Foster, Rastrick and Co
Foster, Rastrick and Company of Stourbridge was one of the pioneering steam locomotive manufacturing companies.
See Hazledine and Rastrick for previous history.
1819 James Foster, an ironmaster, and engineer John Urpeth Rastrick became partners to expand John Bradley and Co's involvement in machinery production. John Urpeth Rastrick became the managing partner in the firm of Bradley, Foster, Rastrick and Co, iron-founders and manufacturers of machinery, at Stourbridge, Worcestershire, taking the principal engineering part in the design and construction of rolling-mills, steam-engines, and other large works. The works were built alongside the Stourbridge Iron Works (Rastrick was later to be one of the judges at the Rainhill Trials).
They supplied an 8 HP stationary steam engine to Isaac Peake's blue brick and tile works at Tunstall. It was included in the sale of the works' equipment in 1828.
1828 The company built only four locomotives but is notable for building the Stourbridge Lion in 1828, the first locomotive to be tried in America. This and two others, Delaware and Hudson were sold to the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company.
1828 Iron Founders, of Stourbridge Iron Works.
In 1829 Foster and Rastrick constructed four locomotives which had many features in common with the old Wylam "Grasshopper" engine. The first of these engines ( Stourbridge Lion) was exported to the United States a few months after Stephensons' America and owing to the delays in completing the Delaware and Hudson Railroad, was actually tried in steam in August 1929, before the latter.
1829 They built the Agenoria for the Shutt End Railway. Agenoria was probably the first to use mechanical lubrication for its axles. Unlike the first three, it had a long life and, at the end, was presented to the London Science Museum in 1884. It is now at the National Railway Museum in York.
There is an illustration and an article in 'The Engineer' of 1890 of Agenoria and Stourbridge Lion.
1831 The company was officially dissolved on June 20, 1831, the assets being absorbed into John Bradley and Co, also of the Stourbridge Iron Works, where James Foster was the major partner and eventual sole owner. Rastrick became an independent civil engineer.
Parts of the foundry survived, in derelict condition. Fortunately a campaign succeeded in saving the large 'New Foundry' building (1820), which was grade II* listed, and is now part of a health centre (Lion Health Stourbridge). See here for numerous photographs taken before, during and after restoration. Of particular interest is the trussed iron roof. A small cast iron arch bridge also survives on the site. Photos here and here.
Sources of Information
- 1857 Obituary of John Urpeth Rastrick
- Staffordshire Advertiser - Saturday 27 September 1828
- Pigot & Co.'s Directory of Ches, Cumb ..., 1828-29. [Part 2: Notts - Yorks & N Wales]
- The Engineer 1925/01/09
-  Flickr: The New Foundry at Stourbridge