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Thomas Richard Bayliss

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Thomas Richard Bayliss (1838-1914) of Kings Norton Metal Co


1914 Obituary [1]

THOMAS RICHARD BAYLISS was born in Birmingham on 18th October 1838.

He received his education at one of the branch schools of King Edward's Foundation, and, deciding to make engineering his profession, devoted himself to the study of theoretical and practical engineering and metallurgy.

He became associated with the Adderley Park Mills, the property of his father-in-law, and on its being taken over by the Birmingham Small Arms and Metal Co., he became managing director.

This position be held until 1889, when, in conjunction with his son, Mr. T. A. Bayliss, he founded the well-known King's Norton Metal Co.

His knowledge of machinery was considerable, and he was thus able to design and improve the methods of casting, rolling, and general working-up of metals for ammunition. He was the originator and inventor of the solid-drawn cartridge case for small arms, quick-firing and other guns, and was specially called in to lay down plant of his own design for the production of solid-drawn small-arm cartridge cases at Spandau, Erfurt, and Danzig for the German Government, after the Franco-German War. His company manufactured for several foreign Governments as well as for the British War Office.

Mr. Bayliss took a keen interest in social and municipal work, and was prominently associated with the local government of Northfield for many years. He became in turn a member of the King's Norton Board of Guardians, of the King's Norton Urban District Council, a Justice of the Peace for Worcestershire and Warwickshire; while for many years he served on the Worcestershire County Council, of which he became an alderman. He was also the first chairman of the local Rural District Council. He was a member of the Birmingham City Council since November 1911.

His death took place, after a long illness, at his residence at Northfield, Birmingham, on 24th July 1914, in his seventy-sixth year.

He was elected a Member of this Institution in 1872; he was also an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, a Member of the French Society of Civil Engineers, of the Iron and Steel Institute, and of other Societies.


1914 Obituary [2]

THOMAS RICHARD BAYLISS died at his residence, Belmont, Northfield, on Friday, July 24. He was born in Birmingham in 1838, and was the eldest son of Mr. Thomas Bayliss, who carried on a business of brass-founder in that city. He was educated at the school of King Edward's Foundation and was early apprenticed to the engineering profession. He married Mary, daughter of John Abraham, the founder of the Adderley Park Mills. These works were subsequently sold by his father-in-law to the Birmingham Small Arms and Metal Company, of which Mr. Bayliss became managing director, a position he retained until 1889. In that year he founded, in conjunction with his son, Mr. T. A. Bayliss, the King's Norton Metal Company, which was shortly afterwards converted into a limited company. He had a wide knowledge of engineering, which he applied more especially to the improvement of methods of casting and rolling and to the general working of metals destined for the manufacture of ammunition. He was associated with the introduction of the first six-pounder case for the Nordenfelt gun adopted by the British Government, and at his works at King's Norton he produced much material both for the British War Office and for foreign Governments. An important plant for the minting of coinage was laid down at the works, and the undertakings of the Company were further extended by the acquisition of 60 acres of land at Abbey Wood, Kent. He was also the originator of the solid drawing system in the manufacture of cartridge cases as applied both to small arms and to quick-firing guns, and after the Franco-German war superintended the erection of plants for the production of such cartridge cases for the German Government at Spandau, Erfurt and Danzig.

He was an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He was also a Member of the Socidtd des Ingdnieurs Civils de France and a Fellow of the Imperial Institute. He was also a Member of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Philadelphia, and of the Permanent International Association of Navigation Congresses.

He took much interest in social, municipal, and political work, and served for many years on the Worcester County Council and the Birmingham City Council. In 1904 he was selected as Unionist candidate for North Worcester, but did not pursue his candidature.

He was a frequent visitor at meetings of the Iron and Steel Institute, of which he became a member in 1896.


1914 Obituary [3]


THOMAS RICHARD BAYLISS died at his residence, Belmont, Northfield, Birmingham, on July 24, 1914, in his seventy-sixth year.

Born in Birmingham in 1838, the son of a well-known brassfounder, Mr. Bayliss at an early stage of his career showed signs of an exceptional interest in metallurgy and engineering. Associated with Mr. John Abraham, the founder of the Adderley Park Metal Rolling-mills, he displayed considerable ingenuity in perfecting machines designed to improve the methods of casting, rolling, and general working up of metals, particularly for ammunition work.

Mr. Bayliss was the original inventor of the solid drawn cartridge case for small arm quick-firing and other guns, since adopted by all the armies and navies of the civilized world. In this connection he was called in by Mr. Thorsten Nordenfelt to manufacture a suitable cartridge for his six-pounder gun, which made both gun and cartridge a complete success, and they were immediately adopted by the British Government.

It is interesting to place on record that after the Franco-German war in the early 'seventies of last century, Mr. Bayliss went over to Spandau, Erfurt, and Dantzig, to superintend and erect plant for the production of the then new design of solid drawn small arm cartridge cases for the Imperial German Government. At the age of twenty-four he married the daughter of Mr. John Abraham, and when the business was acquired by the Birmingham Small Arnie and Metal Company he for ten years remained its managing director.

In the year 1889, in conjunction with his son Mr. T. A. Bayliss, he commenced the erection of a large works at King's Norton, and some few months later, after its establishment, he called in his friend, the late Mr. Arthur Greenwood, then Chairman of Messrs. Greenwood & Batley, Ltd., the well-known cartridge machinery manufacturers of Leeds, and with his assistance it was formed into a limited liability company, of which father and son were joint managing directors from its inception. This company - the King's Norton Metal Co., Ltd. - has enjoyed a career of steadily increasing prosperity, and is now one of the most extensive and interesting businesses in the country. Under the direction of Mr. Bayliss and his colleagues the works at King's Norton were splendidly equipped, the plant including complete provision for the production of coinage. Some years ago sixty acres of land were acquired at Abbey Wood, Kent, and on this site an important extension of the works was erected, especially for loading large cases, shells, fuses, &c. The contracts for ammunition executed by the company have included large orders, not only from the British but also from several foreign governments, amongst which may be mentioned those of Japan, Sweden, Denmark, Italy, and Spain.

Mr. Bayliss was a justice of the peace for the counties of Warwick and Worcester, an alderman of the Worcestershire County Council, and a member of the Birmingham City Council. He was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a member of various institutions both at home and abroad, as well as being an original member of the Institute of Metals, which he joined in April 1909.


1914 Obituary [4]



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