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British Industrial History

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Smith and Unsworth

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of Manchester

Joshua Smith and Adam Unsworth.

1796 Bankruptcy[1]

1797 Advert: 'To be Sold by Private Contract,
- The Machinery, Implements, and Utensils late of Messrs. Smith and Unsworth, Cotton Spinners, now fixed up, and being in and about the Factory and Premises lately occupied by them, near the top of Bond-Street, Manchester, consisting of 31 Mules, from 204 to 240 Spindles, and containing in the whole upwards of 7000 Spindles, all of which have been worked by Water, and are on the latest and most improved Construction, with a sufficient Quantity of Carding, Drawing, Roving, and Stretching Frames, Cans, Leaths &c., together with an Atmosphere Engine, with two 20 Inch Cylinders, Cisterns, a Water Wheel of 14 Feet diameter, and 7 Feet Bucket, with Caps, Boiler, and injection Pump complete.
The above Machinery and Engine are in excellent Condition, and fit for immediate Service.
A Person attends at the Factory to shew the same.
Either for a Term, or from Year to Year, The above Factory and Premises, which are well adapted for carrying on the Spinning Business, to a considerable extent, and are in a capital Situation for procuring plenty of good Hands.
Apply to Mr Samuel Jackson, Back-Square; or to Mr. Lowe, Attorney, in Cannon-street.'[2]

The point of interest here is the two cylinder steam engine and water wheel combination. A steam/waterwheel arrangement was not uncommon in central Manchester.

Another 1797 advert gives the location as 'the Lower end of Portland-street'.[3]. Assuming that the mill was near the junction of Portland Street and Bond Street, it was not adjacent to any flowing water supply. Some water would have been needed for condensing the steam and making up losses.

1809 'Steam Engine on Sale, AT A FACTORY, IN PORTLAND STREET, (Late Smith and Unsworths)
A STEAM ENGINE and BOILER, fourteen horse power, two good Horse Wheels, a Malt Mill with Rollers, a Slide Lathe for turning Iron or Copper Rollers, Cast Iron Shafts, and Wheels, a Quantity of useful Oak and Deal Timber; also a Quantity of Cotton Machinery, Carding Engines, of all sizes, and Preparation Mules, Throstles, Batting Machines, Devils, and Making-up Frames. Apply to Mr Henry Hughes, as above. One Corner*[4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 22 November 1796
  2. Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 10 January 1797
  3. Manchester Mercury - Tuesday 7 February 1797
  4. Manchester Mercury, 4 April 1809