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British Industrial History

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Sharp, Hill and Co

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Sharp, Hill and Company, patent reed makers, of Manchester.

c.1821 Richard Roberts improved a reed-making machine, originally invented by the American Jeptha Avery Wilkinson. He employed 12 - 14 mechanics but the machines were still hand-powered. He received financial help from Thomas Sharp, a businessman

1823 Sharp and Roberts entered into a formal partnership. Sharp guided Roberts into commercial ventures and their seven patents were largely profitable. Whilst developing his textiles machines, Roberts also took as partners Robert Chapman Sharp, Thomas Jones Wilkinson and James Hill. They formed two firms, Sharp, Hill and Co and Roberts, Hill and Co.

1825 July 17th. Extensive fire at the Globe Works. '

1826 June 7th. 'Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore carried on by us the undersigned, as Patent-Reed-Manufacturers and Machine-Makers, in Manchester, in the County of Lancaster, under the firms of Sharp, Hill and Company, and Roberts, Hill and Company, was dissolved by mutual consent on the 31st day of May last, so far as regards the undersigned James Hill, who retires from the said concerns. — Witness our hands this 7th day of Jane 1826. Thomas Sharp, Thos. Jones Wilkinson, Robert C. Sharp, James Hill, Richard Roberts.' [1]

1830 The patent reed manufactory was still referred to as being Sharp, Hill and Company as late as 1830[2].

Became Sharp, Roberts and Co

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Gazette Issue 18256 published on the 10 June 1826
  2. The Morning Post, 29 September 1830
  • Biography of Richard Roberts, by Gillian Cookson, ODNB [2]