Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,446 pages of information and 230,060 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

James Walton (1803-1883)

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1840 'On Wednesday, Mr. James Walton, of Sowerby Bridge, gave his mechanics, to the number of 80, a most substantial Yorkshire dinner of roast beef and plum pudding, to commemorate the finishing of the largest machine, for planing iron, in the kingdom. The dinner was served up on the machine, which was kept in motion the whole time, so that the party were moving backwards and forwards all the evening. The machine was named the "Nonpareil," by Mrs. James Walton, amidst the loud plaudits, and over flowing glasses of the men. The party remained upon the machine until a late hour, highly delighted with the generous entertainment of their master. The length of the bed of the machine is 32 feet, and the breadth 8 feet 6 inches; the weight of the bed is 22 1/2 tons; length of carriage 24 feet, and breadth 8 feet 10 inches; weight of carriage 12 tons; breadth of machine, between the standards, 14 feet; height 22 feet; weight of the whole machine 65 tons. It will plane 24 feet in length, 14 in breadth, and 14 in depth.' [1]

  1. Halifax Express, 13 June 1840