Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 162,535 pages of information and 244,522 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Uskside Engineering Co

From Graces Guide
1878. Stevens' underground hauling engine.
Uskside haulage engine at Ty-Mawr Colliery, Pontypridd
Steam Winch Plaque.
Old Steam Winch

Uskside Iron Works Co, of Newport, Monmouth.

Presumably had been carried on as Uskside Iron Co until the 1860s.

1866 Arthur James Stevens became a partner

1883 The firm was converted into a limited liability company

1885 Uskside Engineering Co exhibited an underground self-contained hauling engine[1] based on Stevens' design.

1889 The Uskside Engineering and Rivet Co Ltd. agreed to supply the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Co., of USA, with their Stevens Improved Patent Fuel Presses, for 5 years. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad transferred all of its interest in the patents, machines and inventions made under its agreement with Usk Engineering to the Reading Anthracite Pressed Fuel Co.

Newport has been visited during the past week by a gentleman who has had and still has intimate connection with its commercial life, but who for past few years has been better known by his achievements as a civil engineer in the United States than in his native country. That is Mr Charles M. Jacobs, one of the directors of the Uskside Engineering Co., Newport, who has now in hand in New York one of the greatest engineering works of the age — a huge bridge connecting Brooklyn and Long Island with New York. Upon hearing that this gentleman was in Newport, a representative of the Argus sought him out, and in the course of the interview to which Mr Jacobs submitted, gained some interesting information as to his work in America. Mr Jacobs has offices in New York and London, but during the past six years he has been engaged almost entirely in America, leaving the English practice to his partner. He is a frequent visitor to England, but his work is practically all in America. In answer to a question as to his connection with Newport, Mr Jacobs said, "I am a director of the Uskside; I was as one of the original men in Mordey and Carneys; I was one of the original holders in the Patent Fuel Company in Newport; I have been connected with other Newport works. I still have a financial stake in the town.
"What led you to go to America"? — "I went out to study the question of utilising the waste steam coal in Pennsylvania for the Philadelphia and Reading Railway Company, and by my advice and under my direction large patent fuel works were erected. The orders for the plant were sent to the Uskside Works, and it has never given us a day's trouble. It has given the greatest satisfaction in the States. Patent fuel plant is a speciality with the Uskside, and theirs stands higher than other firms in the country."
"That led to other work in America?" — "Owing to that connection I was requested to take charge of works of a more serious character. At the present time I am consulting engineer to two railways in New York State. There has been great discussion in New York on the rapid transit question, and on behalf of the President of the Philadelphia and Reading Railway I have designed a complete system of tunnelling in New York for this purposes of an underground railway. I have also designed for the Pennsylvania and other interests a tunnel under the Hudson, under New York, under the East River, connecting the Pennsylvania Railway with the Long Island Railway in Brooklyn. ....
"And what of the great bridge which you have designed?" — "The work is commenced. The bridge is upon the cantilever principle, with a continuous girder across Blackwell's Island, which is an island in the centre of the East River......
"You return to America soon? — "In about a week. I do not work in England, though I am a member of the Institute of Civil Eagineers and of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. What is of considerable interest to Newport is that Mr J. Vipond Davies, son of Dr. Andrew Davies, of Celf-parc, Maindee, is associated with me in this work. He has lately been made a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers."[2]

1898 Expansion of the forge department

Maker of stationary engines. [3]

Sometimes after 1906 the title was changed to Uskside Engineering Co

1907 Sale of the Rivet Department

WWI By May 1915, it was already producing proof shot for naval guns and 18 pound shells. A new erecting shop for 6-inch shells was built. This shop was fitted with the latest equipment to reduce handling to a minimum, including bench conveyors which kept the shells at the same level as the lathes from start to finish and therefore made it possible to employ a greater number of women in the shop.

Acquired as a going concern by the Ministry of Munitions for the duration of the war as the Uskside National Works; the works were managed by a Board of Management composed of the former directors of the company plus a nominee from the Ministry of Munitions.

In addition to proof shot, 18 pound and 6-inch shells, the works also manufactured pedestals for naval guns, gun carriage forgings, breach pieces for trench mortars and ships’ forgings such as shaftings and rudder mechanisms, making it something of a general purpose factory.

During the war it also continued to undertake urgent repair work for collieries.

Final production figures for the Uskside National Works include the manufacture of 24,500 18 pund shells, 16,100 4.5-inch shells and 119,700 6-inch shells.

1920 The works reverted to the control of Uskside Engineering on 31st March.

1920 Issued catalogue on electric haulage gear and details of forging in iron and steel. [4]

1943 Acquired by John Lysaght, part of GKN.

1970 Formation of GKN Birwelco (Uskside), a new trading company amalgamating the electric furnaces division of Birwelco and Usk Engineering[5]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 12 August 1885
  2. South Wales Weekly Argus and Monmouthshire Advertiser, 9 March 1895
  3. Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain by George Watkins. Vol 10
  4. The Engineer of 27th Feb 1920 p234
  5. The Times, Mar 06, 1970
  • Papers in Gwent Record Office [1]
  • GGAT 130: The Sinews of War: South East Wales Industry and The First World War, 2015, by Johnny Crawford