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British Industrial History

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William Charles Stiff

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William Charles Stiff (1836-1896) of Credenda Seamless Steel Tube Co

1863 Patent to Charles Faulkner and David Faulkner, trading under the style or firm of Faulkner, Brothers, of Birmingham, Gun Barrel Manufacturers, James Fairley, also of Birmingham, Commercial Agent, and William Charles Stiff, of Edgbaston, Military Gun Iron Inspector, for an invention of "improvements in the manufacture of gun barrels."[1]

1868 Patent to William Charles Stiff, of Birmingham, Merchant, in respect of the invention of " improvements in breech-loading fire arms and ordnance, and in cartridges for breech loading fire arms."[2]

1871 William C Stiff 35, hardware merchant, lived in Ladywood, Birmingham, with Charllot M Stiff 24, William E Stiff 4, Frank B Stiff 1[3]

1872 Retired from the partnerships with Francis Henry Lloyd and Charles Faulkner of Lister Street and Globe Works, Icknield Port Road, Birmingham as the Weldless Tube Co and the Weldless and Patent Solid Cold Drawn Steel Tube Co[4]

1872 Patent to William Charles Stiff, Merchant and Manufacturer, in respect of the invention of "improvements in the manufacture of metallic cop tubes or caps used in spinning."[5]

1873 Patent to William Charles Stiff, of Birmingham, Merchant and Manufacturer, for the invention of "improvements in machinery for drilling or boring iron and steel."[6]

1874 Patent to William Charles Stiff, of Birmingham, Merchant and Manufacturer, and John Sheldon, of Birmingham, Machinist, for the invention of "improvements in ties or bands, for baling cotton, and for other like purposes."[7]

1876 Patent to William Charles Stiff, of Birmingham, Merchant and Manufacturer, and Abraham Bowen, of Birmingham, Mechanical Engineer, in respect of the invention of "improvements in machinery for the manufacture of screws.[8]

1877 Patent to William Charles Stiff, Merchant and Manufacturer, in respect of the invention of "improvements in machinery and apparatus for the manufacture of steel and other metallic tubes."[9]

1881 William Stiff 45, steel rifle gun barrels (maker),lived in Kings Norton with C. Mary Stiff 34, William Stiff 13, Frank B. Stiff 10, Charles Stiff 9, Florence Stiff 7, Beatrice Stiff 5, Millicent Stiff 4, Winifred Stiff 2[10]

1887 His other partners in Credenda Seamless Steel Tube Co retired; William carried on the business on his own.

1891 Wm C Stiff 54, manufacturer of tubes, lived in Edgbaston with Charlotte M Stiff 43, Frank B Stiff 20, assistant to his father, Chas L C Stiff 19, assistant to his father, Beatrix D Stiff 15, Millicent E Stiff 14, Winifred M Stiff 12[11]

1896 Died



1896 Obituary [12]

WILLIAM CHARLES STIFF was born at Leamington on 1st September 1836.

He was at one time engaged at The Brades Steel Works near Birmingham; and commenced his engineering work in 1863, and since that time had been engaged in designing and manufacturing machinery for making gun-barrels and cold-drawn weldless steel-tubes.

In this direction he began by experimenting upon some original machinery for the manufacture of weldless steel-tubes, which had been abandoned as useless; and by his energy and ability the difficulties connected with the process were ultimately surmounted, and cold-drawn weldless steel-tubes, now so extensively used for cycles and for boilers of torpedo boats and their destroyers, were successfully manufactured and introduced.

He established the Credenda Seamless Steel-Tube Works at Smethwick, near Birmingham, of which he was the managing director.

His death took place at his residence in Edgbaston, Birmingham, from syncope, on 6th June 1896, in his sixtieth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1888.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 16 Feb 1866
  2. London Gazette 3 Nov 1868
  3. 1871 census
  4. London Gazette 2 August 1872
  5. London Gazette 26 Nov 1872
  6. London Gazette 5 Dec 1973
  7. London Gazette 10 July 1874
  8. London Gazette 6 Feb 1877
  9. London Gazette 24 July 1877
  10. 1881 census
  11. 1891 census
  12. 1896 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries