Electro-platers and Gilders, Sherwood Street, NOTTINGHAM.

Cycle Plating Room.
Cycle Plating Room.

NOTTINGHAM like most other flourishing commercial centres is a city of many industries, and though some of them are, of course, more obtrusive, none is more interesting than that carried on by the Nottingham Plating Company at their electro-plating and gilding works, Sherwood Street. The sole partners in the firm referred to are Messrs. E. Wilford and F. D. Goodson both of whom have had extensive practical experience of the trade represented, and take an active part in the management of the concern. Organized in 1880, the Company started operations in Ashforth Street, afterwards removing to larger premises at Taylor's Factory, South Sherwood Street. In consequence of the steady growth of the business, they have recently acquired the entire factory and premises situate 98 Sherwood Street, which property is now their own freehold. The main establishment comprises extensive polishing and burnishing shops, with engine house and plating shops adjoining. In the latter there are no fewer than nine plating vats for gold, silver, nickel, copper, etc., ample facilities being thus available for executing a practically unlimited amount of work. The articles dealt with embrace pretty well everything made of metal, including carriage and harness furniture and fittings spoons and forks, tea and coffee pots, and all manner of table ware and ornaments, and, in addition to plating proper, the firm undertake every description of enamelling, japanning, lining in gold and colours, transfer fixing, lacquering and bronzing, etc., etc. etc. Special attention is given to the re-lacquering of gas-fittings, lamps, cornice poles, kerbs and general brass and copper goods, as well as to plating and enamelling for the cycle trade, for which latter purposes special shops have been fitted up, and contain two large polishing rooms on the ground floor, together with cycle-plating department, lacquering and enamelling rooms, and suitable stores for material. There is likewise a well equipped suite of offices. A somewhat unique feature of the cycle-plating shop is a tank capable of taking work to about thirty feet in length, also several others each holding from 400 to 500 gallons of solution. Several large enamelling stoves are also in use. Nothing is left undone to ensure all round efficiency, and the fact that the Company enjoy the support of many of the principal jewellers, ironmongers and cycle manufacturers, in all parts of the United Kingdom, says all that need be said for the quality of their work. The staff employed numbers about fifty skilled operatives working under the immediate personal supervision of the principals, and the trade of the house still continues to increase at a rapid rate.


Lace Machine Builders, Alfred Street Mills, NOTTINGHAM.

Improved Mosquito or Plain Net Machine. These Patent Rolling Locker Machines are built any width up to 320 inches, and have been made by Messrs. Newton and Pycroft for many firms on the Continent, giving in every case entire satisfaction.
Improved Mosquito or Plain Net Machine. These Patent Rolling Locker Machines are built any width up to 320 inches, and have been made by Messrs. Newton and Pycroft for many firms on the Continent, giving in every case entire satisfaction.

ACCESSORY to the great staple industry of Nottingham is the important business carried on by Messrs. Newton and Pycroft, one of the oldest firms of Lace machine manufacturers in the town. The house was originally founded, over half a century ago, by Mr. James Carver, by whom the present proprietors were engaged, and, after twenty years with the firm in responsible positions, acquired the business in 1888. The works are contained in what are known as the Alfred Street Mills, of which the ground floor portion is occupied by the firm as a manufactory, the premises being 100 feet by 85 feet in width. This extensive space is arranged as machine and erecting shops, with office adjoining; and in the yard, in the rear, are the smiths' forge and smaller workshops. The major portion of the floorage is appropriated to the principal department—the machine shop, and this is completely equipped with modern plant in the form of machines for planing, capable of taking sizes up to 36 feet; drilling, shaping, and milling machines; lathes of various kinds, and other tools and appliances. In the erecting shop we noticed three large Lace machines, in various stages of construction, shortly to be shipped to France, each of which presented most intricate mechanism, combining all the most recent improvements in this type of machine. Some idea of the costly nature of these complicated machines may be indicated from the fact that the contract price of each ranges from £600 to £1,200. The list of Messrs. Newton and Pycroft's specialities includes the manufacture of Lace Curtain, Roller, and Double Locker Plain Net Machines, Levers Machines, Top Jacquards, Card-punching Presses, and Selecting Machines, Warping Mills and Winding Engines, and other appliances required in this particular trade. Each class of machinery referred to is turned out with all the most up-to-date improvements, the firm bearing a deservedly high reputation for the consistently high standard of accurate adjustment, smooth and reliable workmanship, and perfect finish which characterise their productions. Since taking over the business, the firm have established a very substantial connection amongst the leading lace manufacturers at home and on the Continent—more especially in France and Germany, where the demand for this machinery is on the increase—whilst Italy, Russia, and America also contribute a steadily progressive support to the makers. The majority of the hands employed are highly-skilled artizans, working under the personal supervision of the members of the firm, whose long experience and complete technical training are alone a sufficient assurance for the satisfactory efficiency of every detail of the arrangements in the several departments.


