Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Barnes

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An agent for Boulton and Watt in the Newcastle area

1797 Built the first iron railroad in the north from Walker Colliery to the Tyne

1798 Mr. Barnes and Alderman Forster erected the first copperas works on the Tyne, at Walker, which were still in operation in 1863, by which time the quantity manufactured was about 2,000 tons per annum. Mr. Thomas Barnes applied the waste crystals as manure on his farm, on the thin soil which lies on the magnesian limestone. He found that the depth of the soil was gradually increased by the disintegration of the rock, and that the more he used, the more satisfactory were the results. The beneficial effort of the copperas may have been due to the natural decomposition of the carbonate of lime with the sulphate of iron, and partly to the action of the peroxide of iron on the organic matter[1]


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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1863/09/25