Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

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.

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.


From Graces Guide
Revision as of 13:45, 9 August 2020 by Ait (talk | contribs)
1869. Horizontal Steam Engine.
1870. Governor and throttle gear.
1870.Self Sealing Retort Lids.
1871. Horizontal engine.
1872. Direct-Acting Steam Pumping Engine.
January 1872.
1882. Jeffries' boiler feeder and Barnes' donkey pump.
1886. Vertical ram pump.
1886. Colliery winding engine for the Australian Agricultural and Mining Co.
1886. Vross' machinery for charging and drawing retorts.
1886. Robson's patent gas hammer.
1886. Robson's patent gas hammer.
January 1888.
January 1888.
February 1888.
Exhibit at Pearns Steam World.
Exhibit at Pearns Steam World.
Exhibit at Powerhouse Museum.
1890. Electric light and pumping engines on RMS Teutonic and RMS Majestic.
1897. Oil and Gas Engines at the 1897 Brussels International Exhibition.
Tangye's First Workshop
Tangye's Second Workshop
Tangye's First Smithy
Steam engine. Exhibit at Coldharbour Mill
Weston's Pulley Block
Hydraulic Cotton and Wool Press
Screw, Cotton and Wool Press
Hydraulic Lifting Jack
Exhibit at Millicent Museum.
Differential Pulley Block
The Cornwall Works
Exhibit at Oakham Treasures.
Exhibit at Beamish Museum.
Exhibit at the Didcot Railway Centre.


January 1902.
1903. Electrically driven lathes.
1903. Double Compound Condensing Pumping Engines for Alexandra.
1904. 12 inch headstock.
1904. 47- 12 inch high speed lathe.
1904. Loose headstock.
1904. 8.5 inch high speed capstan lathe.
1904. 24 inch high speed lathe.
February 1905.

1905. Vertical drilling machines.
Tramway Wheel Lathe. 1906.




December 31st 1907. Medal to C. Renshaw for punctuality and good service.
December 31st 1907. Medal to C. Renshaw for punctuality and good service.
1909. Milling machine.
1909. Machine arranged for edge milling.
1909. Machines for putting bands on armatures.
c1912. Tangyes AA engine.
1914. Suction gas driven pumping plant near Seven Oaks.
1915. Hot Tube paraffin engine about 3 hp. No. 25466BR.
Nov 1919.
1920. Engine type BV. 4-hp. No 31312V.
c1920. 20-hp Suction Gas Producer. Exhibit at Amberley Working Museum.
1920. Hot Tube Ignition Gas Engine.
1920. Railway Axle Machinery Equipment.
1920. Saddle and Centering Spindle of Facing and Centering Machine.
1920. Left-Hand Head-Stock and Saddle of Centering and Facing Machine.
Tangye three-throw pump. Exhibit at Internal Fire Museum of Power.
Dec 1921.
1929. Type MLD7. 168 hp twin-cylinder diesel. Exhibit at Internal Fire Museum of Power.
1929. Tangye type M Hot-bulb engine. 4-hp at 650 rpm.
1929. 2.5H.P. Fuel Oil Engine.
December 1929.
c1930s. Tangye pump. Exhibit at the National Brewery Centre.
1931.48 B.H.P. Oil Engine.
1933. 140 B.H.P. 6 Cylinder Oil Engine.
1933.Hydraulic Press for Asbestos Cement Sheets.
October 1936.
October 1936.
October 1937.


1951. Axle Lathe.
February 1959.
1967. Hand crane at Chullora Works Sydney in 1967.
Water Pump.
Exhibit at the Museum of Power.
Advertising sign.
Water Pump.
Engine. Exhibit at Westonzoyland Museum.
Engine. Exhibit at Westonzoyland Museum.
Found at Barbados, St Nicholas Abbey.
Exhibit at Millicent Museum.

Tangye Brothers of Cornwall Works, Clement St., Birmingham. Makers of pumps, lifting equipment, engines and machine tools. Produced Hydraulic rams (used to launch the SS Great Eastern), steam pumps, horizontal steam engines and the differential pulley still known by the Tangye name.

