Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 150,706 pages of information and 235,205 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

James Alfred Shipton

From Graces Guide

James Alfred Shipton (c1827-1865) of Simpson and Shipton and of Shipton and Co

1848 Patent. 'Joseph Simpson, Manchester, engineer, and James Alfred Shipton, of the same place, engineer, for certain improvements in steam engines. August 14.'[1]

1849 Engineer of 4 Corporation Street, Manchester.[2]

Shipton later relocated to Wolverhampton.

1854 Advert: 'MR. JOHN HOLMES begs to announce that he is honoured with instructions from James A. Shipton, Esq. who is retiring from the business in consequence of entering the heavy ironfounding trade, at the Oak Farm Foundry, Dudley, to PREPARE, CATALOGUE and SELL BY AUCTION, on Thursday and Friday, the 6th and 7th days of December, 1854, the Whole of the Truly Valuable STEAM ENGINES, Steam Boiler, Machines, Tools, Ironfounding Apparatus, &c - on the premises as above, comprising one 8-horse high-pressure steam engine, with water warmer, steam piping and foundations; six 5-horse, and one 3-horse high-presence ditto; one 10-horse high-pressure steam boiler, with flue through, and fittings, by Hick, of Bolton; slide and screw cutting lathe, 27ft. on the bed, 10-inch headstock, by Whitworth; shaping machine, will shape 4ft. 6in. long by 7in. wide, by ditto; planing machine, will plane 4ft. 6in. long by 3ft. wide, and 3ft. high; radial drilling machine, 4ft. jib; back-geared upright drilling machine, back-geared lathes, from 8 1/2in. to l0in. headstockt, with cast-iron beds and slide rests; two moveable 2-ton jib crane; cast iron circular saw bench, 10ft. long by 2ft. 6in. wide planed top, and capable of taking a 36in. saw; cast-iron circular saw bench, capable of taking a 15in. saw; planing machine, for planing floor-boards to thickness, edging and grooving up to 11in. wide, self-acting; polished shafting, with couplings, hangers, pedestals, brass steps, end pulleys; also a quantity of new polished ditto, from 2in. to 3in. diameter; five large anvils, swage blocks and stands, pair of smiths' bellows, smiths' tools, about 20 pairs of vices, from 5in to 7in., screw stocks, dies, and taps, from 3-16th to 1in.; and one set of standard templates, by Whitworth: ironfounding apparatus, consisting Of wrought-iron cupola, one large fan, one small ditto, and steam engine, for driving ditto; moulding boxes, wrought-iron ladles, moulders' tools, and a variety of other articles.
Cayalogues are now ready, and may be had on appliction at the place of sale, and at the Auctioneer's offices, 3, Market Place, near the Exchange, Manchester.- Sale to commence at 10.30 a.m. each day, and not at eleven O'clock, as previusly advertised,- N.B, Parties leaving the London Rosd Station by the 10 15 a.m. train, will arrive in time at the place of sale.'[3]

1855 Advert: 'PORTABLE STEAM ENGINES. The attention of parties requiring such is solicited to an improved STEAM ENGINE, of five horses' power, which may work (pro tem) on Wednesfield Road Bridge, near the Oxford, Worcester, and Wolverhampton Railway Station, Wolverhampton. To Contractors and Builders it will be found particularly useful, as it can be applied twisting, mortar grinding, working circular saws, pumping out foundations, &c.
To Boiler Makers it is suitable for working pans, punching, shearing, and plate bending machinery.
To Farmers it is especially adapted for driving thrashing and other agricultural machinery.
Apply to J. A. SHIPTON, The Oak Farm Foundry, Dudley. '[4]

1856 Shipton undertook the engineering work in connection with the new Wolverhampton Baths, including the sinking of wells and the installation of water pumping and heating equipment. Motive power was provided by a 'small patent steam engine of peculiar construction' (i.e. one of the type patented by Simpson and Shipton.[5]

