Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Richard Johnson and Brother

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of 27 Dale Street, Manchester, presumably a continuation of Johnson and Sharrocks

1838 John Johnson handed his business to his sons, Richard and William; the name was changed to Richard Johnson and Brother.

1848 the firm had 80 employees; products included finished goods including "every description of wove wire and wire work" as well as wire.

1851 Richard Johnson and Brother supplied the galvanised armouring wires for the cross-Channel telegraph cable that was used by the Submarine Telegraph Co in its second attempt to link England and France. This was the start of long-standing involvement in cable making.

1853 Moved to Bradford Ironworks, Manchester.

1855 of Dale Street - iron manufacturers, galvanizers, wire drawers and sheet, copper, brass and zine merchants[1]

1857 Supplied wire for the first trans-Atlantic cable R. S. Newall and Co at Birkenhead.

1854 Supplied large quantities of wire for the Niagara Suspension Bridge, which opened for service on March 18, 1855. This was to develop into another major line or work for the company.

See R. and W. Johnson and Co

1857 'Boiler Explosion at the Bradford Iron Works, near Manchester.—
Yesterday morning a serious boiler explosion occurred at Messrs. Johnson and Co's. ironworks at Bradford, near Manchester. The boiler was one of tbe largest in the works, being 22 feet in length and 5 feet in diameter, with a flue 2 feet 9 inches in diameter. It was mainly used as an assistant boiler of the others, numbering 15, that are in these extensive works, and at the time of the accident the engineer, Joseph Cash, was firing up, and was blown some 20 yards down the shed. The poor fellow is very seriously injured, his legs, body, and face being dreadfully scalded and burnt. David Gregson, who was at the time near to Cash, is also very seriously injured, having got a wound in the head and much scalded and burned. A boy named Hayes has also received injuries; his head, face, body, and legs were very much scalded and burned. Richard Fellowes is also scalded and burned, but not so seriously as Cash, Gregson, and Hayes. These four were at once conveyed to the Royal Infirmary, where the three last-named lie in a very precarious state. Other persons were injured by the explosion, but not seriously. Cash is said to have since died.'[2]

1860 Death of William Johnson

1860 Richard and William’s nephew, John Thewlis Johnson, began working for the firm

By 1864 John Thewlis Johnson had begun to work for one of the company's major customers W. T. Henley, although continuing to spend time at Manchester.

1865 John Thewlis Johnson became a director when the company name was changed to Richard Johnson and Nephew.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1855 Slater´s Directory of Manchester
  2. Morning Post - Saturday 19 September 1857