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1 - Mather & Platt Limited - by Marcel A. Boschi & John F. Taylor



                                            The History of Mather & Platt Limited 

                                                            Pioneers & Engineers

  "Integrity & Industry"   


Welcome  2001 - 2021
                                                                  Site launched July 2001                                                                                   


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                                                                                                                                Science Collection Museum Group Manchester

                                                                                                                                                       Mather & Platt Ltd.

Introduction -                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            
I live in France. I have assembled this material in order to this site illustrates and records the famous history of Mather & Platt Limited, an engineering company of British origin whose headquarters and factories were located in Newton Heath, Manchester, England and where in France - especially my father Ernest Boschi - with a long career 44 years, has been General Manager of the French factories Mather & Platt S.A., Fire engineering at Roubaix. I was born in 1934 in this city where like Bradford in England it was one of the world centers of wool and cotton industries. Roubaix had, at that time, many flourishing factories. My studies finished, I started the preparation of my  professional career at Mather & Platt, by a company internship. I received training in the field of fire protection of standard and special risks of many and various industrial sites, high speciality of Mather & Platt. After this interesting experience, in 1955 I joined "L'Union", the French leader in insurance, which in 1968 became "L'UAP". It was for me a long career of 39 years, at 60 years in February 1994, I was became retired. I was member of the corps of the General Inspection and exercised different managing responsibilities in France. During the following months, a merger between UAP and AXA took place to create one of the world's leading insurance groups in assets under management.

The company, Mather and Platt was well known and highly regarded, since 1884 in "Hauts de France", with Lille - Roubaix - Tourcoing, the most important textile center in France.The demise of the textile industry was - for these cities as for so many European centers - a severe shock to the local economy and practically no textile facilities subsist more in the region. Over the years, the main, the old factories and workers' houses was demolished in Lille, Roubaix and Tourcoing, It was also the case of Mather & Platt at Roubaix, like  Park-Works with its emblematic tower at Newton-Heath, Manchester. 

 Marcel Boschi Historian 
 M+P Ltd. Manchester (U.K) 
   About the transmission of the Cultural Heritage Memory - 

There is a duty to transmit the memory of cultural heritage, our contemporary society is in crisis, the act of transmission is abandoned, the younger generations are deprived of this necessary contribution, some believe that globalization would be the cause. The development of the internet has dramatically changed the ways in which people communicate on a global level. We are experiencing a culture change that is changing the way we think, live, do, change our customs and habits. A question arises, how can a society that has received nothing, transmit what it has not received, to the next generation..

   Acknowledgements - 

In telling this story it has proved impossible to mention, all the names of employees of Mather & Platt Limited who have contributed to the success of the business. This is partly because it is often invidious to select certain names from among the rest since it is difficult to collect information about some worthy people who left their mark on the fortunes of the firm over fifty years ago or in the more remote periods of its history. Yet it was the efforts of these individuals who made this story possible, for economic progress was not achieved anonymously or automatically. The company has grown as a result of the loyalty and service of its directors, staff and work people, each of whom had their own story to tell.

I have to thank so many people for helping with the compilation of the material for this history, for telling their own stories and for placing invaluable information at our disposal. These people are so numerous that it would be invidious to mention them all by name. The Chairmen, the directors, the managers, the staff, the foremen and the workers, have all helped us to learn much of Mather & Platt Limited, not only as it was, but as it is in the middle of the twentieth century.in France. 

As a result of the pioneering work on fire protection being carried out in England by companies such as Dowson,Taylor & Company Limited. and Mather & Platt Limited both of Manchester, and by  Frederick Grinnell 's company in America, from 1883 on wards, thousands of Grinnell type fire sprinklers were installed in these factories to reduce the risk of fire damage to both plant and product and in order to safeguard the workforce. Eventually a fully-fledged the French company. Mather & Platt S.A., was established in France in 1921, under the Chairmanship of Sir John Wormald. 

I acknowledge a variety of internet sources. In addition to my own special collection, I am especially grateful for access to Mather & Platt Ltd. and Dowson, Taylor & Co.Ltd. memorabilia, archives and associated material. I appreciate the generous support of staff at S.A. Mather & Platt in France, Wormald Ansul (U.K.) and Weir Pumps Ltd. in Manchester, England, of members of the Mather & Platt Long Service Association and of former employees of Mather & Platt Ltd..I am especially grateful to my old friend, John F.Taylor, former director and executive officer of the company Mather & Platt Ltd, my friend Peter Mather, Mather families, Peter Jones, President of LSAMP, Norman Ellison, Secretary of LSAMP in England and to the Grinnell family in America, my friends Helen Grinnell-KIng, great-granddaughter of Frederick Grinnell, and Larry Grinnell, Secretary and Webmaster of the web site of the Grinnell Family Association of   America and also of the participation of my friend David Drew-Smythe, the great-grandson of Sir John Wormald to the production of this website, died on May 3rd 2012 in Sydney. I would be delighted to hear from anyone with stories to tell or historical documents and items relating to these old  and great companies and their managers, engineers and employees.

I can be contacted by my mail address : marcel.boschi@orange.fr


                                                                                                                                                           Brabyns Iron Bridge   

Today the Brabyns Iron Bridge is a listed structure of national importance. As the only known surviving cast iron bridge of its kind in the Northwest it is now a unique example and is of particular importance because it has remained intact since its original construction without alteration or significant loss of fabric. The bridge survived in daily use with minimal maintenance until 1990, when a structural survey determined that it was at risk. 

In 1991 a Bailey bridge was erected across it as a temporary measure, allowing it to remain intact until the funds could be found to conduct proper repairs." www.marple-uk.com/ironbridge/construction.htm"At the turn of the 19th century the Salford Iron Works was a substantial Iron Foundry operated by James Bateman and William Sherratt. Their association with Wright began when they supplied him with a pumping engine for one of his coalmines in 1795. Sherratt was an engineer of considerable repute and it is easy to imagine him telling his friend Wright that he could build him a bridge of iron that would impress his peers. In 1813 he did just that when he constructed the slender and elegant cast iron carriage bridge with a personalised ‘W’ motif for Wright on his Brabyns estate. Despite sharing some similarities in design with several other cast iron bridges of the time this is the only one of its kind known to have been built by the Salford Iron Works.

                                                            The partnership of William & Colin Mather, father of Mather & Platt Ltd.


                                                                                                                                                                                        Salford Iron Works  

 The company had its origin in the early days of the nineteenth century when the first Mather in whom we are interested started a roller turning business in Salford. It had been in existence about fifty years when the partnership of William and Colin Mather changed the firm into Mather & Platt through the arrival on the scene of William Wilkinson Platt.

The origin of the firm; the change to the partnership of Mather & Platt and the formation of the public company by the union of Mather & Platt with the firm of Dowson, Taylor & Company Limited, are the most important landmarks in the story. A story of the growth of what started out as a small north-country millwright’s works devoted mainly to the production of textile finishing machinery, into a large scale general engineering organisation with world wide ramifications.

This story is far more than a tale of technical progress or the conquest of new markets, for in the course of its long history the company has acquired a tradition and an international reputation, which can now be counted amongst the biggest of its assets. It is hoped that the history of Mather & Platt will prove to be of interest not only to the shareholders, directors and workers but to a much wider circle of readers because it throws light on both local and national history as a whole, particularly in the social and economic fields.

 At this stage we must turn our attention to another partnership which affects our history, it is the Dowson-Taylor partnership which brief reference has already been made and which later amalgamated with Mather & Platt. The central figure in this part of the story is John Taylor, who was destined to become, for nearly 35 years, Managing Director and Vice Chairman of Mather & Platt Limited.

In 1888, Dowson and Taylor, a firm which had been installing automatic sprinkler systems and had just started  to buy “Grinnell” sprinklers from Mather and Platt, the selling rights of which William (later Sir) Mather had acquired from Frederick Grinnell in 1883, was turned into a private company to take over the sprinkler department of Mather and Platt and to merge it with Dowson and Taylor. The new company was called Dowson, Taylor and Co Ltd   with Ralph Dowson, John Taylor and John Wormald as Managing directors, William Mather as non-executive Chairman and John Platt as a non-executive director. The Dowson and Taylor firm that had moved from Bolton to Blackfriars Bridge, Manchester had for some years been interested in fire fighting devices with their own “Simplex” sprinkler and patented alarm valve and had entered into an agreement with Mather and Platt to buy “Grinnell” sprinklers and use them in place of their own “Simplex” sprinkler. The success of this venture was calculed to make William Mather less sceptical in considering a general changeover in the status of the Mather & Platt partnership

In 1892, he agreed to form Mather & Platt into a private limited company with a capital of £40,000. The first directors were, William Mather, John Platt, Dr. Edward Hopkinson, who had managed the Electrical  Department since its foundation, and Hardman Earle, who was also connected with the Electrical Department. The funds of the company were increased by the private issue of mortgage debentures to members of the family. So certain were the directors that there would be no change in the constitution of the private company, that these debentures were issued as “irredeemable” and a “first charge on the works”.

As we have now introduced the principal characters who were concerned with the decision of 1898 to amalgamate Dowson, Taylor & Co. Ltd. with Mather & Platt to form a new public limited Company called Mather & Platt Limited. The new public company was floated on the stock  exchange on 25th January 1899 with the object of purchasing for shares and cash the two business of Dowson, Taylor & Co. Ltd  and Mather & Platt, with the old firms going into voluntary liquidation. At the time of the amalgamation the turnover and profits of both of the firms were about equal. It is fitting that we should at this point include an extract from the Chairman’s address at the first meeting of the directors of the new company. A minute of the Board meeting held on 25th January 1899, reads: -

"Each firm had been successful in the past and there was every reason to expect that in the future they, as a united firm, would continue to prosper, but the Chairman reminded the Board that the union of the two firms must be looked upon very much like a marriage; They took each other “for better or worse”, “for richer or poorer” and, as in marriage, the future very much depended upon the mutual consideration, forbearance and regard of all members of the Company towards one another. Each one must look to the future with the intention of doing his best to maintain the traditions of the past….”

The capital was fixed at £775,000 - 37,500 preference shares of £10 each and 40,000 ordinary shares of £10 each. The preference shares were entitled to a cumulative dividend. of 5%, and upon a distribution of assets to have the capital paid up on them, plus a premium of 10 shillings a share, repaid in priority to the ordinary shares. 37,500 of the ordinary shares and 10,800 of the preference shares were issued as fully paid in part consideration for the sale of the business. The remaining 2,500 ordinary shares were reserved, to meet applications from certain employees of the Company. Of the preference shares 5,000 were reserved for issue as and when required for further extensions of the business, and the balance of 21,700 5% cumulative preference shares was offered for subscription. 



                                                                                                                                                  Newton Heath - Park Works                                  

                                                                                                   Factory workers going to work at the Mather & Platt, Manchester, in the snow  "Going to Work

Former employee, Tommy Walsh (see "The People Write" via Features Menu) writing before the site was demolished in the 1990s remembers Park Works in 1940 when "I used to pass it on the bus. As a young man I was intrigued by the camouflage painted on the walls. Even to this day you can make out the doors and windows that were painted on the buildings to confuse the enemy. It was years later when it struck me that if the enemy was aware that our factories were camouflaged as houses, then houses would become legitimate targets. If our government saw it this way, I don't suppose we will ever know. The other thing that made me think later was that it must have been very good paint to last nearly sixty years in all sorts of weather.

There is a painting of the main entrance of Mather & Platt in the War Museum in London; painted in about 1940, I think, by L. S. Lowry. It depicts the match-like figures going through the main gate of the factory and the painting also shows barrage balloons in the background."

Laurence Stephen Lowry was born in Manchester in 1887. The theme of the industrial landscape first emerged in his work around 1915; at this time he had his first exhibition at Salford art gallery. He lived in Pendlebury in Salford for 39 years, and worked as a Rent Collector and Clerk for the Pall Mall Company Ltd. in Manchester. The landscapes Lowry chose to record were very familiar to him as his position as Rent Collector and Clerk ensured that he had first-hand experience of many of the areas around Manchest

1978 - Wormald International acquire Mather & Platt Ltd. in a massive global take-over. 

The company's history was next punctuated by the global take-over by the Australian born, Wormald International, at which point its name was changed to M+P Wormald.              
Later in 1978, the The name of the company in France was very soon changed to Mather+Platt Wormald. The Wormald element stemmed, ironically, from two of Sir John Wormald's own brothers who had set up - with his guidance - a similar company in Australia during the first decade of the century. The venture was originally called Wormald Brothers, growing through the century into an international concern, boasting by 1987 a turnover of some Au$1.5 billion before it also found itself swallowed up in the maelstrom of 1980s corporate raiding. After the Grinnell Fire Protection Co. is a part of Tyco International Ltd. 
1990 - Tyco-International merge Wormald International 

This new conglomerate is a highly diversified global company that provides thousands of products and services vitally important to residential and commercial customers. Those products range from electronic security and alarm monitoring to fire-fighting equipment and breathing apparatus, and from water purification and flow control solutions to galvanize steel tubes and armoured wire and cable. Tyco International is composed of five business segments: ADT Worldwide, Fire Protection Services, Safety Products, Flow Control Electrical & Metal Products. As one of the world's leading employers, Tyco employs more than 110,000 people in over 60 countries. Tyco has more than $18 billion in annual revenue with leading brands in high-growth industries. Every day, we help make the world safer and more secure.

                                                                                                                                 Park Office and Park Works France TRAPPES in 1995

2017 - Johnson and Tyco merge  

Johnson Controls, a global multi-industrial company, and Tyco, a global fire and security provider, have combined to create Johnson Controls International plc, a global leader in building products and technology, integrated solutions and energy storage.

This merger brings together best-in-class product, technology and service capabilities across controls, fire, security, HVAC, power solutions and energy storage, to serve various end markets including large institutions, commercial buildings, retail, industrial, small business and residential.

 Click to visit the site.

George R Oliver 

Chairman/CEO, Johnson Controls International PLC and the importance of Milwaukee to the company. click to visit the site : Fire Suppression

George R. Oliver is chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls. Prior to becoming CEO on Sept. 1, 2017, he served as president and chief operating officer with responsibility for the company’s operating businesses and leading the integration of Johnson Controls and Tyco following their September 2016 merger.

Oliver previously served as chief executive officer of Tyco and as a member of its Board of Directors from September 2012 through the September 2016 merger with Johnson Controls. He joined Tyco in July 2006 as president of Tyco Safety Products and assumed additional responsibility as president of Tyco Electrical & Metal Products from 2007 through 2010. He was appointed president of Tyco Fire Protection in 2011.

Prior to Tyco, Oliver had a more than 20-year career with General Electric (GE), where he served in operational roles of increasing responsibility in several divisions, including as president and chief executive officer of GE Water and Process Technologies and president and chief executive officer of GE Engine Services, as well as previous leadership roles in GE's Aircraft Engines and Appliances divisions.

Oliver serves on the Board of Directors of Raytheon Company, a technology and innovation leader specializing in defense and other government markets throughout the world. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees. Oliver earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he serves as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Headshot of George R Oliver
George R Oliver 
Chairman/CEO, Johnson Controls International PLC 

                                                                                         Mather & Platt Limited

                                                                                    Portrait  Gallery            

Marcel Boschi

Marcel Boschi

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William Mather

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Frederick Grinnell

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Henry S. Parmelee

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Sir William Mather

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Ralph Dowson

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John Taylor

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Pr. Osborne Reynolds

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Dr. Edward Hopkinson

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Sir John Wormald

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Joseph D. Wormald

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  Harry P. Wormald

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Russell Grinnell


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Fred Dowson

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John Platt

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Edward Roberts

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James Robinson

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  Martin Cox

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Sir Clement B. Simpson

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  Noel Taylor

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  Loris Mather

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Robert Hilton

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Sydney Potter

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Baron F. de Bellet

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Herbert North

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Ernest Boschi

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Lucien Woindrich

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Eustace Balfour

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General Sir William Platt

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F.E. (Ted) Williams

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John F. Taylor

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Sir William L. Mather

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Roy Crago Mather

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Peter Jones

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Albert Lambert

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Leslie Heaviside

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Norman Ellison


Portrait Gallery  2002


                                                                                                                     Sir William Mather - biography and 80th Birthday tribute.                                  

   Published in 1918 in the company Journal.                 

"Sir William Mather, son of William senior, was born on July 15,1838, John Street, in Manchester. He was primarily educated privately and subsequently in Germany which may, to some extent, account for the    keen interest.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

It is refreshing, therefore, to find that his wife was also honoured by Sir William's company, Mather & Platt, when she died soon after him, on November 10th 1921. The following text was published in the company Journal of January 1922 and it clearly shows the affection with which Lady Mather was regarded by so many people and how interdependent she and Sir William were during their lives.On completing his scholastic career he immediately identified himself with the Salford Iron Works and, at the age of 24, was admitted into partnership. In 1872 Sir William, then of course, Mr. Mather, took over the entire management of the concern, the older partners subsequently retiring altogether from the business. Sir William continued in office until June 1916, when he resigned the chairmanship of the company, to be succeeded in this position by his son, Mr. (then Captain) L. E. Mather.

