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British Industrial History

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Sealy Fourdrinier

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Sealy Fourdrinier (1773–1847) brother to Henry Fourdrinier and Charles Fourdrinier

1773 October 9th. Born in London, the son of Henry Fourdrinier, a wholesale stationer of Huguenot descent, and his wife Jemima White (1730-1781).

1800 January 25th. Married Harriet Pownall at St Mary Wolnoth, London. Had children James Sealy (1805-1870), Harriet (1806-1863) and Louisa Elizabeth (1813-1892)

1801 Trading as a stationery business at Sherborne Lane with his brother Henry Fourdrinier and William Bloxham when they met John Gamble who was seeking an English patent on a machine for making paper in continuous rolls, devised by Nicolas Robert and patented in France in 1799. They bought a one-third share in his patent rights.

The first machine was imported and erected at John Hall, the Fourdriniers' millwright. There, a third brother, Charles Fourdrinier, worked alongside John Gamble, Leger Didot, and Bryan Donkin (one of Hall's former apprentices), to develop it.

In June 1803, at Fort Place, Bermondsey, close to Donkin's own works, the Fourdrinier brothers erected and fitted out a factory, which they rented, and from 1811, leased, to Donkin who manufactured and sold the machines. The intention was that users would pay the Fourdriniers an annual royalty, according to the size of machine supplied.

Later they installed it in a mill at Frogmore, Hertfordshire, acquired for the purpose. Gamble remained technically and financially associated with the Fourdriniers until 1811.

1807 Extension of 1801 patent. '...Invention of Paper-Making by Machinery.......Henry Fourdrinier and Sealy Fourdrinier, of Sherborne-Lane, in the City of London, Paper-Manufacturers, and John Gamble, of St Neott's, in the County of Huntingdon, Paper Manufacturer, are now making Application to Parliament for Leave to bring in a Bill for prolonging the Term of certain Letters Patent hereinafter-mentioned, in relation to the Inventions hereinafter also mentioned...'[1]

1811 Bankrupt. '...against Sealy Fourdrinier and William Sale, of Charing-Cross, in the County of Middlesex, Stationers, Dealers and Chapmen, (trading under the Firm of Fourdrinier and Company,)...'[2]

1812 Bankrupt. '...Bankrupt awarded and issued against Henry Fourdrinier, of Cannon-Street, London, Paper Manufacturer, and Sealy Fourdrinier, of Charing-Cross, London, Paper-Manufacturer, and also Manufacturers of Patent Machines for the Making of Paper, in Copartnership, in Blue-Anchor-Lane, Bermondsey, in the County of Surrey...'[3]

1836 Application for an extension of their patent. '...for further prolonging the term of fourteen years granted by certain letters patent, for the invention of a machine for making paper in single sheets without seam or joinings, for one to twelve feet and upwards wide, and from one to forty-five feet and upwards in length, and for certain improvements on, and additions to, the said machine; and which letters patent were assigned to Henry Fourdrinier and Sealy Fourdrinier, and the original terms thereof prolonged by an Act, passed in the forty-seventh year of the reign of His Majesty King George the Third, intituled "An Act for prolonging the term of certain letters patent assigned to Henry Fourdrinier and Sealy Fourdrinier, for the invention of making paper by means of machinery."[4]

1847 Died at Southwark

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The London Gazette 31 March 1807
  2. [1] Gazette Issue 16439 published on the 1 January 1811. Page 13 of 16
  3. [2] Gazette Issue 16600 published on the 5 May 1812. Page 19 of 28
  4. [3] Gazette Issue 19434 published on the 4 November 1836. Page 8 of 24