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British Industrial History

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William Wilson Hulse

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1897.

William Wilson Hulse (1821-1897) of Joseph Whitworth and Co and Hulse and Co

1821 Born at Amber, Derbyshire the second son of Joseph Hulse, a Cotton Spinner, and his wife Martha Sykes. Christening on 12th December 1821 at Cheadle.

1851 Living at 24 Howard Street, Cheetham. (age 29 born Amber), a Mechanical Engineer. Described as a cousin of John Leece (age 52 born Colton, Lancs) and a Provision Dealer plus his wife and family. [1]

1859 Birth of son Edmund Ford Hulse (1859-1921)

1860 Birth of son Joseph Whitworth Hulse (1860-1898)

1861 Living at Derby View, Withington, Lancs. (age 35 born Amber), a Mechanical Engineer. With his wife Jane Hulse (age 25 born Manchester) and their children Edward F. Hulse (age 2 born Withington) and Joseph W. Hulse (age 6 Months born Withington). [2]

1861 Patent. 'To Joseph Whitworth and William Wilson Hulse, of the city of Manchester, in the county of Lancaster, Engineers, for the invention of "improvements in sights for small arms and ordnance, and in fitting apparatus used with small arms."'[3]

1862 Birth of son William Sykes Hulse (1862-1892)

1863 Patent. 'Joseph Whitworth and William Wilson Hulse, of the city of Manchester, in the county of Lancaster, Engineers, for an invention of "improvements in ordnance." —Dated 6th January, 1863.'[4]

1864 Birth of daughter Ellen

1864 William Wilson Hulse, Whitworth and Co, Chorlton Street, Manchester.[5]

1865 Patent. 'To William Wilson Hulse, of the city of Manchester, in the county of Lancaster, Engineer, for the invention of "improvements in machinery or tools for cutting metals or other materials."'[6]

1865 Patent. 'To William Wilson Hulse of the city of Manchester, in the county of Lancaster, Engineer, for the invention of "improvements in machinery or tools for cutting wood or other substances.".[7]

1867 Birth of son Richard Lamplough Hulse (1867-1903)

1869 Birth of son Harold Hatton Hulse (1869-1934)

1871 Living at The Grove, Withington, Lancs. (age 48 born Amber), a Mechanical Engineer. With his wife Jane Hulse (age 35 born Manchester) and their children Joseph Whitworth Hulse (age 10 born Withington), William Dykes Hulse (age 8 born Withington), Ellen Hulse (age 7 born Withington), Richard Lamplough Hulse (age 4 born Withington) and Harold Haton Hulse (age 1 born Withington). Six servants. [8]

1872 Patent. 'To William Wilson Hulse, of Manchester, in the county of Lancaster, Engineer, and Benjamin Thomas McKay, of the same place, Engineer, for the invention of "improvements in and relating to the manufacturing of floor cloth."'[9]

1881 Listed at the Charing Cross Hotel (age 57 born Amber), a Civil Engineer.[10]

1891 Living at 99 The Grove, Withington, Lancs. (age 69 born Amber), a Civil and Mechanical Engineer and an Employer. With his wife Jane Hulse (age 54) and their children William S. Hulse (age 28) and Richard L. Hulse (age 24). Also a visitor and five servants. [11]

1897 March 20th. Died 74.


1897 Obituary [12]

WILLIAM WILSON HULSE was born at Amber, Derbyshire, on 10th June 1821, being the second son of Mr. Joseph Hulse, cotton spinner, and younger brother of the late Mr. Joseph Sykes Hulse, machine-tool maker.

After being educated at King's College, Loudon, he was apprenticed at an early age to his cousin, Mr. Joseph Whitworth, of Manchester, with whom he remained for a considerable period. He ultimately became managing partner, and remained in that position until the business was converted into a company.

During that period he initiated the hollow frame now so largely adopted for machine-tools. After practising for several years as a consulting engineer, on his brother's retirement from business in 1881 be took over the Ordsal Works, Manchester, and re-designed and brought up to date the machine-tools made there. He also introduced many improvements, of which a few were referred to in his paper read before the Institution of Civil Engineers in May 1886.

In 1875 he acted as one of the British judges at the Philadelphia Exhibition, and subsequently in a similar capacity at others.

His death took place at his residence at Withington, near Manchester, on 20th March 1897, in his seventy-sixth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1864; and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.


1897 Obituary [13]

WILLIAM WILSON HULSE, born at Amber, Derbyshire, on the 19th June, 1821, was the second son of the late Joseph Hulse, cotton-spinner, and it was at the mechanics’ shop in connection with his father’s mill that he and his cousin, Joseph (afterwards Sir Joseph) Whitworth, first obtained a knowledge of engineering work.