Apart from the high position Sir William held in the commercial life of the community, his whole career has been caracterised by his great interest in public affairs and any scheme that had for its object the uplifting and elightintment of humanity always found - and still finds - in him a hearty and liberal supporter.                                                    When quite a young man, Sir William founded in Salford what is known as the Queen Street Institute, where a   free kindergarten was established for boys under seven years of age, which Institute soon became one of the centres of religious, temperance and educational work in the district. He was for a time a member of the Salford School Board and also of the Salford Council, during which time he largely interested himself in housing and lso in the question of open spaces and playgrounds for children.                                                                                                                                                                                   

For more than two generations his interest in educational and social matters has been untiring, and many institutions both at home and abroad readily acknowledge the debt they owe to him. He has travelled extensively in the United States, Canada, Russia, Egypt and the Continent - his invariable intention being to promote goodwill and a better understanding between the people of this country and those whom he visited.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Sir William has also done good service for his fellow citizens in the House of Commons, where he sat for varying periods between 1885 and 1904, and in 1902 he received the honour of knighthood as a recognition of his services. Later, in 1910, he achieved the dignity of being made a Privy Councillor.  As an employer Sir William has always been held in the highest esteem. In 1893 he inaugurated a 48 hours' working week which has been proved a boon to   the workers, and although at the time this was looked upon as a somewhat daring innovation, this generous and far-sighted action set an example which was  followed by others, not only in engineering but in many trades.          We take the liberty of quoting from an address presented to Sir William by the employees of M&P on the occasion of his 80th birthday.    

"In memory of your son, Ernest - who had so endeared himself to all who came in contact with him - eight years ago you established a fund which each year    assists many of the workers to take a holiday during the summer months which has proved of real value, and enabled many to secure some relaxation with their families in country surroundings which they otherwise would have had to forego. This most generous action and the continuous encouragement and support you have given to everything conducing to our social and physical welfare and the improvement of the conditions under which the workers live have been much appreciated, and will always be borne in grateful remembrance by us"                                                                                                                         

Sir William resides mainly at his home at Bramshaw in the New Forest and our respects are tendered to him and Lady Mather, together with our sincere wishes for their good health and general well-being."  He died within two years of this tribute.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

                                                                                            Lady Mather (Emma Jane Watson)  

His wife, (Lady Mather) survived him by less than two he has all along taken in the question of higher education - as is the rule on the Continent.

She married William Mather in 1863 when he was 25 years old. When her husband, by then Sir William Mather - entrepreneur, industrialist, educationalist and  humanitarian - died at the age of 82, in 1920, he did so as a man both esteemed and celebrated for his life's work. In death, he was dignified by royalty,  by commoners and by countries; above all, he was honoured by his company.    

So often, when the partner in a life-long relationship - where one of them is a successful public figure - is the first to die, he or she receives accolades and a grand obituary. The surviving partner is left to the remains of the day with a host of memories, a drawer full of tributes and sincere condolences from all quarters - then eventually leaves life quietly with none of the publicity accorded to the first to die. It wasn't quite that way for Emma Jane Watson for she did not fade away unnoticed nor was her contribution to life unrecorded and forgotten.

She married William Mather in 1863 when he was 25 years old. When her husband, by then Sir William Mather - entrepreneur, industrialist, educationalist and humanitarian - died at the age of 82, in 1920, he did so as a man both esteemed and celebrated for his life's work. In death, he was dignified by royalty, by commoners and by countries; above all, he was honoured by his company.

                                                                                                            John Platt                                                                                                  


"Each firm had been successful in the past and there was every reason to expect that in the future they, as a united firm, would continue to prosper, but the Chairman reminded the Board that the union of the two firms must be looked upon very much like a marriage; They took each other “for better or worse”, “for richer or poorer” and, as in marriage, the future very much depended upon the mutual consideration, forbearance and regard of all members of the Company towards one another. Each one must look to the future with the intention of doing his best to maintain the traditions of the past….”

As we have now introduced the principal characters who were concerned with the decision of 1898 to amalgamate Dowson, Taylor & Co. Ltd. with Mather & Platt to form the public limited Company of Mather & Platt Limited, it is fitting that we should at this point include an extract from the Chairman’s address at the first meeting of the directors of the new Company. A minute of the Board meeting held on 25th January 1899, reads: 

 Incorporation :   https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/00060387/filing-history?page=10 

The death of John Platt, on 10th June 1927, in a nursing home in London, at the age of seventy-nine, saw the end of an era. He was the last survivor of the original pairing of the firm Mather & Platt.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

To a lot of people within the company John Platt was just a name because for many years he took no active executive part in the business; but formerly he had been very actively concerned indeed with the firm's affairs. His family connection with the firm dated from about 1859 when Mr. Colin Mather, uncle to Mr. (later Sir William) Mather, took into partnership Mr. William Wilkinson Platt, the firm being thereafter known as "Mather & Platt". A few years later, in 1863, the senior partners retired, and in 1869 a young Mr. William Mather took into partnership the young Mr. John Platt, the style of the firm continuing as before. John Platt served his apprenticeship with Hulses, machine tool makers in Salford.

He was, with Mr. Mather, Dr. Edward Hopkinson  and Mr. Hardman Earle, a director of the firm of Mather & Platt Ltd., when it was formed as a private company in 1892 and in 1899 when the public company was formed, John Platt again had a seat on the board - a seat which he held until his death.

On the technical side of the business, John Platt was not so prominent as his partner and he travelled abroad for a large portion of his time, frequently visiting Italy, Austria, Germany and Russia. He was a man who made friends readily and the trade of the firm benefited greatly by his travels. Some idea of the growth of the firm since his first connection with it in the 1870s, may be gaged from the fact that the number of persons employed at the old works in Salford (Salford Iron Works) was less than 200, whereas by 1927 the names on the payroll approached 3,000 in number.

John Platt was of a 'singularly retiring' nature and when he reatraited from active business to his home at Hyning, Carnforth, he absorbed himself in a simple country life there. He was very thorough and sincere in everything to which he placed his hand and always had a word for the workmen (whom he knew all by sight in the old days) when he met them walking abroad from the works. Those who worked with him spoke of him as a loyal colleague with wonderful self-control whom not even the most trying circumstances could ruffle. Up to the time of 'the great railway fusion' , John Platt was a director of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Company. He was a Justice of the Peace for the county of Chester. His funeral was attended by the directors of the firm and by representatives of several firms by whom he was well known and respected.original pairing of the firm Mather & Platt.

                                                           Henry Platt                                                                                                                    

   In the beginning             

Abraham Saville set up a company to produce rollers and spindles at Lower Moor, becoming the brass and iron founders, Messrs Wolstenholme & Co in the late 1820s. Spinning Mules were most in demand, and the      partnership between Elijah Hibbert of Ashton and Henry Platt, which was set up at the Soho works, was to eventually provide all the mules and carding machines which Oldham's factories could use.                                                                                                                                                                                                           

They expanded to open further works at Mount Pleasant and the Hartford Mill at Greenacres in 1830. Eventually, the name of Platt became associated with the company Mather & Platt which continued production of    (inter alias) heavy machinery and machine tools right into the late 20th century.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

From John Beaver’s, 'History of Oldham Churches' - "Hope Congregational Church", Bottom o'th' Moor                                                                                                                                                                          

In the eighteenth century what is now the area of Shaw Road near Cross Street was a wild and boggy place at the edge of Greenacres Moor known as Fowleach.  The land must have taken some draining before it could be built on, but for industry it was cheap, so it became the centre of a rapidly expanding industrial area crammed with workers' houses and with very few amenities.  Even the roads were not paved and the dips became dust bowls in summer and mud baths in winter.

 The Lees family - Samuel and his sons Eli and Asa - were well know textile machinery manufacturers and their factories remained in the area into the late twentieth century.  In the early 1800s Samuel Lees resided at Soho House at the bottom of Greenacres Road and from his home he could see his fellow Congregationalists having to struggle up the often muddy road to Greenacres Chapel.  He decided that a church was needed at Bottom o'th' Moor to serve Mumps and the surrounding district, so he built one at his own expense.

The small chapel opened in 1824 had two floors, the upper used as a church and the lower as Sunday school and day school. The first day school teacher was Mr. Simeon Smith. With such sponsorship the church thrived and Mr. Lees was soon joined by another eminent businessman, Mr. Henry Platt, the founder of the textile engineering firm which dominated Oldham industry for so many years.  When the family moved from Dobcross they started attending Hope Church and their connection with it was maintained for several generations; Henry Platt was buried in the small graveyard at the side of the church.

In 1817, Peter Mather - originally a cabinet maker and metal worker - saw emerging opportunities in the manufacture of textile machinery. An entrepreneur and something of a visionary, he extended his business into making rollers for local textile mills. The business prospered and in 1845 he leased part of the Salford Iron Works from John Platt (Senior). The partnership developed and became the major supplier of textile finishing machines. Afterwards, the invention of the steam engine by virtue of its role as a prime-mover for industry was included in a catalogue of the firm's products.

The partnership had been in existence for about fifty years when William and Colin Mather changed their business status to the firm of Mather & Platt, through the arrival on the scene of William Wilkinson Platt.                                                         

  2012 - Tribute to David Drew-Smythe (1950 - 2012)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
   "In July of 2001, David Drew-Smythe was in the process of researching the Wormald branch of his family - his maternal grandmother, born in 1901, was the youngest daughter of Sir John and Lady Mab Wormald when, quite by chance, he came  across a message on the internet from a man in Paris called Marcel André Boschi. He was requesting information about the old  British firm, Mather & Platt Ltd., of Manchester and was interested in researching and setting out the history of the company and  its principal Directors. Knowing Sir John Wormald's connection with M+P, David responded to the message                                                                                                                                                                                                                       .

   After initial uncertainties and a deal of linguistic juxtapositioning, a quantity of basic information was exchanged - corporate from   Marcel and family from David - and the first few experimental pages of the site came into existence.

 The site as it appears now is the result of much research and a shared journey of discovery, working in French and in English -  both spoken and written - via files, e-mails and telephone calls between Fontainebleau, where Marcel lives (when he is not  touring and playing a serious round of golf!) and Sydney, where David - a teacher and writer - is based.

 The resulting collaboration is perhaps one of the more extraordinary trans-global achievements of the 'cyber age' and is one that  validates completely the power of the internet to overcome 'the tyranny of distance' and to be used both as an information resource and as a business tool. More than that, however, it is evidence of a partnership that has succeeded in producing a social and historical document of striking importance. Put at its most basic level, without the contribution of the great men (and the women behind them) and the companies treated on this site, the world might still be drawing water in buckets, throwing glass balls at fires and generally peering out from the dark ages (no pun intended Messrs. Edison and Hopkinson) into an uncertain future.

Marcel Boschi's History of Mather & Platt Ltd.contains text and images from a number of sources and draws on the extensive Marcel's private collections and many people. All material on this site is copyright and may not be used in any other forum or context without permission being obtained in writing. Application should be made to Marcel Boschi for such permission. Much of the text has been edited and augmented by David Drew-Smythe and many of the images have been specially treated for the specific purpose of inclusion on this site.

David was born in 1950 in Bristol and educated at Clifton College. A graduate of Exeter University (St. Luke's College), he is both a writer and a senior teacher. He currently works for the New South Wales Department of Education and Training in Sydney. He is a Drama and Technology specialist and was, for several years, Head of English at Belmont, The Mill Hill Junior School, in North London.

     As a writer - his maternal grandfather's sister was Joyce Anstruther (Jan Struther) who wrote the classic "Mrs. Miniver" - he holds the distinction of having (in 1999) had a play - a Ballad Opera - produced at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London "The Ballad of Salomon Pavey", co-written with Jeremy James Taylor) which was staged as the opening production for that theatre's 'Globe 400' Education Season. David is also a published and recorded poet.In addition
 to his work within the N.S.W. Department of Education, he is currently involved with a number of freelance writing, development and research projects. For 2002 and 2003, he was the recipient of a Merit Award from the International Society of Poets in America; his work has been produced in book anthologies and on CD by that Organisation. Recently (November 2004) a short story titled The Farmer's Daughter, was published in the United States as part of an anthology by The Fiction Works (Bell Ringer Series - "Tell Me of Love" volume) - a project designed for the Literacy and Language markets. The anthology is available for world-wide distribution in simultaneous printed book, e-book and audio formats - the latter as a dramatised version. Due for publication by The Fiction Works in 2005, will be David's most recent project. "The Private E-mails of William Shakespeare".Unlike a published book, however, the nature of a web site is that it is constantly changing and can be changed within a matter of seconds, to update, correct or re-design material as often as necessary or as expedient. This site will continue to change and develop and, even if a book does eventuate - as is currently projected - this work will continue to be in the public domain as a testament to a corporate story that, in effect, began more than two hundred years ago".

David Drew-Smythe was born on october 21st 1950 in Bristol, England, U.K., died peacefully on May 3rd 2012 in Sydney, Australia, aged 61.                                                                                                                                    


       "Le Grinnell"                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
       24, rue des Fripiers                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

A propos du sauvetage d'une pompe à vapeur Mather & Platt Ltd de la filature Motte & Cie à Mouscron (Belgique)

-  Une "découverte" par Claude Depauw  -                                                                                                                                                                           


Claude Depauw, né à Mouscron en 1956, licencié en histoire de l’Université catholique de Louvain en 1979, archiviste à la Ville de Mouscron depuis 1979, fondateur de l’Association des Archivistes francophones de Belgique, président de la Société d’Histoire de Mouscron et de la  Région depuis 1981, fondateur et administrateur de l’asbl "Patrimoine Industriel Wallonie-Bruxelles", membre de plusieurs sociétés d’histoire locale belges et françaises (Comines-Warneton, Courtrai, Tournai, Tourcoing).

"Du haut de ses 23 mètresla tour de la filature Motte Cieprès de la gare de Mouscron, était un signe monumental qumarquait le paysage entre Luingne (Belgique) et Tourcoing . C'était aussi l'un des rares témoins immédia­ts visibles des toutes premières constructions élevées il y a quatre-vingt-cinq ans pour abriter un peignage et une filature de laine.                                                                                                                                                                            

Cette filature de laines peignées située rue dBornoville fut construite par la société en commandite simple par actions Motte-Dewavrin Ciefondée à Mouscron en 1906 et dont les gérants étaient Alphonse Motte-Jacquart (1857-1929) et Joseph Motte-Bernard (1865-1944). En 1907elle comprenait deux chaudières, une machine à vapeur de 385 chevaux et une dynamo pour l'éclairage des locaux. En 1909, suite à une modification de son actionnariatfut créée une nouvelle société, de même statut juridique mais appelée Motte & Cie elle sertransformée en société anonyme après la Première Guerre mondiale1 .                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Quelque temps après la création de Euromotte, qui a repris en 1982 Motte Cie en faillite, la Ville de Mouscron a racheté les bâtiments du «site Motte» et depuis en a détruit une partierevendu une autre et loué le resteAnnoncée par la rumeurla destruction de la tour m'a poussé à demander l'autorisation de pouvoir circuler dans les locaux destinés à   disparaître ainsi que dans le reste de l'usine encoroccupé par lsociété Euromotte Lors d'une première visite, je vis derrière une porte vitrée une machine dotée de deux pistons, marquée du nom de MathePlatt Ltd. Manchester dont l'utilité n'était pas évidente mais dont l'ancienneté ne faisait pas de doute.                                                          

Heureusementau sein des archives Motte conservées parmi les Archives de la Ville de Mouscronla série des factures et autres papiers relatifs à la construction des bâtiments et à l'achat de tous les matériels nécessaires à la filature permet d'en savoir beaucoup plus 3.                                                                                                                                     


-  Chronique des échanges de correspondance entre Motte et Mather Platt -

La première pièce du dossier des relations entre lMessieurs Motte et une société dont l'entête de lettre porte "Le Grinnell" - Extincteurs automatiques - Mather & Platt Ltd ingénieurs-constructeurs, est un devis, daté du 27 janvier 1914 pour l'installation de 1.400 extincteurs, document qui suppose qu'au moins une visite sur place de l'éventuel futur installateur a précédé cette proposition.                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

C'est ensuite avec les représentants de Mather & Platt à Paris et dans le Nord ainsi qu'à Bruxelles 4 que la société Motte et Cie de Mouscron est en rapport fréquent pour l'installation d'un système Grinnell de lutte con­tre l'incendie couvrant la totalité de l'usine à partir de ce 27 janvier 1914 jusqu'au 4 juin 1920. Ensuite les échanges épistolaires   continuèrent en rapport avec la vérification ou la réparation du système installé et en vue de son extension: dès le 30 septembre 1920, Motte demande un devis d'extension du système Grinnell à de nouveaux bâtiments en construction.


