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British Industrial History

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Tannett, Walker and Co

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Name plate on large gun barrel seen on Argentine sailing / training ship.
1873. Pumping engine for Montevideo Waterworks
1880. Name plate.
1883. Rolling mill engines.
1883 Rolling mill engine for Rhymney Ironworks
1884 Hydraulic pump for Buenos Aires
1884.Compound Reversing Rolling Mill Engine- Butterley Iron Companys' Works, Codnor Park.
January 1888.
April 1888.
1888. Located in Porto Antico, in Genoa, Italy. Restored by a local company in 1992.
1888. Crane plaque above. Located in Porto Antico, in Genoa, Italy. Restored by a local company in 1992.
1890. Hydraulic coal tip Cardiff Docks.
1906. Hydraulic Jib Cranes.
Detail of Tannett Walker winch for patent slip at Underfall Yard Workshops, Bristol
Hydraulic pump at Armley Mill Museum

of Goodman Street, Leeds, maker of hydraulic pumps and engines

1862 Robert Tannett and Benjamin Walker established the business at Goodman Street.

1868 Constructed a reversing rolling mill engine for the Freedom Iron and Steel Co of Philadelphia, USA, under the supervision of James Livesey of Westminster. Two cylinders of 36" bore, 4 ft stroke.[1]

1869. Partnership change. '...the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Robert Tannett, Benjamin Walker, John Frederick Augustus Pflaum, and James Craven, carrying on business together as Engineers and Tool Makers, at the Goodman-street Works, in Hunslet, in the borough of Leeds, in the county of York, under the style or firm of Tannett, Walker, and Company, was this day dissolved by mutual consent, so far as relates to the said James Craven....'[2]

c.1870 Supplied four hydraulic overhead travelling cranes, designed by William Stroudley, to the Brighton railway works of the LB&SCR. The pumps and water tanks appear to have been mounted on the cranes, driven from lineshafts running the length of the shops [3]

1873 Beam pumping engine for Montevideo Waterworks described in 'The Engineer'[4]

1876 Members of the Iron and Steel Institute visited their engineering works. [5]

c.1880s Two cylinder steam-driven water pumping engine providing hydraulic power for cranes at Bow Common Gasworks. [6] This engine has been saved, and can be seen at Armley Mill Museum awaiting restoration.

1881 Partnership change. '...the undersigned, Robert Tannett, Benjamin Walker, John Frederick Augustus Pflaum, William Henry Tannett, and Arthur Tannett Walker, lately carrying on business at Hunslet, in the borough of Leeds, in the county of York, in copartnership as Engineers and Tool Makers, under the style or firm of Tannett, Walker, and Company, was this day dissolved by effluxion of time. And notice is also given, that the said business will in future be carried on under the same style by the said Benjamin Walker and Arthur Tannett Walker only,...'[7]

1884 Supplied equipment for the Bessemer steel plant at Cyfarthfa Ironworks including a hydraulic crane and blowing engines and hydraulic pump engines [8]

1883 Engine for rail rolling mill at de Wendel & Cie, Hayange (source not identified: contemporary illustration in 'The Engineer' or 'Engineering').

1883 Engine for Rhymney Ironworks to drive cogging, roughing and finishing mills for rail production. Two cylinders of 60" dia, 4 ft stroke (one horizontal, one vertical - see engraving). Steam pressure 40 psi.[9]

1884 Hydraulic equipment for the Buenos Aires Great Southern Railway, including two compound pumping engines (see engraving), two accumulators, twenty hydraulic cranes, fifteen capstans, guide pulleys, traversers, pipes, fire hydrants and valves.[10]

1884 Newspaper article: 'STEEL MAKING IN SPAIN. The Sociedad de Altos Homos de Hierro y Acero de Bilbao have ordered from Tannett, Walker and Co., of Leeds, a very large pair of compound engines for rolling steel rails, bars or angles, or girders of H section. The weight of these engines is 400 tons, the strongest ever made. Coal is dear in Bilbao, and therefore the greatest economy bas to be used, and it has been found that the compound system in rolling, as in other work, requires a less number of boilers than the non-compound. Tannett, Walker and Co. are about to deliver the first instalment of the Bessemer machinery previously ordered for the same company in Bilbao. The centre crane weighs about 90 tons, and is made on Tannett, Walker, and Co. balance ram system. The whole plant will be the most substantial ever erected, and the valuable iron ores of Bilbao will soon be largely used on the spot, instead of being exported for manufacture elsewhere.'[11]

1895 Newspaper article concerning Chatham Dockyard: 'One of the most interesting items in the yard is she great hydraulic crane, constructed in 1885 by Messrs Tannett and Walker, of Leeds, and some idea may be gathered of this huge machine when it is stated that the total weight of steel and iron used in its construction is no less than 750 tons. As to its lifting power, it is marked at 160 tons; in other words, a man standing at the lever could, after the gear had been adjusted, lift out of the water and place on dry land a vessel and crew of the same size as that commanded by Columbus when he discovered America. It will, however, stand a test load of 320 tons, Its extreme height above ground is 125 feet, and its cost was £12,000. A fellow one to it is erected at Malta.' [12]. See below for what is probably more accurate information:-

1889 Newspaper article: 'THE LARGEST CRANE IN THE WORLD.-At the Chatham Dockyard there has been a test by the Admiralty of the largest and most powerful crane ever made, The weight lifted was 240 tons and the range or radins of the crane is 75ft. 3in., and its height is 125ft. In the presence of the Admiral of the yard, the chief engineer, and a large concourse of people, the monster crane took its load, raised it, and turned it round as if it had been a feather. The whole of the work has been carried out by Messrs Tannett, Walker & Co, engineers. of Leeds, who have in hand an 80-ton crane for the Arsenal at Woolwich, and who made the 150-ton cranes in connection with the 4000-ton hydraulic forging press at the works of Messrs John Brown Co. Limited), Sheffield, and are making similar cranes for Mr. Krupp, the Terni Works, and others.'[13]

1891 Advert. Engineers and boilermakers. [14]

1898 The company was registered on 4 May, to take over the business of engineers of the firm of the same name. [15]

2000-ton forging press for Witkowitz armour plate works, Moravia [16]

1913 Company in liquidation.[17]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Engineering, 24 Jan 1868
  2. The London Gazette Publication date:26 October 1869 Issue:23549 Page:5757
  3. The Engineer 7th October 1881
  4. The Engineer of 4th July 1873
  5. The Engineer of 15th August 1876 p180
  6. Plate 105, ‘The End of a Revolution: The Last Days of Stationary Steam’ by Colin Bowden, Landmark Publishing Ltd., 2008
  7. The London Gazette Publication date:5 July 1881 Issue:24993 Page:337
  8. 'Engineering' 1st Aug 1884
  9. The Engineer 14th December 1883
  10. ‘Engineering’ 15th August 1884
  11. Sheffield Independent - Friday 9th May 1884
  12. Birmingham Daily Post - Tuesday 12th February 1895
  13. Glasgow Herald - Saturday 16th March 1889
  14. 1891 Post Office London Trades Directory
  15. 1908 The Stock Exchange Year Book
  16. [2] US Special Agents' Series, Issues 33-40: Machine Tool Trade in Austria-Hungary, Denmark, Russia and Netherlands, 1910
  17. The London Gazette Publication date:22 April 1913 Issue:28712 Page:2920]