Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,656 pages of information and 235,472 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Cochrane and Co

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1859. Plaque in Copenhagen. Image taken in 2019.
1870. Direct-acting blowing engines for The West Yorkshire Ironworks.

Cochrane and Co of North Ormesby Ironworks, Cargo Fleet, Middlesbrough and Woodside Works, Dudley.


Alexander Brodie Cochrane became a partner of John Joseph Bramah and commenced business as an Ironfounder at Bilston. Subsequently, in conjunction with Mr. Cochrane’s father, they founded the Woodside Ironworks and Foundry, which was carried on with much success until the death of Mr. Bramah in 1846.

Cochrane was then joined by Charles Geach and A. Slate, the firm being carried on under the name of Cochrane and Co, by whom also the works belonging to the firm at Middlesborough, and known as the Ormesby Ironworks, were established; the construction being supervised by Joseph Wright (1826-1893).

This may be the company, recorded as Cochrane and Co of Middlesbrough, who supplied a three-cylinder horizontal pumping engine to the City of Norwich Waterworks (Heigham) in 1850 [1]

After the death of Mr. Geach, Mr. Slate left the firm, which had at that time attained a wide reputation, and was particularly known as having supplied most of the ironwork required for the 1851 Great Exhibition building.

1854 'The Australian demands for public works are unprecedentedly large. The firm of Cochrane and Co., of the Woodside Works, near Dudley, have received orders to supply 20,000 tons or iron piping for the Melbourne Waterworks.'[2]

1855 Charles Cochrane went to work for Cochrane and Co at Ormesby Ironworks which had recently been established by his father, Alexander. The following year he became a partner with his father in these works and the Woodside Iron Works.

1858 'At the Woodside works the iron work for the new Westminster-bridge is stated to be progressing very satisfactorily, and happily furnishes employment for great numbers who would otherwise be destitute of employ.'[3]

1860-80 Built five railway locomotives for their own use.

1866 See 1866 Cleveland Blast Furnaces for detail of furnaces.

1875 Dissolution of the Partnership between Charles Cochrane, William Cochrane, Joseph Bramah Cochrane, Brodie Cochrane, George Cochrane, Alexander Dundonald Cochrane, and Alfred Ormesby Cochrane, carrying on business as Iron Founders and Engineers, at Woodside, near Dudley, in the county of Worcester, under the style or firm of Cochrane and Company. Charles Cochrane and Joseph Bramah Cochrane carried on the business for their own benefit, under the same style of Cochrane and Company. This also applied to the business of Pig Iron Manufacturers, and the Winning, Working, and Vending of Coal, at the Woodside Furnaces, Woodside, near Dudley; and to the business at certain Collieries at Shut End and Tansey Green, in the parish of Kingswinford, in the county of Stafford; both of which also involved Henry Heath Cochrane and traded under the name of Cochrane and Co[4]

Became connected with Cochrane, Grove and Co.

1890 Took limited company status.

c.1920 Owned the Ormesby Iron Works, adjoining the Cargo Fleet Works, with three large blast furnaces from which molten metal had previously gone to Cargo Fleet. Cochrane and Co. produced principally cast-iron pipes, railway chairs and large iron castings, in competition with the Derbyshire firms of Sheepbridge, Staveley and Stanton. It owned the Stanghow mines in Cleveland and the Desborough mine in Northamptonshire, as well as the New Brancepeth colliery and coke ovens in Durham.

Pillar Boxes

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Drawings in the Science Museum Library Collection ref: ARCH:HAWK
  2. Worcestershire Chronicle, 5 July 1854
  3. Worcestershire Chronicle, 6 October 1858
  4. London Gazette 5 October 1875
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816