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Old 23rd September 2017, 10:20 PM   #20
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Tyneside. North-East England
Posts: 130
Default rolling mills etc

Hello Jim. I am sure that you are correct and it was a rolling mill they were referring-to.
I am equally puzzled as to why WKC in Solingen needed to buy a patent from us Brits; hence my following it up. However, the vexed subject of 'Luddites' is ever present when talking about Solingen, as I'm certain the introduction of machines was one of the main reasons why the sword-smiths were allowed to leave so easily.
Of course, Solingen is a Catholic city, so maybe it was the Lutherans that were surplus to requirements when the machines came along. That is what they were you know; they even brought a Lutheran preacher to Shotley Bridge with them: a fact I only discovered a couple of days ago when searching the archives of the museum that originally held Lord Gort's collection of swords in permanent display. There is nothing at Hamsterly Hall now, nor has there been for thirty years at least; Lord Gort left his collection to said museum in his will; I discovered that talking to the new owners of the hall many years ago.
Still, on that note, I'm scheduled to visit many of our manor-houses and inhabited castles, as we have an abundance, as I'm sure you are aware. I know a few of the local aristos which gets my foot in the door: Alnwick Castle, for example, has a huge armoury, and Mr. Percy is always looking for fundraising ideas now Mr. Potter has retired.
In reference to Aylward's mention of the Hollow Blade Co. at Hounslow: I am certain this is an error.
The Germans at SB initially used local iron ore – there are an abundance of old mines known locally as the German Bands – but soon switched to Swedish imports before eventually using Dan Hayward, which is what Sir Ambrose Crowley was doing as well.
With regard to Hounslow: according to one source, the latest 'dated' Hounslow blade known is 1637 (that needs corroborating), but deliveries from William Walker, who owned a mill at Hounslow, were still on-going in 1660 when he supplied the Board of Ordnance with 1,000 Hangers for sea service. In 1674, Peter Munsten (English) and Henry Hoppe (the elder) approached the London Cutlers Company intending to establish a hollow ground sword blade factory in Hounslow, but nothing happened. Apparently, there was almost no output from Hounslow by 1675.
I certain that the initial enterprise at SB in 1685 with Hoppe, Dell and Henekels was for hollow blade small-swords (they had brought their German grinding engine with them after-all) but the demand for military blades that subsequently materialised meant that the extra 19 families were brought over. I don't think secrecy was required to protect their processes – the Germans had been keeping their secrets safe for over a hundred years, since the Greenwich arsenal began – I think it was to allow them to supply both sides during the Jacobite rebellions; and allow Mohll to beef-up productivity by bringing in Solingen stock. It's quite probable that the death of the Earl of Derwentwater in 1716 may have put paid to their cash cow.
The search goes ever on and on…
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