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British Industrial History

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Thomas Turton

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Thomas Turton (1833-1886) of Crossland and Turton, Thomas Turton and Sons, Turton Brothers and the Liverpool Forge Co

Son of Joseph Turton

1841 Living at 4 George's Terrace, Sheffield: Joseph Turton (age c30), File M. With Emma Turton (age c30); Thomas Turton (age c7); Joseph Turton (age c6); Edith Turton (age c5); Emma Turton (age c4); Thomasine Turton (age c2); and Madeline Turton (age c6 months).[1]

Managing partner of the Liverpool Forge Co

1887 Obituary [2]

THOMAS TURTON, who came of an old Yorkshire family, was born at Sheffield on 21st August 1833, being the son of Mr. Joseph Turton, one of the second generation of partners in the steel firm of Messrs. Thomas Turton and Sons.

Entering the works at an early age, he was sent on business, when about seventeen years old, to the United States and afterwards to Russia, in both of which countries he did valuable service, and acquired an extensive general knowledge of the manufacture of steel and iron.

On the business of Messrs. Thomas Turton and Sons being disposed of in 1861-62, he commenced business with his brothers as Messrs. Turton Brothers, steel manufacturers; and he invented and perfected two machines for use in file-making, one for shaping the blanks for files, and the other for cutting the teeth on the blanks.

In 1867 he removed to Liverpool, and became managing partner in the Liverpool Forge Co., making forgings of all kinds, mainly for ships, besides doing general engineering work and building ships. Here he invented and worked out to successful use a spring equilibrium safety-valve, a hydraulic propeller for ships, and a built-up marine and locomotive crank-shaft now largely employed; also a second built-up crankshaft, having eccentric ends, which was the joint invention of himself and the late Mr. George Allibon. Other devices of his were a long- stroke engine, and a road and tram locomotive.

His death took place on 28th June 1886, in the fifty-third year of his age.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1872.

1886 Obituary [3]

THOMAS TURTON, who was managing partner of the Liverpool Forge Company, and who died at Claughton, Cheshire, on the 28th June 1886, was an iron and steel manufacturer of great experience, with an unusual capacity for adopting means to ends.

Born at Sheffield, on the 21st August 1833, he was cut off at the early age of 53. He was a son of Mr. Joseph Turton, one of the partners of the old-established steel firm of Thomas Turton & Sons, of Sheffield. At an early age he conducted important business negotiations for that firm in the United States of America and in Russia, and from his unusual power of acquiring accurate knowledge, laid the foundation of that judgment which made him looked up to as an authority in after life.

When, on the death of the older partners and the lapse of the partnership, the business of the firm was sold, Mr. Turton commenced business in Sheffield in 1861 with his brothers as steel manufacturers.

Subsequently, in 1867, he removed to Liverpool, and with his brothers-in-law, members of the firm of John Jones & Sons in that city, became managing partner of the Liverpool Forge Company. At the latter works, until shortly before his death, he made large quantities of forgings of various kinds, and he also built ships and carried on other engineering work.

Amongst the marine work for which Mr. Turton had a wide reputation was the manufacture of crank shafts. For straightening stems, stern-frames, and like work, he had a special aptitude.

Mr. Turton was a successful inventor, and introduced the following, among other new appliances:— In 1865, a machine for cutting files; a machine for shaping file blanks. In 1872, a spring equilibrium safety valve. In 1873, a hydraulic propeller for steamships. In 1874, transhipping cargo (this with Mr. Ernest Latham). In 1880, locomotive tramcars; built crank shafts with webs bolted through. In 1883, built crank shafts with eccentric ends (this with the late Mr. Allibon). In 1884, sliding hatchway covers.

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