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British Industrial History

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Alexander Brodie

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Alexander Brodie (1732-1811) of Carey Street, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London, Calcutts (Broseley), and Manchester.

Alexander Brodie was an ironfounder, prominent as a manufacturer of 'patent' stoves for use on ships.

1732 Born in Traquair, Peebleshire.

He served as an apprentice blacksmith before setting out to London to seek his fortune in 1759. By this time, Brodie had achieved the ranking of master blacksmith. This information, and much more, including descriptions of Brodie's ships' stoves, is available on-line [1]

In 1786 he bought the lease of Calcutts Ironworks, which produced pig iron and iron castings, including cannon.[2]

Musson and Robinson note that 'Brodie was a prosperous ironmaster and armaments manufacturer, and that in 1798 Boulton and Watt discovered that Brodie was infringing their patent on engines which he had erected at Calcutts. Brodie, in a most illiterate letter, said that he had no intention of infringing and offered to settle.'[3]

1806 Partnership dissolved between 'Alexander Brodie, Charles M'Niven, and Oliver Ormrod, of Manchester, Lancashire, iron founders.'[4]

1808 'The partnership lately subsisting between Alexander Brodie, and Charles McNiven, Manchester, in the county of Lancaster, iron founders, was on the first day November, 1817, dissolved, …….—All debts owing from the same will discharged by the said Alexander Brodie, .....[5]

1811 Advertisement (original spelling retained): 'CALCUTT IRON WORKS, On the banks of the Severn, in the parish of Brozley, in the county of Salop. To Iron Masters, Engineers, &c. THE valuable property upon these extensive IRON WORKS, lately carried on Alexander Brodie, Esq. deceased, will be SOLD BY AUCTION, by Mr. WILLIAM STANTON, towards the latter end of July, 1811; comprising Blast Engine, of 60 horse power, by Mierray and Wood, on Messrs. Bolton and Watt's plan; a Ditto, of 80 horse power, on Messrs. Brodie and Glazebrook's patent; a powerful Water Engine, and three Coal Winding Engines, all complete; Cannon Boring Mill, on a superior plan for power and accuracy; Boring Mill, for Cylinders; Ditto, and Turning Mill, with an excellent large Iron Water Wheel; a large quantity of Cast Pipe from Blast Engines to Furnaces, Winding Engines, Blacking Mill, Moulding Boxes, and sundry Tools and Implements in Foundry, and Smiths' Shops, some unproved Cannon, and sundry Wastril Cannon, Models and Patterns, Coal and Slack Carriages. The remaining stock of Crawstone and Penniston's raw and calcined Pig Iron, old cast and wrought Iron, and other valuable effects. Also, the Farming Stock, Corn in the Straw, Hay, Live Stock, Farming Implements, &c. and the Household Furniture. Further particulars will expressed in future advertisements.'[6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Mardi Gras Shipwreck website - Alexander Brodie's Patent Stove
  2. [2]'A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 10: Munslow Hundred (part), The Liberty and Borough of Wenlock'
  3. 'Science and technology in the Industrial Revolution', by Albert Edward Musson, Eric Robinson
  4. Derby Mercury, 21st August 1806
  5. Manchester Mercury, 5th January 1808
  6. Chester Chronicle, 21st June 1811