Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Bolton and Sons

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October 1912.
December 1929.
January 1953.
February 1959.
1961. Extrusion plant.
1961. Extrusion plant.
1961. Extrusion plant.
1961. Extrusion plant.
1961. Extrusion plant.

of Mersey Copper Works, Widnes, Lancs
Oakamoor Works, Staffordshire
Broad Street Metal Works, Birmingham
Froghall Copper Works, Staffs
Sutton Rolling Mills, St Helens

See also -

1783 Thomas Bolton founded a company with his sons in Birmingham

1825 the Broad Street works were built, which continued in operation until 1911.

1852 Purchased the assets of the Cheadle Copper and Brass Works from John Wilson Patten and Co. (established at Cheadle in 1719). The deal included Oakamoor Mills[1]. The Oakamoor Works were then expanded.

1857 Their product was used for the first successful telegraphic cable across the English Channel

1866 Supplied wire for the first successful cable across the Atlantic.

1881 The Mersey Copper Works were built for smelting and electrolytic refining; a site on the western seaboard was chosen in order to save carriage on the imported ore.

1892 Messrs. Bolton erected works at Froghall in North Staffordshire for the production of high-conductivity copper for telegraphy and electrical generators.

1894 Additional works, the Sutton Rolling Mills, were acquired at St. Helens for the manufacture of copper rollers, chiefly used for calico printing.

Alfred and Thomas Bolton patented a continuous drawing mill. Licensees included the Waterbury Machine Co in the USA.[2]

By 1902 the company had works at Birmingham, Oakamoor, Froghall, large smelting, refining, and rolling mills at Widnes, and engineering works at St. Helens.

1902 The company was registered on 28 May, to acquire the business of copper smelters of the firm of the same name. [3]

1904 Harold Evelyn Dolphin was appointed manager of the Sulphate of copper works, Widnes[4]

1918 Oakamoor Copper Works

1920 Set up Diamond Die Manufacturing Works at Parkstone, Dorset under the charge of David Colfox Bolton

1920s/30s Due to competition from foreign supplies of electrolytic copper, it became uneconomic to carry out the refining processes in Britain, so importing of copper ore stopped. The works then specialized in the manufacture of locomotive copper firebox plates and stay rods, and sulphate of copper.

1937 Copper and bronze manufacturers. [5]

1968 Queen's Award to Industry for Export Achievement. [6]

1975 Part of BICC Industrial Products

1984 Merger of the copper and aluminium businesses of BICC and Johnson and Firth Brown to form a new company Thomas Bolton and Johnson with sites at Froghall and Wakefield[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. National Archives [1]
  2. [2] Machinery, Sept 1896, p.14
  3. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  4. UK, Mechanical Engineer Records
  5. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  6. The Engineer of 26th April 1968 p650
  7. The Times Mar. 31, 1984
  • Staffordshire Working Lives [3]