TitleJohnson Firth Brown Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield
AdminHistoryThomas Firth's was established in 1842 by Thomas Firth and his sons Mark and Thomas. Production began at small premises in Charlotte Street, Sheffield, specialising in high grade steels such as cutlery, shear and tool steels.

By 1852 Firth's had transferred all their steelmaking activity to the Norfolk Works, expanded premises at land purchased in Savile Street, Sheffield. Firth's Gun Works was completed in 1864 at a neighbouring site and the firm proceeded to establish a reputation for their market leading munitions production. The business was incorporated as Thomas Firth and Sons Limited on 15 June 1881.

Thomas Firth and John Brown Limited was founded in 1930 by the amalgamation of Thomas Firth and Sons Limited and the steel producing interests of John Brown and Company Limited. In 1962 Thomas Firth and John Brown Limited became the holding company and the main operating company became Firth Brown Limited.

Jessop-Saville Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield, joined the group in 1967 and were followed by others as the steel making industry underwent a process of rationalisation. The group merged with Richard Johnson and Nephew Limited, Steel and Wire and Cable Manufacturers, Manchester in 1973 to form Johnson and Firth Brown Limited.

In 1982 the company merged its steel making interests with the British Steel Corporation's River Don Works to form a new company - Sheffield Forgemasters. Forgemasters was eventually split and sold to American buyers. Johnson and Firth Brown Limited merged with Woodhouse and Rixson Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield in 1987 to form Firth Rixson PLC.

Firth Rixson PLC merged with Forged Metals Incorporated, Steel and Alloy Manufacturers, California, United States, in 2003 to form Firth Rixson Limited. In 2010 this company continued to operate works and offices on Meadowhall Road, Sheffield under the ownership of a United States private equity firm.
DescriptionX306/1 - Corporate and Management Records
X306/2 - Legal Records
X306/3 - Financial Records
X306/4 - Employment Records
X306/5 - Production and Sales Records
X306/6 - Plant and Property Records
X306/7 - Promotional Material
X306/8 - Research Records
X306/9 - Overseas Company Records
X306/10 - Trade Association Records
X306/11 - Records of Other Companies
X306/12 - Unidentified Items

The collection consists of the records of Johnson Firth Brown Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield and the following predecessor organisations:

Thomas Firth and John Brown Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield;
Thomas Firth and Sons Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield;
Thomas Firth and Sons, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield.

The collection does not include any material following the formation of Sheffield Foregemasters in 1982.

The records of Firth Brown Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (X307), John Brown and Company Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (X308), and other group and subsidiary companies are catalogued separately.
Date1784 - 1984


