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British Industrial History

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Thwaites and Carbutt

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1858. Improved Steam Hammer.
1867. Double cylinder steam hammer.
1867. 2 ton hammer.
1869. Reversing Rolling Mill Engines at the Landore Steel Works.
1869. Rail Straightening and Punching Machine.
1869. Landore steel works.
1869 rolling mill engine for Landore (Note; engraving differs slightly from the one above)
1869. Steam hammer.
1872. Roots' Blower at The West Cumberland Hematite Iron Works.
1873. Steel Tilting Hammer at The Vienna Exhibition.
1873. Steam hammer.
1875. Root's blower.
1877 Rolling mill engine for Bolckow, Vaughan and Co.
1877 Roots ventilator
1877. Steam hammer for the Elswick Works.

Thwaites & Carbutt of Vulcan Works, Thornton Road, Bradford

Producers of the Roots patent blower, Vulcan forges, smelting plant, cranes and hoists, pumps, gas engines, compressors and rolling mill engines.

formerly R. Thwaites and Co

Between 1861-3 Edward Hamer Carbutt entered into partnership with Robinson Thwaites

1866 5-ton steam hammer at Crewe Works [1]

1867 Started making Roots' blowers.

1869 Rolling mill engine for Landore Siemens Steel Co. See illustration [2]. Also steam-powered rail punching and straightening machine for Landore Siemens [3]

1871 Employing 130 men and 13 boys.[4]

1873 Detailed description of the works in this article including - '...We were first introduced into the machine shops, which contain a well-selected series of the must modern machine tools, among them being some fine examples of planing and shaping machines of large size and by the best makers. A considerable number of cylinder-boring machines find pretty constant employment on the steam cylinders of the hammers, for which the firm has so excellent a reputation; while a quantity of heavy work destined to do duty in the ironworks of the neighbourhood - such as machinery for rolling-mills, rail-straighteners. and blowing engines - was to be seen in various stages of progress. Throughout there was observed a methodical arrangement and sequence of processes, which spoke well for the management of the concern. It is, however, as hammer-makers that Thwaites and Carbutt are probably best known....The hammers turned out by the firm range through some sixty sizes, from the self-contained single-standard two-and-a-half cwt. hammer to the gigantic fifty-ton hammer constructed for the Russian Steel Gun Forge of St. Petersburg. The only other fifty-ton hammer in the world is said to be that in the possession of Krupp, of Essen. Another tool of formidable power, supplied by Thwaites & Carbutt, is the thirty-ton hammer used by Sir William Armstrong for forging the coils of his great gun...' [5]

1876 Supplied steam hammer to Landore Siemens Steel Co.[6]

1876 'MESSRS BOLCKOW, VAUGHAN, AND CO.'S NEW CLEVELAND STEEL WORKS AT ESTON. REVERSING ENGINES These new works, now rapidly approaching completion, are highly interesting and instructive to the engineer, the new machinery and plant being all of the most substantial and modern character, supplied by the leading makers. As an example of the style of machinery which will be used, we give a short description of a very powerful pair of high-pressure reversing engines on Ramsbotham's principle, which are being put down by the well- known firm, Messrs Thwaites and Carbutt, of the Vulcan Ironworks, Bradford. These engines are intended to drive the ingot cogging mill-trains, and are probably the strongest and most powerful of the class for this purpose. The engines are placed parallel to each other on massive cast-iron beds, whose weakest point is 1 ft. 9in. deep, and the strongest, viz., the gearing-end, 3ft. 3in. deep. The diameter of the cylinders is 36in., and the stroke 4ft. 6in. The centres of the beds are 12ft. apart, and the total area which they occupy is 43ft. long by 17ft. wide. The engine beds are truly planed so as to have a thorough bearing upon the foundation, the top of which is composed of ashlar stones 3 ft. thick, below which there is a solid mass of concrete 19 ft. deep, and they are held down upon this foundation with twenty-four 3-in. bolts, 23 feet long. The bottom slide bars and the shaft bearings are cast solid with the beds. The crank shaft, second motion shaft, piston-rods, and crank pins are all of Krupp's steel. The cranks are wrought iron, and have solid balance-weights forged opposite the cranks. The connecting-rods are also of wrought iron, 9 in. diameter in the centre ; the gearing is in the ratio of 3 to 1. The large wheel, which weighs 20 tons, is 12 ft. 8 7/8 in. in diameter, and has 8-in. pitch and 20 in. breadth of tooth ; the bearings are made extra large. The link motion for reversing is on the straight link system, and by a neat and specially devised arrangement, the motion block can be retained in any part of the motion link, so that the steam can be worked expansively between ½ to 7/8 cut off. The steam valves are pistons, packed with simple cast-iron rings, — an arrangement which answers better for this class of engine than flat D valves. The steam ports are very short, to save steam ; and the exhaust ports very large to maintain a free exhaust. Great attention has been paid to the getting rid of condensed water in the steam-pipes and cylinders. The total weight of the engine will be 130 tons, and it can be reversed up to as many as sixty times per ?minute? with great ease by one man. The makers of this engine are supplying to the same works six powerful double-ended rail-straightening machines, each of which is supplied with a self-contained engine, so that it can be worked independently. We are informed that Messrs Thwaites and Carbutt make a speciality of these machines, as also rail-end planing machines, rail saws, and all other plant requisite to lit up steel works complete. — Capital and Labour.' [7]. See illustration. This engine was described and illustrated in 'The Engineer' in 1877[8] (see illustration).

1877 Roots mine ventilator for the South Durham Coal Company, Chilton Colliery, near Ferryhill. ‘Pistons’ 25 ft dia, 13 ft wide, driven via bevel gears by a two cylinder horizontal steam engine with cylinders 28" dia and 4 ft stroke. Only one side of the engine was envisaged to be required for the initial duty of 87,000 cu ft/min at 15 rpm (maximum capacity 200,000). Running clearances of the rotary pistons were only 1/8" [9]

1879 Partnership dissolved. '...the Partnership lately subsisting between us the undersigned, Robinson Thwaites and Edward Hamer Carbutt, carrying on business at Bradford, in the county of York, as Engineers, under the style or firm of Thwaites and Carbutt, was dissolved by mutual consent...'[10]

1879 Partnership dissolved. '...the Partnership lately subsisting between us the undersigned, Robinson Thwaites, Thomas Hirst Thwaites, and William Henry Thwaites, carrying on business at Bradford, in the county of York, as Engineers, under the style or firm of Thwaites and Carbutt, was dissolved, by mutual consent, on the 28th day of April last; and that all debts owing to and from the said firm will be received and paid by the undersigned, Thomas Hirst Thwaites and William Henry Thwaites, who will henceforth carry on the said business on their own separate account, under the style or firm of Thwaites Brothers....'[11]

1880 The company name was changed to Thwaites Brothers

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1866/02/09 p100
  2. 'Engineering' 29th Oct 1869
  3. 'Engineering' 8th October 1869
  4. 1871 Census
  5. Bradford Observer - Friday 26 December 1873
  6. * The Engineer 1876/07/07 p10 & p13
  7. Daily Gazette for Middlesbrough, 30th December 1876
  8. The Engineer, 19th January 1877
  9. The Engineer 15th June 1877
  10. The London Gazette Publication date:9 May 1879 Issue:24720 Page:3270
  11. The London Gazette Publication date:9 May 1879 Issue:24720 Page:3270