Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Dewer

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1842. Cast iron pillars. Exhibit at Amberley Working Museum.
1842. Cast iron pillars. Exhibit at Amberley Working Museum. (Detail).

of Old Street, London and of 2 Bevis Marks.

See Ebenezer Dewer and Robert Dewer

1836 Robert Dewer states 'I am in partnership with my brother, Ebenezer Dewer. We are founders and smiths, and live in Old-street — we make tools'[1]

1838 Mentioned. Mr. Dewer, iron founder, living in Old Street, St. Lukes.[2]

1839. Insured. Ebenezer and Robert Dewer of Old Street, Smiths. Other property or occupiers: 2 Bevis Marks, Bury Street St Mary Axe. [3]

1840 Mentioned. Mr. Dewer, ironfounder, of Old Street, at inquest in to death of employee.[4]

1841 Listed. Ebenezer and Robert Dewer. 16 Old Street and 2 Bevis Marks. Smiths and Ironfounders.[5]

1842 Messrs. Dewer, Old Street, St. Lukes made the crucibles for the foundries for the Earl of Rosse.[6]

1845 Messrs. Dewer, Old Street, produced iron girders weighing 30 tons for the General Post Office, St. Martin's Lane.[7]. 'These ponderous masses of iron were lifted and carried over the ridges of the intervening roofs, and gradually lowered into their places without the slightest injury or accident; a task which would scarcely have been possible but for the facilities afforded by that ingenious modern contrivance, the flying windlass. Each of these enormous frames of iron was put to a severe test, and proved perfectly rigid; showing a truth of work highly creditable to Messrs. Dewers, the founders, whose steam planing-machine enabled them to give to all the parts bearing on each other a far more exact and uniform surface than would have been otherwise practicable. The rooms are lighted by skylights. An ingenious machine has been contrived to raise and lower the letters and letter-carriers from the bottom to the top of the building, and vice versa. It consists of two endless chains worked by a steam engine, which carry in rapid succession a series of shelves, each large enough to hold four or five men with their bags. The chief difficulty, of course, was to cause the shelves to pass over and under the pivots on which the chains turn, at top and bottom, in a horizontal position, and this seems to have been perfectly attained. .... [8]

1846-9 Produced the iron castings for the London Coal Exchange in the City of London, which was described as 'undoubtedly one of the finest buildings of its period in the City', with 'highly adventurous and original' use of cast iron. The ribs for the cast iron framed glazed dome each weighed 2 tons and were 42 ft 6" long.[9]. The rope-themed castings were fine examples of the iron founders' art [10]. The Coal Exchange was demolished in 1962 by an act of official vandalism. Some of the cast iron dragons were saved and can be seen on Victoria Embankment.

1851 Mentioned. Messrs. Dewers, engineers, 16 Old Street.[11]

1852 Listed. Ebenezer and Robert Dewer. 16 Old Street and 2 Bevis Marks. Smiths and Ironfounders.[12]

1860 Listed. Dewer, Ebenezer and R., 2 Bevis Marks, E.C..[13]

1866 Premises damaged by fire. E. and R. Dewer, 2 Bevis Marks, St. Mary's Axe, ironfounders. [14]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Old Bailey Proceedings
  2. London Courier and Evening Gazette - Friday 28 December 1838
  3. National Archives
  4. Morning Post - Tuesday 08 September 1840
  5. 1841 Post Office London Directory
  6. Newry Telegraph - Saturday 30 April 1842
  7. Morning Post - Friday 30 May 1845
  8. Pictorial Times - Saturday 7 February 1846
  9. 'Decorative Cast Ironwork in Great Britain' by Raymond Lister, G. Bell and Sons, 1960
  10. 'Lost Britain' website: Coal Exchange
  11. Morning Chronicle - Monday 01 December 1851
  12. 1852 Post Office London Directory
  13. Blower's Architect's, Surveyor's, Engineer's and Builder's Directory
  14. London Evening Standard - Friday 02 March 1866