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British Industrial History

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Thomas Craddock

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Thomas Craddock (1813- ) of Thomas Craddock and Co, Birmingham, and of Portway Foundry, Wednesbury, and of Ranelagh Works, Pimlico. Controversial (augmentative) patentee of Craddock's Steam Condensing Engine and who spent a long time promoting his design in the letters page of 'The Engineer'.

1813 May 2nd. Born at Bunhill Row, St. Luke's, Finsbury, Mddx., the son of Thomas Craddock, Trimming Spinner, and his wife Sarah Jane

1840 Patent application. Thomas Craddock, of Broadheath, Radnor, farmer, for a certain improvement or improvements in steam engines and steam boilers.[1]

1841 Living at Broad Heath, Presteigne, Radnorshire: Thomas Craddock (age ca.25), Farmer. Not born in the county. Appears to be with William Mason (age ca.35) a Farmer, also not born there.[2]

1842 Article on Thomas Craddock's new condensing engine; He is residing near Presteign, and occupied in farming, his name already connected with improvements in agricultural machinery and implements. Viewed an engine of 5 h.p. to his construction in Birmingham.[3]

1843 March 11th. Craddock's Patent Steam Boiler, Condenser and Engine. Detailed article.[4]

1846 Published 'The Chemistry of the Steam-Engine Practically Considered; Being the Substance of a Course of Lectures, Delivered in the Theatre of the Philosophical Institution, Birmingham'[5]

1847 June. Published 'On a Boiler and Condenser Suitable for Extending the Cornish Economy, and for Preventing Boiler Explosions' [6]

1847 Published 'Description of Craddock's patent universal condensing steam engine. To which is appended the relative economy it will produce upon the present modes of generating and using steam' 80 pp. First patent in 1840 and another in 1846. Thomas Craddock and Co, Broad Street, Birmingham.[7]

1848 Engineer of Broad Street, Birmingham. Joins IMechE. and resigns the following year.

1848 'Thomas Craddock, Birmingham, showed an improved steam-engine tor agricultural purposes, combining economy of fuel, safety from explosion, and great power'. Shown at the 1848 Royal Agricultural Show[8]

1849 Advertisement. Craddock's Patent Double Cylinder, High-Pressure, Expansive and Condensing Engine - see advertisement.

1851 Great Exhibition. Thomas Craddock, Ranelagh Works, Pimlico. Patent high-pressure, expansive, and condensing steam-engine, with tubular boiler and regulating damper.[9]

1851 Living at 10 Gillingham Street, St. Geo Han Sq., Belgrave: Thomas Craddock (age 37 born St. Luke's, Mddx), Engineer and Unmarried.[10]

1854 Patent. Thomas Craddock, Portway Foundry, Wednesbury, certain improvements to the steam engine.[11][12]

1857 April 24th. Patent 931. Thomas Craddock, Tachbrook-street, Pimlico, London, "Certain Improvements in the steam engine and steam boiler. [13]

1857 Thomas Craddock, of Pimlico, engineer, for certain improvements in the steam engine and steam boiler.[14]

1857 November 30th. Letter from Pimlico. Concerns efficiency of steam engines.[15]

1857 December. Details of the invention of steam engine and boiler by Thomas Craddock of Pimlico with patents dated March 1840, October 1842, December 1846, September 1854 and April 1857.[16]

1857 December 14th. Letter from Pimlico. Concerns high pressure steam and boiler explosions.[17]

1857 December 28th. Letter from Pimlico. Concerns efficiency of steam engines.[18]

1858 January 04th. Letter from Pimlico. High and low pressure steam. [19]

1858 January 18th. Letter from Pimlico. High and low pressure steam. [20]

1858 February 05th. No date or place. High and low pressure steam. Editor says 'we differ entirely from Mr. Craddock in these views.'[21]