Makers of Lace Machines, Portland Works, Portland Road and Phoenix Foundry, Raleigh Street, NOTTINGHAM.

TAKING into account the large number of local factories engaged in the lace trade, there is obviously plenty of scope in Nottingham for such a business as that carried on by Messrs. Humphreys and Wyer, who have occupied a prominent position as designers and makers of lace machinery for many years past. The firm originally commenced business in 1856, and have since succeeded in developing an influential and valuable connection, embracing many of the leading manufacturers in the town and county. Their premises, which are known as the Phoenix Foundry, cover a considerable ground area, and extend right through from Portland Road to Raleigh Street—a distance of 120 yards.

Entering from Portland Road, we visit first the offices, which are compact and smartly appointed; and beyond these we find the tool shop, equipped with the latest machine tools and labour-saving devices. The plant here is used for various purposes, such as planing, sawing, drilling, shaping, tapping, shaft turning, cutting, screwing, boring, etc.; and it is in this department that the different portions of the machines in process of manufacture are shaped and finished after their arrival from the foundry. Many of the tools in use have been designed and constructed on the premises; but, whilst thus largely dependent upon apparatus of their own invention, the firm are careful to secure any improved form of mechanism that may be introduced by other houses, with a view of expediting productive work, or ensuring more exact finish and accurate results.

Adjoining the machine shop is the erecting shop, where the machines manufactured are finally put together. In this department we were shown some remarkably fine machines intended for lace work, together with sundry appliances for large curtain work, fancy work, and net making. Around the room are fixed long benches with vices, at which fitters were making such alterations as were necessary in order to perfect the mechanism and cause the whole to work smoothly.

In the Jacquard and punching machine room we noticed a machine for embroidery work, invented and patented by the principals. This appliance is much less cumbersome than the old pattern of machines, which possess a hand pointing attachment. The latter is dispensed with in the new invention, the whole being self-acting and worked on Jacquard lines. The work, which is embroidered in net by needles fixed to a front bar, with holders and shuttles at back, is very fine, and the action at once simple and ingenious. We also saw in course of action some plain Jacquard card-punching machines, wherein by an arrangement of delicate springs, adjustable gauges, travelling stage for cards, and spring punching motion, on a firmly-fixed bed, the whole of the parts can be manipulated by an operative playing upon finger-keys and pedals, while reading the pattern from a design placed in a frame over the finger block. A cam cutting machine is fixed here, which reproduces automatically as many cams as may be required, of the exact size of the pattern, without attention after the first fixing of the pattern and the rough casting.

Another patent introduced by this firm is a Jacquard machine, for punching cards in narrow widths, by which the jutes can be arranged to any scale in accordance with a scale on a roller-blind and index-reader. This machine is thoroughly effective, and of the most delicate action and unique construction. The machines are accurately fitted before removal from the factory, and as a rule they are under work by power within a week or ten days of their arrival at their destination.

In another part of the premises is a large forge, with steam hammer ; also some convenient racks for bar, rod, and angle iron, and the best appliances for the use of the large staff of smiths employed. A furnace of considerable size is also available for the purpose of case-hardening the bright parts of machines, and we noticed a huge chest containing articles of this kind in process of heating. Large stores are reserved for store castings, patterns and models, and there is likewise every convenience for the storage of general materials.

The foundry is located beyond the Portland Road end of the premises, and abuts on the Raleigh Street end. Here all the metal parts of the machines are cast in iron or brass, including the standard foundations, bearings, etc.; and the work is so carefully modelled and finished in the moulds that but little facing is required after delivery to the erecting shops. Large cranes are requisitioned for lifting the heavier portions.

The cupolas are conveniently arranged, and the interesting process of running the molten metal into the moulds takes place every afternoon. There are two fine boilers in the space between the works, and a powerful engine drives the whole of the plant. In the yard heavy stocks of pig and scrap iron, coke and coal are maintained.