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British Industrial History

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Dunn, Hattersley and Co

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of Windsor Bridge Iron Works, Salford

1847 Thomas Dunn started the Windsor Bridge Iron Works at Pendleton, near Manchester, but they did not prove successful[1]

1852 Dunn, Hattersley's railway turntable described in 'The Artizan'[2]. The turntable had two large wooden brake blocks, forced against the table by toggle action.

1854 IMechE Meeting: '....The next paper was a description, Mr. William Fairbairn, of Manchester, of Dunn's improved Steam-travelling Crane, which had been constructed specially for the remarkably large bridge works on the Grand Trunk Railway of Canada, where it was to be employed in conveying and setting the stones for the piers, &c. The crane was capable of lifting ten tons in any position, and its main peculiarity consisted in a portable steam-engine and boiler being erected upon the travelling platform, and moving with it; so that the steam-power would be available in every position, the whole crane having to traverse a distance of three-quarters of mile upon timber framing. A large working model of the crane was exhibited.' [3]. The crane (by Dunn, Hattersley) was described by Thomas Dunn in the IMechE Proceedings [4]

The description of the 10-ton crane by William Fairbairn and the subsequent discussion were reported in The Artizan [5]. It was designed for the railway contractors Peto, Brassey and Betts. The boiler tubes were seamless copper, to avoid corrosion problems from the acid produced when burning wood. The firebox was lined with firebricks. The travelling wheels' track had a 54 ft span. The structure of the crane and its gantry was largely of wood, to be constructed in Canada.

1856 advertisement: 'NO MORE LOSS OF LIFE BY BOILER EXPLOSIONS.- DUNN, HATTERSLEY, & CO., Manufacturers of the Patent Anti-explosive Boilers, Improved Marine Boilers, Patent Portable Boilers, Patent Fire Boxes for increasing the power of Boilers, Patent Tubular Water Heaters for ditto, Iron Bridges, Girders, Tanks, and Turntables, Switches and Crossings, Cranes all sizes, Traversers, Screw Jacks, Blocks, Railway Plant, Tools and Fittings of every description. Second-Hand Boilers in stock, suitable for low pressure ditto, taken exchange for the High-pressure Safety Boilers.— Windsor Bridge Iron Works, near Manchester.'[6]

1857 'Experiment in Boiler Bursting. —On Thursday morning, pursuant to invitation, several members of the institution of engineers, including Professor Rankine, of Glasgow; Messrs Woodcock & Dixon, from Low Moor, visited the Windsor Bridge Iron Works of Messrs Dunn, Hattersley, & Co., to observe experiments upon two small cylindrical boilers, constructed by welding, there being no rivets used. The company after inspecting the retort boiler in operation, were conducted through the works to a shed where two tubes were placed in conjunction with an hydraulic pump. The firm are seeking to avoid boiler explosions by making their boilers of very small diameter. Those now experimented upon were tubes four feet long, each composed of a 7-16th plate, welded at the sides and ends. The outside diameter was 15¼ in. There were fitted to the tube of the pump one of Burdon's [Bourdon’s] pressure guages, which wood register up to 3000lb to the square inch, and also a lever guage, which corresponded to it. Both the small boilers were tested to 1500lb on the inch, when one of them, on being carefully measured, showed a slight expansion in the centre portion. It was determined to burst this one, and the pump was gradually forced until the pressure indicated 2050lb to the inch. The lever guage has been weighed at 2000lb, and was beginning to move, when the iron tore at the welding. A small quantity water was ejected upwards with great force, and a load rushing noise.—Manchester paper.'[7]

Presumably the business became Thomas Dunn and Co

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Obituary of Thomas Dunn
  2. [1] 'The Artizan' July 1852. Description on p.142
  3. Birmingham Gazette, 7 August 1854
  4. [2] IMechE Proceedings, 1854
  5. [3] The Artizan, Dec 1854 pp.269-270
  6. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 4 October 1856
  7. Paisley Herald and Renfrewshire Advertiser, 4 july 1857