RefNoX308
TitleJohn Brown and Company Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield
AdminHistoryJohn Brown first set up as a steel, files, and cutlery merchant in 1837 and later moved onto manufacturing his own steel, files and springs. Production began at a small works in Orchard Street, Sheffield and later larger premises in Furnival Street, Sheffield named the Atlas Steel Works.

In 1848 Brown patented the conical spring and buffer, a product which stopped railway carriages crashing together. This invention was to be the root of John Brown's success and by 1853 he had works in four districts of Sheffield. Processes were amalgamated following the purchase of the three acre Queens Works in Savile Street, Sheffield. The site was renamed the Atlas Steel and Spring Works and opened in 1856.

John Brown became one of the country's main producers of Bessemer Steel, adopting Henry Bessemer's new process to produce relatively cheap steel in large quantities. The business grew rapidly and was incorporated as John Brown and Company Limited on 1 Apr 1864, developing a particular reputation for armour and steel plate production and steel for rail manufacture. In 1899 John Brown's purchased J. and G. Thomson, Shipbuilders, Clydebank. John Brown Limited (Clydebank) would continue the production of ships there until the 1960s.
In 1930 the steel producing interests of the company were sold and transferred to Thomas Firth and Sons Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield, thus amalgamating the companies and works as Thomas Firth and John Brown Limited.
DescriptionX308/1 - Corporate and Management Records
X308/2 - Legal Records
X308/3 - Financial Records
X308/4 - Employment Records
X308/5 - Plant and Property Records
X308/6 - Promotional Material
X308/7 - Records of Other Companies
X308/8 - Records of The Coventry Syndicate

The collection consists of the records of John Brown and Company Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield as acquired by Johnson Firth Brown Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield.

Records following the merger with Thomas Firth and Sons Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield are catalogued separately as Johnson Firth Brown Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (X306).
Date1864 - 1980
Extent262 items
LanguageEnglish
AccessStatusOpen
LevelCollection
RelatedMaterialSee also:
Johnson Firth Brown Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (X306);
John Brown and Company Limited (Clydebank), Shipbuilders, Clydebank (X312).

John Brown and Company Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (MD8240);
Sheffield Steel Companies (X14);
Firth Brown Ltd, Steelmakers, Sheffield (X219);
And other collections at Sheffield Archives.
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