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British Industrial History

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Aireside Ironworks

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of Hunslet, Leeds

1872 Dissolution of the Partnership between James George Thompson, Joseph Ledger, and Leonard Cooper the younger, of Leeds, in the county of York, under the style or firm of the Aireside Iron Company, so far as relates to James George Thompson. Joseph Ledger and Leonard Cooper the younger would carry on the said business under the style or firm of the Aireside Hematite Iron Co.[1]

1887 Dissolution of the partnership operating as the Aireside Hematite Iron Co.

1888 'AIRESIDE IRONWORKS, LEEDS. As stated last week the Aireside Ironworks, situated at Hunslet, Leeds, have been disposed of by private treaty for the sum of £29,000 to Messrs. Stanton and Atkinson, solicitors, Newcastle-on-Tyne, acting for Mr. Walter Scott, of that city, and Messrs. C. de Murrietta and Co. London. The property is built on about 20 acres of freehold land adjoining and having a frontage of nearly 400 yards to the Midland Railway, with extensive siding accommodation. Fronting and almost parallel with the railway are three large blast furnaces of modern design, capable of making 2,000 tons of pig iron per week. At the north end of the furnaces is the blowing engine-house, in which there are three engines, with 100-inch air cylinders, and between the engine house and the furnaces are the boilers, which are fired by the waste gases from the furnaces. Behind the furnaces are the hot blast stoves, in which the air is heated to about 1,100 degrees, and at the rear of the stoves is a long range of bunkers, where are deposited all the raw material—coke, limestone and ore—which is raised to the top of the furnaces by two lifts, one driven by steam, the other hydraulic. The steel works are erected about the centre of the land and consist of a heavy wrought iron roof of three spans, the centre span being 60 feet in the clear and about 400 feet long. The hot blast cupolas are 8 feet in diameter and 40 feet high, and the iron, coke, and other material is lifted to the charging stage by a 15-ton hydraulic lift, having a stroke of 45 feet. There are 10-ton converters, carried on massive cast-iron standards, with powerful hydraulic tipping gear, in front of the cupolas. On the centre line of the converters are the 15-ton Siemens' open hearth furnaces, and a casting pit, about 3ft. deep and 50ft. diameter, with a massive 15-ton centre casting crane in the middle, is dug in front of the converters. There are, in addition, three 6-ton ingot cranes. All the cranes were designed to save labour, every movement being made by hydraulic power. Close by the pit are the heating or soaking furnaces, capable of holding 15 tons of ingot. In the centre of this group of furnaces is a specially designed crane, which receives the ingots from one of the casting pit ingot cranes, places the ingot in the furnace, removes it from the furnace, and delivers it to the rolling mill. These furnaces are smoke-consuming, and the waste heat, passing through the boiler attached, keeps up a boiler pressure of 1001b. to the square inch. The rolling mill consists of one pair of 30-inch cogging rolls and one pair of finishing rolls, and behind the latter is a long line of rollers driven by a pair of small engines for carrying the finished steel to the saw and hydraulic shears. Massive hydraulic shears are placed behind the cogging rolls for cutting into the required lengths slabs 2ft. 6in. wide by 6in. thick and forming blooms 12in. square. The rolling mill engines, made by Messrs. Galloway and Sons, of Manchester, have steam cylinders 38in. in diameter and 4ft. 6m. stroke, with steam pressure 1001b. to the square inch. The blowing engines were made by Messrs. John Fowler and Co., of Leeds, and are of the horizontal type, designed to give a blast pressure of 30lb. to the square inch. In the blowing engine-house are the quadruple hydraulic pumps, having four single rams 6in. diameter and 3ft. stroke, and an accumulator with a 24in. ram and 14 ft. stroke, loaded to 500lb. to the square inch. Adjoining the engine-house are a range of eight steel boilers 28ft. long and 7ft. diameter, with a working pressure of 1091b. to the square inch, made by Messrs. Clayton and Son (Limited), Leeds. The Bessemer plant, cranes, pump, and accumulator were made by the Bowling Iron Company.[2]

It is presumed this is the same as Hunslet Iron and Steel Works which was acquired by Walter Scott in 1888.

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Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 23 January 1872
  2. Leeds Times, 15th September 1888