Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Aldridge Weston

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1859 Patent to Thomas Aldridge Weston, of King's Norton, Accountant, for the invention of "a new or improved pulley."[1], followed by many more patents over the next 20 years.

1861 A draughstman, lodging in Birmingham; in the same house were Fritz Simmons 32, Edward Tangye 28, George Tangye 25 also lodging - all engineers[2]

1861 Weston's pulley block was exhibited at the Society of Arts exhibition by Messrs Ransomes of Essex Street[3]

1864 Weston assigned his patent for the differential pulley to Tangyes, who later defended it successfully in a court action.

1867 of 29 Graham St, Birmingham, when he joined the Inst of Mechanical Engineers

By 1872 Weston was in New Jersey, USA[4]

1877 Weston was in Stamford, Conn., USA[5]

Invented the multiple disc brake, and the triplex chain block (made in the USA by the Yale and Town Mfg. Co.)[6]

In 1914 W. D. Forbes, writing in the US magazine 'Machinery', wondered how an English patent on a new type of screw head never became popular. It had a cross head and an appropriately shaped screwdriver. It had been shown to him 'years ago' by T. A. Weston. It is not made clear whether Weston was the inventor.[7]

Obituary 1909 [8]

WE have to record with regret the death of Mr. Thomas Aldridge Weston, which occurred on May 3rd at St. Luke's Hospital, New York. Mr. Weston, who was born in Birmingham in 1832, was the inventor of the Weston differential pulley block, and he was also responsible for various other improvements in connection with mechanical engineering work. Weston pulley blocks are manufactured in England by Tangye Brothers and in America by Yale and Towne and Co., and by the Brown Hoist Company, of Cleveland, Ohio. For many years Mr. Weston was associated with the former American company.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 6 May 1859
  2. 1861 census
  3. The Engineer 1861/04/05
  4. London Gazette 13 September 1872
  5. The London Gazette 7 August 1877
  6. [1] Machinery (USA), v.15, June 1909, p.827
  7. [2] Machinery, Aug 1914, p.1045
  8. The Engineer 1909/05/14