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British Industrial History

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George Heaton (1789-1854)

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c.1789 Born[1] in Birmingham[2], son of Ralph Heaton, the inventor of the button-shank machine, who later established a business as blacksmith and manufacturer of rolled metals, wire, button shanks, hooks-and-eyes, etc., in Shadwell Street, Birmingham.

J. E. McConnell credited George Heaton as the first person to institute a systematic inquiry onto the balancing of wheels. Heaton's investigations started in 1810 while he was employed by the Earl of Craven at Coombe Abbey, Warwickshire. The Earl had a number of lathes, rose engines, etc., for ornamental work, driven by a small steam engine. One high class lathe suffered severe vibration when run up to about 600 rpm, and Heaton was asked to investigate. He suspected variations in density within a rosewood pulley. He bored a hole on the light side of the pulley and added a quantity of lead so as to achieve perfect balance. Heaton subsequently applied his principles to other types of machinery. [3]

1813 Married Mary Ann Turner in Edgbaston[4]

George Heaton, was a well-known pioneer in steam road locomotion - see Heaton Brothers

1841 George Heaton 50, general m...., lived in Erdington with Mary Heaton 50, Mary Heaton 20, Harriet Heaton 20, George Heaton 15, Sarah Heaton 14, Emma Heaton 11, Fanny Heaton 9, Walter Turner 5, William Dugard 20[5]

1845 George's daughter Harriett (b.1821) married William Dugard, a partner in the firm of Heaton and Dugard; George was an engineer[6]

1851 George Heaton 61, Metal roller and wire maker, employs 22 men, 3 women, 4 girls, 5 (?) boys, of the firm Heaton, Son and Dugard, lived in Erdington with Mary A Heaton 62, Sarah Heaton 24, Emma S Heaton 21, Fanny L Heaton 19, Harriet Dugard 30, William H Dugard 4, Laura J Dueard 1 Months[7]

1854 Died in Aston[8]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Burial records
  2. 1851 census
  3. 'On the Balancing of Wheels' by J. E. McConnell, read at the IMechE Special Meeting at Birmingham, 13 June 1848, reported in The Practical Mechanic's Journal, p.115, 1848
  4. BMD
  5. 1841 census
  6. Parish records
  7. 1851 census
  8. BMD