Engineers, Millwrights and Smiths in general; Makers of Improved Lace Dressing Plant, and Licensed Valuers, Sherwood Street, NOTTINGHAM.

OCCUPYING the commodious lower floor of the large building known as "Sims' Factory," the firm, who give their name to the premises, have been established for nearly three-quarters of a century as engineers, millwrights, and smiths in general: principally, however, devoting attention to the requirements of the numerous staple industries centred in Nottingham and the district. The works of Messrs. Geo. Sims and Sons, in Sherwood Street, have a length of 200 feet by 40 feet width, and are very conveniently arranged for the purposes of the various departments, comprising, on the left of the entrance, the offices, beyond which are the spacious workshops, forge and machine department. The latter is completely furnished with modern plant, including lathes of every description, drilling, cutting, boring, and other tools and appliances for facilitating the operations of the several branches on the most approved labour-saving methods. The whole of the machinery is driven by a powerful steam engine and boiler, erected in a separate building on the premises, and providing the requisite motive force. The chief specialty of the firm's make is their improved lace dressing plant, largely adopted by many of the principal manufacturers, bleachers, and lace dressers in Nottingham and on the Continent. They also manufacture steam engines, steam-power, hand, and hydraulic lifts; shafting, gearing, and pulleys, for belt or rope driving; safe and fireproof doors; lift and force pumps, for hot or cold water; wrought-iron gates and palisades; steam and water valves, and apparatus for heating by steam or water. A staff of about twenty-five highly-skilled operatives is employed in the various departments of the works, whose services are also available for the execution of repairs to all kinds of machinery and general millwrights' work. The entire details of the business receive the close personal attention of the individual members of the firm, whose lengthened practical experience in the trade gives them expert qualifications that have won the confidence of an extensive connection in all parts of the Midlands, both as manufacturers of their own specialities and as machinery valuers to the trade.

Messrs. Sims are the owners of the freehold of the entire premises known as "Sims' Factory," which cover between three and four thousand square yards. The firm's works occupy the ground floor, and the rest of the extensive premises they let off to lace and hosiery manufacturers, also supplying them with steam power.


Basford Brass Works, NOTTINGHAM.

WE are indebted to The Mariner for the following particulars respecting this eminent firm, which appeared in the issue of March, 1898, of that journal:— "The Basford Brass Works stand by themselves, and cover a considerable area of land. The main block, which fronts on to the main road, consists of an extensive range of buildings, in which are contained general and private offices, spacious turning and finishing shops, fully equipped with the requisite plant and appliances of the most modern type for the particular class of work that has to be done there, and large stores and packing rooms. Running at right angles from the main factory are the foundry, pattern stores, and pressure gauge workshop. A spacious yard, enclosed on three sides by these buildings, affords good accommodation for railway companies' drays, bringing in material and taking out goods.

"The Government have, after sending their inspector to report on the size and general outfit in machinery of this capable firm, placed them on their list of Government contractors for Admiralty, War, and India Departments. They are also contractors for the London County Council.

"Among the various engineering requisites manufactured at these works, single and double-spring safety valves, junction and sluice valves, injectors and ejectors, fire brigade appliances, sight feed lubricators, and hydraulic pumps maintain a prominent position; and the firm have the honour of working to blue prints furnished by some of the most eminent engineers in the kingdom.

"Working sectional drawings are always used in the manufacture of fittings illustrated in their catalogues. Some of the tools in use are of immense weight and wonderful adaptability, as may' be gathered from the fact that hydraulic stop and safety valves for harbour works, weighing 14cwt, have been turned out here, and a gun-metal syren and whistle in combination for the Russian Navy close upon 5cwt. Asbestos packed cocks also form a leading line in their order books, but there is scarcely an engineering appliance of any kind or of any material that is not manufactured at the Basford Brass Works.

"It is almost superfluous to remark that everything which will be subjected to high pressure steam is most carefully tested before it is sent out, the firm keeping well within the margin of safety in this respect by employing an extra strong testing-boiler with a pressure of 300lbs. Medals and diplomas of honour have been obtained by Messrs. Sydney Smith and Sons at all the principal International Exhibitions, including the World's Fair at Chicago in 1893, where they took the highest possible award.

"Our illustrations show the foundry, parts of the two machine shops, and a corner of the pressure gauge shop. In each case it was, unfortunately, impossible to secure a view representing the whole of the shop or the entire number of men working there. In the foundry are to be seen all the latest systems of moulding, even a cast of a ton weight being procurable. The foundry is exceptionally lofty and well ventilated, and is provided with excellent sanitary accommodation for the workers. It won high praise from Mr. William Dawkins Cramp, Her Majesty's Inspector of Factories, who, in his report thereon, stated:—' It is evident that if all the brass foundries were carried on under as favourable conditions as yours, there would be no need for special rules.' Adjoining the foundry is a large and well-arranged pattern shop, where all the patterns are stored in racks of different sizes, both racks and patterns being numbered in such a way as to permit of the latter being transmitted to the foundry without any loss of time.

Internal View of Brass Foundry.
Internal View of Brass Foundry.

"Pressure gauges of all kinds naturally occupy a prominent place. Fifty years ago, when Mr. Sydney Smith's very valuable invention made its appearance, high pressure engines were little if at all known, so that only low pressure steam gauges were in request. The very different conditions now obtaining render it necessary to make gauges to register pressure ranging from 100 to 350lbs. on the square inch for steam, and for hydraulic purposes from one to five tons on the square inch; and the firm now manufacture steam, vacuum, and compound gauges, water pressure gauges for tanks and reservoirs, mineral water gauges, locomotive gauges, and others for colliery purposes. In fact, such is the demand for these necessary instruments that the trade in them has become an important branch of industry throughout the world. Those manufactured by Sydney Smith and Sons are built up of the very best material, more especially with regard to internal works, which are made of wrought instead of cast brass. They are quite frictionless, and entirely free from "backlash," and while clue attention is given to external appearances, this firm always attach more importance to the internal mechanism. Their accuracy is guaranteed, and their life under favourable conditions will be one of many years."

The illustrations reproduced on the accompanying pages will convey some idea of the excellent organisation and complete equipment of the firm's works, together with portraits of the present principals, Messrs. Isaac and William Smith, sons and successors of the eminent inventor, by whom the business was founded. The late Mr. Sydney Smith, whose portrait appears on page 10 of the introductory portion of this work, may certainly claim to rank among the pioneers in mechanical improvement in a field of utility prolific of benefit to mankind, and of the utmost importance in the arts and industries of the world.

Corner of Steam Pressure Gauge Shop.
Corner of Steam Pressure Gauge Shop.