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British Industrial History

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Sydney Smith and Sons

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1847 Patent No. 11,711 (part).
December 1889.
May 1896.
Early pressure gauge.
Early pressure gauge.

of Basford Brass Works, Nottingham, brass founders and finishers, manufacture of steam gauges, boiler fittings, safety valves, steam whistles, sirens, pumps, etc (1898).

1847 Sydney Smith established his business to exploit his patent on steam gauges which had received the warmest support from George Stephenson.

The patent enabled Sydney Smith to start manufacturing the gauges and, later, valves and fittings at Forest Terrace, Hyson Green, Nottingham, which continued at this address until 1882 when Sydney died.

In the early years Sydney’s two eldest sons Joseph and Samuel greatly helped their father in testing his many inventions, and he soon employed his eldest sons in turn.

1862 Pressure and vacuum gauges (patented by Sydney Smith)

1862 The Firm’s name was changed to Smith Brothers and Co

1864 Sydney retired from the business, handing it onto four of his sons, Joseph, Samuel, Isaac and William, and also to his son-in-law, John Miller.

Early 1880s: A disagreement on policy led to 3 of the brothers eventually severing their connections with the business

1882 Samuel, Isaac and William re-established themselves at the Basford Works, Egypt Road, Nottingham under the name of Sydney Smith and Sons to manufacture gauges, valves and fittings. Smith Brothers and Co moved from Forest Terrace to Bobbers Mill Road, Nottingham.

1891 of Nottingham, released a catalogue of their gun metal steam fittings. [1]

1895 Samuel Smith died

1897 Joseph Smith died (it is not clear whether he was a partner in the business)

By 1898 were at Basford Works, Nottingham

1898 John Smith died

1906 Private company. The Company was incorporated in 1906 and continued as Sydney Smith and Sons (Nottingham) Ltd. at Egypt Road

1907 Isaac Smith - Letter to The Engineer [2]

1908 William Smith died

1914 Brass Founders and Finishers. Specialities: Pressure gauges; sound signals comprising Smith's Patent Syrens, Smith's Trumpets, Smith's Patent Whistles and other sound signals; Smith's Patent Safety Valve with pressure gauge combined for locos, stationary, marine and portable boilers; Smith and Bourdon's steam, vacuum, hydraulic and compound gauges, Smith's fusible plugs, Smith's full-bore taps; also iron valves, sluice and safety valves, hydrants, gunmetal steam fittings of various patterns. Directors: Isaac Smith, M. I. Mech. E., J. P. (Governing Director), Herbert Wm. Smith, A.M.I.M.E., Ralph V. Smith, A.M.I.M.E. [3]

1950s: Moved to Lenton Lane, Nottingham, under the management of the descendants of Isaac and William Smith.

1961 Specialists in the manufacture of valves and pressure gauges; recorders; patent water level indicators and thermometers. [4]

1961 Acquired by Newman, Hender and Co.

1969 Newman Hender was taken over by the Pegler Hattersley Group

1970 Part of Pegler-Hattersley; integrated with Midco Steam Specialities, also of Nottingham[5]

Part of Tomkins

1989 Company liquidated[6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1891/04/10
  2. The Engineer 1907/08/30
  3. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  4. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  5. The Times Jul 06, 1970
  6. The London Gazette 8 February 1989
  • [1] Peter Smith Valves