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British Industrial History

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Alfred C. Hill

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Alfred C. Hill (1835-1890)

son of Samuel Hill

of Clay Lane Iron Works, South Bank, R.S.O., Yorkshire.


1890 Obituary [1]

ALFRED C. HILL was born at Ebbw Vale on the 17th of October 1835. His father, Mr. Samuel Hill, of whom he was the youngest child, held the position of engineer at the Ebbw Vale Ironworks for about twenty years.

In 1836 the family removed to Llanhylleth, a few miles down the valley, and in 1839 to Rises, near Newport. Here they remained for some years, but eventually went to reside at Newport, where Mr. Hill entered on his professional career at Uskside Ironworks. It was during this period that he became acquainted with the late Mr. Thomas James, of Redcar Ironworks.

In the year 1854 Mr. James and he became engaged to B. Samuelson, Esq. (now Sir Bernhard), Mr. James as manager, and Mr. Hill as mechanical draughtsman. He afterwards acted as head draughtsman to Messrs. Bolckow & Vaughan, at their Middlesborough works, and upon the accidental death of Mr. Williamson, in October 1856, was appointed engineer. In 1858 he went to Witton Park and erected a blast furnace there, after which he was given the management of the blast furnaces and the rolling mills.

In 1863 he erected the Clay Lane blast furnaces, and managed them when completed, as well as the South Bank furnaces. He also acted as engineer for the Bishop Auckland Ironworks.

In 1870 he was engaged by the Lackenby Iron Company to build the Lackenby furnaces. These he managed till 1876, when he again undertook the management of the Clay Lane and South Bank furnaces. The South Bank works being eventually sold, he continued to manage the Clay Lane furnaces up to the time of his death.

In addition to his regular employment, he acted as constant or occasional consulting engineer to the following works:— Messrs. The Outward Iron Company, near Manchester; Messrs. The Yniscedwyn Iron Company, Yniscedwyn; Messrs. The South Cleveland Iron Company, Glaisdale; Messrs. The West Marsh Iron Company, Middlesborough; Messrs. Thomas Allen & Sons, Stockton.

He was also consulting engineer at the following mines and collieries:— Kilton, Craghall, Liverton, West Hunwick, and Pelaw Main. He was occasionally consulted by the late Mr. Edward Williams and Messrs. Palmers' Shipbuilding and Iron Company, Limited, Jarrow-on-Tyne.

He was a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, a member of the Iron and Steel Institute, and a Past President of the Cleveland Institution of Engineers.


1890 Obituary [2]

ALFRED C. HILL was born at Ebbw Vale on 17th October 1835, being the youngest child of Mr. Samuel Hill, who held the position of engineer at the Ebbw Vale Iron Works for about twenty years.

In 1836 the family removed to Llanhylleth, a few miles down the valley, and in 1839 to Rises, near Newport. Here they remained for some years, but eventually went to reside at Newport, where Mr. Hill entered on his professional career at the Uskside Iron Works.

Here he became acquainted with the late Mr. Thomas James, afterwards of the Redcar Iron Works. In 1854 Mr. James became engaged as manager, and Mr. Hill as mechanical draughtsman, at the South Bank Iron Works, Yorkshire, belonging to Sir Bernhard Samuelson, Bart., M.P.

He afterwards went as head draughtsman to Messrs. Bolckow and Vaughan, at their Middlesbrough works, and upon the accidental detail of Mr. Williamson in October 1856 was appointed engineer.

In 1858 he went to Witton Park, and erected a blast-furnace there; after which he was given the management of the blast-furnaces and the rolling mills. Whilst at Witton Park he invented with Mr. William Morgan a fettling for puddling furnaces, consisting of a mixture of coal tar with coke; but the prejudices of the puddlers prevented it from being successful.

In 1863 he erected the Clay Lane blast-furnaces, which when completed he managed as well as the South Bank furnaces. He also acted as engineer for the Bishop Auckland Iron Works.

In 1870 he was engaged to build the Lackenby furnaces. These he managed till 1876, when he again undertook the management of the Clay Lame and South Bank furnaces. The South Bank works being eventually sold, he continued to manage the Clay Lane furnaces up to the time of his death, which took place there on 27th October 1889 at the ago of fifty-four.

In addition to his regular employment, he acted as consulting engineer for many other works, including those of Messrs. Newton Chambers and Co., Thorneliffe Iron Works, Sheffield; the Awsworth Iron Works and the Stanton Iron Works, near Nottingham; Messrs. Thomas Richardson and Sons, West Hartlepool Iron Works; the Outwood Iron Works, near Manchester; the Yniscedwyn Iron Works, Yniscedwyn; the South Cleveland Iron Works, Glaisdale; the West Marsh Iron Works, Middlesbrough; Messrs. Thomas Allan and Sons, Stockton-on-Tees; and the Russia Copper Co.

He was also consulting engineer for the following mines and collieries:— Kilton, Craghall, Liverton, West Hunwick, and Pelaw Main. He was occasionally consulted by the late Mr. Edward Williams, of Middlesbrough, and by Messrs. Palmers' Shipbuilding and Iron Co., Jarrow.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1871, and in that year gave a paper on the compound-cylinder blowing engines at the Lackenby Iron Works, and in 1872 a further paper on the working of these engines and of the Howard boilers supplying them with steam.

He was also a Member of the Iron and Steel Institute, and a Past-President of the Cleveland Institution of Engineers.


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