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 134,020 pages of information and 213,092 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Edward Windsor Richards

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Edward Windsor Richards (1831-1921) was born at Dowlais in August 1831, son of Josiah and Anne Richards, and educated at Monmouth and Christ’s Hospital.

He served an apprenticeship in the works of Rhymney Iron Co, where his father was the general manager. It was here that his attention was first drawn to the economy of utilizing the waste heat in blast-furnace gases.

1851 A draughtsman, living with his mother, Ann Richards 48, a widow, and Edwin Richards 21, Elvira Richards 16, Ema Richards 14, Jonah E Richards 12[1]

He was then employed as assistant and then chief engineer of the Tredegar Iron Works.

1866 Edward Windsor Richards, Engineer, Ebbw Vale Iron Works, near Tredegar.[2]

1871 Appointed general manager of the Ebbw Vale Works, where he was responsible for planning and laying out the Bessemer Steel Department.

Four years later he was appointed General Manager of Bolckow, Vaughan and Co’s iron works at Middlesbrough, where he was responsible for the design and erection of the Cleveland Steel Works at Eston. These works included three hæmatite blast-furnaces, and Richards’ early efforts at the works contributed to the success of the Gilchrist-Thomas Basic process of making steel from phosphoric ore.

After 13 years at Eston, he left for Low Moor Works, where he worked at the manufacture of wrought iron. This was at a time when wrought iron’s popularity was seriously affected by the basic steel he had helped to develop.

He retired in 1898, but continued to advise the firms he was associated with.

He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1896 and 1897, and was President of the Iron and Steel Institute, of which he was an Original Member, in 1894.

1921 November 12th. Died.

Control of phosphorous in steel-making [3]


1922 Obituary [4]

EDWARD WINDSOR RICHARDS was born at Dowlais in August 1831, and was educated at Monmouth and Christ's Hospital.

He served an apprenticeship as a Mechanical Engineer in the workshops of the Rhymney Iron Co., of which his father was the General Manager, and where his attention was first drawn to the economy of utilizing the waste heat in blast-furnace gases.

After being successively assistant and chief engineer of the Tredegar Iron Works, he was appointed in 1871 the General Manager of the Ebbw Vale Works, where he was responsible for planning and laying out the Bessemer Steel Department, and on the failure of supplies of spiegeleisen from Germany during the war of 1870-71, inaugurated its manufacture in this country.

Appointed in 1875 as general manager of Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan and Co.'s iron works at Middlesbrough, he was responsible for the design and erection of the Cleveland Steel Works at Eston, which included three haematite blast-furnaces.

To Mr. Richards' early efforts at these works the practical success of the Gilchrist-Thomas Basic process of making steel from phosphoric ores is largely due.

After thirteen years at Eston, he left in order to take up the manufacture of wrought iron at the celebrated Low Moor Works, at a time when the position of this material was being seriously menaced by the popularity of the basic steel he had so effectively developed.

In 1898 he retired from active management in the steel industry, but continued to take part in advising the firms with whom he was associated.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1866, Member of Council in 1882, and President in 1896 and 1897, when the Jubilee Meeting of the Institution was held in Birmingham. He was also an original Member of the Iron and Steel Institute, of which he was President in 1894, and by whom he was awarded the Bessemer gold medal in 1884.

He died on the 12th November 1921, at the age of ninety years.


1921 Obituary [5]

EDWARD WINDSOR RICHARDS, an original member and Past- President, died on November 12, 1921, at his residence, Plas Llecha, Tredunnock, Caerleon, Mon.

Born in 1831, he was the son of the general manager of the Rhymney Iron Works. He was educated at Monmouth and Christ's Hospital, and commenced his mechanical engineering training in 1847 by serving his apprenticeship in the works of the Rhymney Iron Co.

In 1854 he was appointed assistant engineer at the Tredegar Iron Works, and four years later he succeeded Mr. Josiah Richards as chief engineer, while, subsequently, in 1871, he became general manager of the Ebbw Vale Works, where the extensive Bessemer steel department was put down under his direction. He also designed and constructed a special blast-furnace at Ebbw Vale for the production of spiegeleisen.

In 1875 he was appointed to succeed Mr. Edward Williams as general manager to Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., Middlesbrough. Here were erected at Eston in 1876, from his designs and under his supervision, the Cleveland Steel Works, including three haematite blast-furnaces, in which haematite pig iron was produced for use in acid converters, for the manufacture of Bessemer rails. At the time when Mr. Richards became manager of Bolckow, Vaughan's Works, the Cleveland iron ore deposits, which contain phosphorus, were practically neglected, as the methods of the day were inadequate for their development. Thomas and Gilchrist were, however, engaged upon their experiments, and had already succeeded in solving the problem of the use of phosphoric pig iron. The experiments at Dowlais were attentively followed by Mr. Richards, who, in association with the inventors, and with the late E. P. Martin, followed every stage of the process. Mr. Richards was, in fact, the first to prove the actual value of this process of manufacturing steel, and it is to his early efforts at the Cleveland Steel Works that the practical success of the process is generally ascribed.

During the period 1888-1898 he was general manager of the Low Moor Iron Works. He was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, being President of the latter body in 1896 and 1897.

He was one of the founders of the Iron and Steel Institute, served on the Council since 1880, and was elected President for the years 1893 and 1894. He was a regular attendant at the meetings, and contributed to the discussions.


1921 Obituary [6]



See Also

Loading...

Sources of Information