Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,106 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1838 'NOTICE is hereby given, that the PARTNERSHIP heretofore subsisting between us, the undersigned. JOSEPH ROBINSON and CHARLES REECE. as millwrights, paper bowl manufacturers, turners, and smiths in general, and carried on in Greengate and Clowes's-street. Salford. in the county of Lancaster, under the firm of Robinson and Reece was DISSOLVED, by mutual consent, on the first of January inst. All debts due to and from our said late partnership concern will be received and paid by Mr. JOHN GIBBONS, of Salford aforesaid, duly authorized by us to receive and pay the same— Dated this nineteenth January, 1838
CHARLES REECE. .....
'....MESSRS. ROBINSON and REECE avail themselves of this opportunity to express their grateful acknowledgments for the many favours conferred upon them during their late partnership; and to inform their friends and the public, that for the future the millwright and smiths' business will carried on, as usual, by the said Joseph Robinson, on his own separate account, upon the premises in Greengate, near the Old Bridge; and that the paper bowl manufactory and turning business will carried on, as usual, by the said Charles Reece, on his own separate account, upon the premises Clowes's-street, Salford.
All orders which the said Joseph Robinson and Charles Reece may be favoured with, in their respective departments, will thankfully received and promptly attended to.'
1840 'A shocking accident occurred it yesterday week, at the machine works of Mr. Charles Reece, Salford. Joseph Jackson, a workman there, aged 18 years, was engaged on that day at an hydraulic press in which was a bowl used by stiffeners, and which had been sent to be repaired, when two iron sitters, which had been put in owing to the smallness of the bowl, gave way, and suddenly forced out an iron plate with great violence against his stomach. The press was connected with the steam engine, and the unfortunate youth might have prevented the accident if he had had she presence of mind to knock off the strap. He was taken to the Infirmary, where it was found that he had received a concussion of the abdomen and a laceration of the liver which nearly divided it. He lingered only till Monday morning, when he expired. An inquest was held before Mr. Chapman, on Tuesday, when the jury found a verdict of "Accidental death."'
1841 Charles Reece, turner, Clowes Street. House: 16 Broughton Street, Salford.
1844 FIRE IN SALFORD.- About half-past six o'clock on Saturday evening, a fire broke out on the premises of Mr. Charles Reece, manufacturer of paper rollers, Clowes's-street, Salford. Information was immediately conveyed to the Salford Fire Police Station, and Mr. William Darling proceeded with the Lion engine, and a company of the Salford fire brigade to the place, by which time the fire threatened the destruction of the whole of the premises. A speedy supply of water being obtained, however, from the street mains and one water barrel, the engine was soon got to play, and with such effect, upon the fire, that in about an hour the premises were out of danger. Mr. Darling was active in keeping the doors and windows closed till the engine commenced working. The firemen and Mr. Reece’s work people were also very active in their exertions, and the police kept the streets well. ….
1850 Charles Reece, engineer, millwright, smith and paper bowl manufacturer, Clowes Street, house: 4 Reservoir Terrace, Salford (off Peru St)
1853 'Sales by auction- NEXT TUESDAY, the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Station, Oldham Road, Manchester.— To Engineers, Machinists, Manufacturers, Brokers, and others. MR. W. KIRK is Instructed to SELL BY AUCTION, on Tuesday the 28th of June, 1853, three o'clock in the afternoon, at the Goods Department, Oldham Road Station, of the Lancashire and Yorkshire/Railway, (where the property is being removed for convenience of sale,) a Pair of High-pressure Diagonal ENGINES, nearly new, bore of cylinders 12 inches, stroke two feet, by the eminent engineer, Reece, of Salford; One large Spur Wheel 2ft 2in diameter, 12in face, and 2in. pitch ; one Pinion, 4ft 3in to suit the same, and will take shaft 13in. diameter.' 
