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of Chesterfield, tube maker
1899 February: the first Ordinary General Meeting of The Universal Weldless Steel Tube Company was held in London, when it was announced that the site chosen on which to build the factory was in Chesterfield. Local coalfields were a consideration for powering the plant and processes.
Tubes were produced by the Ehrhardt Process, which involved punching a heated billet and then subsequently drawing it to thin the wall to the required thickness and diameter. The fundamental process was still used at Chesterfield until the last year of production of industrial size cylinders in 2004.
1902 The first change of ownership took place in 1902. Shortly afterwards, Engineering magazine reported on the product range: 'A large number of gas cylinders for heavy pressures are made.' This is the first known mention of gas cylinder making at Chesterfield.
1906 The Universal Weldless Steel Tube Company was in turn acquired by the Chesterfield Tube Co, whose directors first met in December that year.
The business was to retain that same name for another 60 years, even though it was taken over by the Tube Investments Group in 1929.