1856 January 8th. January James Tangye went into business with his brothers Joseph and Richard - James and Joseph using their mechanical ingenuity to make useful tools, with Richard contributing his commercial abilities. A key step was being commissioned by Brunel to make hydraulic jacks for the launching of the SS Great Eastern. They occupied a workshop at Mount St, Birmingham.[1]

1857 Joined by their brother George, and then by another brother, Edward, who came back from America to join them. The style of the firm became James Tangye and Brothers, machinists.

1859 Obtained order for screw-jacks which necessitated move to larger premises at Clement St.[2].

1859 Took George Price into partnership and the company became Tangye Brothers and Price

1861 Tangye Brothers obtained licence to use Thomas Aldridge Weston's patent for a non-slip pulley [3].

1862 Advert by Tangye Bros seeking to hire a steam engine for about one week [4].

1862 Exhibition. Demonstration by Tangye Brothers and Price of working model of hydraulic wool and cotton press, and an hydraulic ship jack [5].

1864 Moved to Cornwall Works, Smethwick[6]

1864 August: Weston's patent assigned to Tangye Bros [7].

1864 Advert for patternmaker by Tangye Bros and Price at New Works, Smethwick [8].

1865 Tangye Bros were successful in an action against James Stott who was infringing Weston's patent [9][10].

1866 Advert by Tangye Bros, Clement St., seeking chain-maker [11].

1867 Prizes awarded at Paris Exhibition: Tangye Bros, Manchester (sic), machine for lifting, pulley tackle; also T. A. Weston, Birmingham, hoisting apparatus [12].

1868-70 Joseph produced a Velocipede; an example is in the Cornwall Museum at Truro.

1870 There were 800 people employed.

1870 Advert for patternmaker by Tangye Bros, Cornwall Works, Soho[13].

1871 Notices in papers threatening action against those infringing Weston's patent [14].

1871 Extension of Soho works included a dining room for the employees to accomodate 1000 persons [15].

1871 Exhibitor at Royal Agricultural Show at Wolverhampton listed as Tangye Brothers and Holman, London [16].

1871 Reference to Tangye Brothers of Smethwick voluntarily taking action in relation to the nine hours movement [17].

1872 Note that one of the companies opening their works to visitors were Tangye Brothers of Rabone Bridge, Soho and Clement St, Birmingham [18].

1872 James and Joseph and Edward retired, leaving Richard and George to run the company

1873 Order by Kidderminster Town Council for one of Tangye Brothers patent pumps for supplying 7300 gallons/hour of water to the town's reservoir [19].

1873 Tangye Brothers displayed Tonkin's patent pump, hydraulic lifting jack and hydraulic punching bear at the annual exhibition [20].

1875 Novel compact, low vibration 40 hp engine to design of Willans constructed by Tangye Brothers and installed in a steam launch [21].

1875 Company annual soiree for workers and their families provided opportunity to review the reasons for the company's success; about 1300 employees in Birmingham plus others in London, Newcastle and South Shields [22].

1876 Brake pulley block and safety hoist announced to H. Cherry's patent, (head draughtsman).[23]

1876 Direct-acting compound steam pumping engine. Tangye Brothers.

1876 Exhibitor at the Royal Agricultural Show at Birmingham with Cameron's special pumps and steam engines.

1878 Vertical engine. Gold medal Paris. Exhibit at Nottingham Industrial Museum.

1879 Dissolution of Tangye Brothers and Steel

1879 At Yorkshire Industrial Exhibition, Tangye Brothers showed a 25 h.p. horizontal engine which supplied power to almost all of the machinery in motion at the exhibition. Also boilers, steam pumps, hydraulic lift jacks, hydraulic punching bears, "Weston" patent safety blocks, hoists, screw-jacks, an assortment of steam fittings, injectors, winches, and centrifugal pumps[24].

1880 2,000 on payroll.

1880 Manufactured Robson and Pinkney's gas hammer. Advert: Tangye’s patent “Soho” engines; New design; 3-14 hp; all size in stock with or without boilers; Gold medal Paris exhibition[25].