After being educated at King’s College, London, he was apprenticed at an early age to his cousin, who had established the Whitworth works in Chorlton Street, Manchester. He remained connected with the firm for twenty-two years, ultimately becoming managing partner with Sir Joseph Whitworth. During that period he devoted special attention to the design of machine tools and to the improvements in ordnance and small arms with which the name of Whitworth became identified, and it was he who initiated the hollow frame now universally adopted in the manufacture of machine tools.

When in 1864 the firm of Joseph Whitworth and Co was converted into a limited company, Mr. Hulse commenced to practise on his own account as a consulting engineer in Manchester, and gained considerable reputation in that capacity.

On the retirement of his brother, J. S. Hulse, from business in 1881, he took over the Ordsal Works, Manchester, and under the style of Hulse and Co, re-designed and brought up to date the machine tools for which he became so well known.

He also introduced many improvements, some of which were referred to in his Paper read before the Institution in May, 1886, for which he was awarded a Watt medal and a Telford premium. On the occasion of the reading and discussion of that communication, Sir Frederick Bramwell, who was then President, said that so thoroughly had the Author kept himself in the background that, had it not been for Mr. Hulse’s great reputation, no one who had listened to his Paper could have gathered that he was a tool-maker and was commercially interested.

Mr. Hulse died at his residence, The Grove, Withington, near Manchester, on the 20th March, 1897, in the seventy-sixth year of his age.

In addition to his immediate work he acted as one of the British judges at the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876 and at other exhibitions.

He was elected a Member on the 21st May, 1867.


1897 Obituary [14]



1897 Obituary[15][16]

"WE regret to have to record the death of Mr. William Wilson Hulse, the well-known machine tool manufacturer, which took place at his residence, The Grove, Withington, near Manchester, on Saturday last.

Mr. Hulse was in his 76th year, having been born on June 19, 1821. He belonged to the old school of engineers, whose practical experience and common sense enabled them to surmount many difficulties long before formula and the like became so dominant a factor in engineering practice. His father was a cotton spinner at Amber, in Derbyshire, and in the mechanics' shop in connection with the mill he commenced his training. Here, too, his cousin, Sir Joseph (then Mr.) Whitworth, had made his first acquaintance with engineering work, and in the course of time Mr. William Hulse and his brother, Mr. J. S. Hulse, went to Whitworth's works, in Chorlton-street, Manchester, to serve their apprenticeship. Both of them quickly worked themselves into prominent positions, the subject of this brief memoir becoming ultimately managing partner.

Here he first displayed that great skill in the design of machine tools, and he had also a large share in the arrangement of the ordnance and small arms with which the name of Whitworth became prominently associated. When the firm of Joseph Whitworth and Co. was converted into a limited liability company in 1864, the partnership was dissolved, and Mr. Hulse commenced business as a consulting engineer in Manchester, which he only relinquished in 1881 to take over the direct control of his brother's works at Ordsal, Salford, on the death of his brother. The works have continued to increase in importance largely through the exertions of Mr. William Hulse, who never wearied in applying experience and skill to the design of new and heavy machine tools to meet the demands of the engineer and constructor. Fifteen years ago these needs wore pronounced, for heavy steel castings and forgings were being introduced, and many tools became obsolete owing to the limitations they set and their inefficiency generally. Mr. Hulse introduced the hollow form of framework now universally adopted in the manufacture of machine tools, &c. He took out many patents while at Whitworth's, and later, dealing not only with tools but also with ordnance.

Mr. Hulse was elected a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1864, and of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1867, and he was also connected with the Iron and Steel Institute. He was, however, of a retiring disposition, and seldom took active part in the proceedings. He was induced, however, eleven years ago to read a paper to the Institution of Civil Engineers on "Modern Machine Tools." It gave a clear exposition of some of the best tools, and for it the author received the Watt medal and Telford premium. On that occasion Sir Frederick Bramwell, who was in the chair, said that the author kept himself so thoroughly in the background that had it not been for Mr. Hulse's great reputation, no one who had listened to him could have gathered that he was a toolmaker, and was commercially interested. This was but characteristic, and it was due also to his fair-mindedness that he acted as one of the British judges at the 1867 Philadelphia and several later Exhibitions."


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1851 Census
  2. 1861 Census
  3. [1] Gazette Issue 22547 published on the 13 September 1861. Page 7 of 46
  4. [2] Gazette Issue 23059 published on the 12 January 1866. Page 26 of 58
  5. 1864 Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  6. [3] Gazette Issue 22985 published on the 30 June 1865. Page 59 of 100
  7. [4] Gazette Issue 23055 published on the 29 December 1865. Page 43 of 72
  8. 1871 Census
  9. [5] Gazette Issue 23828 published on the 16 February 1872. Page 23 of 52
  10. 1881 Census
  11. 1891 Census
  12. 1897 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries
  13. 1897 Institution of Civil Engineers: Obituaries
  14. The Engineer 1897/03/26
  15. Engineering 1897/03/26
  16. Engineering 1897 Jan-Jun: Index: General Index