale Works

Later he started a mechanical factory of his own at Newport, Monmouthsbire.

Subsequently he became director of the Millwall Iron and Shipbuilding Works, where he invented the hollow stringer and constructed the Millwall shield, which withstood the tests better than any other armour in England. This brought orders from the Russian Government, and by this connection Hughes was induced to go out and make personal inspection of the rich mineral deposits of southern Russia.

1869 Eventually he formed a company in London and concluded a contract with the Russian Government in April, 1869, for the establishment of the works.

1889 Died

1890 Obituary [1]

JOHN HUGHES, of the town of Hughesovska, in Southern Russia, or called after his name, was born at Merthyr, in South Wales, in 1814, and died suddenly at St. Petersburg, in July 1889.

Mr. Hughes was trained in his native Principality as an ironworker, and became a competent mechanical engineer as well. On leaving his own neighbourhood, he was employed in different capacities at engineering works in London and elsewhere. While residing in the Metropolis, his attention was called to the great facilities offered by the south of Russia for the prosecution of the iron manufacture, and he took a leading part in the establishment of a company, known as the New Russia Iron Company, of which he became the managing director, promoted with the view of acquiring mineral properties, and erecting iron and steel works, in the locality that bears his name. The works have been carried on by Mr. Hughes for nearly twenty years with conspicuous success. Some of the best-known men connected with the engineering profession in England are among the shareholders.

The Hughesovska Company raise their own coal and iron, make their own pig in three modern furnaces, and produce bar iron and Siemens steel When Mr. Hughes selected the site where his works now stand, there were only a few miserable huts in the neighbourhood, so that great difficulties on the score of efficient labour and domiciliary accommodation had to be met. Mr. Hughes, however, overcame these with his invariable energy, and now the works support a population of nearly 10,000 souls.

Mr. Hughes frequently made visits to Europe, and kept himself well au courant with the proceedings of the Iron and Steel Institute, of which he had been a member since 1878, as well as those of other bodies. He was well known to, and a persona grata with, some of the more prominent Court officials, including the Ministers of Commerce and of Ways and Communications at St. Petersburg; and it is much to his credit that in a country, where there is an instinctive dislike of foreigners, and where he had a most difficult part to play, he so comported himself as to earn the esteem of those who knew him best, at the same time that he did well for his company, which was mainly established with English capital.

See Also


Sources of Information