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British Industrial History

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Leather, Matthews and Co

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1874. winding engine
  • 1874 Article in 'The Engineer' illustrating and describing Leather, Matthews & Co’s winding engines: 'With reference to the workmanship in this engine, it chances that we are able to bear personal testimony to its honest excellence, for having visited the works during their construction, we had an opportunity of seeing the care with which the different forgings were being made, and the unhesitating manner in which any casting in the slightest degree blown or defective was at once rejected...' [1]
  • 1875 Partnership of Thomas Picton Leather, Thomas William Matthews and John Newbold Bathe, 131 Broughton Road, dissolved by mutual consent [2]
  • Listed in Slater's Directory of Manchester & Salford, 1876 (Part 2) as Leather, Matthews & Co., Engineers & machinists, millwrights, cotton machinery manufacturers, makers of hydraulic presses, pumps, valves: Broughton Road Iron Works, Broughton Road, Salford. The 'Streets' Section gives the location as 121 Broughton Road. Their advertisement lists a remarkable variety of products said to be made by the company (see illustration)
  • 1877 Bankruptcy petition (under The Bankruptcy Act, 1869) against Thomas Picton Leather, 7 Grecian St., Lower Broughton, now or lately carrying on business in copartnership with Thomas William Matthews and William Greenfield under the style or firm of Leather, Matthews & Greenfield [3]
  • 1877 Slater's Directory of Manchester & Salford, 1877-8 (Part 2) lists Leather, Matthews & Greenfield as millwrights, engineers & machinists, Broughton Road Iron Works. T W Matthews' home address: 5 Irwell Place
  • 1877 An advertisement for the sale of equipment, all nearly new, at Broughton Road Ironworks, on the instructions of James Halliday, the trustee, included a planing machine to plane 15ft 6in by 5ft by 4ft 3in, ny J. and J. Kershaw, a smaller planing machine by Walker, a radial drilling machine, 6ft radius, by Gregson, Brown and Son, and a 3 cwt dead-blow steam hammer (Sturgeon's patent).[4]
  • Location: Slater’s 1876 Directory positions the company’s premises, and those of Thomas Gibbons, 'asphalter &c', as being on the south side of Broughton Road, No. 121, between St Matthias’s Church and William Street. Reference to the 1848 O.S. map shows a disused area of land between the church and Willow Street. This had an area of about 200 ft by 200 ft. The 1922 map shows this area occupied by a school, and Willow Street renamed Cannon Street. Broughton Road had become Blackfriars Road.
  • Thomas Picton Leather was born c.1835 and died in 1895. In 1861 he was described in the census as an Engineer, and in 1871 as a draughtsman living at 79 Woodbine Street. In 1881 he was employed as an engineer, and the census taker includes an abbreviated entry which appears to give his place of employment as a spinning mill. Thus Thomas P Leather's involvement as a partner in an engineering company appears to have been short-lived.
  • The name Thomas Picton Leather appears in the context of a partnership with Charles Atkinson in the Ardwick Engineering Co . However, this was Thomas Picton Leather Junior. The source refers to the partnership between Charles Atkinson and Thomas Picton Leather being dissolved by mutual consent [5]. T P Leather appears again in a reference to a Deed of Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors. Executed by Thomas Picton Leather and Charles Mathew Leather, both of 371 Dickenson Road, Longsight, trading in co-partnership as Leather & Co, 320 Stockport Road, Longsight, Automobile Engineers [6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 'The Engineer' 27th March 1874
  2. The London Gazette, March 12th 1875
  3. The London Gazette, February 13th, 1877
  4. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 9 June 1877
  5. The London Gazette, May 6th, 1910
  6. The London Gazette, 15th September 1914