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 148,470 pages of information and 233,895 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

James Chesterman and Co

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Chesterman folding steel rule marked with name of Whitehead Iron and Steel Co.
Chesterman folding steel rule marked with name of Whitehead Iron and Steel Co.
January 1956.

of Bow Works, Sheffield.

James Chesterman moved from London to Sheffield in 1821 and set up Bow Works in Nursery Street.

1833 James Chesterman patented a spring-return linen tape measure.

1842 Invented the first 'metallic' woven tape and a steel tape.

1848 The partnership of Chesterman and Bottom was dissolved

1855 Cutts, Chesterman and Co was in business making measuring tapes

1859 The partnership of Cutts, Chestermann and Bedington was dissolved.

1864 The Nursery Street Works was devastated by the Sheffield Flood. A new Bow Works was opened in Pomona Street (this closed in 1984).

1892 Private company.

1945 Company made public.

1961 Manufacturers of measuring tapes, land chains, band chains, rules, straight edges, squares, scales and Engineers' tools. 550 employees. [1]

1963 The company merged with John Rabone and Sons; the name was changed to Rabone Chesterman.

1984 A new factory was opened at Summer Hill, Birmingham.

1990 The remains of the business were taken over by Stanley.

2008 Business was still being undertaken at Hockley Abbey, Birmingham.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • 'A Brief History of James Chesterman & Co, Sheffield and a transcript of a discussion with Ken Hawley on the early development of micrometers at Chesterman' by David Eaton, Newcomen Links, 253, March 2020.