Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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M. Billingsley

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Billingsley's vertical boring mill, patented in 1802. Engraving dated 1813

Michael Billingsley of Bowling Ironworks.

Michael Billingsley was engaged by John Sturges and Co as Head Engineer, having previously been engaged at the ironworks at Birkenshaw. At Bowling, he was assisted by his brother, Edward Billingsley and by Eli Stott (draughtsman). John Cole was cashier at the works, and left in 1848 after 50 years service to co-found Cole, Marchent and Morley. The other founding partners had all worked for Sturges. On the retirement of Michael Billingsley, William Cole became Head Engineer. [1]

1802 Billingsley developed and patented a method of boring engine cylinders vertically. This was claimed to be quicker and more accurate than horizontal boring. Patent dated 22 December 1802 [2]

1837 Death notice: 'Nov. 17, in his 70th rear, Mr. Michael Billingsley, of Bowling, who for upwards of 34years eminently discharged the duties of engineer at Bowling Iron Works, near Bradford. He was the inventor of the vertical boring machine, for which be obtained a patent in the year 1802. An engineer of sound mechanical skill, correct judgment, and inventive genius, he has left but few superiors.'[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1]Histories of Bolton and Bowling by William Cudworth, 1891
  2. 'The Mechanic or Compendium of Practical Inventions' Vol 1, by James Smith, Caxton Press, c.1820
  3. Leeds Intelligencer, 25 November 1837