Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 132,597 pages of information and 209,980 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
The Patent Shaft and Axletree Company of Wednesbury, Staffs
c. 1838 Partnership formed to work the 1834 axle patent of James Hardy.
1840 Company established.
1851 Award at the 1851 Great Exhibition. See details at 1851 Great Exhibition: Reports of the Juries: Class V.
1864 Incorporated as a Limited Company.
1870 Built Stourport Bridge.
1870 Advert this page: Patent Shaft and Axletree Co (Lloyds, Fosters and Co's department). Agents were at 26 Parliament St, London SW; 2 Brabant Court, London EC; 8 New Broad St, London EC
1877 The firm had made the original Colenso and Frere bridges.
1881 Brunswick Ironworks, of Wednesbury.
1885 Built the world's first all-steel bridge over the Ganges at Benares.
1889 The company re-registered to enable financial reconstruction following embezzlement by a company accountant.
1896/7 Directory: Listed for Railway Equipment. 
1900 Makers of the Tugela River new bridge in South Africa which consisted of seven spans of 105 feet each. 
1902 Incorporated into the Metropolitan Amalgamated Railway Carriage and Wagon Co.
1909 The company built one of the most impressing railway constructions in Argentina. It is a 266 metre (292 yards) long, 7 bridges structure (6 caged bridges and one open), dating from 1909. The two stations (almost ruins) were linked by the bridges. (see photographs at right).
Railroad Tech Data:*
1914 Manufacturers of Bridgework, Wheels, Tyres, Axles, Steel and Iron Plates and Bars, Bogies and Underframes, Wagons, Turntables, Rivets etc. Specialities: Brunswick Rolled Steel Disc Wheels and Wheels and Axles for Carriages and Wagons, Wrought Iron and Steel Bridgework, Railway Wagons, Pressed Steel Underframes and Bogies, Steel and Iron Plates, Sections and Rivets and all descriptions of Steelwork for Railway Stock. Blackfriars Bridge, London was built by the company; also some of the largest bridges in the world, amongst others the Benares Bridge over the Ganges and the Colenso and Frere Bridge (seven spans) in Natal which held the record for rapid construction. Employees 3500. 
1920 Brunswick wheel works and Monway tyre works closed.
1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history. The Patent Shaft and Axletree Co developed the basic open-hearth process, and had recently completed an entirely new and up-to-date Siemens plant, in extension of its output of plates, sections, wheels and axles.
1949 Old Park sold outright to Metropolitan-Cammell.
1956 Purchased from the Holding and Realization Agency by Cammell, Laird and Co (75%) and Metro Cammell (25%), the latter being owned by Vickers and Cammell, Laird and Co. A scheme for the reconstruction of the Patent Shaft works was announced.
1970 After a financial crisis, the parent company was renamed as Laird Group; it also held 50 percent of the shipbuilding business (the government took on the other 50 percent), as well as the other activities of the former company.