1854 Sale Notice: 'Valuable Freehold Property. -- Noah's Ark Ironworks, Clowes street, Chapel-street, Salford, By Mr. JOHN MARSHALL (by order of the trustees of the late Charles Reece, deceased), on Tuesday the 28th day of November next, at the King's Head Inn, Chapel-street, Salford, at six o'clock in the evening (if not previously disposed of by private contract), subject to such conditions as shall then be produced: ALL that PLOT of FREEHOLD LAND, Situate in Clowes-street, Chapel street, Salford, containing, in the whole, about 473 8/9 superficial square yards of land, together with the buildings, offices, and other erections thereon, known by the name of the Noah’s Ark Ironworks; and also the 19-horse steam condensing engine, and 16-horse steam boiler, with the upright and line shafting, now fitted up and being on the premises. The plot of land is freehold of inheritance, and subject to the payment of two several chief rents of £23. 18s, and 11s. 9d. per annum.
The said land and premises will first be offered in one lot, together with the steam engines and boiler, and upright and line shafting; tools, and stock in trade, ….
THREE DAYS' SALE. Important to Calender and Calender Bowl Manufacturers, Millwrights, Engineers, Brokers, and others.
MR. JOHN MARSHALL has received instructions from the trustee of the late Mr. Charles Reece, the eminent calender and calender bowl manufacturer, Noah's Ark Works, Clowes -street, Chapel-street, Salford, on the 29th and 30th November, and 1st December, 1854, the Whole of this Very Superior Stock of Tools, Patterns, Large Hydraulic Presses, a land Steam Engines, Shafting, Stock in Trade, &c. amongst which may be enumerated 8-horse condensing steam engine, by Peel and Williams; 18-horse cylindrical boiler, nearly new; one 10-horse high-pressure horizontal steam engine, new ; one very powerful round topped hydraulic press, for calender bowls, 22in.ram ; one do. do. for ditto 16in. ram; four excellent planing machines, will plane from 3ft. up to 26ft.; large and powerful break lathe, with face plate, 5ft. 6in. diameter, mounted on ashlar stone foundation, strong metal sliding bed, 7ft. long, and strong rest frame (not complete); powerful screwing machine; four superior slide lathes, complete with top driving apparatus, 10ft, 15ft, and two of 30ft. long; superior geared drilling machines; six 9in. geared hand lathes, boring bar for cylinders; three jib cranes; three portable crabs; powerful lifting jack (by Haley); logwood rasping machine; two small presses for bowl paper; metal circular saw frame and saws, with driving shaft and pulleys; quantity of steel turning, boring, drilling, and planing tools; three smiths' hearths; blowing fan, anvils, and smiths' tools: the whole of the grinders' and glazers' tools; a number of capital vices; vice and joiners' benches; quantity of blister, cast, shear and other steel and iron; large quantity of old metal; and a very extensive assortment of metal and wood patterns including complete patterns for engines, calenders, lathes, spur, bevil, and other wheels, &c.; the whole of the stock of files, emery, oil, and fixtures in store-room and counting-house; excellent bay horse, very handsome drag, with pair loose of plated lamps, back and seats covered with plush; excellent spring cart, capital box cart, with iron arms, quite new, on 4½in. wheels; capital hand cart, strongly stayed with iron; set of superior plated harness, set of strong spring cart harness, brass mounted; set of cart gears, horse clothing, and a variety of other very valuable property. Catalogues may be had …'
1855 The land, premises and engine and boiler were offered for sale again.
As the name doesn't imply, paper bowls were rotating cylinders (rolls) used in conjunction with heated iron rolls for finishing (calendering) cloth by a process similar to ironing. The 'bowls' were made by assembling stacks of pasteboard discs on a square iron shaft, fitting circular clamping plates at each end, compressing under high pressure, and heating for several days. This caused shrinkage, and more pasteboard discs were added, and the process repeated. The bowls were then turned in a lathe, a time-consuming process made difficult by the great hardness and abrasiveness of the material. The bowls replaced the ones formerly made from wood. They were much more expensive, but much more durable and free form splitting.