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British Industrial History

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Routledge and Ommanney

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Routledge and Ommanney of New Bridge Foundry, Adelphi Street, Salford.

1862 'Cotton Machinery for Egypt.— Messrs, Yates and Corkling, of this city, are about to send out to Egypt a pair of powerful steam engines, to be used by them near Alexandria, in the preparation of Egyptian cotton for the home market. The engines have been manufactured by Messrs. Routledge and Ommanney, of Adelphi-street, Salford. They are of twenty-five horses' power each, and are made with a view to strength and economy of fuel. They are intended to work with steam pressure of 100lb to the square inch, and are constructed with cut-off valves for the economising of steam. A water-heater, or "economiser," is also attached, by means of which the waste steam is made use of to heat the water supplied to the boiler. The engines were exhibited on Wednesday, when they were examined by several scientific gentlemen, and photographs were taken of them.'[1]

1863 Listed as Engineers and Ironfounders in Slater's Directory of Manchester and Salford, 1863.

1864 Patent No. 734 to William Routledge and Frederick Francis Ommanney for the invention of certain improvements in presses for packing cotton and other fibrous materials, and in baling boxes for the same purpose [2]

1866 Ashcroft's patent baling press and Mason's patent cotton press [3]

An 1893 photograph of floods in Teneriffe, Queensland, fortuitously shows the top of a large machine made by Routledge & Ommanney, Manchester, the machine being helpfully dated Jan 1866 [4]. This is probably a baling press

1868 The New Bridge Foundry was visited by 'The Engineer', and the resulting article noted that there was a brass foundry but no iron foundry, iron castings being bought in. Work in hand included boiler feed pumps, fire pumps, and mine drainage pumps. A pair of steam drainage pumps was being made for R. Evans's Clifton & Kearsley Collieries, where it was to work underground, taking steam from a boiler on the surface. The pump was arranged to work on inclined rails, able to be moved downwards as the water level was lowered. The article noted that the works' machine tools were mainly by Hulse, although the reporter was particularly impressed by a Shanks self-acting double slot drill for milling keyways and other slots[5]

1869 Partnership between William Routledge and Frederick Francis Ommanney dissolved on 31st December by mutual consent. Business to be carried on between Frederick Francis Ommanney and Reginald Tatham as Ommanney and Tatham [6]

Location of Works

Slater’s 1863 directory puts the premises on the east side of Adelphi Street, between No. 12 (James Collins, Beer Retailer) and Farmer and Broughton, followed by Oddy and Oldfield. It seems likely that the foundry was on a block of land between Upper Cleminson Street and Peru Street, this whole block latterly being occupied by Sir James Farmer Norton and Co. The site has now been laid waste, and is used as a car park. Note: the name New Bridge Foundry is confusing, this being carried over from the foundry of William Routledge, which had been located in New Bridge Street.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 13th September 1862
  2. 'The London Gazette' 15th April 1864
  3. The Engineer of 12th January 1866 p28 & p267
  4. [1] University of Queensland - Queensland Flood Views: Image 5: Bulimba Reach, 1893
  5. 'The Engineer', 22nd May 1868
  6. 'The London Gazette' 6th May 1870