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British Industrial History

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W. Sharples and Co

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1884 Engine for Dacca Twist Mill, Manchester

William Sharples & Co. of Irwell Foundry, Ramsbottom.

Maker of stationary engines. [1]

200 HP horizontal tandem compound engine for H W Trickett, Bacup [2]

1884 Made a horizontal cross-compound engine for the Dacca Twist Mill, Water Street, Manchester of Rylands and Sons. Cylinders 22" and 38" diameter, 5 ft stroke. Gear drive, the spur flywheel being 12 ft 8" diameter and 16" wide, the pinion 5 ft 7" diameter. The teeth were cast, not machined, but were said to run 'almost noiselessly'. See illustration[3]

1888 Advert: 'NOTICE is hereby given that the PARTNERSHIP heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned WILLIAM SHARPLES and ALGERNON PERCY PEACH NEWTON, carrying on business as engineers, millwrights, and iron founders at Irwell-street Foundry, Ramsbottom, Lancashire, under the style or firm of William Sharples and Co., has been DISSOLVED by mutual consent, as and from the 30th day of June, 1888. All debts due and owing by the said late firm will be received and paid by the said William Sharpies.—Dated this 31st day of August, 1888. ....' [4]

A horizontal tandem compound 250 HP engine made for a Huddersfield mill in 1893 was relocated to Vivary Bridge Mill, Colne, in 1915. The cylinders were 16" and 30" diameter, 3 ft stroke.

1895 Supplied a horizontal four-cylinder triple expansion engine to Albert Mills, Nelson. The gear drive was very noisy. Various modifications were carried out by William Roberts and Sons of Nelson and the Burnley Ironworks Co.[5]

1895 The sale of the Chester Street Mill, Oxford Road, Manchester, included 'a pair of modern high-speed compund engines by Sharples, Ramsbottom'. Cylinders 12" and 24", 3 ft 6" stroke.[6]

1904 Installing a new engine at Whitewell Vale Mill, Waterfoot.[7]

EDWARD RUSHTON, SON, and KENYON are instructed by Messrs. William Sharples and Company, Ltd., who are retiring from business, to offer for Sale by Auction, on WEDNESDAY. November 28th, 1923, on the premises as above, at 11 o'clock in the Forenoon prompt, subject to Conditions of Sale to be then and there produced, THE OLD-ESTABLISHED FOUNDRY and ENGINEERING WORKS known IRWELL FOUNDRY, RAMSBOTTOM, together with the goodwill of the business, as makers of Toothed Gearing, Rope Pulleys, Flywheels, etc., and also Millwrights and General Engineers.
THE LAND forming the site of the Works is copyhold, contains an area of 3,921 square yards or thereabouts .....
THE MACHINERY includes:—
2 Cupolas and 2 Blowers, 4 Metal Ladles, 12 Wheel Moulding Machines for wheels from 3 to 12ft. diameter, Loam Mill, Core Machine, 10 Travelling and other foundry Cranes, about 200 tons Cast Iron Moulding Boxes. 2 Pit Lathes, 3 Wheel Lathes, Sliding, Surfacing, Screw Cutting, and other lathes, from7 1/2in. to 13in. centres, and from 10ft. fo 20ft. beds; 2 Radial Arm Drilling Machines, Drilling Machines, 2 Slotting Machines, Horizontal Boring Machine, 2 Double Tool Box Planing Machines, Power Hack Saw, Circular Saw Bench, 30in. Band Saw, Vertical Air Compressor and Receiver, Grinding Machines, Platform Weighing Machines, and General Foundry and Engineering Loose Tools, Office Furniture, and other Loose Effects.
THE POWER PLANT includes:- 2 Lancashire Steam Boilers, Horizontal Tandem Compound Condensing Steam Engine. 11 1/3in. and 21in. cylinders, Pumps, Shafting, Gearing, Piping, etc.
Catalogues and Particulars of Sale ...'[8]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain by George Watkins. Vol 10
  2. ‘Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain, Volume 3.1: Lancashire’ by George Watkins: Landmark Publishing Ltd.
  3. Engineering, 13 June 1884
  4. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 4 September 1888
  5. 'The Textile Mills of Pendle and their Steam Engines' by Geoff Shackleton, Landmark Publishing Ltd, 2006
  6. Leeds Mercury, 30 March 1895
  7. Cotton Factory Times - Friday 22 April 1904
  8. Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer - Saturday 17 November 1923