                                                                                                                  Vue aérienne de la Filature Motte & Cie à Mouscron (1920)                                        

Pour revenir à l'année 1914, dès le 10 février,  M. Macbeth s'adresse à Messieurs Motte-Dewavrin à Tourcoing concernant l'affaire Motte & Cie et la filature de Mouscron déclate vouloir ajouter 102 extincteurs aux chiffres prévus et en prévoir la pose dans les faux greniers de l'usine, Messieurs Motte-Dewavrin de Tourcoing répondent le 28 février qu'une décision immédiate n'a pu être prise en raison de la non communication du contrat de MMotte à Gand Le même jour, M. Macbeth, représentant de Mather Platt signale qu'il a vu M.Alphonse Motte 7 le mercredi précédent.                                                                                                                                                              

Le 17 mars, pour répondre à son insistance à terminer rapidement cette affaire, M. Motte fait une proposition à M. Macbeth sur base du devis du 27 janvier et de la lettre du 10 février, tout en précisant le partage des frais d'installation. Dès le 26 mars, M. Potter envoie à Mouscron un nouveau devis et spécification formant contrat» fixant le coût total à 43.000 Fà payer un tiers à la commande, un tiers à la fin des travaux, un tiers six mois plus tard. Un des deux exemplaires est signé et renvoyé le 30 mars à Macbeth avec quelques remarques. Celles-ci sont acceptées le 1er, avridans l'accusé de réception du contrat signé. Le paiement du premier 1/3 couvert le 2 avril par un chèque de 14.000 F tiré sur Tournai, avec accusé de réception et reçu datés de Paris le 3 avril.

Alors que des questions techniques précises sont évoquées dans des courriers échangés les 27 avril (passage du tuyau d'aspiration de la pompe) et 5 mai (bac de pression 23 mètres cubes), M. Potter avise Mouscron le juin que «les accessoires, raccords, vannes, extincteurs et tuyaux pouvos installations nos 1 et 2 et pour les raccordements de la pompe et du bac» ont été expédiés le 3 juin par l'intermédiaire de John P. Best & Co à Gand 8• Accusé de réception avec demande d'envoyer des monteurs est expédié de Mouscron le 17 juin. Le lendemain, Paris signale que cela sera fait le plus rapidement possible.

Les 18, 19 et 23 juin, correspondance est échangée au sujet des tubulures devant raccorder le système Grinnell au bac de 23.000 litres d'eau construit sur la tour déjà existante 9. M. Potter signale le 10 juillet que ces tubulures sont à la fabrication. Du 15 juillet est daté l'avis d'expédition par bateau de 22 tuyaux de fonte de Manchester via Google et Rotterdam à destination de Gand.

Le 3 septembre 1914le monteur M. Bryce Dowthwaite signe le fore­man's final report qui fait état d'une missous pression du système et du nombre de sprinklers posés. Par lettre du 18 septembre, M. Parker 10 signale qu'ireste à disposition et qu'un monteur viendra ce jour-même pour visiter l'installation.

Mais déjà et plus encore dans la suite, les relations entre Mouscron, Paris et Roubaix se limitent à des incidents mineurs 11 et surtout à des avances demandées par M. Parker pour les monteurs, demandes toutes satisfaites par M. Motte et débitées par M. Potter du compte M. Motte jusqu'au 10 septembre 191412 Enfin, du 10 février au 17 novembre 1915, au rythmd'un versement de 1.000 F par mois, 9.000 F ont été payés à M. Parker, à débiter du même compte, mais sans reçus ni avis de débit de Paris, ce quposera problème en 1919.

S'installe ensuite un silence d'environ quatre ans entre la socitété Motte et Mather Platt. La guerre en est en fait la raison principale, d'abord parce qu'elle rend difficiles les relations entre la Belgique et le Nord de la France, tous deux occupés mais coupés l'un de l'autreensuite et à plus forte raison parce que toutes les relations entre ces régions et l'autre côté du front et a fortiori l'Angleterre sont interrompues 13 .


        Pompe à vapeur Mather Platt Ltd. de l'installation d'extincteurs automatiques d'incendie "LE GRINNELL" de la filature Motte Cie à Mouscron (1920)

Modèle déposé au Musée des Charbonnages de Belgique du Bois le Duc à La Louvière le 07 décembre 1992, par la volonté de sauvetage de l'opiniâtreté infatigable de Monsieur Claude Depauw, ardent artisan de la protection du patrimoine industriel, de la conservation de sa mémoire à l'échelle européenne.


A Mouscron, la partie déjà installée du système Grinnell a subi des dommages, notamment du fait des réquisitions allemandes de tous ordres (cuivre, bronze, câbles, cordes, partie du stock, etc.) dont acte est dressé le 13 novembre 1917 devant notaire 14Les objets réquisitionnés sont stockés dans une partie de l'usine où les soldats viennent les enlever. Si l'on s'en tient au devis de réparation quva suivre, la pompe à vapeur, un métrage important de tuyaux de toute sortes et un certain nombre d'extincteurs ont disparu ou ont été endommagés tandis que le compresseur d'air doit être remonté.

Les 24 mars et 23 avril 1919, M. Louis Carrette15 demande à  M. Alfred Smith, l'ingénieur de Mathe& Platt réinstallé à Lille, de dresser un devis de réparations, -- l'installation de "Grinnell" que votre maison avait en construction chez nous au début de la guerre ayant été endommagée du fait de l'occupation militaire allemande de notre établissement -. 

M. Alfred Smith répond le 25 avril que, ne pouvant pas venir en Belgique parce qu'étant sujet anglais, il ne parvient pas à obtenir le passeport nécessaire, il renvoie à MM. V.L. Grasser L. Lyon à Bruxelles, auxquels  la Sté. Motte s'empresse d'écrire le 5 mai suivant et demande le passage d'un agent pour visiter l'installation.

Le 10 mai, M. Grasser annonce sa prochaine venue à Mouscron. Le 23 mai, il adresse en trois exemplaires un «devis et spécification pour lremise en état de votre installation d'extincteurs automatiques avertisseurs "Grinnell" contre l'incendie» daté du 21 mai pour un montant de 22.479 F. Apparaît alors une double correspondances, l'une traitant de la remise en état, l'autre tendant à liquider les arriérés du coût des travaux de 1914Dans la première affaire sont impliqués à différents moments tant M. Grasser à Bruxelles que M. Potter à Paris. Car dès le 10 mars 1919, ce dernier a envoyé un relevé de compte. En crédit y sont inscrits

 24.462,80 provenant de l'addition de l'acompte du 6 avril 1914, des avances faites du 27 juin au 19 septembre 1914 et des frais de remise à domicile à la charge de Mather & Platt, le tout balancé en débit par une somme de 44.434,75 F pour Sprinkler installation et Tank outlet blacks, le solde débiteur s'établissant à 19.971,95 F. Le 23 mai 1919, la Sté.Motte est d'accord avec lcoût total mais pas avec son crédit : l'origine d'un poste de 100 F luest inconnue et il y a lieu d'ajouter une lettre de débit de 15 F à M. Cyrille Keups le 23 novembre 1914, plus les 9.000 F remis à Parker en 1915 ainsque 218,30 F de dépenses diverses effectuées pour le compte de Mather & Platt en 1914 et 191516 .

Le 12 juin 1919, M. Potter accuse réception, signale qu'il se met en rela­tion avec le service central de comptabilité et demande copie de la facture établie par M. Prosper Jackson 17 Le 19 juin, Paris écrit que les 100 sont une erreur mais que les avances faites à  MM. Parker et Keups lui sont inconnues «par suite de la guerre» et qu 'il lieu de lui communiquer ces pièces. Le 23 juinMouscron envoie copie ou duplicata des documents demandés ce dont M. Potter accuse réception le 26 juin. Cela ne semble pas avoir suffit puisque le 19 juillet 1919, faisant suite à une demande verbale, Mouscron expédie en recommandé à Bruxelleles originaux des neufs reçus remis par M. Parker en 1915, ce dont Bruxelles accuse réception le 23 juillet. Le 27 août, M. Potter renvoie ces pièces en les accompagnant d'un nouveau relevé de compte dont le solde créditeur s'élève à 10.838 ,65 F. Le 2 septembre 1919, la Sté. Motte paye ce solde par un chèque tiré sur Tourcoing. L'accusé de réception et le reçu de Paris sui­vent le 9 septembre.

Revenons à la remise en état de l'installation dont l'avancement a évolué depuis le 23 mai 1919. Le 12 juin, M. Lyon écrit :  

"Je viens de visiter notre usine de Manchester et après avoir pris connaissance des centaines de commandes que nous avons sur nos livres et des difficultés sous lesquelles nos usines sont obligées de travailler, soit par suite du manque universel de matières premières, soit par suite de grèves continuelles dans toutes les industries sans parler de la possibilité qui existe que les heures de travail journalier seront encore réduites tandis que les salaires seront augmentés ( ...)"

Il conseille à la Sté. Motte de se décider rapidement quant aux travaux de restauration du Grinnell, ajoutant :

Je crains fortement que par suite de ces difficultés les prix que je vous ai faitssurtout la pompe à vapeur, seront augmentés dans des proportions sensibles et que par suite des commandes que nous recevons de partout et spécialement du nord de la France pour pompestuyaux, raccords etcpour la restauration des installations dans cette région, la priorité que j'ai réussi de vous obtenir de nos usines en cas de commande immédiate ne me sera plus accordée d'ici quelque temps."

Le 16 juin, la Sté. Motte est d'accord pour la réfection et la vérification dGrinnell selon ldevis, «sous réserve toutefois que ce dernier serait à réduire ou à majorer proportionnellement aux fournitures qui nous seronfaites en moins ou en plus de celles que vous faites figurer», ce qu'accepte M. Grasser le 20 juin 18 .Commande ferme est passée le 23, avec insistance sur la livraison rapidde la pompece qui n'est pas garanti par l'accusé de réception du 24. Le 26 juin, la Sté. Motte paye à  M. Potter le premier tiers du devis par un chèque de 7.500 F tiré sur Bruxelles, avec accusé de réception et reçu de Paris datés du 1e, juillet 1919

Le 14 juillet 1919, Paris envoie une brochure, malheureusement perdue, montrant les productions de matériel de guerre de Mather Platt durant les cinq dernières années, accompagnée d'une lettre, conservéequi fait état de la production d'obus de 75, de canons de 150, de moteurs électriques pour sous-marins, d'avions, d'organes de propul­sion de tanks, tandis que le département  "Grinnell" a beaucoup tra­vaillé pour les établissements de la défense nationale et a eu pendant la guerre de jolis succès contre des incendies causés par des Zeppelins eles bombardements». Le 1°' septembre, Motte rappelle la priorité qu'a évoquée M. Grasser :

Vous admettrez certes qu'après cinq années d'inactivité complète, durant les­quelles nos ennemis communs ont tenu à nous gratifier copieusement de déboi­res et pertes en tout genres, nous avons droit à ce tour de faveur spécial de votre part"

Le 11 septembre, Mouscron demande à ce que les travaux de réfection commencent immédiatement, notre établissement étant remis en route depuis déjà quelque temps.                    M. Grasser répond le 13 qu'iva faire dili­gence. Le 18 septembre, il peut annoncer que la pompe à vapeur a quitté l'usine de Manchester à destination de Gand via M. Hull par l'intermédiaire de John PBest & Co. Des avis d'expédition sont envoyés par Paris et Bruxelles les 3 et 30 octobre. Le 12 novembre, les colis sont à Mouscron qui demande l'envoi «de suite de bons monteurs»Bruxelles signale le 15 qu'un monteur a été demandé à l'usine. Le 17, la Sté. Motte écrit qu'un seune suffira pas. Le 19, M. Grasser répond qu'il en a demandé deux et qu'il viendra lui-même leur donner les instructions sur place. Le 25 novembreMouscron signale le passage de deux monteurs venant de Roubaix qu'on n'a pas laissé commencer puisque personne n'était là pour les instruire. Le 28, M. Grasser écrit qu'ils avaient bien été envoyés par Roubaix, qu'ils y sont retournés pour mettre leur passeport en règle afin de pouvoir regagner Roubaix chaque soir et qu'ils reviendront sous peu. M. Grasser demande aussi d'avancer au chef monteur jusqu'à 300 F par semaine. Le 16 décembre, la Sté. Motte s'étonne que les monteurs ne soient pas encore revenus. Le 19 décembre, Bruxelles regrette ce retard et va télégraphier à Roubaix pour y remédier.

Entre-temps, suite à l'envoi d'un relevé de compte au 31 octobre par Paris le 26 novembre 1919, une somme de 7.486 F représentant ldeuxième tiers payable à la livraison du matériel est fournie le 28 novembre à Bruxelles avec avis à Paris par un chèque tiré sur Bruxelles, avec accusé de réception de Bruxelles le 1er décembre. Cependant, le 13 janvier 1920 (avec rappele 27 janvier)Grasser s'étend sur une information verbale formulée lors de sa visite à Mouscron le 6 décembre 1919Iété informé que «par suite de circonstances tout-à-fait imprévues hausse de prix des matières premières, hausse des salaires des ouvriersréduction des heures de travail, grèves des transportsetc.»Mather Platt ont constaté que la remise en état de l'installation chez Motte entraî­nerait pour eux une perte d'environ 8.400 F. Il demande si Motte ne serait pas disposé à intervenir pour couvrir en partie cette pertecomme d'autres l'ont déjà fait. Le 17 février, la Sté. Motte demande une pièce certifianle rétablissement complet de l'installation exigée par son assureur 19Répondant positivement, M. Grasser rappelle le 18 sa demande d'intervention dans la perte. Les 1922 et 24 février , La Sté. Motte et M. Grasser s'accordensur un rendez-vous à ce sujet.

Suite à la visite de M. Grasser à Mouscron le jour précédent, la Sté. Mottaccorde le 27 février une intervention pour un tiers de la pertesoit 2.800 F, dont la facture ainsi que celle des travaux non repris au devis sont à fournir rapidement 20 . M. Grasser répond le même jour en signalanque le coût des travaux supplémentaires est de 3. 725,45 et en envoyant sous pli séparé des instructions imprimées pour l'entretien et le fonctionnement de l'installation. Dès le 28 février Paris envoie des factu­res de 7.493 F pour le solde de la remise en état, de 3.725,45 pour les travaux supplémentaires et de 2.800 pour l'intervention dans la perte. La Sté. Motte réagit le même jour trouvant discordance entre ce qua été dit par M. Grasser lors de sa visite où il estimait les suppléments à 2.200 F. Celui-ci répond le 2 mars en donnant une explication apparemment satisfaisante puisqueBruxelles rappelant le 26 mars le règlement des trois factures, uchèque de 14.018,45 est tiré sur Bruxelles le 27 mars, avec accusé de réception le 30 mars. Cependantun décompte au 31 mars est encore envoyé par Paris le 12 mai. Mouscron répond le 15 qu'ijà payé et le 19, Paris s'excuse de son erreur.

Ainsi se terminent les relations par correspondance entre la Sté. Motte et Mather Platt pour l'installation du Grinnell commencée en 1914, réparée et terminée en 1919.

-  Les systèmes de lutte et de protection contre l'incendie.   

Dès 1907, une installation de lutte contre l'incendie avait été placée par Pante & Masquelier de Gand. Elle comprenait une pompà vapeur Worthington de 18 mètres cubes de débit placée dans la salle de lmachine Elle faisait office de pompe d'alimentation auxiliaire 21 dechaudières et pouvait être affectée au service d'incendie. Elle était toujours en place lors de l'inventaire général du 4 juillet 1917.

Pour des raisons qui nous sont inconnues, les dirigeants de la Sté. Motte ont demandé à Mather Platt le placement du système Grinnell avec des sprinklers alimentés par une pompe affectée à ce seuusage.

L'installation complète et définitive est achevée le 3 septembre 1914. Quanà sa remise en étatelle peut être considérée comme terminée courant janvier 1920. Si l'on en croit le devis et lforeman's final report de 1914 ainsi que le devis de 1919, elle comprenait au tota1.561 extincteurs répartis dans 23 locaux. Les vannes de contrôle se présentaient selon un double système, l'un et l'autre équipés entre autres d'une «soupape d'alarme automatique brevetée avec moteur et cloche pour donner l'alarme et sonner continuellement dès la déclaration de l'incendie.Le système combiné fonctionnait sous air à l'aide d'un compres­seur qui maintenait l'installation sous pression d'air. Le système classique fonctionnait sous eau. Deux sources d'eau réglementaires étaient prévues: un réservoir élevé 23.000 litres installé à 17,50 mètres du sol, dans la partie supérieure de la tour; et une pompe à vapeur décrite plus loinqupuisait l'eau d'un puits artificiel 22 .

L'installation du système Grinnell est cité comme un tout et pour une valeur de 43.000 F dans l'inventaire du matériedu 4 juillet 1917 Les Allemands n'ont sans doute pas manqué de récupérer les pistons en bronze de la pompe à vapeur comme ils ont réquisitionné le cuivre des sprinklers.