1881 The company was made into a private limited liability company Tangyes Ltd. The company was registered on 31 December, to acquire the businesses of Tangye Brothers, hydraulic engineers, and of Robert Price and Co, malleable ironfounders, of Winson Green, near Birmingham. [26] in which Tangyes had an interest. Richard and George Tangye held 19/20ths of the shares[27]

1887 The Newcastle Exhibition, 1887: 'Messrs. Tangyes Limited show a 2½ -horse power Robson's gas engine, in which an ignition is obtained for every revolution. Unlike the Otto and other engines, the cylinder is closed at both ends, and all the operations are fulfilled in one cylinder. The same firm exhibit a new departure in gas engineering, in the form of a Robson's patent gas hammer with Pinkney's improvements. The. mixture of air and gas is introduced above the piston, where it is compressed and ignited. The explosion then gives the blow, after which the hammer is raised to its former position by means of a spring. It is simple, and the force of the blow can be regulated with the greatest accuracy. One of these hammers has been working regularly for the last twelve months, and has proved to be equal in efficiency to the steam hammer, and much cheaper in point of economy. [28]

1888 Hydraulic Baling Steam Pump. [29]

1888 June. Engines and machinery for the Birmingham Cable Tramway[30]

1890 Electric light and pumping engines for 'SS Teutonic' and 'SS Majestic'. Illustration and article in 'The Engineer'. [31]

1890s 'Colonial' steam engine. (Exhibit at Birmingham Thinktank museum).

1894 Antwerp Exhibition. Awarded Diploma of Honour for Large Mechanical Constructions. [32]

1894 Electric Light Engine and Dynamo for the Caledonia with Siemens Brothers. Illustration. [33]

1895 Two engines for Wellingborough Corporation (Irthlingborough Road Station).

1896/7 Directory: Listed as makers of steam boilers. [34]

1900 June. Royal Agricultural Show at York. Showed steam, oil and gas engines. [35]

1900 Paris Exhibition. Description of the oil and steam engines shown. [36]

1903 Three inverted triple-expansion engines for Ilkeston and Heanor Waterworks (Whatstandwell Station).

1906 Type S Gas Engine. Exhibit at Anson Engine Museum.

1906 Another business was absorbed.

1911 They produced machine tools in including Lathes; milling machines for cams. [37]

1914 Listed as engineers and manufacturers of gas, oil and steam engines, pumps, hydraulic machinery and lifting appliances. Employees 3,000. [38]

1920 At the Machine Tool Exhibition in Olympia they showed an axle end facing and centering machine for railway axles and an axle turning lathe. They appointed Alfred Herbert as the selling agents.

1927 Advert for heavy-fuel oil engines from 12 to 500 bhp. [39]

1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history

1961 Hydraulic and general engineers, specialising in the manufacture of diesel engines, pumps, hydraulic and special machinery. [40]

1968 Heavy duty jacks. Of Gough Road, Greet, Birmingham. [41]

Tangye jacks are now manufactured by Allspeeds [Allspeeds/Tangye website]

Display of engines. Exhibit at Anson Engine Museum.

Extract from Steam Locomotion on Common Roads by William Fletcher. Published 1891.

Messrs. Tangye, of Birmingham, in 1862, constructed the road locomotive as per Fig. 62.

The illustration (kindly lent by Messrs. Tangye) shews the engine so clearly that little descriptive matter is needed. The centre of the carriage afforded ample space for seating six or eight persons, whilst three or four more could be accommodated in front, one or two of whom performed the duties of driver and steersman. The stoker was of course stationed at the boiler behind. The driver who sat in front had full control of the stop valve and reversing lever, so that the engine could be stopped, or reversed by him as occasion required, whilst by means of a very powerful and well arranged foot brake at his command, he was able to bring the carriage to a standstill in an incredibly short time and distance. The management of the whole engine was so simple that the most unskilled persons might have undertaken it without the slightest fear of accident. The speed of 20 miles an hour could be readily attained, and the engine with its load ascended the steepest gradients with perfect ease and safety.

The body of the carriage was made of iron and supported on steel springs of great flexibility, the motion over the roughest roads being smooth and easy. The length of the carriage was 16 ft, and the width 5ft. 9in. The two cylinders were 5.5 in. diameter and 11in. stroke. The cylinders were neatly lagged, and with the guides were pro- tected by an iron casing as shown in the illustration Fig. 62,

The driving and steering wheels were each 39 in. diameter, and 2 in. on the face, made of wood and strongly tyred with iron. The whole vehicle was remarkably compact and simple in construction, and the working parts were few in number and not liable to derangement. The vertical boiler had a copper firebox, and contained 100 brass tubes enabling steam to be raised in a few minutes.

