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British Industrial History

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William Price

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William Price (c1827-1883)

Developed Price's reverbatory furnace, several of which were used at Woolwich Arsenal[1]


1883 Obituary [2]

Mr. WILLIAM PRICE died at his residence in Sunderland on the 29th January 1883, in the fifty-seventh year of his age.

The deceased was for many years manager of the mill department at Woolwich Arsenal. While employed in that capacity he invented a retort furnace, which has been successfully employed both for the puddling of iron and the manufacture of open-hearth steel. The Price retort furnace has been more than once described in the Journal, and it is not therefore necessary to say more here than that it still continues to be used at Woolwich, the authorities there believing that "it embraces some of the best features of the regenerative system, while it entirely dispenses with its complications of producers, regenerators, and reversing valves."

In 1880 Mr. Price left Woolwich Arsenal to become mill-manager at the works of Palmer's Iron and Shipbuilding Company (Limited), Jarrow, a position which he quitted in 1880 to undertake business in Sunderland on his own account.

He was one of the original members of the Iron and Steel Institute, a frequent attender at its meetings, and an occasional contributor to the discussion of questions bearing upon the relative merits of heating and puddling furnaces, &c.


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