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 125,360 pages of information and 195,494 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Robert Harlow

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Robert Harlow of Robert Harlow and Son.

1833 Born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, on 20th August.

Originally from a clock making family based in Ashbourne, he moved to Stockport to start his own foundry business.

His daughter by his second marriage - Janet Somerville Harlow - married Christian Fredrick Budenberg of Schaeffer and Budenberg of Manchester in 1890.

Late 1860s and Early 1870s - He made a lot of money exporting valves and finished products to Schaeffer and Budenberg in Germany, due to poor materials supply in Prussia at that time.

He was a close friend of Bernhard Schaeffer and named some of his children after Bernhard’s family members.

In the 1862 international exhibition in South Kensington he was listed as selling 'heating apparatus'.

1868 Son Bernhard Schaeffer Harlow was born.

Robert Harlow brought the concept of general heating to Britain from Germany (the Schaeffers and Budenberg’s all had hot and cold running water, central heating and double glazing) and installed central heating in his house in Heaton Norris in 1875.

He promoted himself as Britain's first central heating engineer, and sold to the gentry

He died 20 January 1878 in Heaton Norris.

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Sources of Information

  • Info kindly provided by Cally Stockdale