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British Industrial History

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Thomas Ridley Hetherington

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Thomas Ridley Hetherington (1835-1889) of John Hetherington and Sons

1866 Thomas Ridley Hetherington, John Hetherington and Sons, Vulcan Works, Pollard Street, Manchester.[1]

1890 Obituary [2]

THOMAS RIDLEY HETHERINGTON was born in Glasgow on the 5th of April, 1835, but the family removed to Manchester in the following year.

The father, John Hetherington, was for some time associated with the late Sir William Fairbairn in marine work on the Thames, and was the inventor of the two-flue, commonly called the Lancashire, boiler, for which he and Sir William had a joint patent.

In 1836 Mr. Hetherington, senior, founded the business of John Hetherington and Sons, in which the subject of this notice was a partner for thirty-four years, having previously served his time in its shops and drawing-office.

This firm, in process of time, took rank among the most extensive producers of machine-tools in the kingdom. They had large dealings with Her Majesty's dockyards and arsenal, for which they designed and constructed special tools.

They were also concerned with most of the large railways in this country and in India, particularly for heavy tools, and machinery for the transmission of power; also in power-driven cranes.

Along with the tool and engineering business was associated another establishment, employing one thousand men, where cotton-spinning machinery was made, and where plans for large factories, to be engaged in this industry, were designed, and subsequently carried out. In both of these departments Mr. T. R. Hetherington designed and perfected many special tools and appliances.

Although his modest and retiring disposition indisposed him to take part in the public life of Manchester, he was yet one of the best-known and most respected of its citizens, and his death, on the 10th of December, 1889, when still in the prime of life, caused general regret.

Mr. Hetherington was elected a Member on the 2nd of March, 1886

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