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British Industrial History

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Robinson and Cook

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Robinson & Cook of Atlas Foundry, St Helens and Widnes Foundry, Widnes

Thomas Robinson was brought up in St Helens, and served his time at Wheelock Forge near Sandbach.

Returning to St Helens, he became a partner of Isaac Vose, and also worked with several other companies.

1841, with financial assistance from an uncle, John Cook established Robinson & Cook in Bridge Street.

By 1847 they had moved to larger premises (Atlas Foundry) at Pocket Nook.

1867 They opened another factory, Widnes Foundry, to service the needs of the local chemical companies. [1]

1858 A terrible fatal accident, involving the collapse of a crane when lifting a heavy casting at Atlas Foundry, was reported in the Liverpool Mercury, 6th May 1858 [2]

1885 'INQUESTS AT ST. HELENS.- An inquest was held yesterday, before Mr. S. Brighouse, county coroner, as to the cause of the death of John Kean, who was killed by a fly-wheel falling on him at Messrs. Robinson and Cook's Foundry, St. Helens. It appeared that deceased, who was a driller, was tightening one of the bolts connected with the fly-wheel to the machine table, when the wheel fell on him, killing him. It seemed to be the opinion of the witnesses that the bolt had been broken through deceased putting too much leverage on it with the screwkey. The jury returned a verdict of "Accidental death"'[3]

1900 Vertical triple expansion steam pumping engine for Gravesend Waterworks, Leith Hill Pumping Station[4]

1903 Horizontal 250 HP steam pumping engine at Melling Pumping Station, Kirkby (St Helens Waterworks).[5]

1908 'In consequence depression in trade, Messrs. Robinson and Cook's iron foundry, one of the oldest works in St. Helens, has been closed Though the works have not been fully employed for some time, about one hundred and eighty workpeople are affected.'[6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 'A Merseyside Town in the Industrial Revolution - St. Helens 1750 - 1900' by T C Barker and J R Harris, publ. Frank Cass & Co., 1993
  2. [1] Abstracts from Liverpool Mercury
  3. Liverpool Mercury, 25 April 1885
  4. ‘Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain, Volume 8: Greater London & South East‘, by George Watkins, Landmark Publishing Ltd
  5. ‘Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain, Volume 3.2: Lancashire’ by George Watkins: Landmark Publishing Ltd.
  6. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 4 April 1908