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British Industrial History

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William Craven (1829-1906)

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William Craven (1829-1906) of Craven Brothers

1851 Living at North Street, Hulme: Thomas Craven (age 50 born Hunslet), Engineer. With his wife Mary Craven (age 48 born Bradford) and their children Greenwood Craven (age 25 born Bradford); William Craven (age 22 born Bradford); Sarah Ann Craven (age 19 born Bradford); John Craven (age 18 born Bradford); and Mary Craven (age 17 born Bradford).[1]

1906 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM CRAVEN was born at Bradford, Yorkshire, on 8th August, 1829.

In his early youth he went to Manchester, and served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Sharp, Roberts and Co.; on its completion he was employed at Messrs. Fairbairn's Works.

In 1853 he commenced business in partnership with his brother — Mr. Greenwood Craven — as machine-tool makers at Dawson Croft Mill, Salford. The requirements of the business very soon necessitated removal to larger premises in Manchester, where they were joined by their brother — Mr. John Craven.

In consequence of a still further and rapid increase in the demand for their high-class machine-tools, land was bought in 1863 and new works were built in Osborne Street, the site of the present works.

In the development of the business each of the three brothers assumed responsibility for one particular portion of it, William Craven taking charge of the designing of the various machines constructed by the firm, and in this department he made his name famous in the engineering profession.

In 1875 the manufacture of cranes was taken up, and so great has this branch grown that in 1900 new works were built at Reddish, near Stockport, specially equipped for their manufacture together with that of modern machine-tools.

In 1885 the firm was transformed into a limited company, with Mr. Greenwood Craven as chairman, who was succeeded on his death in 1889 by Mr. William Craven. He retained this position until advancing age and failing health led him to resign in 1903, when his son — Mr. W. H. S. Craven — was elected chairman. He took little part in public affairs, but devoted his time and abilities to his profession.

His death took place at his residence at St. Anne's-on-Sea, Lancashire, on 10th May 1906, in his seventy-seventh year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1866.

1906 Obituary [3]

. . . Mr. Craven was chairman and managing director of the firm of Craven Brothers of Manchester. He was born in Yorkshire, but served his time with Sharp, Roberts and Co of Manchester. The firm which bears his name commenced operations at Dawson Croft Mill, in Salford, in 1853. The works moved to Collyhurst road about a year later, . . . [more]

1906 Obituary [4]

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