Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Frederick Smith and Co

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June 1898.
August 1899.
January 1902.
Dec 1921.
January 1923.

of Caledonia Works, Halifax

of Anaconda Works, St. Simon Street, Salford, 3, Lancashire (now Greater Manchester). Telephone: Blackfriars 8701. Telegraphic Address: "Anaconda, Manchester"

1859 Established in Halifax for the manufacture of copper and steel wire[1] by Frederick Smith

Products included fencing wire and later telegraph and telephone wire.

1864 Frederick's brother, Matthew returned to Halifax and joined the management of the business.

By 1866 the company was employing 100 men and boys, produced 1,500 tons of wire each year and dumped lime and sulphuric acid into the Hebble Brook!

1868 Frederick Smith died

1880 Matthew Smith died; the business was continued by his son George

1896 Caledonia Wire Works was established by the Frederick Smith company in the centre of Halifax.

1897 Company incorporated when the copper department was moved to Salford. The name of the company became Frederick Smith and Co. Wire Manufacturers Ltd

Around this time the Halifax wire-making operation became Frederick Smith and Co. Wire Manufacturers Ltd, whilst the Frederick Smith and Co Ltd business at Salford concentrated on copper wire (see advert).

1909 Merger of the Salford operation with the London Electric Wire Co to form the London Electric Wire Co and Smiths Ltd[2]

1935 See Frederick Smith and Co:1935 Review

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Bare Copper, Cadmium-Copper and Bronze Wires, Strips, Rods, Bars, Rectangles and Special Sections for all electrical purposes. Trolley Wire. Transmission Lines. Telegraph Wires, Lightning Conductors. Earthing Rods. Fuse Wires. (Stand No. Cb.610)

By 1957 the 4 companies were marketing their products in a coordinated fashion: London Electric Wire Co and Smiths, Frederick Smith and Co, Liverpool Electric Cable Co, Vactite Wire Co (see advert)

1959 Acquired by AEI Cables

As a subsidiary of Associated Electrical Industries (AEI), Frederick Smith and Co, bought copper on behalf of the AEI cablemaking companies as well as for its own use.

1973-74 Smiths supplied a total of 42,700 tonnes of copper rod, wire and strip to UK cable and covered wire manufacturers, of which 22,500 tonnes were supplied to AEI companies other than London Electric Wire Co (LEW) and its subsidiaries, and 15,200 tonnes to LEW companies. Smiths supplied the bulk of AEI Cables's copper requirements in the form of copper rod on terms negotiated from time to time.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Dec 09, 1919
  2. The Times, Dec 09, 1919