Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Birley and Co

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Birley and Co., of Manchester, manufacturers of waterproof fabrics and india rubber articles.

1814 Hugh Birley began to build a mill complex on Cambridge Street in Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester.

The mill initially had six storeys and two basements with 20 loading bays along Cambridge Street. It was powered by a beam engine made by Boulton and Watt and had gas lighting, supplied by its own gas storage tanks in the basement.

1824 Charles Macintosh persuaded the Birley brothers, cotton spinners and weavers of Manchester, to build a factory next to their mill in which he could manufacture his rubberized cotton.

By the end of the 1830s, the Cambridge Street Mill had a 600 loom shed and employed 2,000 people in spinning and weaving.

1837 Hugh Birley met John George Bodmer and offered to help him commercialise his inventions, transferring his tools, patterns, and machines to Manchester, where he made a room available at the Chorlton Mills, belonging to Messrs. Birley and Co.

1845 A further block was added.

1845 Articles of co-partnership. [1].

1865 Dissolution of the Partnership between Richard Birley, Thomas Hornby Birley, Hugh Birley, Herbert Birley, Arthur Birley, and Matthew Kennedy, in the trades or businesses of Cotton Spinners and Manufacturers, carried on at Chorlton Mills, in the city of Manchester, in the county of Lancaster, under the style or firm of Birley and Co.[2]

1860s the mill was bought by Charles Macintosh and Co to produce rubberised waterproofs.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1 item; photograph; original document in London Metropolitan Archives
  2. London Gazette 19 Sept 1986
  • [1] Manchester Archives