Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Joseph Hall

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Joseph Hall (1789-1862), the inventor of 'Wet Puddling',

1789 Born at Tipton

1806 Apprenticed as a puddler to use Henry Cort's puddling process. He tried adding old iron to the charge of the puddling furnace and later puddler's bosh cinder (iron scale, that is rust) to the charge. This caused the charge (to his surprise) to boil violently. When this subsided he gathered the iron into a puddle ball in the usual way, and this proved to be good iron. This became known as 'pig boiling' or 'wet puddling'.

c1810 Married Elizabeth Danks

In 1830, with the financial support of others he established the Bloomfield Ironworks at Tipton,

Joseph Hall was good friends with George and Edward Thorneycroft, and with Mr Talbot, manager of Bagnalls Works; they discussed improvements in the methods of producing iron, such as "pig iron boiling"[1]

Before 1834, Joseph Hall was in business with Richard Bradley and Frederick Isaac Welch as Bradley, Welch and Hall with a logo of B.W.H. above a unicorn's head [2].

1834 The firm became Bramah, Barrows, and Hall.

In 1839, Hall patented the use of 'bulldog' (roasted tap cinder) to protect the iron bottom plate of the puddling furnace.

In 1849, he moved to small house at Handsworth but continued to visit the works occasionally.

1851 Living at Bloomfield House, Handsworth (age 62 born Tipton), Iron Master of the firm Barrows and Hall, 1,000 men. With his wife Elizabeth (age 62 born Wembourn, Staffs) and their daughter Sarah (age 26 born Tipton). Plus four visitors and two servants. [3]

1861 Living at Beacon House, Handsworth (age 72 born Tipton), an Iron Master. With his wife Elizabeth (age 72 born Tipton). Three servants. [4]

1862 January 25th. Died

1862 January 29th. Obituary. Age 72 of Barrows and Hall of the Bloomfield Foundry and Tipton Green works. His application of 'puddle boiling' not patented and became the common property of all. Unobtrusive man. [5]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1863/12/11
  2. Morning Post 4 November 1863
  3. 1851 Census
  4. 1861 Census
  5. The Derby Mercury, Wednesday, January 29, 1862