Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Johnson (1811-1860)

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William Johnson (1811-1860) of Richard Johnson and Brother and R. and W. Johnson and Co

1811 Born the son of John Johnson and his wife Betty Fildes

1838 John Johnson handed his business to his sons, Richard and William; the name was changed to Richard Johnson and Brother.

1850 Birth of son William Henry Johnson

1851 Richard Johnson and Brother supplied the galvanised armouring wires for the cross-Channel telegraph cable that was used by the Submarine Telegraph Co in its second attempt to link England and France. This was the start of long-standing involvement in cable making.

1853 The business was moved to Bradford Iron Works, Manchester.

1854 The business supplied large quantities of wire for the Niagara Suspension Bridge, which opened for service on March 18, 1855. This was to develop into another major line or work for the company.

c.1857 Partner in R. and W. Johnson and Co, the company owning Bradford Ironworks

1860 Richard and William’s nephew, John Thewlis Johnson, began working for the firm

1860 November. William died. 'On Monday morning last, Bowdon witnessed very mournful and yet pleasing scene, the burial of Mr. William Johnson, late partner in the firm of Richard Johnson and Brother, the extensive wire manufacturers of Manchester. The workmen, to the number of about 360, in order to testify their towards their late employer, were conveyed by rail to Bowdon, and thence preceded the funeral cortege from Beech Grove to the Parish Church'[1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 10 November 1860