Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Whitmore

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William Whitmore (c1748-1819)

1796 Patent granted to William Whitmore of Birmingham, dated 26 January 1796, relating to improvements in weighing machines for waggons, etc.[1]

1799 Simon Goodrich visited Whitmore's works, and recorded that it was powered by a waterwheel which drove turning and boring machines as well as 'a machine for cutting latge screws and several machines for grinding rollers cylindrical, besides some steel-polishing, button-making and thimble-making machinery.'[2]

1800 'Mr. Whitmore, of Birmingham, has made a machine to extract liquorice juice from the roots, which possesses the prodigious force of compressing three trusses of hay into the space of three inches!'[3]

1808 An advertisement in 'Bisset's Magnificent Guide or Grand Copper Plate Directory for the Town of Birmingham, 1808' shows a view of William Whitmore’s Manufactory. The Directory describes him as an 'Engineer and manufacturer of all Kinds of rolling and flatting Mills, Machines for weighing Barges, Boats, Waggons, &c., Engines, Lathes, Stamps, Presses and Lancashire Watch-tools &c.' [4]

In the early 19th century, Newhall Hill, Birmingham, was the site of extensive sandpits. The sand was used for building and as foundry moulding sand. The Whitmore Arm was a branch canal off the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal. William Whitmore owned a foundry alongside the new arm and was involved in building the Stratford Canal. [5]

Appointed Engineer to the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal, 23 January 1811 [6]

Responsible for Edstone Aqueduct and Wootton Wawen Aqueduct.

1819, 28 May: Assignment from William Whitmore, the elder of Aston, engineer, to William Whitmore, the younger of Birmingham, engineer, of leasehold land and premises in Lionel Street, and adjoining Newhall Street and Lionel Street.[7]

1819 September. William Whitmore died. At Aston Furnace, in his 72nd year, William Whitmore, formerly of Birmingham, 'an engineer of very considerable eminence'.[8]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Repertory of Arts, Manufactures, and Agriculture: Volume IX, 1798
  2. 'Support for the Fleet - Architecture and engineering for the Royal Navy's Bases 1700-1914' by Jonathan Coad, English Heritage, 2013
  3. Hampshire Chronicle - Monday 14 April 1800
  4. [1] 'Revolutionary Players' website
  5. [2] Newhall Square website
  6. 'A Biographical Dictionary of Civil Engineers', edited by A. W. Skempton, Thomas Telford Publishing, 2002
  7. [3] National Archives
  8. Oxford Journal - Saturday 18 December 1819