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 136,368 pages of information and 219,137 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

William Greaves and Co

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Poster discovered during building work (2019) at the former home of W. M. Greaves in a previously closed off loft space

William Greaves of Sheaf Works, Sheffield

William Greaves were once a prolific company who highly prospered in the 19th century during the boom of the tool and cutlery trades and as steel became more commercially available.

1823 The Greaves family erected the first integrated tools/cutlery works, at a cost of £430,000, near the canal, with the object of taking in the crude iron at one end and turning it out at the other in the finished tool, ready for use.

The Sheaf Works came to be known to be the largest business in this area at this time. It made a range of tools and saws including cutlery, penknives and razors and also even made its own steel in house.

The factory used its perfect position for water power being built on the edge of the Sheffield canal and also used the railway line in close proximity giving them the perfect opportunities for it’s famed success.

1860 Frederick Thorpe Mappin purchased Thomas Turton and Sons, a top-quality steel manufacturer and owners of William Greaves and Co, where he implemented machine working, despite a strike by employees.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Thomas Flinn and Co