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British Industrial History

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Oakamoor Copper Works

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1780 Cheadle Copper and Brass Co acquired a small copper works at Cheadle, Staffordshire.

1852 Advert: 'IMPORTANT SALE at the OAKAMOOR METAL ROLLING, WIRE DRAWING, AND TUBING MILLS, situated at OAKAMOOR, Station on the Churnet Valley portion of the North Staffordshire Railway.
MESSRS. CHESSHIRE and SON have received instructions from the Proprietors to SUBMIT to PUBLIC AUCTION, Tuesday, Wednesday, ami Thursday, the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th days, of March next, commencing each morning at half-past ten o’clock, the valuable STEAM ENGINES, AND VERY COSTLY MACHINERY, TOOLS, IMPLEMENTS, AND FIXTURES contained in their extensive mills at Oakamoor, which are fitted up in the most complete manner for the rolling of metals, and for manufacturing brass and copper wire, rollers for calico printing, locomotive and other tubing, &c.
THE MACHINERY, which is of the most approved and modern construction, comprises two Condensing Steam Engines, of eighty and thirty-horse power, with their boilers, &c., complete, and the driving motion and shafting attached; powerful breaking-down, finishing, and Rumple Roils, with their frames, pinions, and couplings ; circular slitters and frames, four powerful draw benches, with the valuable tube drawing tools belonging; superior and very powerful double and single action.
SLIDE AND OTHER LATHES, for boring, turning, and polishing, with their tools; a valuable slotting lathe, made by Sharp, Roberts, and Co., Manchester; steel mandrills, of various sizes, for turning and finishing copper rollers ami tubing ; the complete and costly Machinery appertaining to the wire drawing department, with large and fine wire blocks, drawing plates, tools, &c., a very powerful press, for forcing mandrills from rollers; large forge and shruff hammers, polishing machine, circular saw benches, large circular and other shears, and a variety of minor machinery too numerous to particularise.
The Sale also includes SEVENTEEN TONS OF VALUABLE MOULDS, for casting copper rollers, with their mandrills, forcers, &c. complete; upwards of twenty tons of ingot, cake, sheet, and wire strip moulds, of various sizes ; the contents of the smiths’, millwrights', and carpenter’ shops ; valuable millwrights’ patterns, quantity of new iron wheels, iron rails and chairs, two powerful iron cranes, with windlasses, pulley blocks, &c. ; casting, smelting, and refinery furnaces ; annealing muffles, muffle pots and carriages, soldering and smiths’ hearths, with their implements ami tools, together with the excellent WAREHOUSE and COUNTING HOUSE FIXTURES, iron chest, machine and beam scales, iron and brass weights, LARGE WEIGHING MACHINE in yard, Turret and other clocks, Gas Fittings, Railway and Metal Waggons, Fire Engine, and numerous Miscellaneous Effects ; full particulars of which will appear in catalogues, to be obtained at the place of sale; the Staffordshire Advertiser Office, Stafford; .... The Machinery may be viewed upon application at the Works. .... N.B. — The above valuable MILLS, with Water Power, Workmen's COTTAGES, &c., are to be SOLD by PRIVATE CONTRACT, LET or LEASE, or otherwise.' [1]

1852 The works were acquired by Thomas Bolton and Sons. The wire-drawing department of the business was moved there. Initially only 50 hands were employed there. Alfred S. Bolton was put in charge of the works.

The company secured most of the early orders for submarine cable conductors.

By 1902 between six and seven hundred hands were employed in the works.

1918 The North Staffordshire Railway Company built a small electric locomotive for service at the Oakamoor Copper Works of Thomas Bolton and Sons, Limited[2]

1963 The Works closed; the business was transferred to Froghall; the big chimney, the last remnant of Oakamoor's former glory, was dropped in September of that year.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Staffordshire Advertiser - Saturday 14 February 1852
  2. The Engineer 1918/03/08