   - La pompe à vapeur -

Dans le premier devis du 27 janvier 1914, puis dans le contrat d26 mars 1914 23,  et encore dans le devis de remise en état du 21 mai 1919, elle est décrite de la manière suivante :  

 "Pompe à vapeur installée en 1920.                           

Une pompe à vapeurmodèle «Assureur», à quadruple action, n°Ill, formant la seconde source d'eau de l'installationCette pompe        sera du type horizontal, aura des cylindres de vapeur de 406 mm, des plongeurs de 203 mm, course de 304 mm et sera capable de      débiter 2.972 litres par minute. Les pistons en bronze munis de notre système de presse-étoupes brevetés. N.B. Les fondations de        la pompe ne sont pas comprises dans ce devis".

Avec ses vannes et accessoires (vannes d'arrêtd'arrêt de vapeur et de mise en marche, clapet de retenue et soupape de sûretémanomètres avec robinet, purgeurs à vapeur) ainsi que ses raccordements au puits par le tuyau d'aspiration, aux postes de contrôle des extincteurs par la conduite de refoulement, à la prise de vapeur, à l'échappement de vapeur et à la vidangele tout coûte 15.400 F selon le devis de 1919.

La pompe à vapeur n'est peut-être plus tout à fait à sa place originelleEn effet, la machine à vapeur a été enlevée, les transmissions par câbles ont disparu   depuis longtemps. La structure des locaux où se trouvaient ces engins et la pompe en question ont été changées. C'est évident quand on compare les plans du début du   siècle avec l'étaactuel. Des recherches doivent encore être effectuées pour pouvoir suivre ces modi­fications.

  - Conclusion -

La richesse de la partie «construction et matériel» des archives Motte permet de suivre de très près l'installation du système Grinnell et la pompe à vapeur qui l'alimente. La chronique de la correspondance entre deux firmes au début de ce siècle aura peut-être lassé rapidement le lecteur. C'est un procédé qune doit pas être répété pour retracer l'histoire d'une entreprise.

Pourtant, ces échanges épistolaires sont exemplaires des relations que peuvent avoir un fournisseur de matériel et son client. Chacune des piè­ces du dossier révèle tant soit peu l'évolution des discussions, l'avance­ment de la pose des fournituresla succession des paiements et même l'organisation des sociétés en question, leur souci du détailleurs problèmes du momentIl y manque cependant les discussions verbales entre direction et représentants qui, on le soupçonne dans le cas présentaplanissent bien des difficultés. C'est notamment le cas lors des pourparlers concernant la participation de Motte dans la perte de Mather Platt en 1919, une pratique commerciale symptomatique des conditions économiques de l'immédiat après-guerre. Si plus de septante ans  après sa pose, la pompe à vapeur est toujours présente, son devenir dans un site industriel en cours de réhabilitation s'apparentait à la ferraille Heureusement, un peu de vigilance et surtout la chance, comme trop souvenen pareil cas, ont pu empêchecette triste finLes 16 et 17 novembrel'équipe du Bois-du-Luc, dépêchée par M. Jacques Liébin24a démonté la pompe sans dommage, excepté des axes des pistons qui ont dû être sciés, le temps imparti au démontage étant trop court pour opérer une dépose complète. Les pièces ont été transportées le décembre 1992 vers l'Ecomusée regional du Bois le Duc où sont exposées une collection de machines.

- Visite à l'Ecomusée régional du Centre - 

Pour venir visiter la pompe, dont le premier modèle fut conçu et fabriqué en 1857, par MM. Mather & Platt à l'usine de Salford-Iron-works, dans la banlieue de Manchester, puis poursuivi à partir de 1899 par Mather & Platt Limited à Park Works, l'usine de Newton-Heath, Manchester, il s'agit d'un exemplaire qui fut fabriqué en 1920, il a été sauvé de la destruction et déposé au Musée du Bois le Duc à La Louvière en 1992, par la volonté de sauvetage opiniâtre organisée par Monsieur Claude Depauw, ardent artisan de la protection du patrimoine industriel, de la conservation de sa mémoire à l'échelle européenne et de sa transmission aux générations suivantes, qu'il veuille bien ici accepter l'expression de notre amicale et profonde gratitude.

 - La pompe de La Louvière est visible à l’Ecomusée régional du Centre, elle fait partie d'une collection de machines exposées sur le site de l'ancienne Société des Charbonnages  du Bois-du-Luc, 2b, rue Saint-Patrice, 7110 La Louvière, Belgique, adresse mail www.ecomuseeboisduluc.be 

Il est conseillé de bien vouloir prendre contact avec Mme Isabelle Sirjacobs : archiviste@ecomuseeboisduluc.be – tél. +32 (0)64 28 20 00)"   

                                                                                                                                                                           Claude DEPAUW  Fondateur et administrateur de l’ASBL- Patrimoine Industriel Wallonie-Bruxelles   

    Références :   

      1 C. DEPAUW, Les archives de lfilature Motte Cià Mouscrondans Archives et bibliothè­ques de Belgique, t. LIXn° 3-4, Miscellanea Cécile Ouxchamps-Lefèvre, 1988,  pp. 69-  77; IDEM, Enquêtes dcommodo et incommodo epermis de bâtir à Mouscron 1904 -1914 ), dans Mémoires de la Société d'Histoire de Mouscron  et de la région.  t. XIV1992 à paraître: Etablissements MottCie. Filature de Laine. Mouscron (Belgique ) 1907-1957 (Mouscron)                                                                                           

Détruite en juin-juillet 1992, ella été élevée en 1907-1908 sur et en même temps que la bâtisse abritant à l'originune cave «aux campêches»leopérations d'étirage-calibrage du fil par tiers gill-box et de séchage dfil par séchoirsun réservoià eau pour les séchoirs recouvrant lbâtiment principal. Je remerciM. Lecomte, directeur technique d' Euromotte, de m'avoir accordé cette autorisation.

Archives de la Ville de Mouscron, Archives Motte, 8.2, bt96: Grinnell, fardede 1914 à 1944. Touteles indicationcitées ici sont tirées de la première farde couvrant lpériode d27 janvier 1914 a14 décembre 1921. Les dates ,citées sont celles des courriers et non celles de leur réception ou de leur envoi. Aucun dessin technique descriptif de cette machine n'a été retrouvé pour l'instant. Les autres renseignements sont extraits de ldocumentation des premières annéede l'usine (Ibidem, 8.2bte 1: timents,190 7-1914; bte matériel 1907 -19 13). Les prisont en francs belges de lpoque.

4 S.D. POTTER, 22 rue de Douaà PariIX• (aussbureau de comptabilité pour l'Europe continentale en 1919);

Allan MACBETH, 2 rue Arnould-de-Vuez à Lille;

Wallon PARKERrue Parmentier à Roubaixà partir du août 1914:

Alfred SMITH, rue Arnould-de-Vuez à Lille à partir du 25 avri1919;

V.L. GRASSER L. LYON 24 rue des Fripiers àBruxelles, à partidu 10 mai 1919 (dates des courriers).

Est transmise à Mouscron copie sur papieà lettre à entête rouge et bleue de l«Filature­ Teinturerie-Retorderie Motte-Dewavrin Laines filées pour bonneterie. Retors et bobines pour fabrication. Pelotes et paquets avec vue de l'usine "tourquenoise». Elle est un indice des lienétroits que Motte à Tourcoing conservait avec Motte à Mouscron.

     6 Motte reçu communication de lmaisoL. F. Motte Frères, renvoyé à Macbeth le 2 avril.

Alphonse MOTTE-D'HALLUIN (1883-1966), fils d'Alphonse Motte-Jacquart, l'un des rants fondateurs, avec Antoine Motte-Motte (18 95 -?), est l'un des dirigeants de la gératiosui­vante. Ils ont vu leurs noms donnés à la place qus'étend devant l'usine par décision du Conseil communade Mouscron le 1er juillet 1964.

Des questions de fraide remise à domicile de ces expéditions pour utotal de 112,80 F sont évoquées les 11, 23 et 25 juillet. Goole et Hull sont deux ports de l'estuaire dla Humbersur la côte Est de l'Angleterre.

L'amorce de la tour construite en 1907-1908 été surélevée en 1914 pour installer un réser­void' eau de 25 tres cubes nécessaire à l'installation du système Grinnell. On y apprend que l'épaisseur de ce réservoiest de 125 mm de béton.

  1. Déjà apparu dans un courrier du 10 juilletParker devient, à partir du août 1914, l'agent local de Mather Platt. C'est lui qui fait les demandes d'avances au profit des monteurs.

  2. Fuites aux raccords du réservoir edes tuyaule 20 novembre; 15 dus à Cyrille Keups pour menues réparations le 23 novembrebris d'extincteur le 25 novembre 1914dysfonctionnement d'une sonnerie d'alarme lmai 1915. Un service après-vente est donc fourni en pleine guerre par l'agent local Parker.

  3. Avances de 450 à HarrPlant (25 Juinjuillet)de 4.000 à Samuel Horrocks (17, 23, 3juillet, 4 août), de 4.400 à William Golden (712, 19 août)de 1.400 à Bryce Dowthwaite (26 août, 2, 18 septembre).

  4. Dès févrie1915, lpassage de la frontière franco-belge est interdit par les Allemands efermé par des fils de fer barbelés (L.MAES, Histoire de Mouscron, Mouscron, 1933, p. 188).

  5. Déjà, le février 1917 est dressé constat par huissier d'une réquisition de cuivre et de l'installation d'une boulangerie. Deux bombes tombent sur l'usine les 23 et 27 juillet. Le 10 août est dressé à titre préventif un inventaire descriptif et estimatif avec état des lieux 

    Louis CARRETTE-DUMONT(1878-1936) fut le premier directeur de Motte.
  6. Il s'agde neuf conversations téléphoniques du monteur Horrocks avec Roubaix en juilleet août 1914, de la fourniture de matériaux de construction et de travail ainsi que d'une facture de Prosper Jackson du 4 août 1915.

  7. Prosper JACKSON, né à Bruges en 1875installe e1909 un atelier de chaudronnerie et de tuyauterie en cuivre dans la «rue de la Statiodétournée»à proximité de l'usine Motte. L'entrprise a été reprise par son fils Prosperpuis en 1954 par Philippe son petit-fils, sous le nom de Chaudronneries et fonderies Philippe Jackson. Elle est encore en activité dans la zone industrielle (C. DEPAUW, Enquêtes...)

  8. Entre temps , l19 juin, Bruxelles annonce qu'une caisse d'outillage laissée dans l'usine paun monteur en 1914 sera récupérée; le 21 juinMouscron répond que la caisse est toujours là, mais qu'elle a été ouverte pendant l'occupation allemande.

  9. Le 12 avril, Grasser envoie des certificats d'installationavec accusé de réception le 13Le 15 mai, Motte demande encore un «certificat descriptide l'installation du Grinnell», fournle 4 jui1920. L1mars, Mouscron avertit Bruxelles, qui accuse réception le 11, qu'à la demande des monteurs, deucaisses onété envoyées par chemin de fer à P. & U. Leurent à Avelghem.

      2° Ces factures doivent entrer en ligne de compte dans lréclamation que Motte va introduire auprès du tribunal des dommages de guerre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Claude DEPAUW     

                    Fondateur et administrateur de l’ASBL- Patrimoine Industriel Wallonie-Bruxelles                                   


                                                                     Mather & Platt's steam fire pumps in Europe - 


Les centaines de pompes à vapeur fabriquées et installées par Mather & Platt de 1857 à 1930, répondaient à l'origine à l'approvisionnement en eau de certaines industries  et à partir  de 1883 à l'alimentation des sources d'eau des installations de sprinklers "Grinnell',  telles les filatures de Newsky à Saint-Petersbourg, de Hua Cheng  Sheong.à Shanghai en Chine, en Inde et sur d'autres continents de la planète.                                                                                                                                                                                               

De nos recherches et en l'état  de nos connaissances actuelles huit pompes à vapeur sorties des usines Mather & Platt à Manchester au XIXe et XXe siècles sont  exposées dans différents pays européens :                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                


1 - 1910 - The Steam fire pump Mather & Platt Ltd.of the Spinning mill Ellenroad's, Rochdale     

 The Pump Room contains the largest working Mather and Platt sprinkler pump in preservation. It provided the water for the fire-fighting sprinklers in the mill. It is classed as an Underwriters team Pump.  With a capacity of approx. 600 gallons a minute, it have been built and installed circa 1910 and today is still worked by steam from  boiler. This pump is   identical to the one on display at the    Museum of Bois-du-Duc in Belgium, www.ecomuseeboisduluc.be (in static exhibit). This pump was designed in 1857 by Mather & Platt, and  was installed in 1910.                                                        

  To start this pump on full screen, click on this link : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mdo2WvgZH8 

Visit Ellenroad Engine House Steam Museum - http://www.ellenroad.org.uk/On-Site/the-pump-room

At the same time, visitors should not miss the visit to the twin steam engines, Alexandra and Victoria, in operation, they provided the mechanical energy necessary for spinning.                                                                                                      
 An incursion * * * which is worth the detour :                                                                                                                                                               

To start the steam machine on full screen click on the link : https://youtu.be/pB4hqRupUoY                


2 - Filature des Aulnes à Fraize (Vosges) région Grand-Est de France -   

  (inscrit au titre des monuments historiques)    

Le 07 mai 2015, un arrêté préfectoral du Préfet de la région Lorraine, a porté inscription au titre des monuments historiques un ensemble composé de la cheminée de la Filature des Aulnes à Fraize (Vosges), de l'ancienne salle des machines à vapeur abritant les sources d'eau des installations de sprinklers, dont une pompe à vapeur Mather & Platt Ltd Manchester datant de 1890, un groupe électro-pompe fabriqué vers 1936 par la société Le Matériel- électrique SW  à Champagne-sur-Seine (Seine & Marne) et les deux postes de contrôle des installations de  sprinklers "Grinnell' de la Filature. des Aulnes.                                                                                                                                                          

L'édification d'un Musée européen de la protection automatique contre l'incendie est en projet sur ce site.


3 - Filature de Lodz, Pologne. cliquez sur l'image

 Histoire de la famille Grohmann. La carrière à Łódź de la famille commence avec l'arrivée de Traugott Grohmann en 1842. Rapidement, les Grohmann atteignent une position de premier plan dans la ville, due au mariage de Karol Scheibler Junior avec Anna  Grohmann, petite-fille de Traugott. Après la Première Guerre mondiale, les deux familles  décident  de rejoindre leurs affaires industrielles textiles pour contrer la stagnation de l'après-guerre. 

Leurs filatures avaient été toutes protégées par des installations de sprinklers "Grinnell", contre l'incendie, par Mather & Platt, l'actuel unique vestige représentatif de ce passage historique est la pompe à vapeur des sources d'eau                                                                                                                                 .

Histoire de Mather & Platt en Russie. Les éminentes relations d'affaires entretenues par William Mather dans ce pays qui intégrait à cette époque la Pologne, n'ont surpris en Russie qui obtint des compagnies d'assurance russes des rabais substantiels de            cotisations d'assurances au profit des usines protégées par de installations de sprinkler, ce qui entraînait une rapide croissance du  Grinnell. Au cours de ses premières années de présidence à  Dowson, Taylor & Co. Ltd., William Mather lui-même veillait aux           intérêts de la nouvelle société à l'occasion de ses visites annuelles en Russie et au  développement du sprinkler Grinnell dans ce      pays où cette branche d'activité était exercée temps plein.                                                                                                                    

 Ceci amena John Wormald lui-même à prendre la direction de l'affaire et à étudier les problèmes techniques que posaient le           pays

William Mather dont les relations avec la Russie dataient de 1860, avouera plus tard y avoir passé plus de vingt ans de sa vie         sans y inclure les intervalles jusqu'en 1900. Durant ses longs séjours William Mather était accompagné de sa femme et de ses         enfants, la famille séjournait à Moscou  où à Saint-Petersbourg,                                                                                                                                                                                                          

John Taylor lui-même passa  aussi plusieurs mois chaque hiver dans les usines russes pendant de nombreuses années.

