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John Hall (1764-1836) millwright, of Dartford, founder of J. and E. Hall.
See Dartford Archive
1764 Born 5th September in Alton, Hants, the son of William Hall (b.1710).
1785 John Hall established himself as a millwright and smith at Lowfield Street, Dartford.
c.1790 Hall was installing machinery in various paper mills
1792 Bryan Donkin started an apprenticeship with John Hall.
1798 Donkin married the sister of Hall's wife
1798 Hall advanced £250 to Donkin to set himself up in business as a paper mould maker
c.1800 Hall moved to larger premises on land which was formerly part of Dartford Priory. He bought his property from Peter Brames. He married one of Brames's daughters, Sarah Stainton Brames.
1801 John Hall was millwright for the London stationers, the Fourdrinier brothers (Henry Fourdrinier and Sealy Fourdrinier). They asked him to build a papermaking machine for which they had acquired a share in the patent from John Gamble. Hall had no real interest in the machine and allowed Bryan Donkin to take over the project.
The original machine was imported and erected at Hall's Dartford works. Another Fourdrinier brother, Charles, worked alongside Gamble and Leger Didot, who had been involved with the machine's development in France, and Bryan Donkin (one of Hall's former apprentices), to develop it.
1803 They installed the machine at a mill at Frogmore, Hertfordshire, acquired for the purpose. Gamble remained technically and financially associated with the Fourdriniers until 1811.
1817 John Hall sent his son Edward to Paris as their overseas representative.
1819 The partnership in food preservation was dissolved in respect of John Hall.
1836 John Hall died. He left the Dartford business to his sons John and Edward, who changed the name to J & E Hall. He left his gunpowder factories at Faversham and Erith to his sons William and Peter, and the paper mill at Horton Kirby to his son Henry.