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Manufacturers Index - John Wild & Co., Ltd.

John Wild & Co., Ltd.
Oldham, England, U.K.
Manufacturer Class: Wood Working Machinery & Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Nov 3 2018 4:30PM by Jeff_Joslin
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John Wild, born near Manchester in 1862, trained with his father as a blacksmith, and then worked for a colliery machine shop. It appears that while he work working there, probably 1882, he developed a new "hauling engine", a steam-driven winch or hoist. In 1883 he struck out on his own, opening a colliery engineering firm in Chadderton, a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, where his hauling engine proved to be a successful product. That firm was, at least latterly, John Wild & Co. In 1889 he had outgrown his factory and so he took in investors and reorganized as John Wild & Co., Ltd., operating the considerably larger Falcon Iron Works in Oldham. Besides continuing the making of hauling engines, he added a line of other products, including woodworking machinery—bandsaws, tablesaws and planers. Wild died in 1895 and the business seems to have wound down shortly afterward.

From 1892-09-17 Timber and Wood Working Machinery

Information Sources

  • Research on this maker is considerably complicated by there being multiple John Wilds in Oldham between 1850 and 1910. A biography written for the Institute of Mechanical Engineers confirmed that our John Wild lived 1862-1895, which eliminates a number of other data points.
  • 1889 The Chemical Trade Journal. "John Wild and Company, Limited.—This company was registered on the 23rd ult., with a capital of £10,000, in £5 shares, to carry on business as mechanical and electrical engineers. The subscribers are J. H. Fisher, Old, yarn agent; John Wild, Oldham, mechanical engineer; J. S. Halton, Greenfield, near Oldham, cotton spinner; J. Prockter, Oldham, draper; James Wild, Farnsworth, near Manchester, draper; and R. S. Collinge, Werneth-park, Oldham, cotton spinner." Each of the subscribers had 1 share.
  • 1890-04-11 Engineering has an article on the "Semi portable hauling engine" from John Wild and Co., Limited, of Oldham.
  • The 1890 book, Mining and Ore-dressing Machinery
  • 1893-02-25 Timber and Wood Working Machinery.

    Messrs. John Wild And Co., of Oldham.—Visit to the Works.

    A visit was recently paid, says an Oldham newspaper, to Falcon Ironworks, Ashton Road, the extensive machinery works of Messrs. John Wild and Co., Limited. Leaving the offices, the party first visited the machine erecting room on the ground floor, which was found to be well arranged, and containing some of the latest patents of machines in course of erection. The first one viewed was one of Fairbairn’s patent screw rolling machines, specially designed for making screws for wood such as railway sleepers. This machine, when completed, will be sent to Russia. The second was a portable hauling and winding machine, designed for underground work, such as collieries, &c., and one made to withstand rough work. These are so simple that they can be fixed and handled by unskilled workmen, and moved about the mine. A large number of these machines are at present working in the South Wales collieries. A horizontal boring machine was also viewed with great interest. Here were two large cranes used for lifting machines on the lorries prior to being delivered. The next room visited was the pattern storeroom, which contained patterns of all descriptions. On leaving this place the visitors inspected the room in which machines for wood cutting and planing are made. Here an improved hand power feed planing machine was seen. There were seen quite a large number of different kinds of machines for wood work being erected, such as double panel planing machines, side planing machines, wood boring machines, all suitable for joiners and cabinet makers. The horizontal board cutting machine, is specially designed for cutting up valuable wood, such as walnut, mahogany, 62:. Only one board is cut at once from the (log, thereby allowing the workman to see the full development of the grain as the timber is being sawn. A machine which is in in demand is the band-saw machine. This machine is fitted with improved pulleys of cycle pattern, which are accurately balanced, and have their rims covered with India rubber, so as to form an elastic bed for the saw. A great feature of this machine is that no screw keys are required. The visitors were also shown two patent governors that had been on view at the Midland Ironworks Exhibition. Instead of the central weight a spiral spring is employed, and as the valve lowers the spring is compressed. The next room visited was the pattern room, and we may here say that the directors intend building a foundry of their own to do their castings. The visit throughout was both enjoyable and instructive.

  • 1895 Proceedings - Institution of Mechanical Engineers lists members, including "1890. Wild, John, Falcon Iron Works, Oldham." Elsewhere in the volume is the following biography.
    JOHN WILD was born at Moston near Manchester on 22nd April 1862. He was early at work in his father’s smithy, after which he obtained a situation with a firm of colliery proprietors in the district, and was appointed foreman in his department at the age of nineteen. In 1883 he commenced business in colliery engineering for himself at Chadderton, and designed a hauling engine with special valve-gear and balanced valves, now well known in all colliery districts. After a few years the works became too small; and in 1889, in order to meet the increasing demands for his special work, the commodious premises of the Falcon Iron Works in Oldham were secured. These have since been considerably extended to meet the growing demand for hauling and winding engines, air compressors, and colliery engineering work in general. He was managing director, and had full control of the business up to the time of his death, which took place at Oldham on 6th March 1895, in his thirty-third year. He became a Member of this Institution in 1890."
  • 1896-03-27 The Practical Engineer has an article on "Appliances for the prevention of overwinding at collieries". It says, "In the Transactions of the Manchester Geological Society of the year 1859 vol. ii.) appears a description of an appliance which had been devised by John Wild, of Oldham, and which had regularly worked at the Saccharine Lane Colliery for about six years 'without any mishap,...". It is likely the "1859" should have been "1889", which aligns with Wild developing his hauling engine and then he opened his business in Chadderton in 1883.
  • 1896-07-07 The London Gazette, in an article of court proceedings. "Under a Deed of Assignment dated the 31st day of March 1896 re Isaac Wild of 72 Abbey Hills road Oldham in the county of Lancaster and Thomas Beaumont Shepherd of 141 Edge Lane-road Oldham aforesaid lately trading together in copartnership as Cotton Spinners and Cotton Waste Dealers under the style or firm of John Wild and sons at Brighton Mills and Brown-street in Oldham aforesaid..."
  • Grace's Guide page on John Wild & Co. At the time of writing, the Grace's Guide entry has conflated the different John Wilds in the Oldham area, e.g., the John Wild involved in cotton spinning is a different person.