Picture took 7 april  2010, of "Mather & Platt Ltd  steam fire pump"  in font of the 30 a,Tymienieckiego  street, Łódź. (Poland)  By courtesy : File:Łódź-Tymienieckiego                  

   4 - Cambridge Museum of Technology                                                                                                                                             

Histoire de la pompe à vapeur de Foster Flour MillsStation Road, à Cambridge. Elle a été installée par Mather et Platt Ltd. lors du montage de l'installation de sprinklers au  moment de la construction du Moulin en 1902. Sa fonction était d'alimenter les sources d'eau de l'installation de sprinklers "Grinnell", un réservoir de 10 000 gallons (45.000 litres) au point le plus élevé du bâtiment à 120 pieds (36,5 mètres) et de fournir à l'installation de sprinklers la quantité d'eau nécessaire à l'extinction d'une surface impliquée en cas d'incendie.                                                                                                                                                       

          La pompe a été maintenue en service jusqu'en 1981. Suite à la mise aux normes de l'installation de sprinklers et à l'absence de fourniture  de vapeur par le moulin, elle a  été  remplacée par un groupe électro-pompe. Les pompes de l'installation ont été remises par donation au Musée de la technologie de Cambridge par Dalgety Spillers en  1981 Après une remise en état de présentation par les bénévoles du musée quelques années plus tard ,en 1998, les pompes sont l'objet d'une exposition permanente..                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                      Mather & Platt
                                       Horizontal Duplex Direct Acting Pump
Steam Cylinders 14’’ (355mm) Bore.   
Pump Displacers 7” (178mm) Bore. 
X  12” (305mm) Stroke.
Steam was supplied at 120 P.S.I
Steam is distributed by Slide valves. Each Steam Cylinder is fitted with cushioning valves in the exhaust steam passages. The purpose is to cushion the travel of the piston at the end of each stroke. The amount of cushioning is adjustable by turning the small hand wheels on each end of each steam cylinder.The steam cylinders and pump displacers are both double acting.

History  - The pump was installed at the Foster Flour Mills, Station Road, Cambridge. As far as is known, Mather and Platt supplied the pump when the Mill was built in 1902.  Its function was to pump water from a large water tank situated at ground level up into a high level header tank of approximately 10,000 gallons (45,500 litres) at the highest point on the mill building at 120 feet (36.5 metres).  This tank supplied the sprinkler system and the fire fighting water mains around the Mill buildings                                                                                                          .

The pump was in service until 1981. Refurbishment work at the Mill saw it replaced by a modern multi-stage electric pump unit.  The Mather and Platt pump was donated to the Cambridge Museum of Technology by the then Mill owners Dalgety Spillers in 1981.  Museum volunteers dismantled the old pump ready for removal to its new home but several years passed before re-assembly could take place and the task was finally completed in 1998.  The pump has been set up as a static exhibit. The former Foster Flour Mill is still operational, now - 2002 - in its centenary year. It is situated adjacent to the Railway Station in Station Road, Cambridge.


5 - Steam fire pump, Bancroft Mill 1890                       


Fire pump, Bancroft Mill This is a Mather and Platt "Underwriter" steam fire pump of 1890. it was used on a sprinkler system in a textile mill at Gargrave until 1975 and was then donated by Johnson & Johnson to the Yorkshire Dales Railway at Embsay. It subsequently gravitated to Bancroft Mill and is displayed in the mill yard.



                                                                                                  6 - Preston-Services   Canterbury, England  - Steam Fire pump made by Mather & Platt Ltd.  for sprinkler installation.                                                

                                              7 - Bradford Industrial Museum à Bradford , West Yorkshire, Angleterre -                      
                           In the hall of the powerful steam engine. This steam sprinkler fire pump was manufactured 
                                                          by Mather & Platt  Ltd.. for Hoffmann Sprinkler & C° Ltd.   





                                                                                                                                              Société Anonyme Mather & Platt                                                                                                                           Head Office in Paris   
 9, Avenue Bugeaud, 75116 PARIS  

                                     Fire Engineering, Park Works, 59100 ROUBAIX                                       
                           Food Machinery, Atelier de l'Eau Blanche, Route de Rosporden, 29000 QUIMPER                            

  .                                                                                                                             Head office in Paris



                                                                                                   The Office Staff of S. A. Mather & Platt - Paris in 1954                                                                                      

Directors - first row seated - right to left
Lucien Woindrich
Administrateur de la S.A. Mather & Platt
Directeur de la division Sprinkler. Fire Engineering
René Legrand
Administrateur de la S.A. Mather & Platt
Directeur de la division Food Machinery
Baron François de Bellet
Administrateur de la S.A. Mather & Platt
Secrétaire Général
Herbert North
Administrateur de la S.A. Mather & Platt
Jean Pirie
Administrateur de la S.A. Mather & Platt
Jean Mignot
Administrateur de la S.A. Mather & Platt
Directeur de la division special hazards de la Fire Engineering
(risques spéciaux - Mulsifyre, Protecto-spray, etc)
1st Row right to left (seating #7)
Daniel Mignot, Fire Engineering Drawings
                                                                                                                                                    12 Row right to left (standing #12)
Melle. Lasalle, Herbert North's secretary
Seated left of Lucien Woindrich
Melle. Dejoie, Chef Comptable
Back Row right to left (standing #9)
Henri Chevalley, Fire Engineering Drawings
S.A. Mather & Platt - France

1884 - Année de l'arrivée du sprinkler "GRINNELL" en France.  Premier fonctionnement en septembre 1884.                                                                                                                                                                               

C'est en début d'année 1884 que Messieurs Mather & Platt installèrent à Roubaix en France, une de leurs premières installations de sprinkler « Grinnell », dans la célèbre filature de coton de Messieurs Motte-Bossut Fils, devenue aujourd'hui le Centre national des archivesnationales.culture.gouv.fr/camt/.  Au mois de septembre de la même année 1884, le  premier incendie qui s'était déclaré dans la salle des batteurs de la Filature, fut  éteint en France, par deux têtes de sprinkler "Grinnell". Voici un extrait de la lettre envoyée par le propriétaire des lieux à Messieurs Mather & Platt à Manchester : " Par suite de la présence d'une pierre dans notre ouvreuse verticale, le feu prit au coton contenu dans ce batteur et se communiqua immédiatement au dépôt essentiellement inflammable de coton ouvert déjà et se trouvant à l'avant de cette machine. Avant que les ouvriers n'aient eu le temps de se servir de leurs tuyaux d'incendie, deux appareils sur huit installés dans cette petite salle, entrèrent en fonction et réduisirent les dégâts sans autre secours, à une valeur de quelques francs".  

Le brevet de l'invention de Frederik Grinnell déposé le 02/07/1881 fut cédé à William Mather en 1883 pour le monde entier excepté l'Amérique du Nord                                                                                                                                                                    

Premier sprinkler Grinnell                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

Tête de sprinkler "Grinnell" brevetée  le 02 juillet 1881, estampillée "Mather & Platt" en 1883   

  "Centre des Archives nationales du monde du travail"    

    Entrée de l'ancienne Filature Motte-Bossut Fils à Roubaix, elle abrite aujourd'hui  Le "Centre des Archives nationales du monde du travail"    

a présence d'une pierre dans l'ouvreuse verticale installée dans le local de ce bâtiment en façade de style, situé au dernier étage à  gauche, mit le feu au contenu d'un batteur, (position 2 voir graphique ci-dessous) deux sprinklers sur huit installés en début d'année1884, s'ouvrirent en septembre de ma même année, ce fut les deux premiers sprinkler "Grinnell", installés par MM. Mather & Platt, à éteindre un incendie en France, événement historique important.  


   1 - Brises balle, 2 Batteurs, 3 Carderie              

    Salle de carderie d'une Filature de coton  française

1888 - The arrival on the scene of William Dowson, Taylor & Company Liimited-   

 First installed in Bolton, the firm "Dowson & Taylor" developed the manufacture of a portable chemical extinguisher model "The Simplex" which quickly acquired a certain notoriety. A transfer of the company's industrial activities was carried out a few years later to Blackfriars Bridge, a town close to Manchester, it was given the means to achieve its ambitions, the creation of its own sprinkler "The Simplex", the patent is filed on April 29, 1886, it includes a technological advance unprecedented on the market, its installations are equipped with an alarm in the event of a sprinkler opening or a broken pipe, a second patent is filed on June 12 1888.

It should be remembered that in 1883, Mr. (later Sir) William Mather had acquired from Frederick Grinnell, the patents and rights of the sprinkler "Grinnell" for the whole world, except North America, William Mather entrusted the operating from 1883 to 1888 to the private company "Messieurs Mather & Platt", then assigned the patent and rights to the Grinnell sprinkler in 1888 to a new company, Dowson, Taylor & Cie Limited.
This new company formed, has as directors: Ralph Dowson, John T. Taylor and John Wormald, as directors-managing directors, William Mather, accedes to the function of non-executive chairman and John Platt to that of director non-executive.
The partnership agreements concluded in 1888 between Mr. William Mather, the sole owner of the “Grinnell” sprinkler universally recognized for its reliability, and Mr. M. Dowson & Taylor, owners of their alarm system, resulted in the immediate abandonment of the invented “Simplex” sprinkler. by MM. Dowson and Taylor, the company Dowson, Taylor & Cie Limited, becomes sole owner of the Sprinkler Grinnell and the Alarm Valve invented by Messrs. Dowson & Taylor, following the voluntary dissolution of the firms of Messrs. Mather & Platt, owner of their fire department, which later in the early twentieth century, will move to their new factory, Park-Work, in Newton-Heath Manchester.

1897 - Dowson, Taylor & C ° Limited moves to France -
Dowson, Taylor & Co. Ltd. is dedicated to fire protection all over the world except North America. In 1896, Paris offices, 5, rue de Chateaudun, Paris.
On March 31, 1897, the company moved to Lille, 47, rue du Molinel, regional capital of the textile industry in northern France, with the opening of offices and workshops of Dowson, Taylor & Cie Ltd including a center trials and demonstrations created on a large and real scale. After that it was Mather & Platt Limited with Mr. S.D. POTTER, 22, rue de Douai at Paris IX• (for Head Office of Continental Europ in 1919); Allan MACBETH, 2, rue Arnould-de-Vuez at Lille; Wallon PARKER, 9, rue Parmentier, at Roubaix, since august 7, 1914, Alfred SMITH, 2 rue Arnould·de-Vuez, at Lille, since april 25,1919; V.L. GRASSER & L. LYON, 24 rue des Fripiers at Bruxelles, since may 10, 1919.
 S.A. Mather & Platt - France - was incorporated in 1921  

         1921 - British Chairmen for the French Company -      

 Mather & Platt Ltd. had been trading in France via agencies, Sydney D. Potter come in France in 1890 and is recorded as the company's General-Agent in 1908, 65, rue Saint-Lazare, 75009 PARIS. In 1910, 22, rue de Douai, 75009 PARIS, téléphone : LOUVRE 20.13 and by its own endeavors but, it was not until 1921, that a fully-fledged company was incorporated in Head Office was set up in Paris - 179, rue de la Pompe 75116 PARIS, later 9, Avenue Bugeaud 75116 PARIS.and finally with Mr. Eustace Balfour, as last British president, 29; avenue Georges Politzer, 78183 TRAPPES.

The Fire Engineering Division works - 25 bis, rue Rollin and Filed of experimental works, rue Boucicaut, 59100 ROUBAIX in the north of France and the Food Machinery works at Quimper - Atelier de l'Eau Blanche, Route de Rosporden, 29000 QUIMPER situated about 300 miles west of Paris, overlooking the wild Atlantic Ocean. There was also a small workshop and stores in Marseille

The first S.A. Mather & Platt Chairman - appointed when the company was incorporated - was Sir John Wormald. He served from December 1921 until September 1924. The early twenties were difficult years for industry - in France as much as in Britain. The post-war period brought with it a new set of challenges and a labor force, in both countries, ready for change. By this stage in his life John Wormald was 62 and approaching well-deserved retirement. He stepped down as Chairman in France when he turned 65 and was followed in September 1924 by Loris Emerson Mather, the son of the original Mather (Sir William) - co-founder of the 1899 public company in Britain. John Wormald died in 1933.


                                         Mather & Platt Business Luncheon at the Café de la Paix à Paris                                        

                                                                                S.A. Mather & Platt - France - was incorporated in 1921. All the representatives came from their respective districts.

Mr. Jules Erny (also a Director) from Mulhouse (later President of the Company Jules Erny, Ingénieur-Constructeur, Fire sprinkler systems of Mulhouse-Dornach)

Mr. C. Blum, from Marseille 

Mr. T. Hume (the Chief of Construction in the North of France, from ROUBAIX)  

Mr. V. L. Grasser and Mr. L. Lyon, from Brussels 

Mr. R. F. Kindersley, from Lille (later  President  of  S.A. M+P France) 

Mr Baron François Roissard de Bellet from Paris

The only member of the staff who was missing was Mr. Robert. Hilton who was  engaged on that date in measuring up a job near Biarritz. (See below the next texte)
On March 24th, Sir John Wormald, the first Chairman of Mather & Platt S.A. and Mr. Loris Emerson Mather, Director of the Board of the French Company, crossed to France to take   part in an informal inauguration of the French Company and hold the first full Directors' meeting.                                                                                                                                       

                                    Certificat d'Actions nominatives de 1000 Francs entiérement libérées, huit actions attribuées à Sir John Wormald

                                                                            Article extract reporting the luncheon ...                                    


From  Mr. Robert Hilton - (Courtesy of Richard Hilton, his grandson 2001) -

Robert Hilton was born c.1890 in Stockport (UK) and became Manager of Mather & Platt at Roubaix, in France in 1925 where he served until 1931 when he retired.. 

Prior to this appointment, Robert Hilton had worked with Mather & Platt, in Manchester as a Technical Draughtsman and Inspector. He was sent, in 1920, to Weisbaden in Germany where he served the company for a further four years. His family accompanied him to Germany and then to France in 1925 when he took over at Roubaix.

Robert Hilton died some three years after his retirement, in 1933. Such details left to the family are few and far between and are currently being collated by his grandson, Richard, for addition to this page. Richard has worked in Paris for the National Geographic Institute and now lives, with his family, in rural tranquility in southern France. He is a keen archaeologist, often travelling to Tunisia to study Roman civilisation and antiquities in that country.

When Robert Hilton died in 1933, he left a wife and young family. His son, Richard's father, born (also in Stockport) in 1918, was just 14 years old. With the family (his mother and two sisters) he had to move nearer to Paris and had to abandon his studies at a young age in order to earn a living.. He was tenacious and did well enough to support his mother and sisters under their new circumstances.

He met his future wife in Paris but World War II intervened and he enlisted in the British Army, serving mostly in the Western Desert, south of Tobruk. They were married after the war and he worked first of all for the "Marshall Plan" and then at the British Embassy in Paris as a Commercial Attaché. A formidable man, by all accounts, he spoke very seldom about his own father and such family memorabilia that can be found about Robert Hilton comes to Richard only indirectly from anecdotal memories and rare written notes left after his father's death some three years ago. Richard would be pleased to hear from anyone in the Stockport/Manchester area of Britain who has any knowledge or archives concerning his branch of the Hilton family or of cousin branches in England or overseas. was born c.1890 in Stockport (UK) and became Manager of Mather & Platt at Roubaix, in France in 1925 where he served until 1931 when he retired. His successor at Roubaix was Ernest Boschi.


                                                                                                                               1950 - May - Herbert  G. North

                                                                                                                     Legendary President Herbert H. G. North 

He was the third  Chairman  From January 1950 - May 1955 


                                                                                                                                     1956 - Eustace Balfour                                                                                                                                                                                                              

                                                                                                                                  President Eustace Balfour

Eustace Balfour was the last British President general manager of S.A. Mather & Platt France. He was also a man who served the company for a long time, during  22 years, from 1956 until 1978 when Wormald-International  acquired  global control of Mather & Platt. At this times he obtained an early retirement, he was still a comparatively young man to face such a prospect, as were several others members of the staff at that point.  In 1978, many M&P identities found themselves seeking new horizons, either by choice or by corporate design. One such man in this latter category was Eustace Balfour, Chairman of S.A. Mather & Platt in France.   

Eustace  Balfour died in 2001.. 

The name of the French company was very soon changed to Mather+Platt Wormald. The choice of Wormald name was, ironicolly, this of the two brothers of Sir John Wormald,  who had been appointed as  general agents of Mather & Platt Ltd in Australia and New-zeeland.  Later with agreement of Mather & Platt Ltd. board's, they have been autorysed create in Australia an independent and similar company to Mather & Platt Ltd. During the first decade of the century. The venture was originally called Wormald Brothers, growing through the century into an international concern, boasting by 1987 a turnover of some Au$1.5 billion before it also found itself swallowed up in the maelstrom of 1980s corporate raiding, the enterprise merged with Tyco International.

George R. Oliver join Tyco in July 2006 as president of Tyco Safety Products and assume additional responsibility as president of Tyco Electrical & Metal Products from 2007 through 2010. He is appointed president of Tyco Fire Protection in 2011. In September. 1, 2016, George R. Oliver as chief executive officer of Tyco and as a member of its Board of Directors from September 2012 through the September 2016 merger with Johnson Controls. George R. Oliver is chairman and CEO of Johnson Controls. Prior to becoming CEO on Sept. 1, 2017, he served as president and chief operating officer with responsibility for the company’s operating businesses and leading the integration of Johnson Controls.
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Park Office and Park Works France TRAPPES in 1995

  Baron François Roissard de Bellet  - 54 Years Service to M&P France  

   Member of the Board and secretary of the Company                           

François was Secretary to S.A. Mather & Platt and retired in March 1954, when this group photograph was taken and had, by then, been associated since 1910 with the company for over forty-four years. His health, at this time, was not the best. His friends in Paris were anxious, therefore, that his leave-taking should not be entirely"official"; but it was not until May of that year that he was well enough to attend a small ceremony held in his honour. On May 19th, he received a long- service medal issued by the French Ministry of Labour and was presented with a chiming clock from the firmin recognition of his long and faithful service.  Mr. J. D. Paybody and Mr. George Roberts were in Paris at the time and represented Park Works, Manchester at the ceremony.                         