1857 Sale Notice: 'TO IRONMASTERS, IRON FOUNDERS, ENGINEERS. &c. MR. THOMAS DANKS has received instructions from Mr. J. A. Shipton of the Oak Farm Foundry to SELLby AUCTION, on the premises known as the Old Factory Wharf, UNION MILL STREET. WOLVERHAMPTON, on Wednesday, October 14th, the whole of the valuable PATTERNS made at the Oak Farm Foundry during several years, consisting of patterns of engines of various sizes, housings, crabs, couplings, shafts, &c., belonging to rolling mills ; cannon patterns and boxes, pipes, boiler mountings, and sundry other useful foundry patterns ; large lot of wheel patterns and core boxes ; also, moulding boxes, patterns and core boxes for 13 inch government shell, fuse pins, &c.
One strong wrought Iron FIRE-PROOF SAFE, with double doors ; 12 inch LATHE, nearly new, with bed 19 feet long, slide rest, compound chuck, face plates, c., made by the eminent firm of Lewis and Son. Manchester ; sundry engineering tools. Whitworth s taps and dies, ratchet braces, files, anvils, bellows, and sundries; one large TURNING LATHE, bed planed on the top ; one 38-inch CYLINDER, two powerful contractors CRAB WINCHES, wheels; lot of scaffold poles, planks, wheelbarrows, blocks and ropes, chains pulleys, stretching chains, bolts and nuts, cramps, quantity of wrought iron, brass, wrought and cast scrap, office desks, counters and partitions, and numerous other effects, catalogue of which may had....'[6]

1861 Steam Engines featured in The Engineer. [7]

1861 January. Patent. '228. And James Alfred Shipton, of Wolverhampton, in the county of Stafford, Engineer, has given the like notice in respect of the invention of "improvements in steam engines."'[8]. The patented engine was described and illustrated in The Engineer[9] and in The Practical Mechanic's Journal in October 1861. It was a development of the engine developed by Simpson and Shipton from the late 1840s onwards. In 1851 that 'short-stroke reciprocating high-pressure engine' received an award at the 1851 Great Exhibition. It had a piston which rotated and moved up and down in a stationary cylinder, whereas in the 1861 patent the piston rotated about a fixed axis while the cylinder oscillated, pendulum fashion. It appears to address some of the shortcomings of the previous engine, namely the plethora of rods and bearings.

1861 March. Advert: 'To be let, mill power and screwing machines. Apply to J. A. Shipton, Union Mill-street, Wolverhampton'[10]

1861 Living at 12 Union Mill Street, Wolverhampton: James A. Shipton (age 33 born Wolverhampton), Engineer Smith. Unmarried.[11]

1865 February. Patent. '165. To James Alfred Shipton and Robert Mitchell, both of Wolverhampton, in the county of Stafford, Engineers, for the invention of "improvements in shaping and forging metals, and in the machinery and apparatus employed therein."'[12]. This was presumably the same as the patent in the USA in 1866, for an improved method of 'manufacturing gas-fittings known as “T's,” “elbows,” “bends,” “crosses," and “couplings,” and other gas-fittings by machinery worked by steam, water, compressed air, or hand power, such machinery being applicable to shaping and forging other metallic articles. Under the modification in which steam is employed one part of the machinery consists of a sole or base-plate having two horizontal cylinders bolted thereon, with pistons having dies of the required shape fitted in the end of each, and which meet or converge on steam being applied at the back of each piston. At this point there is a “block' or “mold' se cured to the sole or base-plate, and over which a vertical cylinder is carried on a suitable frame-work having a piston fitted with a “mandrel" or die, the pistons of all these cylinders being actuated by steam regulated by valves .....'[13]

1865 November 24th. Died. Of Wolverhampton, Engineer. 'Nov. 24th. At the residence of his brother-in-law, Dr. Rooke, Cheltenham, James Alfred Shipton, C.E., son of the late James Shipton, of Wolverhampton and Leamington, age 38.'[14]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Journal - Saturday 02 September 1848
  2. 1849 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: New Members
  3. Manchester Times - Saturday 2 December 1854
  4. Wolverhampton Chronicle and Staffordshire Advertiser - Wednesday 28 March 1855
  5. Wolverhampton Chronicle and Staffordshire Advertiser - Wednesday 11 June 1856
  6. Wolverhampton Chronicle and Staffordshire Advertiser - Wednesday 30 September 1857
  7. The Engineer 1861/09/06
  8. The London Gazette Publication date:28 May 1861 Issue:22514 Page:2267
  9. [1] The Engineer, 6 Sept 1861, p.140
  10. Wolverhampton Chronicle and Staffordshire Advertiser - Wednesday 27 March 1861
  11. 1861 Census
  12. The London Gazette Publication date:3 February 1865 Issue:22935 Page:513
  14. Worcester Journal - Saturday 02 December 1865