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 163,372 pages of information and 245,906 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.

William Mills

From Graces Guide
1900.
June 1923.
November 1943.
October 1945.
May 1947.
December 1947.
April 1948.
August 1948.
February 1952.
April 1952.
June 1952.
August 1952.
November 1954.
1955.
1960.
May 1961.
1962.
May 1962.
November 1968.

Aluminium fabricators, Aluminium castings

of Sunderland

of Huddersfield

of Grove Street, Birmingham - see William Mills (of Birmingham)

of Friar Park Foundry, Wednesbury

1885 Company established by William Mills (1856-1932) in Sunderland, when he established the first aluminium foundry in the United Kingdom at The Atlas Works, Bonnersfield, Monkwearmouth.

1898 'SUNDERLAND EXHIBITION. AN ALUMINIUM BICYCLE.
At the Sunderland Exhibition, Mr Wm. Mills, of the Atlas Works, Bonner's Field, has on view an aluminium bicycle. The reason why aluminium has not come into general use for cycle building before now is owing to the fact that the joints could not be brazed satisfactorily. In order to overcome this difficulty the connections are fitted with Mr Mills's patent mechanical and detachable joints, an ingenious process which meets all requirements. The joint is of very simple construction, the only part visible outside being a small bolt head. The joint is so strong that it would require a strain of over a ton to draw the tubes from the socket. This has been proved by a number of practical tests made under a testing machine. When this frame, which is made of solid drawn aluminium tubes, is put together, it makes a truer and stiffer frame than brazing. This mechanical joint can be used with steel tubes as well as aluminium, but the patentee recommends the latter metal, on account of its extreme lightness a much thicker tube can be used, and a stiffer and stronger frame obtained, at the same time saving weight. The frame alone of this machine weighs 4 1/4 lbs. Another advantage is that the metal is nonrusting, and does not require plating. When polished up it presents the appearance of being entirely silver-plated. The whole frame can be taken to pieces in about a minute, and can be sent off as passenger luggage, thus saving endless trouble when travelling. The machine is very smart and effective in appearance, and has attracted considerable notice among makers and cyclists at the Exhibition.'[1]

1898 'Mr Wm. Mills, of the Atlas Works, Bonner's Field, Sunderland, has just completed one of the largest castings in aluminium ever made. Its dimensions are 7ft. l0in. by 6ft. 6in., and it takes the shape a piano frame for the largest sized grand.[2]

1900 Atlas Works, Bonner's Field, Sunderland (Aluminium Castings).

1903 Incorporated as a Limited Company.

1904 The Sunderland factory made aluminium castings for Darracq cars built in Glasgow[3]

1905 Opened a new factory in Birmingham to supply the Midlands - see William Mills (of Birmingham)

1914 Aluminium Founders and Finishers. Specialities: Aluminium Castings for Motor Car Builders and all other trades, Cooking Utensils, Aluminium Alloys, Boat Gear, Sportsmen's Stools, Golf Clubs. Employees 300. [4]

1915 Mills opened the Mills Munitions Factory in Birmingham, making the Mills Bomb Hand Grenade.

Presses. Exhibit at Armley Mill Museum.

1937 Aluminium founders and die casters. [5]

1948 was a subsidiary of British Aluminium Co[6]

See here for information on the Friar Park Road works in Wednesbury.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette, 5 February 1898
  2. Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette - Saturday 12 March 1898
  3. The Engineer 1904/04/29
  4. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  5. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  6. The Times, Nov 12, 1948