                                              Lucien Woindrich - 50 Years Service to M&P France    

                                                Member of the Board of the Company and Manager of the Sprinkler Division of Fire Engineering  


 Lucien Woindrich was born on May 7, 1901 at Héricourt in Franche-Comté, in France. An important center of the cotton industry. 

He begin his career at  Mather & Platt in 1916, like apprentice at the age of 15, as his friend and also cousin Ernest Boschi, will be some    years later. He worked his way up through the company and very quickly became Manager of the Sprinkler Division of Fire Engineering,    manager highly-qualified, listened to his collaborators. Respected for for his courtesy and his diplomacy. In 1954 he was appointed to the  Board, he held fonctions until his retirement in 1966 after a career spanning some fifty years. He died, on November 20, 1987.                      


 Mather & Platt S.A. Fire Engineering 

   - Park Works  - 25 bis, rue Rollin, 59100 ROUBAIX    

  - Field of experimental Works - rue Boucicaut, 59100 ROUBAIX -   




In 1883 - Mr. (later Sir) William Mather, while on a visit to the United States, secured the sole rights to market the Grinnell automatic sprinklers of Mr.  Frederick Grinnell   in all parts of the world except U.S.A. and Canada. With his friendship and association with John Wormald  who had joined Dowson, Taylor and Co from the insurance industry, Mather & Platt used this event to mark the beginning of yet another side of the firm's activities - one which was to leave a lasting legacy to the history of Fire Protection ...





Armoured Fire Doors


Ernest BOSCHI -
General manager - Mather & Platt S.A. - Fire engineering division Works

Ernest Boschi  -  Was born at FRAIZE (Vosges) in France, on June 5, 1903.

He joined Mather & Platt Ltd, on the November 12,1920 bringing with him ambition and energy of his youth - determined to work hard to enhance his career and to promote the success of his Company - to which he will devot his whole working life.

 When Ernest Boschi was recruited, Loris Emerson Mather was Chairman of Mather & Platt Ltd. in Manchester, whilst Sydney Potter was Company's General Agent in France. In 1921,  the new French company S.A. Mather & Platt is formed with Sir John Wormald as first Chairman, and Sydney Potter, general Managing Director.

Like so many others of this era, Ernest Boschi serve an apprenticeship  in field installation units and in the Fire Protection and automatic Sprinkler division of the Company. After that he is sent to North Africa, in  Algeria, on 1921 to take up a post of responsibility, develop and install fire protection sprinkler systems, principally for the flour milling industry. 

He came back to Metropolitan France to take up new responsibilities, at  the division fire protection - still working on different type of sprinkler systems, concentrating on technic development of installations, he returned a second time on Orléanville, Algeria, in the November 12, 1929, before joining Roubaix he worked his way up through the company, in 1931 he is appointed general Manager of Division fire protection at Park Works Roubaix, (by Sydney D. Potter, the company General Manager) taking over from Robert Hilton who was the Manager since 1925 of this factory  
As general Manager, his first goal was to modernise the quality of the production, with  new professionnals, but also with the means of equipments modern technologic to made different elements of a sprinkler  installation - Production lines for the prefabrication,  and   for sprinkler installations :  pipes and couplings, valves, pressure tanks, sprinkler-heads, coupling joints, hangers, hydrants - as well as maintenance supplies for this fire protection equipment. He also concerned himself with the improvement of working and life conditions of service within the factories itself. Ernest Boschi (1903-1964) has had a long carreer, he has during 33 years in Roubaix. His career lasted until his death, on July 24, 1964, with 44 Years Service. Many of the staff have served Mather & Platt S.A. between thirty years, forty years                                                                                                                      Grinnell Pipe lines for the prefabrication and  couplings for sprinkler installations
 and a few even more. Among of them the Boschi Brothers of Ernest, the general manager at Park Works Roubaix, Jean Boschi, Superintendent in Marseille, Albert Boschi, André Boschi, et PierreBoschi, regional chiefs for the constructions of fire protection installations in the country.                       
After the end of the Second World War, in 1946, he launched the company into the manufacture of fire sprinkler heads  developing in close co-operation with Alfred Hudson, an English engineer from Mather & Platt  Park Works Manchester the Fidex sprinkler model which had been made in England under the name of Titan by J. H. Lynde and George Mills of Radcliffe.  
Sir John Wormald, past president of S. A. Mather & Platt, France, retired wrote in 1923 : "The "Simplex" Sprinkler had been superceded by the "Grinnell" when Dowson & Taylor joined forces with Mather & Platt early in 1888, but the "Witter" and the "Titan" Sprinklers, in considerably modified forms remained on the market with other devices of later date"   
 Once production of the Fidex had started in France, "Grinnell" sprinkler heads were no longer imported from Manchester. The Fidex sprinkler model was made in 1946 exclusively in Roubaix, like in Japan.during the second world war. Also Ernest Boschi set in motion an upgrade of factory buildings whilst also developing new production lines for the prefabrication of pipes and couplings for sprinkler installations. In 1948 he also equipped the factory for the production of armoured fire-doors. Ernest Boschi continued to serve as Manager and brought to the company the positive qualities in engineering. He had a hard-headed  business  sense, a determination to get the best out of himself and those about him and he was possessed of a great energy. He communicated  his enthusiasm to his team and to many others so that in his time he became a central figure.

The sprinkler Fidex   
 Evolution of the automatic fire sprinkler systems (2019)  BY WALTER S. BEATTIE, CSP, CFPS, CSHM  

                                                        Fire Doors made in 
Fire engineering division Works in1948 





                                                                    Extincteur chimique portatif contre l'incendie "Le Simplex"   


                                                                                               Reference installations sprinkler "Grinnell" in France

                                                                 - Shops and stores -

The Paris Opera -


                                                                            - Mills and plant -          

     Boats and liners     


                                                                  Sprinklers Grinnell                                                                                                            Sprinklers Grinnell  type "marine"

 1899 - LA FILATURE DE FRAIZE (Vosges) - France - "Historique extrait des Archives départementales des Vosges"  * 

"Historique Nicolas Géliot, industriel originaire de Bourgogne, s’installe en 1835 à Plainfaing pour y fonder un petit empire industriel textile dans la Haute-Vallée de la Meurthe. Il fait l’acquisition du vieux moulin d’Habeaurupt pour installer sa toute première filature à force hydraulique. L’usine est officiellement mise en route en 1837. En 1849, Nicolas Géliot rachète la papeterie de Plainfaing qu’il transforme en filature, entreprend la construction du tissage de la Croix des Zelles, puis achète en 1855 les tissages de Noirgoutte, situés tous deux à Plainfaing. L’extension des établissements N. Géliot et fils se poursuit en direction de Fraize. L’industriel fait construire à Fraize en 1857 une nouvelle usine, qu’il équipe avec d’importantes machines fournies entre autres par la maison André Kœchlin de Mulhouse. Il introduit en 1860 la machine à vapeur en complément de la force hydraulique existante. L’ensemble de ces machines comprend une ouvreuse, plusieurs batteurs, des cardes, des bancs d’étirage, des bancs à broches et des renvideurs mécaniques. Nicolas Géliot décède le 5 août 1873 à Plainfaing. La succession des établissements est assurée par son épouse, Marie-Rose Deparis, ses enfants Henri, Adrien, Louis et Marie-Berthe Géliot et par son gendre Émile Gillotin, qui devient le directeur général de la firme. La société N. Géliot et fils est donc créée en 1874. En 1873, le tissage de Noirgoutte est entièrement dévasté par un incendie. Il est en totalité reconstruit. En 1874, le tissage de la Truche de Plainfaing vient s'ajouter à la firme Géliot. Ce tissage fut créé en 1847 par P. Dollfus. Le développement continue avec l’acquisition, en 1883 du tissage des Graviers de Plainfaing ; le tissage de la Croix des Zelles est agrandi et celui d’Habeaurupt modernisé en 1888. En 1889, après la suppression du libre-échange, la firme Géliot monte véritablement en puissance. La manufacture des Aulnes de Fraize est ainsi créée et officiellement mise en action en 1891. Elle comprend 458 métiers de 58 000 broches et deux machines à vapeur. Le rachat des tissages de Saulcy-sur-Meurthe en 1894 propulse la firme Géliot aux premiers rangs des firmes textiles des Vosges". 
La Filature de Fraize, outil de travail modèle et exemplaire, datant du XXème siècle, n'existe plus aujourd'hui, elle a été détruite en juin 1989 par choix pour en faire une prairie, la transmission de sa mémoire culturelle atteinte en plein coeur s'est interrompue dans la vallée de la Haute-Meurthe. 
 La découverte il y a quelques années d'un rapport établi vers 1930 par Monsieur Raymond Meyer, nous fait revivre les grands moments de la filature à travers un bel exemple de la transmission de la mémoire du patrimoine culturel. 

 Sources * - Archives départementales des Vosges 


  1. Fonds de la filature Géliot (XXe s.).pdf

   Histoire de Fraize et de la Haute-Vallée de la Meurthe, L'industrie Cotonnière (pages 258 à 268) -  René Fleurent éditeur, Fraize 1957, réédition 1995

             (click on)                                                                                              LA FILATURE DE FRAIZE (Vosges) - France -

                                                                                                                                                     1899 - 1989


   Rapport de Monsieur  Raymond MEYER

            Ecole Supérieure des Sciences économiques et commerciales de Paris, vers 1930
 "L’installation d’une usine importante sur les terrains de l’ancienne usine brûlée, dont la superficie se limitait à cette époque à 86 ares 80, serrés entre le cours de la Meurthe et les constructions de l’agglomération centrale de Fraize, imposait en 1900 la solution d’une filature à étages, une filature à l'anglaise.

Photos Fil Fraize

Cette solution était d’ailleurs toute indiquée pour le travail spécial des cotons Jumel auquel cette usine était destinée, le bâtiment à étages dans sa conception moderne des grandes filatures anglaises ayant été poussée à une grande perfection.

L’ensemble réalisé sur le lieu de l’ancienne filature de 1900 à 1914 était d’une conception parfaite, moderne, poussée jusqu'à l’extrême pour utiliser toute la place disponible et la réserver à la fabrication. L’agrandissement de cette filature au moment de la reconstruction après la guerre posait donc avant tout le problème de l’élargissement des terrains ; il reçu une solution heureuse par la déviation du cours de la Meurthe, ce qui porta l’étendue de la propriété à plus de 2 ha 1/2 d’un seul tenant. Les terrains nécessaires avaient été acquis progressivement depuis plusieurs années avec une grande prévoyance dans ce but. Grâce à cette réalisation, la filature de Fraize put être porté à son importance actuelle par la construction d’une aile nouvelle et toutes ses dépendances purent être élargies et modernisées. La surface totale d’utilisation donnée par les bâtiments, comptée bien entendu en additionnant la surface des étages et du sous-sol, atteint actuellement 25 220 m2 environs. Ces dernières sont exécutées entièrement en maçonnerie massive de moellons et angles de granit avec colonnes en fonte supportant des poutrages très solides en fer.

(click on this image)

Les plates-formes des étages sont en béton de ciment, recouverts seulement dans certaines salles de planchers de bois et parquets de chêne, suivant la destination et l’utilité du travail.

De larges baies vitrées répandent la lumière à profusion dans ces grandes salles carrées, dont les plus importantes ont dans l’ancien bâtiment près de 50 m sur 40 m soit une surface de 2000 m2 environ.Enfin la couverture des bâtiments principaux a été réalisée. 

Mais les colonnes en fonte et les gros poutrages en fer ayant été introuvables à cette période de la reconstruction, on a dû avoir recours pour ces bâtiments au ciment armé.

Le toit a dû être exécuté en ciment volcanique avec une couche de sable remplaçant la nappe d’eau.

La valeur de cette couverture est inférieure à celle de la première, mais elle est suffisante, surtout pour la salle de retordage qui a été disposée à l’étage de ce bâtiment, cette opération étant beaucoup moins délicate au point de vue de la régularité des conditions de température et d’hygrométrie que la filature de Jumel elle-même.

A la filature de Fraize, l’installation de force motrice, vapeur de 1900 a été maintenue, car elle est encore des plus modernes, comportant :

 Chaufferie :

1 batterie de 4 chaudières semi-tubulaires de 180 m2 de surface de chauffe timbre (12 kg). (S.A.C.M.)

4 surchauffeurs Schwoerer portant la vapeur à 300° C

1 Réchauffeur Green de 320 tubes pour l’eau d’alimentation.

Les chaudières sont en sous sol et le charbon descend au déchargement par de grandes trémies jusque devant les foyers.

Un grand parc à houille longeant toute la cour contient la réserve de combustibles ; il est en communication avec les chaudières par une galerie souterraine à plan incliné.

Machine à vapeur : "triplex" de 1200 C.V. (S.A.C.M.) avec distribution par obturateur. 

Reste en parfait état d’entretien, elle donne un excellent rendement. La machine à vapeur attaque directement tous les étages de l’ancien bâtiment par son volant de 5 m 50 de diamètre, au moyen de 32 câbles en coton et en chanvre se répartissant sur les commandes des différentes salles. A côté de ce moteur à vapeur est accouplées avec lui, au moyen d’une transmission à câbles, 2 turbines hydrauliques (J.J. Rieter & Wintherthur) installées en 1914 peuvent fournir un appoint de force de 300 C.V. au maximum, cette force étant généralement moindre, puisque proportionnée au débit de la rivière. Ces turbines ont été maintenues dans leurs dispositions premières, attaquant directement la transmission, mais une ancienne roue d’eau, dont nous avons parlé dans le chapitre "reconstitution" a été remplacée par un nouveau groupe de turbines Singren (Constructions Electriques de France) constituant avec leur alternateur accouplé directement sur arbre, la station hydro-électrique de Fraize. Le local de cette dernière a été réuni avec celui des turbines Rieter pour la simplification des services. Les installations de chauffage, de ventilation et d’humidification des salles ont été tout particulièrement étudiées dans cette filature de fin où les conditions hygrométriques jouent un grand rôle. Les chauffages à vapeur avec retour d’eau aux chaudières, ont été installées par la Société des forges d’Audincourt et dans les nouveaux bâtiments par le S.A.C.M. de Mulhouse. Dans les salles de peignage et des continus à filer, où il faut beaucoup d’humidité, la Société Lyonnaise de Ventilation Industrielle, à Lyon et à Neuilly-sur-Seine a installé un système de climatisation humidifiant l'air, de même type que celle de la filature des Aulnes. Les autres salles disposant d’une ventilation centrale importante combinée avec humidificateur (Système Farcot).                                          

 Protection automatique anti-incendie par sprinkler "Grinnell"
Le système de protection automatique anti-incendie est de Mather & Platt par une installation de sprinkler protégeant l'ensemble du site industriel, avec 2.179 têtes d'extinction dépendant de trois postes de contrôle comportant chacun un système d'alarme-incendie relié directement aux services d'incendie de la ville. Les réseaux de canalisation installés dans les parties chauffées sont sous eau en permanence, en revanche celles situées dans les parties non chauffées en période de gel sont alternativement sous air l'hiver et sous eau l'été. 
L'alimentation des installations est assurée par deux sources indépendantes et automatiques, une source "A" fournie par un réservoir élevé d'une capacité de 35 m3, situé à la partie supérieure dominante d'une tour à 30 m de hauteur, en mesure de fournir la première réserve d'eau nécessaire à l'extinction d'un départ de feu, soit cinq têtes capables de fonctionner durant trente minutes, plus tard il sera remplacé par un bac de de pression fournissant 15 m3 d'eau à la pression de 8 bars, la source "B" est inépuisable, elle puise ses réserves d'eau dans la rivière la Meurthe à l'aide d'une puissante pompe à vapeur, à double cylindre dont le type était fabriqué depuis 1857 par Mather & Platt Ltd. dans sa première usine à Salford près de Manchester. Il s'agissait d'une pompe horizontale double piston à quadruple effet activé par la vapeur en provenance des chaudières de l'usine, elle fût remplacée le 26 Avril 1951 par un groupe électro-pompe à démarrage automatique, capable de fournir aux surfaces impliquées, en cas d'incendie, un débit de 180 m3/h à 8 bars.
  Pompe à vapeur "Assureur" modèle 1857 construite par MM. Mather & Platt à Manchester
   Pour faire fonctionner  en plein l'écran cette pompe cliquer sur le lien ci-contre  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Mdo2WvgZH8

  Fonctionnement de la Filature de Fraize :  
La filature de Fraize ne travaille pas que les cotons longues soies, en particulier les cotons d’Egypte ; et comme nous l’avons dit à propos de la matière première, chaque fois que l’opportunité en présente, on utilise les cotons coloniaux en particulier d’Algérie. La moitié des assortiments sont en peigné, l’autre moitié en cardé. Cette filature a de plus un important retordage et des ateliers complets de finissage.Le dévidage, le gazage et le mercerisage sont installés dans des salles spéciales du sous-sol, qui constituent d’ailleurs un véritable étage supplémentaire où se font toutes les manipulations de la réception des filés dans une cave humide disposée à cet effet.

