By Edgar Jones
This can be the tale of a massive employer. It describes the transformation of a small partnership, shaped in 1759, into a world workforce, the dimensions of whose various actions has demanded the construction of a multi-divisional constitution, supported by way of many professional departments. the most longeval of Britain's present production businesses, GKN's background might be interpreted as a special and revealing perception into Britain's business event over previous centuries.
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Additional resources for A History of GKN: Volume 1 Innovation and Enterprise, 1759–1918
Reader, Imperial Chemical Industries, A History, Vol. 1, Oxford (1970), Vol. 2, Oxford (1975). , London (1954), Vol. 3, London (1968). e. Barker, The Glassmakers, London (1977). W. Ferrier, The History of British Petroleum, Vol. B. Corley, A History of the Burmah Oil Company, London (1983). W. Flinn, The History of the Coal Industry 1700-1830, Vol. 2, Oxford (1984). Peter L. Payne, Colvilles and the Scottish Steel Industry, Oxford (1979). Part I Iron in South Wales, 1759-1850 1 The Guests and Foundations at Merthyr, 1759-93 The Dowlais Iron Works was established at Dowlais, near Merthyr Tydfil, in September 1759 when a partnership was formed between a group of merchants and ironmasters to construct a single blast furnace.
J (1859) I '------1(1873) Penydarren Iron Co. (1784) Cyfarthfa Iron Co (1765) Dowlals Iron Co (1759) & Nettlefolds (1874) (1865) Chamberlain I Nettlefold (1898) I Nettlefolds Ltd (1880) I British Screw Co Ltd (1891) __~ Manchester Steel Screw Co Ltd. Lloyd & Hamson John Cornforth's Wire & Nail Works ~---------r--------L-~ I Birmingham Screw Co. Ltd. S. Nettlefold (c. , ::i. INTRODUCTION xxxvii subsequently took over. There was a considerable measure of geographical contiguity about the three companies which merged to form GKN: both the Dowlais Iron Co.
Thomas (b. 1729), his brother, was engaged at Dowlais for many years until his death, while his two sons, Charles and George (b. 1759), who both worked as moulders,57 gained experience at Dowlais before returning to Broseley. In addition, George Guest's two sons, also named George and Charles, sought employment at Dowlais, the former as a clerk in the forge, and the latter as a moulder. Robert Guest (b. 1738), younger brother of John, worked there, as did his three sons: Cornelius (a master refiner), Thomas (a mechanic, who later left for the Midlands), and William (a moulder).