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 142,062 pages of information and 227,774 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Jan Verbruggen

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c.1778 drawing by Pieter Verbruggen showing bronze cannon barrel being turned and bored in the Royal Brass Foundry at Woolwich

1755 Verbruggen was appointed as gunfounder to the States of the Province of Holland, followed by his appointment as State gunfounder later in the same year. In the Hague he started the construction of a new boring machine with help of Johan Jacob Siegler, who had been an employee of Johan Maritz. Verbruggen left his employment in 1770 and moved from to England to become the joint Master Gunfounder at Woolwich Arsenal with his son Pieter Verbruggen. This move followed the discovery of extensive repairs to gun barrels, involving the insertion of numerous screws in areas of defective material at the bore. [1]. Reprehensible as the repairs were, the achievement in fitting the screws from within is remarkable.

At Woolwich he became known as John Verbruggen, and worked closely with his son. Jan or Pieter produced a series of superb drawings and paintings which provide a remarkable record of the production of cannon, including turning and boring using machines developed by Verbruggen. One of these is shown above, from Wikipedia, where higher resolution versions may be found[2].

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. [1] Section 6: '18th Century Gunfounding ‘Screws’, or tricks of trade: secret repairs of solid cast cannon by Jan Verbruggen' By Dr. J.R. Verbeek, the Netherlands. A fascinating document
  2. [2] Wikipedia