Tout est conçu pour réaliser un enchaînement régulier, méthodique et commode des opérations sans transport inutiles. On peut suivre ces manipulations successives sur les plans. Le brise-balles alimente 8 gros casiers de mélanges. Les chargeuses automatiques et les ouvreuses préliminaires se trouvent entre ces casiers et le coton travaillé par ces machines descend automatiquement sur les ouvreuses, au rez-de chaussée. La salle des batteurs alimente directement celles des cardes , les rouleaux étant transportés par un monorail flexible pouvant passer entre les rangées de machines.

Les opérations successives s’enchaînent pour le cardé comme pour le peigné et vers les bancs enfin inclus au rez-de chaussée d’où leurs bobines montent directement par l’ascenseur central à destination. Tous les bancs à broche surfins alimentant les continus sont au premier étage avec ceux-ci. Le retordage avec ses bobinoirs est au premier étage du nouveau bâtiment, les renvideurs enfin occupent les deux étages supérieurs de l’ancienne usine.

Tous les filés sont descendus par le monte-charge central qui débouche devant la cave humide, où ils passent tous pour entrer ensuite à la réception et à l’encaissage, qui est installé tout le long des fenêtres du sous-sol, dans une partie très bien éclairée ; l’encaissage communique avec le magasin de caisses et la salle de départ ou d’expédition d’une part, avec les ateliers de dévidage, gazage et mercerisage d’autre part.

Les expéditions préparées d’avance dans la salle de départ soit en caisses, soit en ballots, sont enlevées à de plain-pied à par les camions qui descendent devant le quai d’embarquement, semblable à celui des Aulnes.Tous les déchets de la préparation sont récupérés sur place et descendent par des trémies ou trappes au sous-sol, d’où ils sont dirigés vers les magasins , au moyen d’un chariot spécial aux anciens magasins."

          Textes extraits du rapport de Raymond. MEYER
          Ecole Supérieure des Sciences économiques et commerciales de Paris, vers 1930

               Division machines pour l'agroalimentaire

                      Food Machinery of Mather & Platt

                                   - Usine de Quimper -

Atelier de l'Eau Blanche, Vielle Route de Rosporden 29000 QUIMPER                          

  M & P Engineering Ltd

Before the War, a useful trade had been carried on in Europe. This was done partially by export, and partially by local manufacture. In France, Brittany was the main   centre of vegetable and fish canning and in this area S.A. Mather & Platt had made arrangements with a local firm at Quimper, Etablissements Jean Louarn, to manufacture any Food Machinery which, for various reasons could not be imported. Similarly, in Belgium, an arrangement was made with the firm of Edouard Lecluyse in Antwerp, and Food Machinery of Mather & Platt design was manufactured in both Factories for sale in Europe.

During the War, when all trade with Europe ceased, the French Company had to fall back on its own resources and in order to continue the Food Machinery business, made arrangements to finance Jean Louarn so as to expand his Works and manufacture machines which had previously been imported from England, and others which were developed in France during the course of the War. This initiative on the part of the French Staff not only kept the business alive, but resulted in a healthy expansion after the war was over.

The range of Food Machinery manufactured by Mather & Platt Ltd, included not only machines for Canning, but also machines for general food purposes such as Root Vegetable and other Washers, Food Pumps, Grain Dryers and Glass Jar Dryers, Peelers for all types of fruit and vegetables, Graders by size, weight or specific gravity, many forms of Cutters, Choppers, Dicers and Slicers, Filling and Inspection Tables and Conveyors which handle a great variety of items.

The M & P designed Pea Viner, embodying several new features, and having a higher throughput than competitive models, found ready markets, several hundreds being sold at home and overseas. cwts per hour and the waste vine is carried away on a Conveyor to be made into silage. The peas are then elevated into the Winnower, which cleans them, gravitate through a Washer

Atelier de l'Eau Blanche 127, Vielle Route de Rosporden 29000 QUIMPER    

A Mather & Platt Canning Line is fully automatic, and processing times and temperatures can be controlled by the operation of instruments alone. A good example is the Pea Line. The Pea Vine is reaped in the field and loaded automatically onto a Trailer. It is then tipped alongside the Viner into which it is fed. with pitch forks. The shelled peas are delivered from one side of the Viner at the rate of about 30

A Mather & Platt Canning Line is fully automatic, and processing times and temperatures can be controlled by the operation of instruments alone. A good example is the Pea Line. The Pea Vine is reaped in the field and are pumped to the Grader and again to the next process of Blanching. Here the intercellular gases are driven out, surface infections are removed and the peas are thoroughly cleaned. They are then cooled and washed again, passing over a Picking Table where they are visually inspected for the removal of sub-standard peas. They are then washed again, pass through a machine to remove splits and skins, elevated to a Hopper, from which they gravitate to the Filler and then into the can together with a measured quantity of brine. The filled cans then pass through an Exhauster system which, by heating the can and its contents, drives off the air and ensures a good vacuum in the can after the next process of seaming on the lids. The closed cans then travel through an automatic Pressure Cooker and Cooler from where they roll away to be labelled and cased, or stored. Similar lines are made for handling other Vegetables, Fruits and Fish while specialised machines can be incorporated in the Lines to adapt them for Soup, Milk or Meat.

Throughout the whole of this process, no part of the pea or pea vine need be touched by hand, and the peas are usually in labelled cans, graded according to size, and cooked within four hours of the pea vine being reaped. An automatic line of this description can handle two hundred cans a minute with very little labour, and under complete and automatic process control. This chain of processes would amaze a housewife, and surprise an early pioneer like Appert. It is an excellent example of a revolution in the consumer industry, which has revealed yet again the close connection between technical invention and business enterprise.



Z.I de Kervilou - 127, Vieille Route de Rosporden, 29000 QUIMPER France + 33 2 98 90 80 80

La société EAMS Industrie poursuit depuis 1998 l’activité de conception et fabrication de lignes de préparation de légume initiée à QUIMPER par la multinationale  Mather+Platt avant la 2nde guerre mondiale. Fourni des lignes de préparation de fruits et de légumes.

Construite en 1956, l’usine de Quimper avait été rachetée en 1991 par une autre multinationale, FMC (Food Machinery Corporation). Ces 2 spécialistes des procédés de récolte et de transformation des légumes (Conserve, Surgelé, …) se sont ainsi succédé dans nos locaux, construisant et installant des lignes de production complètes de pois, haricot, … à destination de près de 40 pays. Cela jusqu’à la fermeture du site en 1997.


559 800 750 00205
Siège social
Réparation de machines et équipements mécaniques
559 800 750
Etab. secondaire
Fabrication d'autres articles de robinetterie
559 800 750 00221
Etab. secondaire
Fabrication d'autres articles de robinetterie
559 800 750 00247
Etab. secondaire
Travaux d'installation d'eau et de gaz en tous locaux
559 800 750 00254
Etab. secondaire
559 800 750 00262
Etab. secondaire
Travaux d'installation électrique dans tous locaux

                                                                                          - UNITED KINGDOM -

Mather & Platt Limited                                                                                                                                     Mather & Platt Limited     

Park Works                                                                                                                                                        Park HouseManchester Lancashire M40 2WL                                                                                                                   Great Smith street, London  S.W.1   United  Kingdom                                                                                                                                               United  Kingdom   

1888 - The history of Dowson, Taylor & C° Limited -  

Sir William Mather, Ralph Dowson & John Taylor formed the original partnership, and later the enterprise which provided the future public company, Mather  & Platt Ltd. with the basis of one of its most innovative and successful departments The Fire Engineering DepartmentThe history of Dowson,Taylor & C° Ltd  

The early entreprise and dogged determination of these two men brought about the eventual restructuring of the Mather & Platt partnership and, as a result, the core business of  the new  company was modified to exploit the rapidly  growing demand for fire fighting and protection equipment on a global basis.                     

It was in 1883 after Parmelee had given his first demonstration, in Bolton, That William Mather made the visit to America, to which reference is made elsewhere and brought back from the United States, the world selling rights, apart from North America, for an automatic sprinkler called “Grinnell”. No sooner had John Taylor studied the mechanism of the “Grinnell” head and seen it tested under fire conditions, that he knew it to be the best sprinkler yet invented. Mather and Platt started to sell the “Grinnell” sprinkler and there was fierce competition between the two firms. John Taylor had invented and patented a sprinkler alarm valve which was by far and away better than anything else made at the time.So here we had two firms in competition both having the best designed working parts of a sprinkler system. Some-how the two inventions had to be brought together.

At this point another important person comes on the scene. John Wormald who at the time was the surveyor for the Bolton Mutual Insurance Corporation and who had written and had published the first set of rules for the installation of sprinklers  He had done this for the Bolton Mutual Insurance Corporation who were to offer discounts on fire insurance premiums for buildings protected by automatic sprinklers installed to their rules. Bolton Mutual’s decision to grant discounts for properly installed sprinkler systems was so successful that the larger fire insurance companies soon followed and so a means to incentivise factory owners to install automatic fire sprinkler systems was established. John Wormald was of course well known to John Taylor who had assisted him in drafting the rules one Sunday afternoon on a park bench in Bolton, he was also known to William Mather. John Wormald saw the fierce competition between Mather and Platt and Dowson and Taylor and appreciated that each owned the best products for a sprinkler system but that neither had the use of each other’s products.

John Wormald knew that John Taylor would like to have available to his firm the “Grinnell” sprinkler he also knew that William Mather would like to have available the Taylor patented alarm valve. However Ralph Dowson was a formidable salesman and Mather’s sprinkler department were finding it difficult to over come the Dowson and Taylor competition. The first step to solve this, was an agreement in 1887 where Mather & Platt agreed to sell “Grinnell” sprinklers to Dowson and Taylor. This arrangement was so successful that John Wormald suggested to both John Taylor and William Mather that the two firms should come together and combine their activities and that in the event that this could be agreed that he would leave the Bolton Mutual Insurance Corporation and join the new combined enterprise to promote automatic sprinkler systems on a national scale.

On the 10th May 1888 John Wormald’s efforts  were rewarded and Mather and Platt and Dowson and Taylor signed an agreement for a new company called Dowson, Taylor and Co. Limited to be formed with Ralph Dowson, John Taylor, and John Wormald as Managing Directors and William Mather as non-executive Chairman and John Platt a non-executive Director. The purpose was for the new company to purchase the Mather and Platt Sprinkler business including it’s agency for the Grinnell sprinkler in exchange for 2500 Ordinary shares in Dowson, Taylor and Co. Limited plus £7,000 and to purchase the Dowson and Taylor business with it’s patents for 2,500 Ordinary shares plus stock equipment, tools and work in progress at a reasonable valuation.

The new company wasted no time and soon a London office was opened under John Wormald in Victoria Street with him having responsibility for all sales south of River Trent. North of   this the sales were the responsibility of the Manchester office.                                                                                                                                                                                                       


                 Ralph DOWSON                                                                             Dowson, Taylor & C° Limited                                                                       John T. Taylor


 1888 - The Dowson-Taylor variable pressure ALARM valve,  patented under n° 384,514 June 12, 1888. 

The variable Pressure Alarm Valve was invented by Ralph Dowson and  John T. Taylor. This valve is operated by the flow of the water, and is constructed so as to prevent false alarms being given by any variations of pressure in the main supply pipes.

In 1890 John Taylor on a visit to the U.S.A. negotiated the right for Dowson, Taylor & Co. Ltd to manufacture the “Grinnell” sprinkler, so ending the need to import “Grinnell” sprinkler heads from America and at the same time licenced the Grinnell Company to manufacture his patented alarm valve for use in North America.

                                                                                                                                                        (click on these images)

                                                                                          Alarm valve Dowson & Taylor for automatic fire extinguishers  


                                                                                                                            Mather & Platt Ltd's Alarm valve   

                                                                                              To see how a Sprinkler head works click here  vimeo.com/71783310                                                                 




                                                                                   MATHER & PLATT LONG SERVICE ASSOCIATION 2002                       

                    Annual Dinner 
 The L.S.A. Golden Jubilee     
 2002 - 50th Anniversary Annual Dinner & Reunion of Mather & Platt Long Service Association, Friday 19th April 2002 at the Ballroom Pennine Way Hotel Oldham 
  President and Chairman of the Association                            

It is a great pleasure to me to propose the toast to the L.S.A. in the Golden Jubilee Year of the Association, particularly as we are honoured and delighted to welcome Lady Eleanor Mather and Peter as our principal Guests of Honour. This gives us all a timely reminder of the memory of Sir William, our late President, who supported the Association so loyally and enthusiastically - from when he succeeded his father, Mr. Loris Emerson Mather in 1960, to when he was Chairman of M+P and later also, after he retired. We remember “Bill” with great affection and respect. It is also particularly interesting and gratifying the we are sharing this Golden Jubilee with Her Majesty the Queen who came to the throne in such sad circumstance at about the same time that the Mather & Platt Long Service Association was inaugurated. 1952 was quite a momentous year!



"At the beginning of 1951 a feeling had grown among the longer serving members of the Company that a more formal attempt should be made to cement the ties of friendship and loyalty which had been created between men whom had worked together for many years in a company which had become a very important part of their lives and of the welfare and happiness of their families. So an unofficial committee, chaired by Charlie Garside of  2 Bay, was able to arrange a meeting with the blessing of the Directors, on February 29th 1952, at the New Shades Restaurant with a meal and a social evening and presided over by Mr. Loris Emerson Mather and Mr. Herbert Taylor, of the Board of Mather & Platt Ltd."

A total of 136 employees attended and, as a result of the meeting, the M+P L.S.A. was inaugurated. An official committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Charlie Garside and a constitution agreed for membership.


It is worth quoting the Objects from this constitution:

  1 – To develop and maintain a spirit of good fellowship amongst members.
  2 – To hold an annual gathering and dinner and carry out such other social activities as may be decided by the Committee."

Membership was open to all male employees who had been employed for 30 years service with the Company, with a monthly subscription of one shilling. The first President was Mr. Loris Emerson Mather, Chairman of the Company and other Directors who had the necessary 30 years service would be invited to join as Hon. Vice-Presidents.


The Association quickly gathered strength and by November 1952 the total membership was 275. The present membership - despite many recent years of economic difficulty, contraction and redundancies - now stands at 298 with, I am pleased to say, 13 lady members, and growing, who now enhance our annual occasion. Marion Dowson, incidentally, made the ”breakthrough” as the first lady member with 30 years service - starting in 1936 and becoming a member in 1967.


The birth of the M+P L.S.A. 50 years ago was initiated by the “grassroots” workforce and was an indication of the loyalty generated in Mather & Platt from the beginning of the 19th Century into the 20th Century - and now into 21st Century, and still as strong as ever. This was never due to the Company dishing out an easy life - as we will all testify. We experienced tough times together and difficult decisions had to be made; but in our various ways we always rose  to the challenge with the pioneering spirit which helped to make the Company one of the leaders in the industrial revolution which this country (and this region) gave to the world.


The name of Mather & Platt established a world reputation for excellence and innovation, not only in its products – pumps, electrical motors and generators, textile machinery, food processing machinery and fire protection (to name just the main ones) but also – and equally important - in the training, education and welfare of its people. This is the very heart of any organisation which means to succeed and to play its part in the community at large.


It was of particular importance to me and to many of my contemporaries, being a scared 14-year-old entering the world of work to find out quickly that I had joined a company with first class apprentice training. I still remember my start in Pumps – 7 Bay - and the first week or so filing studs, polishing brass, removing packing, taking a container to collect “Blue Steam” , going home with heels painted white etc.! But it very quickly moved on and I started to benefit from the Works School, continuing general education at outside Technical Colleges and then to pursuing professional Engineering qualifications. The result was a loyalty to Mather & Platt and its name and reputation, which has outlasted many of the industrial giants of the 19th and 20th Centuries and is still a name respected throughout the world.


In this country, M+P was trading until a few years ago in its own right but, in a rapidly changing world with increased mobility and with the global economy, its trading name has virtually disappeared and has been replaced by worthy successors – Weir and Wormald – who both share the basic ideals which M+P developed over its history. The Weir and Wormald subsidy that each provides annually for this dinner and our annual meeting is tangible evidence of that.


