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British Industrial History

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William Higgins and Sons

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W Higgins & Sons of King Street Iron Works, King Street, Salford

Successors to Cocker and Higgins

See also 1851 Great Exhibition: Official Catalogue: Class VI.: Higgins and Sons

Textile machinery makers

1850 Slater's Directory of Manchester & Salford, 1850 lists the company as cotton spinners, Ordsal Lane, and machine makers, King Street. Home addresses: William: Tetlow Fold; James: 4 Adelphi Terrace; John: Merrion Place, Higher Broughton

1863 William Higgins & Sons of King Street listed as machine makers. Home addresses: Henry: Moreton House, Vine Street, Kersal Vale; James: Stocks House, York St, Cheetham Hill Road; John: Mount House, Tetlow Fold.

1870 'The second mill of the Satsuma domain, known as the Sakai cotton mill (SAKAI BOSEKISYO), began operation at Sakai, near Osaka. The spinning machinery in this mill was imported from England and was comprised of 4 twist mules with 2,000 spindles with the incomplete preparing machinery. These were manufactured by the William Higgins & Sons Co., of Salford near Manchester.' [1]

1873 The third mill (KASHIMA BOSEKISYO) 'was opened in 1873 by a cotton cloth merchant named Mr. Manpei Kasima at Takinogawa near Tokyo. The machinery included 4 sets of ring frames with 576 spindles which were manufactured by the William Higgins & Sons Co.'[2]

1881 Winding-up petition presented (Wm Higgins & Sons, King Street Iron Works) [3]


King Street Iron Works

  • The 1849 O.S. map[4] shows large buildings marked 'King Street Iron Works' taking up much of the length of King Street from Gravel Lane to Garden Lane, although it is not clear whether the full extent was occupied by Higgins. An early 1970s photograph shows a long, tall narrow building identified as William Higgins', with 5 or 6 storeys, each floor having approximately 14 windows along the King Street side [5]. Blocks of flats have recently been built on the site.
  • 1885 Sale of contents of W Higgins & Sons' King Street factory, due to retirement from the business, 18th - 20th March. Sales included machine tools by Whitworth, J S Hulse, Smith & Coventry, Kendall & Gent, Collier, Butterworth, Heap, Oldham & Richards, Gregson & Brown, Ryder. Included were 220 lathes. These had beds with lengths from 4 ft to 30 ft. Only six milling machines are mentioned (made by Smith & Coventry). The equipment included forging hammers and foundry equipment [6]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] 'The Role of Cotton Spinning Books in the Developments of the Cotton spinning industry in Japan' by Kanji TAMAGAWA, presented at the 1st International Conference on Business & Technology Transfer
  2. [2] 'The Role of Cotton Spinning Books in the Developments of the Cotton spinning industry in Japan' by Kanji TAMAGAWA, presented at the 1st International Conference on Business & Technology Transfer
  3. 'The London Gazette' March 11 1881
  4. 'The Godfrey Edition Old Ordnance Survey Town Plans: Manchester Sheet 23: Manchester Victoria 1849' [3]
  5. 'Salford in Pictures' by V I Tomlinson, published by E J Morten, 1973
  6. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 28 February 1885