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Alfred Seale Haslam

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Sir Alfred Seale Haslam (1844-1927) of the Haslam Foundry and Engineering Co and Alfred Seale Haslam and Co

1844 October 27th. Born in Derby. Fourth son of William and Ann Haslam; William was a white smith and bell hanger[1]

His apprenticeship was at Midland Railway Co locomotive works. On the completion of his apprenticeship he was in the service of W. G. Armstrong and Co.

1868 Joined his father in business.

1873 His father retired from the business - Alfred Seale Haslam and Co

1876 Established Haslam Foundry and Engineering Co as a limited company.

1879 Became a member of the Derby Town Council.

1881 Became a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

1888 Received the freedom of London for 'services rendered to commerce'.

1891 Became Mayor of Derby.

1900 Represented Newcastle-under-Lyme as a Liberal Unionist until 1906.

1902 Became Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme until 1905.

1927 January 13th. Died at St Pancras Hotel suddenly following a fall in his room.


1927 Obituary [2]

Sir ALFRED SEALE HASLAM was throughout his long life prominently associated with his native town of Derby.

He was born there in 1844 and was a pupil at the Midland Railway locomotive works under Matthew Kirtley.

After experience at Burton-on-Trent and in London, where he superintended the erection of hydraulic machinery at Broad Street goods station for Lord Armstrong's company, he acquired the Union Foundry at Derby and founded the business of The Haslam Engineering Company, who were pioneers in mechanical refrigeration.

His first connection with refrigerating machinery was in the development of the ammonia absorption machine in 1876 in conjunction with his old partners Messrs. Pontifex and Wood, whose business was afterwards amalgamated with his own.

A few years later he became associated with the air-compression refrigerating machine and he purchased the Bell-Coleman patents. The initial experiments made to perfect the Haslam dry-air machine were carried out in a large building fitted up to represent the working conditions of the freezing hold of a ship.

It is recorded in an early log of the "Mataura", one of the first frozen-meat ships, that Sir Alfred was accidentally shut up in a small refrigerating chamber and would have been frozen to death had he not been discovered in time.

He received his knighthood in 1891 when, as Mayor of the town, he welcomed Queen Victoria on her visit to Derby. He was also Mayor of Newcastle-under-Lyme and represented the Division in Parliament from 1900 to 1906.

Sir Alfred, who died on 14th January 1927, became a Member of the Institution in 1881.


1927 Obituary [3]

Sir ALFRED SEALE HASLAM, chief proprietor of the Haslam Foundry and Engineering Co., Ltd., died suddenly in London on January 13, 1927.

He was born in Derby on October 27, 1844; he was educated in his native town, and was then apprenticed at the Midland Railway Company's locomotive works in the same place.

On the completion of his apprenticeship he was for some time in the service of Sir W. G. Armstrong & Co., Ltd., being engaged principally on the erection of hydraulic machinery. In 1868 he joined his father in business in Derby, and from then on until his death his life's work centred round the Union Foundry, Little Chester, Derby. From a very early date he had been captivated with the idea of devising some means whereby perishable goods might be transported long distances, and perhaps through tropical climates, and delivered at their destination in fresh and sweet condition. Working contemporaneously with him, however, were the brothers John and Henry Bell, and James Coleman, of Glasgow.

In 1877 they succeeded in building an "open system" machine, which, fitted in a steamship, enabled meat to be brought in good condition from America to this country. Their machinery, however, was frequently beset with trouble, due to the atmospheric moisture becoming frozen in the valves and cylinders of the engines, as well as in the air ducts. Sir Alfred (then Mr. Haslam) provided the solution of the difficulty by his invention of a dryer, in which the air for use was cooled by previously cooled air, the moisture being to a large extent precipitated and drained away. The City of London marked its appreciation of Sir Alfred's work by conferring on him in 1888 the freedom of the city "for services rendered to commerce."

Not content with this early success, Sir Alfred turned his attention to the building of ammonia compression machines, and machines for use in the manufacture of sugar and in brewing were introduced. The output of the works also included steam engines, boilers, hydraulic presses, pumps, cranes, machine tools, &c. Sir Alfred became a member of the Derby Town Council in 1879, and in 1891 he was Mayor. During his period of office he received from Her Majesty Queen Victoria the honour of knighthood.

He represented Newcastle-under-Lyme in Parliament from 1900 to 1906, and was Mayor of that town for three years, commencing in 1902. He was vice-chairman of the Reception Committee which organised the Autumn Meeting of the Iron and Steel Institute held in Buxton in 1910.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1897.


1927 Obituary [4]



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