Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,535 pages of information and 233,960 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Thomas Worsdell

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Thomas Worsdell of Berkeley Street and Granville Street, Birmingham were engineers, millwrights and machinists. They made cranes, overhead traversers, winches, jacks, material testing machines and a few locomotives.

1819 Thomas Worsdell was born, son of Thomas Clarke Worsdell (1788-1862), who set up the Crown Street Works in Liverpool, building railway carriages.

1837 Thomas Clarke moved most of his family to Leipzig when he was appointed locomotive, carriage, and wagon superintendent there.

c.1841 They returned to England.

Presumably at a later point Thomas set up his business in Birmingham

The business was sometimes known as Worsdell and Evans.

1849 Directory: Listed as Engineers.

c.1855 His nephew Thomas William Worsdell became an apprentice at the Birmingham engineering works.

1855-64 Rolling stock, of Tenant Street, Birmingham.

1861 William became manager of the works.

1862 Received an honorable mention at the Great International Exhibition. [1]

1865 William fell out with his uncle and emigrated to the United States soon after his marriage, on 29 June 1865.

1869 The business became Richard C. Gibbins and Co.

1893 Thomas Worsdell died.


  • Two rail-mounted Worsdell steam cranes with wooden jibs were used at Highbridge Wharf, Somerset [2]
  • Rail-mounted hand crane survives at Kalka Yard, India[3]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Advert.
  2. Maritime Activities of the Somerset & Dorset Railway by Chris Handley (Millstream Books, 2001)
  3. [1]Webpage of IRFCA (Indian Railways Fan Club)