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Francis Preston (1823-1891) of Manchester.
1855 Government contract for bayonets and ramrods for the army
1856 Machinist of Ardwick Spindle Works, Manchester
See "'Clay's' Breech Loader 1862" by Steven Roberts for a summary of Preston's involvement in arms production . The source also refers to his partnership in the Ardwick Spindle Works with William Seed, and with Preston's involvement with the Lancashire Steel Co.
1892 Obituary 
FRANCIS PRESTON was born at Higher Ardwick, Manchester, on 10th January 1823.
For the greater part of his life he was actively engaged in engineering works of a varied character.
He died suddenly of heart disease on 24th December 1891 at Blackpool, in the sixty-ninth year of his age.
He became a Member of this Institution in 1856.