Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,552 pages of information and 233,970 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Edward Curran Engineering

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Edward Curran Engineering Co, of Hurman street, Butetown, Cardiff

1904 Curran Brothers was founded by Edward Curran in, or close, to the former Bute Ironworks site. The firm initially specialised in producing furnaces for annealing metals.

1909 Supplied an annealing furnace for Mountstuart Dry Docks in Cardiff.

1914 Immediately before the war, Curran's supplied several annealing furnaces to the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich, and had built a major munitions factory in Ward End, Birmingham.

1914 Developed expertise in drawing and shaping metal and were involved in producing armaments used in the First World War.

1915 Converted a building next to the iron foundry into a plant for manufacturing shell casings. Established Curran Metals and Munitions Co Ltd.

1916 Production of 4.5 inch (110 mm) brass howitzer shell casings started, continuing until the end of the war with over seven million 4​-5‑inch shell casings produced.

Post-WWI Diversified into enammelled metalware, including cups and plates. These were manufactured using the staff and equipment previously used for shell casing production. So Curran's maintained their capability to manufacture munitions.

By the 1930s Curran's was well-placed to resume significant munitions manufacturing capability, and it took a leading role in the British re-armament before the Second World War.

1937 Aerial photograph of works here.

1937 Edward Curran and Co were listed as exhibitor at the British Industries Fair. Silver Swallow, Chef, and Lilywhite Enamelled Ware, In a wide variety of pleasing modern colours, in addition to the ever-popular white - designed by housewives for housewives. (Stand No. A.605)

WWII Again the company was a maker of munitions. The factory was damaged several times in enemy bombing raids.

1947 Private company.

1950 Edward Curran Engineering Process Plant Division advertised for representatives to call on farmers about the "famous" "Slade/Curran" Grass Drier[1]

1956 Received an order for 1200 small wheeled containers from the British Transport Commission[2]

1959 First British company to use pressed steel, instead of cast iron, for baths[3]

1961 Manufacturers of metal household accessories. Specialities include "Silver Swallow" and "Chef" brands of vitreous enamelled kitchen ware. [4]

1961 Edward Curran invested in 1600-ton press to produce high quality steel baths.

1972 Edward Curran began to manufacture acrylic baths.

1973 Edward Curran Engineering Limited of Cardiff, the UK leading makers of steel baths, joined Reed Building Products Division, adding steel and acrylic baths to Twyfords' range of sanitaryware. Subsequently part of Caradon

By 1980 the company, of Stoke-on-Trent, had been wound up[5]

2005 The factory closed in 2005, and the site was used for housing development.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jun 22, 1950
  2. The Times, Sep 20, 1956
  3. The Times, Jul 19, 1973
  4. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  5. The London Gazette 4 January 1980
  • [1] The Potteries Website
  • [2] Coflein website
  • [3] Curran Steels