1858 February 09th. Letter from Pimlico. High and low pressure steam.[22]

1858 February 15th. Letter from Pimlico. High and low pressure steam.[23]

1858 March 01st. Letter from Pimlico. High and low pressure steam.[24]

1858 March 09th. Letter from Pimlico. High and low pressure steam.[25]

1858 March 16th. Letter from Pimlico. High and low pressure steam.[26]

1858 March 23rd. Letter from Pimlico. High and low pressure steam.[27]

1858 April 07th. Letter from Pimlico. High and low pressure steam.[28]

1858 April 20th. Letter from Pimlico. Corrections and explanations. [29]

1858 April 26th. Letter from Pimlico. The Steam Jacket. Editorial comment concerning regret at Craddock's threat to leave the country. [30]

1858 May 10th. Letter from Pimlico. High and low pressure steam.[31]

1858 May 17th. Letter from Pimlico. Condensation etc.[32]

1858 June 06th. Letter from Pimlico. Mr. Craddock's Inventions. Mentions his engine - 'This engine drove a saw will, which was then at the Metropolitan Wood Paving Works, Ranelagh-road. '[33]

1859 March 17th. Letter - no address. Patent Laws.[34]

1859 December 27th. Letter - no address. The Steam-Case. Mentions his lectures in 1846. [35]

1861 January 08th. Letter - no address. Condensation in Steam Cylinders.[36]

1861 January 14th. Letter - no address. Condensation in Steam Cylinders.[37]

1861 April 02nd. Letter - no address. Craddock's Improvements. Patents from 1842. [38]

1861 April 12th. Article critical of Craddock's claims.[39]

1861 Lodger at 1 Montpelier Street, Westminster: Thomas Craddock (age 46 born London), Engineer and Unmarried. In the house of James R. Mann, Captain in Royal Engineers and his family.[40]

1862 July 04th. Letter - no address. The Invention of the Steam Engine. Mentions his invention of 1843.[41]

1864 November. Mention of Craddock's engine installed at Fox, Henderson and Co at Birmingham.[42]

1866 October 23rd. Letter from Birmingham. Mr. Craddock and the Steam Engine. Editors comment - 'Mr. Craddock is not a stranger to our correspondence columns. He considers that he was wronged by a leading article which appeared in our pages several years ago, called forth by one of his letters, and that owing to his absence from this country and other causes, he has never since had an opportunity of establishing claims the nature of which may be gathered from his present letter; or of refuting tho statements contained in the leader in question. We are very far from agreeing with Mr. Craddock that he has not been dealt fairly with by THE ENGINEER, but we have thought it better on the whole to terminate the matter by affording him sufficient space to make his claims public once more. Of their value our readers must form their own estimate...'[43] As he is responding to the article in 1861, it appears he may have been abroad in the years between - see comment by editor.

1871 Boarder at Mason's Ride, Pershore: Thomas Craddock (age 57 born London), Engineer and unmarried. In the house of William R. Amplett, an engine fitter, and his wife.[44]

1878 May 31st. 'It is with much regret that we have reason to call the attention of our readers to an advertisement which we publish this week. Mr. Thomas Craddock has been compelled by evil fortune to appeal to the public for such pecuniary assistance as will relieve him from sore distress. Mr. Craddock's name at one time was in the mouth of every one interested in the progress of improvement in the steam engine....He has been a preacher of the doctrines of high-pressure and expansion for many years....Like many other inventors, Mr. Craddock has been a bad man of business, and he has lost all his money. Not long since he met with a severe accident, which, depriving him of an arm, has left him crippled and completely helpless....'[45]

1878 July 12th. Letter from T. Craddock, 35 Great Western Terrace. 'Craddock and the Steam Engine'. He comments on Professor Rankine and gives details of his patents 1840-57. Then he says'...From 1846 to 1849 I made two 40-horse and two 20-horse engines; from 1850 to 1856 I made two more 40-horse engines and a 226-horse engine. All these engines were of the parallel pattern, with their cranks at opposites; and those made after 1850, all of them had my steam case. I have put the last at 226-horse, as it had the same piston area as the 1858 engine, though the 1858 had only a 30in. stroke but the one made by me had a 48in. stroke, and the crank shaft forging was near five tons when delivered from the forge and the one 24in. crank was cut out of the solid metal. All these engines, and the one seen in the Mechanics Magazine, March 11th, 1843, which was made in 1842, and several others, with their boilers, condensers, and all details, were made, erected, and set to work by me, as I was obliged to be my own manufacturing engineer...'[46]

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