0 thoughts on “Gas Mask Distribution

  1. My wife is at present reading a book by Edith Cotterill “Nurse on Call”. In it there is a description of an explosion in 1922 on the 6th March & many children died as a result of there horrific burns. I was interested in searching for the event on your Tipton webstites but have no luck at present. The children were supposed to be emptying shells of gunpowder with an open fire nearby, probably from WW1.
    Can you confirm this is either fact or fiction, the book I presume is autobiographical because her picture does appear on one site. Many thanks & I hope you can aid me in my search, yours sincerely John Bird.

  2. I am in my sixties and remember my Grandmothers, born 1868 and 1889 respectively. I would like to thank you for all of the wonderful information provided on your website. My Grandmothers were born in the beating heart of 19th Century industrial Birmingham. I knew them from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. I felt that their lives were extremely hard and I knew some of their stories, but I gain more and more insight about the decision making attitudes and processes governing their housing, schooling and upbringing in a general sense from your site. The personal parts of their lives are illuminated by this background information. My Grandfather spent a huge portion of his life in All Saints Mental ‘Asylum’ at Winson Green. He died there. I am trying to discover sources of information and personal accounts of patients and workers at the hospital. Do you hold any information of that kind? Thank you for your valuable work.
    Best regards
    Pauline

  3. I am researching my daughter-in-law’s family, who were from the Black Country. Through a series of links–which may turn out to be coincidences–I think her 3g grandfather may have worked at the Highfield iron Works in Bilston before emigrating to the US. I would appreciate any help in finding out more about Highfield.

    Thank you.

    Marian Hill

  4. Do you have any information relating to the Anchor Iron Works that occupied the Engine Arm on the BCNS at Bridge Street, Smethwick prior to 1853?
    I do have some old family papers concerning that business that indicate that the iron works was started in 1838 on land purchased by my G.G. Grandfather.

  5. Interesting that of all the towns listed in your ‘tag cloud’ I see that one important and old town is missing – WEDNESBURY. This town has a grest history pertinent to the area and the country as a whole – it is older than most of the other towns in the tag as it is indexed in the Doomsday book – which is spelt incorrectly in your tag by the way.
    Wednesbury is one of the oldest parts of the Black Country. The “bury” part of the name indicates there may have been an Iron Age fort or “beorg” on Church Hill as long ago as 200BC, and the town was certainly a key defensive feature of the later, English kingdom of Mercia when it believed that Alfred the Great’s daughter, Ethelfleda, built a fort there as part of her defences against the Vikings. However, the ending “beorg”, meaning a fort, usually leads to modern place-names ending in “borough.” The ending “-bury” comes from the old English word “burgh” meaning a hill or barrow.[1] So “Wednesbury” may mean “Woden’s Hill” or “Woden’s barrow”.

    Historically Wednesbury was in the county of Staffordshire; in 1086, the Domesday Book describes Wednesbury (Wadnesberie) as being a thriving rural community encompassing Bloxwich and Shelfield (now part of Walsall). During the Middle Ages the town was a rural village, with each family farming a strip of land with nearby heath being used for grazing. The town was held by the King until the reign of Henry II, when it passed to the Heronville family.

    Mediaeval Wednesbury was very small, and its inhabitants would appear to have been farmers and farm workers. In 1315, coal pits were first found and recorded in Wednesbury, which led to an increase in the number of jobs offered there. Nail making was also in progress during these times. William Paget was born in Wednesbury in 1505, the son of a nail maker. He is noted as having risen to the position of Secretary of State, a Knight of the Garter and an Ambassador. He was one of executors of the will of Henry VIII.

    In the 17th century Wednesbury pottery – “Wedgbury ware” – was being sold as far away as Worcester, while white clay from Monway Field was used to make tobacco pipes.

    By the 18th century the town’s main occupations were coal mining[2] and nail making. With the introduction of the first turnpike road in 1727 and the development of canals and later the railways came a big increase in population.[2] In 1769, Wednesbury’s canal banks were soon full of factories as in this year, the first Birmingham Canal was cut to link Wednesbury’s coalfields to the Birmingham industries.
    Often nicknamed TubeTown due to a brilliant invention.
    Tubes were originally formed from an iron strip, or skelp as it was known, which was heated in small sections, a few inches at a time, in a conventional blacksmith’s fire. Each section was hammered into shape, each side of the seam being overlapped and hammered to form a weld. The whole process took a long time as many heatings and hammerings were required to form each length of tube. The process was expensive, and labour intensive. Many tube forgers were employed in the works, and the tubes were produced in lengths of around 4 feet.

    As a result of the primitive manufacturing techniques then in use, the industry couldn’t keep up with the growing demand for tubes, and so something had to be done to both increase the supply and reduce the manufacturing costs.

    The solution came in 1825 thanks to Cornelius Whitehouse who worked for Edward Elwell at Wednesbury Forge. He heated the whole strip in one go, in a hollow fire of the type used by the edge tool makers at the forge. He then shaped the strip and welded the edges of the seam in one operation by drawing it through a pair of semi-circular dies.
    During the process the tube was butt welded so that the edges of the seam were joined without an overlap. The process produced an accurately shaped tube with smooth inside and outside surfaces.

    The invention revolutionized the industry because for the first time tubes could be made quickly, cheaply, and in longer lengths. Originally a man could produce around 25 four foot lengths in a day, but now the same man could produce 200 eight foot lengths in the same time. As a result Crown Works now led the industry and became well known throughout the world.
    Crown Works retained its dominant place in the industry in spite of other large UK manufacturers, and exported its products to many countries including France, Germany and Russia.