We have seen Park Works almost reduced to a pile of rubble and the site cleared for other developments. But some things survive and cannot be destroyed: our loyalty, affection and gratitude to the name M+P, with so many wonderful memories to treasure – and pain and heartache to remember too, but this is what a family is all about! And the name, Mather & Platt still lives on in our Long Service Association - through you, the members - and will continue to live for many years to come. We are demonstrating, through our members, that despite the increasing pace of change in the world, there are indestructible aspects of daily life we value and which are strengted though the friendships and companionship we share in the Association.


The Mather & Platt Long Service Association is in good heart and the name M+P is in safe hands for some time to come. A final word – our guest Marcel Boschi is writing a book “The History of Mather & Platt Ltd.” and we wish him success and offer our help and encouragement in this enormous enterprise. We look forward to hearing of his progress.

I invite you all to stand and join me to toast the Mather & Platt Long Service Association in its Golden Jubilee Year.

2012 - 60th Anniversary Annual Dinner & Reunion of Mather & Platt Long Service Association-  *

                                                                                                                    The History of Mather & Platt Ltd book     
                                                                                  was commissioned to celebrate the 60th Anniversary 
                                                                                      of the Mather & Platt Long Service Association. 

                                                                                              "Fascinating... a fabulous insight into how Mather & Platt helped to 
                                                                                                     create social welfare reforms for the impoverished Salford 
                                                                                                                   community during the early 19th Century.
                                                                                                              Salford Museum of Social History and Art Gallery 
                                                                                                   Required reading for those who want to learn more about the 
                                                                                              Manchester and Salford engineering pioneers and innovators that 
                                                                                                                             helped to make Britain great. 
                                                                                                                  Manchester Museum of Science & Industry 
                                                                                                 The employees of this local Manchester and Salford Company 
                                                                                                  excelled themselves both on and off the Battlefield.  No other 
                                                                            made such a diverse and valuable contribution to the war effort during World War Two. 
                                                                                                                                                                                             Imperial War Museum

            Reported in “OUR JOURNAL” Spring 1953                                                                                                                  


2014 - 62nd Annual Dinner & Reunion of the Mather & Platt Long Service Association, Friday 4th April 2014  at the Smokies Best Western Hotel Oldham                                             

 Oldham is a large town in Greater Manchester, England. It lies amid the Pennines on elevated ground between the rivers Irk and Medlock, 5.3 miles (8.5 km) south-southeast of Rochdale, and 6.9 miles (11.1 km) northeast of the city of Manchester. Oldham is surrounded by several smaller towns that together form the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham, of which Oldham is the administrative centre.Historically in Lancashire, and with little early history to speak of, Oldham rose to prominence during the 19th century as an international centre of textile manufacture. It was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and among the first ever industrialised towns, rapidly becoming "one of the most important centres of cotton and textile industries in England". At its zenith, it was the most productive cotton spinning mill town in the world, producing more cotton than France and Germany combined.[5] Oldham's textile industry began to fall into decline during the mid-20th century, and its last mill closed in 1998.                                    


                                                            (click on this image)

2015 - 63rd Annual Dinner & Reunion of the Mather & Platt Long Service Association, Friday 24th April 2015 at the Smokies Best Western Hotel Oldham   

                                                                       Norman Ellison                                                                                                         Peter Jones          
                                                                   Secretary of LSAMP                                                                                                President of LSAMP    

December 2003: Norman writes (see Guest Book) "My father, Arthur Ellison, worked at M&P Park Works from the 1920s to 1962 when he retired as the foreman of the Machine Tool Maintenance Dept. He was born in Lower Broughton, Salford and lived in Camp St. His father (my grandfather) W.T.Ellison, designed the early "Non-Rush" Turnstiles which are still at many stadiums throughout the world - including Old Trafford cricket ground and, until recently, at Maine Road football ground."

                The Mather & Platt Long Service Association  Image adapted from original photograph by Mr. Eamon O'Brien. Mr. O'Brien is a member of the L.S.A. Committee
                     - The Last days of Newton Heath, late twentieth century -                   

Mather & Platt/Wormald International 1978 and after ...

When the Australian-based company, Wormald International, acquired Mather & Platt in 1978 it was a take-over that affected M&P not only in Britain but also on a worldwide basis.

During the ensuing years there were internal rationalisations which touched each and every Mather & Platt establishment - at the highest echelon and with the name Mather & Platt eventually being expunged from corporate vocabulary - in the U.K. at least.

Mather & Platt Ltd (UK)  became Wormald U.K. (later Wormald Ansul)
S.A. Mather + Platt (Fire Engineering) became, M+P -Wormald   (France)
S.A. Mather + Platt (Food Machinery) was sold to American Food Machinery
Mather & Platt S. P. A. became Wormald - Mather & Platt (Italy)
Mather & Platt (Spain) became Wormald  Mather & Platt ( Spain)
Le GRINNELL, (Belgium) became Wormald (B)
Le GRINNELL, (Netherlands)  became Wormald N.V. - and so on.

Under a restructured management, all departments of the former company, except for "Fire Engineering" were sold. By on-selling all other divisional operations, the strategy was to amortize completely the acquisition of the "Fire Engineering" flagship - the proud and successful descendant of The Taylors of 'D'.

The Food Machinery Department was sold to American Food Machinery which had initially assisted in building up the original M&P department at Radcliffe Works (Britain), Quimper (France) and Anvers (Belgium). http://www.mp-engineering.co.uk/index.html . The Indian operation was sold to the Jumbo Group (the late Manohar Rajaram Chhabria  after his death, the firm was sold to Wilo who are expanding in India with the Mather & Platt acquisition.

Recent additions ...

Wilo AG has acquired majority holdings in the Indian listed companies Mather & Platt Pumps Ltd and Mather & Platt Fire Systems Ltd from the Jumbo Group. Mather & Platt (India) Ltd. deals with pumps and pumping projects. M+P is engaged in designing and supply of equipments and systems for fire detection and protection. M+P manufacture equipments and systems for food processing. M+P is ISO 9001 certified. We cater to to the requirements of many sectors like oil, fertilizers, municipal services, irrigation, power generation, and steel mines. http://www.matherplatt.com/pdf/FireCatalogue.pdf and http://www.matherplatt.com/brochures.htm  

Previously .......

The Indian operation was sold to the Jumbo Group (the late Manohar Rajaram Chhabria  and South Africa to Benmacor / Hudaco (see now Mather & Platt South Africa.) The Pumps Department was sold to the Scottish company Weir Pumps Ltd. who have their Manchester base in part of the Newton Heath complex. Such buildings that were no longer required were later demolished.

In 1978, many M&P identities found themselves seeking new horizons, either by choice or by corporate design. One such man in this latter category was Eustace Balfour, Chairman of S.A. Mather & Platt in France. Many such executives were still comparativly young and were armed with the skills and the kind of dynamism that M&P engendered. For some who left it was a challenge; but for others there was a ready-made market keen to tap in to their talents. Some remained with Wormald or transferred to the organisations that purchased the various M&P divisions.

With a new ownership in place, both the Mather and Taylor dynasties came to a sudden and dramatic end. Between them, the families had served Mather & Platt Ltd. since its incorporation as a public company in 1899 and, of course, after an even longer history of pioneering excellence stretching back to the early 19th Century with Peter Mather thence to William and Colin Mather up to the partnership of Mather & Platt in the mid-1800s and so through to the innovative 1883 Fire Engineering concern of Dowson and Taylor and its subsequent amalgamation with Mather & Platt.

The parting of the ways for the Mathers and Taylors was inevitable given control passing to the Australian company (albeit under a British Board - Wormald International Holdings U.K.). The new owners, were just that - new - and variously described in the media as a 'sister company' at one end of the spectrum to a 'fledgling upstart' at the other. Either way, the international acquisive climate of the time brought to an end a period of corporate history quite without parallel. Furthermore, it brought to a close the company's ethos and style of management where the Board and Management in Britain were 'on the spot', mostly 'home-grown' and fully in touch with an immediate, local workforce and where there was an unspoken trust via an invisible thread stretching back for more than 150 years. 

Be that as it may, it also has to be considered that the 1980s heralded in the 'smart-tech' era of business and those corporations who were unprepared for the '2nd. Industrial Revolution' were liable to be left behind. The age of computerised design/manufacture and the technologies required to control them had dawned - and, as is the nature of things, the sun rises in Australia before it does in Britain.

Australia had become a leader in this field. The kind of capital required to service the scope of any necessary upgrade designed to see all divisions of the original Mather & Platt come safely through the upheavals of the 1980s would have been quite phenomenal. Thus, by the time 1985 rolled in and saw the release of the blockbuster movie, "Back To The Future" - or the arrival of the classic Australian black comedy "Bliss" - there were rumblings of a different nature in the offing for Wormald International.

Wormald International itself became the target of a hostile take-over, an event which it mainly survived but, not long after, it fell victim to a preditory Australian group - The Reil Corporation Ltd - formed in 1986 and publicly listed in 1987. With three principal partners - Cave, Willson and Mansfield - the aim was, in the words of - quoted in a recent C.V. posted on the internet - to 'identify companies with strong brand and market positioning that we believed we could add value to'. Mansfield states that he was responsible for the operational element of this group and that Wormald International was acquired by them in 1989. He writes that he was on the Board of Wormald International from 1989-1991. Again, in his own words - 'Wormald was a world-wide group with an annual revenue of $1.5 billion'. He adds that, 'After restructuring, the group was sold to Tyco Laboratories Inc. of the USA in August 1990."

Mansfield makes the comment that he 'elected not to continue with the group after the sale'

Indeed, he went on to head up Optus in Australia with success, for that same C.V. states:

"March 1992 - Oct. 1995 Optus Communications Pty. Ltd.
Chief Executive

Founding CEO of Australia's second Telecommunications Carrier in competition with the previous monopoly operator, Telstra. This company began by providing mobile, long distance and satellite communication services and is also a major shareholder in Optus Vision the Pay Television operator. The Company experienced explosive growth and from a standing start became a very significant operation very quickly. In the 3 1/2 years of my leadership it grew to an organisation with over 4000 staff, an annualised revenue of $1.8 billion and a break even profit position."

Site Note, 2004
Robert Mansfield (Bob Mansfield) also went on to become Chairman of Telstra (Telecom Australia).
"Mansfield was punted as CEO from both Fairfax and Optus after boardroom battles and before that he was CEO of McDonald's Australia, Sunbeam Victa, Wormald and Lilypak although most of these he left voluntarily."

As glowing a testament as the above "Mansfield/Optus" statement may be, it is clear that negotiations by the Reil Corporation to acquire Wormald International were both complex and fraught - with the added complication of an intervening Stock Market crash. As a result, a number of fingers were clearly burned. There followed litigation in the Federal Court of Australia. The Judgement was handed down on 23rd March 1990. Wormald International was sold to Tyco some five months later.

A summary of the Matter and of the Judgement is in the public domain and may be seen by following this link. The Judge in the case was M. L. Foster who, in summing up, found for the respondents with the following Orders:-

1. The applicants' (Reil) application be dismissed.
2. The applicants (Reil) pay the respondents' costs.

This Judgement does much to clarify the state of affairs at Wormald International just a few years after the Mather & Platt buy-out. It also reflects the frenzied trading atmosphere that dominated the business world in general during the 1980s. Study of the Judgement will demonstrate what was happening at Wormald just before initial negotiations with Reil commenced and it identifies the strategic corporate players in the Wormald drama. Little is left to the imagination as to the reason why Wormald was - very shortly afterwards - sold on to Tyco, which is where we now find Wormald Ansul (U.K) of Newton Heath, Manchester today.

An important part of the large Tyco International group of companies, Wormald is still a prized flagship - but for a time it was a flagship on a somewhat stormy Tyco ocean. The year 2003 began with a new captain at the Tyco helm. Click here to visit the Tyco sites.

'Wormald Ansul (UK) Ltd. is a leading provider of fire protection, safety systems and specialist control technologies - engineering for all types of applications and industries. Its activities cover every aspect - design, manufacturing, installation, commissioning, service and maintenance.'

Wormald Park,
Grimshaw Lane Newton Heath,
Manchester M40 2WL
tel: +44(0)161 455 4400
fax: +44(0)161 455 4459

The Grinnell family and Grinnell Co.

Russell Grinnell Jr. and his family were not destined for the Board of Grinnell. The Grinnell Company in America also came to a parting of the ways - falling victim in the mid 1960s to antitrust laws [US v Grinnell Corp. (1966) ].

Grinnell was taken on by ITT (The International Telephone & Telegraph Corporation) and the company was re-named ITT Grinnell in 1969. Two years later it divested itself of the Fire Protection Division which became an independent company, Grinnell Fire Protection Systems Co. This company was bought out by Tyco in 1976. Ten years later, in 1986, Tyco united the group once more through the purchase of Grinnell Manufacturing and Supply Sales. The company name became Grinnell Corporation. Wormald was brought into the group in 1990 thus uniting the remnants of two enterprises that had once collaborated around the world so effectively more than a hundred years before during the latter part of the 19th Century.




The Providence Steam & Gas Pipe Co  -                                               General Extinguisher Company                                                              Grinnelll Corporation
No. 82 Eddy Street 
Rhode Island 
Founded in 1850

                                                                                                                              The birth of an industry
                                                                                                                         The Frederick Grinnell dynasty

Inventory of the Grinnell Family Papers

 In the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library


                                                                                                 The Descendants of Matthews and Rose (French) Grenell

 -  Frederick Grinnell - 1836-1905 - Pioneer in fire  safety 

In 1869 he purchased a controlling interest in a company that manufactured fire-extinguishing apparatus. Grinnell licensed a sprinkler device patented by Henry S. Parmelee, then worked to improve the invention, and in 1881 patented the automatic sprinkler that bears his name. He continued to improve the device and in 1890 invented the glass disc sprinkler, essentially the same as that in use today.

He secured some 40 distinct patents for improvements on his sprinklers and he adopted a dry pipe valve and automatic fire-alarm system, invented by John T. Taylor.
The year 1883 was the key in the history of the Fire Engineering Department of Mather & Platt. Two important events took place. William Mather visited the United States of America to investigate American methods of technical education and in the course of his travels met Frederick Grinnell, who had just patented his new "Grinnell" automatic sprinkler head. Grinnell was so amazed and delighted that an Englishman should give his time and pay his own expenses to travel in search of knowledge for the benefit of his country, without a hope of personal reward, that he offered William Mather the sole selling rights for the “Grinnell” sprinkler for the whole of the world excepting the territories of the United States of America and Canada. The offer was accepted and Mather & Platt thus had their first ‘baptism’ in the business of fire engineering.The ingenious Alarm Valve invented by Mr. John Taylor, Next to Mr. Frederick Grinnell‘s invention remains the most important advance in the development and practice of Automatic Fire Extinction. The new valve of Mr John T. Taylor was speedily adopted by Mr Frederick Grinnell himself and applied all over America. It is still an integral part of every Sprinkler Installation.The patent rights covering John Taylor’s Alarm Valve were later granted to the ‘Grinnell’ Corporation in America, and his alarm valve continues in use to this day. In 1892, Grinnell organized the General Fire Extinguisher Co., an amalgamation of several smaller companies, which became the foremost organization in its field of manufacture. 

Inventor, engineer, and industrialist, Frederick Grinnell was the creator of the first practical automatic fire sprinkler, which has made an enormous contribution to fire safety.Earlier in his career, he was draftsman, construction engineer, and manager for various railroad manufacturers. He designed and built more than 100 locomotives.   



       Sprinkler Grinnell advertising                                          REFERENCES :  University and College Fire protection see video                                         First sprinkler Grinnell 1881                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
                How Sprinkler Systems Work see  Video   vimeo.com/71783310      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaT8oKsMnKc  (by Morgan State University and Loyola  College)                    
                                                                                                                                                              Sprinklers  Grinnell 2000 
 2017 - Bibliography -

Career History of George Oliver, chairman & CEO of Johnson Controls,

Johnson Controls International PLC
Johnson Controls International PLC
Tyco International PLC
Chief Executive Officer
Tyco International PLC
Johnson Controls Inc
Chief Executive Officer
Tyco Intl Ltd
Pres:Fire & Security Segment
Tyco Intl Ltd
Pres:Fire Protection
Tyco Intl Ltd
Tyco Electrical & Metal Products
Tyco Safety Products
Head:International Fire
Tyco Intl Ltd
Tyco Fire Protection LLC
General Electric

       - External links -

       The right honourable


             P.C., LLD., M, Inst. CE

                 1838 - 1920

            Edited by his son 

       Loris Emerson MATHER



              17 Thavies Inn



          Salford Iron Works

     Hardman Street, Salford


       The History of Mather and Platt Book    

       Industries textiles protégées par sprinklers :
       Victor Lalevée Histoire de Fraize et de la Haute-Vallée de la Meurthe,  l'industrie cotonnière dans les Vosges (pages 258 à 268) 44
       Archives départementales des Vosges :         Fonds de la filature Géliot - Fonds de la filature de Vincey 

       GROUPEMENT des installateurs de sprinkleurs http://www.ffmi.asso.fr/syndicats/gis

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