No inconvenience was felt from the heat of the boiler by persons seated in the body of the carriage, it being partly surrounded by the feed water tank, the steam was dried before entering the cylinders by passing through a conical coil of pipes in the smoke-box. When burning coal, a small jet of steani was employed to introduce air above the fire, and was found to be very effectual in preventing smoke. The loco- motive carried sufficient fuel and water for a journey of 20 miles.

From Mr Richard Tangye's interesting autobiography recently published, we quote the following respecting this atcam carnage: — "About 1862 the subject of providing 'feeders' in country places for the main lines of railway came again into prominence. Branch lines had been proved to be unremunerative from their great cost in construction; and amongst other systems proposed was that of light, quick- speed locomotives for carrying passengers, and traction engines for the conveyance of heavy produce and other goods. We detennined to construct a locomotive of the former class and succeeded in making a very successful example with which we travelled many hundreds of miles. The carriage occupied no more space than an ordinary phaeton; when travelling at over 20 miles an hour, the engine was easily managed and under perfect control. Fig. 63 shows the Cornubia on the village green.

"Great interest was manifested in our experiment, and it soon became evident that there was an opening for a considerable business in these engines, and we made our preparations accordingly, but the 'wisdom' of Parliament made it impossible. The squires became alarmed lest their horses should take fright; and although a judge ruled that a horse that would not stand the sight or sound of a locomotive, in these days of steam, constituted a public danger, and that its owner should be punished and not the owner of the locomotive, an Act was passed providing that no engine should travel more than four miles an hour on the public roads. Thus was the trade in quick speed locomotives strangled in its cradle, and the inhabitants of country districts left unprovided with improved facilities for travelling."

In no single instance did Messrs. Tangye*s carriage cause an accident attributable to horses. At one time a countryman tumbled out of his cart from fear that his horse might bolt, but the latter was wiser than his master, for he stood quite still.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Sep 16, 1952
  2. Birmingham Daily Post, 30 December 1875
  3. Birmingham Daily Post, 18 December 1865
  4. Birmingham Daily Post, 13 November 1862
  5. 1862 London Exhibition: Catalogue: Class VIII.: Tangye Brothers and Price
  6. The Times Sep 16, 1952
  7. Birmingham Daily Post, 18 December 1865
  8. Birmingham Daily Post, 26 October 1864
  9. Birmingham Daily Post, 18 December 1865
  10. The Times, Dec 18, 1865
  11. Birmingham Daily Post, 29 October 1866
  12. Daily News, 3 July 1867
  13. Birmingham Daily Post, 18 August 1870
  14. Birmingham Daily Post, 20 February 1871
  15. Birmingham Daily Post, 5 July 1871
  16. Newcastle Courant, 7 July 1871
  17. Birmingham Post, 25 October 1871
  18. Birmingham Daily Post, 15 June 1872
  19. Birmingham Daily Post 7 August 1873
  20. Royal Cornwall Gazette, 30 August 1873
  21. York Herald, 5 April 1875
  22. Birmingham Daily Post, 30 December 1875
  23. The Engineer 1876/07/14
  24. York Herald, 30 August 1879
  25. Birmingham Daily Post, September 15, 1880
  26. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  27. The Times, Dec 31, 1881
  28. Leeds Mercury, 27 May 1887
  29. The Engineer of 6th April 1888 p296
  30. The Engineer of 29th June 1888 p531
  31. The Engineer of 13th June 1890 p477
  32. The Engineer of 2nd November 1894 p387
  33. The Engineer of 14th December 1894 p533
  34. Peck's Trades Directory of Birmingham, 1896-97: Boilers - Steam
  35. The Engineer of 22nd June 1900 p650
  36. The Engineer of 16th November 1900 p487
  37. Machine Tools by James Weir French in 2 vols. Published 1911 by Gresham
  38. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  39. Mechanical World Year Book 1927. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p47
  40. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  41. The Engineer of 13th August 1968 p410