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 163,457 pages of information and 245,911 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.

A. C. Wells and Co

From Graces Guide
1884.
No. 5B Lamp.
No. 16 Lamp.
No. 16 Lamp.
No. 18 Kettle Torch Lamp
Wells "Unbreakable" No. 18 Kettle Torch Lamp.
Wells "Unbreakable" No. 18 Kettle Torch Lamp.
Marine Boiler Water Space Lamp.
Marine Boiler Water Space Lamp.
Marine Boiler Water Space Lamp.
Wells Light Size 3.
Wells Light Size 3 (detail).
Im20131127-Wellsa.jpg
Im20131127-Wellsb.jpg
Safety Lamp.
Safety Lamp (detail).
March 1888.
1895.
June 1888. Wells Light.

‎‎

1889.
May 1896.
June 1898.
1899.
1899.
1899.
February 1901.
January 1902.
1902.
September 1902.

‎‎

1905.
1909.
1912.
1913.
1913.
1918.
1918.
Dec 1921.
1921.
1923.
1926.
1926.
1936.
1938.
1943.
1943.
1945.
1946.
1951. Advert for waste oil filters.
1951.
1960.
1961.
1969.

A. C. Wells and Co of Manchester, although for some time the main address was 103/5 Midland Road, St.Pancras, London N.W.1., with the works at Manchester.

In 1884 the address was Withy Grove, Manchester. In 1888 the address was initially Ogden Street, Ardwick, Manchester, and then St Pancras, London, with the works in Carnarvon Street, Cheetham, Manchester. By 1943 the firm was located in Hyde, Cheshire.

See Arthur Collings Wells

c.1880 Started making Wells's unbreakable lamps (see advert).

1881 Advert. Oil Cans, Engineer's Lamps. A. C. Wells and Co, Exchange Building, Cromford Court, Market Street, Manchester.[1]

1882 Advertising 'The House Lamp of the Future. WELLS' PATENT UNBREAKABLE BENZOLINE HOUSE LAMPS. DO NOT LEAK! DO NOT BREAK ! ! Safety from destructive fires. Entirely superseding flimsy brass lamps. Price 1s 6d and 1s 10d. Write for Lists. Ask your ironmonger or Stores to get you some, giving this address. Everyone who has them is pleased. Orders of 6 carefully packed and Carriage Paid. A. C. Wells & Co., Cromford Court, Market Street, Manchester.'[2]

1888 The Wells' Oil Lamp featured in 'The Engineer'. [3]

1888 The "Wells Light", generated gas from oil for use in lighting(see advert)

1888 'The "WELLS LIGHT", which is being put on the market by A. C. Wells and Co., Manchester, is just now creating some stir, and it appears to be one of the meet important inventions modern times. The patents are owned by Messrs. Wallwork and Wells, who have worked several years to bring this lamp to perfection. By its use an immense white lignt is obtained from common mineral oils at a cost many times less than coal, gas, or the electric light. Not the least remarkable feature is its portability, and a lamp giving out the gigantic light of 5,000 candle power can be carried about by two men from place to place. Its use in large out-of-door works cannot be over stated, and we understand that it is the only light in use through the extensive workings of the Manchester Ship Canal, and that it has been applied for the most varied purposes for some of the largest firms. With the extensive supplies of oils, which are being opened up in all parts of the globe, such a simple apparatus for burning them must have very large sale the future.'[4]

1894 Mention of 'Wallwork and Wells' patents.[5] (R. Wallwork and Arthur Collings Wells).

1897 "The "Wells Light " has now become so common, and proved so satisfactory, that surprise may be expressed at its makers bringing out another high-candle-power oil light working on a different principle. The new light is not intended to replace the older one, but for use in circumstances where the 8 or 10 minutes needed for heating the vapouriser cannot be spared, as at fires, breakdowns, &c., where every minute of time becomes of serious import. The new lamp is a spray, and not a vapour lamp, and might accordingly be justly considered as a case of atavism, as the first of all the high-power oil lights was worked on this principle. The lamp consists of a reservoir containing oil and fitted with an air-pump, by means of which a pressure is maintained in the space above the oil. This pressure is then utilised to force the Oil up to the burner in the usual way. At the same time, however, a second pipe coming from the top of the reservoir leads air to the sprayer, which completely breaks up and shatters the oil as it flows from the burner. A pilot light fitted with a wick is kept constantly burning, and immediately the cock shown on the standard is turned the flame starts into full activity. Closing this cock puts out the flame instantly, so that the lamp can be used very conveniently for signalling purposes. The standard, with its oil and air tubes, can be completely detached from the air reservoir, the two tubes aforesaid passing into this reservoir through glands, which, on replacing the apparatus, only require tightening up for the lamp to be ready for use."[6]

1905 Advert for lamps and oil feeders. [7]

1913 Advert for waste oil filters ('over 19,000 sold') and oil cabinets. [8]

1919 Advert for waste oil filters and oil cabinets.

1919 Advert for waste oil filters and oil cabinets.

1927 Advert for waste oil filters. [9]

1932 Appointment of liquidator.[10]

1937 Engineers and paint sprayers. [11]

1940 Advert for barrel pourers. [12]

1945 Advert for waste oil filters, lathe cans and heating plants. (of Alexandra Street, Providence Mill, Hyde) [13]

1960 Advert. Waste oil filters. [14]

Perhaps the most common of the early flare torches is the Wells "Unbreakable" No. 18 Kettle Torch Lamp. Typical of the type that predominated before the introduction of more modern lamps made from sheet metal. The body is a single iron casting as is the separate lid. Several variants existed including one with a twin wick. [15]

Note: Some sources (e.g. here) state that the cast iron Wells lamps were made by Henry Wallwork and Co of Redbank, Manchester. This may well be the case, as Roughsedge Wallwork was the joint patentee with Arthur Collings Wells, and Wallwork's foundry was just 1/4 mile east of Wells' Carnarvon Street premises. Slater's 1895 Directory[16] gives A. C. Wells' address as 41 Carnarvon Street. No. 41 was also the address of Hyman Meyerstein, tailor '&c'. It was in a row of terraced premises, and neighbours included two other tailors and a householder, so it is hardly likely that Wells had any appreciable manufacturing capability here. However the premises were large enough to serve as a warehouse and packing room. The company was frequently advertising for boys and youths to work in those departments. For example, in 1893: 'Wanted: a strong LAD for rough painting, &c, in warehouse: one who knows town also.— Apply A. C. Wells and Co, Carnarvon-street, near Assize Courts.'; 1899 'Wanted: Several handy "BOYS" and "YOUTHS" for painting small castings and general warehouse work.'


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Mechanical World Year Book 1917. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p158
  • Mechanical World Year Book 1919. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p194
  1. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 26 March 1881
  2. Southern Reporter - Thursday 14 December 1882
  3. The Engineer 1888/01/27 p69
  4. Weston-super-Mare Gazette, and General Advertiser - Saturday 8 September 1888
  5. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Wednesday 10 January 1894
  6. Engineering 1897/10/08
  7. Mechanical World Year Book 1905. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p385
  8. Mechanical World Year Book 1913. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p401
  9. Mechanical World Year Book 1927. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p159
  10. The London Gazette Publication date:30 September 1932 Issue:33868 Page:6240
  11. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  12. Mechanical World Year Book 1940. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p75
  13. Mechanical World Year Book 1945. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p103
  14. Mechanical World Year Book 1960. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p176
  15. http://roaddangerlamps.webs.com
  16. [1] Slater's Manchester & Salford Directory, 1895. [Part 2: Trades, Institutions, Streets, etc.]