Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Francis Wedge

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of the Griffith and Wedge Co of Zanesville, Ohio, USA

Born in Staffordshire, January 12th, 1825. Educated at Stone, Staffordshire. At 17 he started an apprenticeship of five years under Joseph Whitworth.

1847 Married Nichola(s?) J. Weild in Manchester. Herr father was David Weild, a joiner and builder.

1848 Lived in Chapel Place, Chorlton-on Medlock, with daughter Betsy.

On 3 August 1848, he left Liverpool for the USA on the ship 'Caleb Grimshaw', and settled in Zanesville, Ohio. During the next six months, he was employed in setting up machinery for the Ohio Iron Company (formerly the Zanesville Rolling Mills). He then went into partnership with John H. Jones, and for 18 months engaged in business in the Blocksom Foundry, which had been rented by the partners.

He subsequently served eight years as foreman for H. & F. Blandy. The following year was spent in the saw-mill business in Arkansas. He then found employment in "getting, up" machinery, designs, and drawings for portable engines, for Owens, Lane & Dyer, Hamilton, Ohio.

In 1857 he designed, built and bought the first engine in Zanesville, Ohio.

In 1858 he became a member of the firm of Griffith, Ebert & Co., which, after two years became Griffith and Wedge. While in the employ of H & F. Blandy he built not only the first locomotive in Zanesville, but also the first portable engine. He became a stockholder in the Brown Manufacturing Company and also in the Zanesville Woollen Company.

The above information is largely condensed from The Biographical Encyclopdia of Ohio, 1876, via the website[1]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Griffith & Wedge Co.