Extent2445 items
RelatedMaterialSee also:
Firth Brown Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (X307);
John Brown and Company Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (X308);
Richard Johnson and Nephew Limited, Wire and Cable Manufacturers, Manchester (X309);
Cocker Brothers Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (X310);
Leeds Fireclay Company Limited, Ceramic Manufacturers, Leeds (X311);
John Brown and Company Limited (Clydebank), Shipbuilders, Clydebank (X312);
Coventry Ordnance Works Limited, Ordnance Manufacturers, Coventry (X313);
Patent File and Tool Company Limited, File and Tool Manufacturers, Tooting (X314);
Thomas Wood and Son (Heckmondwike) Limited, Ceramic Manufacturers, Heckmondwike (X315);
The Trent Iron Company Limited, Iron Ore Miners and Processors, Scunthorpe (X316);
Firth-Brearley Stainless Steel Syndicate, Stainless Steel Licensors, Sheffield (X318);
Firth-Derihon Stampings Limited, Forged Component Manufacturers, Tinsley (X320);
The Davis Steel Wheel Company Limited, Steel Wheel Manufacturers (X321);
J. Nichol Limited (X322);
G. W. Lowe Limited, Machine Knife Manufacturers, Sheffield (X323);
Nitralloy Limited, Nitriding Licensors, Sheffield (X324);
Firth-Vickers Stainless Steels Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (X325);
St. Vincent Trust Limited, Investment Company, Glasgow (X327);
Thomas Firth and Sons (Birmingham) Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Birmingham (X328);
Park Gate Iron and Steel Company Limited, Iron and Steel Manufacturers, Rotherham (X329);
Greening Wire Company Limited, Wire Manufacturers, Warrington (X330);
N. Greening and Sons Limited, Wire Manufacturers, Warrington (X331);
Brymbo Steel Company Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Brymbo, Wrexham (X332);
Firth Brown Tools Limited, Tool Manufacturers, Sheffield (X333);
Firth Brown Steels Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (X334);
British Rollmakers Corporation Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Crewe (X335);
Firth Brown Engineers Limited, Engineers, Sheffield (X336);
K. E. I. (Holmer Green) Limited, Holmer Green, High Wycombe (X337);
W. B. White and Sons Limited, Textile Machinery Manufacturers, Colne (X338);
Greenings (Mechanisation) Limited, Engineers, Warrington (X339);
Lavite Limited (X340);
William Beardmore and Company Limited, Shipbuilders and Engineers, Glasgow (X341);
Weston-Evans (Holdings) Limited, Holding Company, Sheffield[?] (X342);
Lighting and Engineering Industries Limited, Sheffield (X343);
GKN Steel Limited, Steel Manufacturers (X344);
Midland Rollmakers Corporation, Cast Roll Manufacturers, Crewe (X345);
Nicholson and Rhodes Limited, Iron and Steel Maufacturers (X346);
John Rigby and Sons Limited, Wire Manufacturers, Low Moor, Bradford (X347);
Alloy Steel Rods Limited, Steel Rollers, Sheffield (X348);
Thomas Firth and John Brown Investments Limited, Investment Company, Sheffield (X349);
Hadura Products Limited, Forged Steel Roll and Extrusion Press Component Manufacturers, Sheffield (X350);
Jessop Saville Limited, Steel Manufacturers, Sheffield (X351);
GMS Computing Limited, Management Services Provider, Sheffield (X352);
Leeds Assets Limited, Investment Company, London and Sheffield (X353);
N. Greening (St. Helens) Limited, Wire Manufacturers, St. Helens (X354);
River Don Stampings Limited, Steel Stamping and Forming, Sheffield (X355);
Challenger Lighting Limited (X356);
United Sintering Limited (X357);
Firth Brown Castings Limited, Steel Casting Manufacturers, Scunthorpe (X358);
John Rigby (Redscar) Limited, Redscar (X359);
Amalgamated Industrials Holdings Limited (X360);
Woodhouse and Rixson (Holdings) Public Limited Company, Holding Company, Sheffield (X361);
Johnson Firth Brown (Exports) Limited, Export Services, Sheffield (X362);
Johnson Firth Brown (Works Trustees) Limited, Works Trustees Company, Sheffield (X363);
Firth Vickers Foundry Limited (X364);
Johnson Firth Brown Technology International Limited, Overseas Steel Manufacturing Technology Licensors, Sheffield (X365);
Miller and Company Limited, Steel Cast Roll Manufacturers, Edinburgh (X366);
R. B. Tennent Limited, Steel Cast Roll Manufacturers, Coatbridge (X367);
Glossop Superalloys Limited, Superalloy Manufacturers, Sheffield (X368);
George Oxley and Sons Limited, Ironfounders and Engineers, Sheffield (X369);
High Speed Steel Alloys Limited, Metal and Alloy Manufacturers, Widnes (X370);
Dalton Main Collieries Limited, Colliers, Parkgate, Rotherham (X371);
Rossington Main Colliery Company Limited, Colliers, Rossington (X372);
Cortonwood Colliery Limited, Colliers, Brampton Bierlow, Rotherham (X373).

John Wood and Sons Ltd, Thomas Firth and Sons Ltd, and M and J Wing Ltd, all of Sheffield (MD7580)
Firth Brown and Predecessors, Steel Manufacturer, Sheffield (MD7793);
Firth Brown Works (MD8150);
Plans of Firth Brown's East Forge (MD8190);
Papers of Harry Nicholson (MD8107);
Sheffield Steel Companies (X14);
Sheffield Steel Companies (X25);
Firth Brown Ltd, Steelmakers, Sheffield (X219)

Collections, including the Bombshell Magazine, 1917 - 1932 (052.74 S), at Sheffield Local Studies Library.
Collections, including an extensive photographic collection, at Kelham Island Museum.
CustodialHistoryThese records were deposited at Sheffield Archives via the Archivist at Cutlers Hall, Sheffield by Firth Rixson PLC in 1993. They had presumably remained in the custody of Firth Rixson PLC and its predecessors prior to this time.
AcquisitionSourceCutlers Hall, Sheffield, 3 Dec 1993.
ArchNoteCatalogue prepared by James Towe, Jul 2009 - Oct 2010.
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