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Books and other Bits

Book The Cellar Lad by Theresa Tomlinson
Book Giants of Steel by Geoffrey Tweedale
Book The Oldest Sheffield Plater by John and Julia Hatfield
Book Glass, Tools and Tyzacks by Don Tyzack
Video Seven Hundred Years - the history of cutlery making in Sheffield by Sheffield Cine and Video Club
Book A History of Sheffield by David Hey
Book Henry Maudslay and the Pioneers of the Machine Age by John Cantrell and Gillian Cookson

The Cellar Lad

by Theresa Tomlinson

The Cellar Lad uses Sheffield in 1842 as the backdrop to the story of Ben Sterndale, who lives in one of the worker's cottages on the Abbeydale Hamlet site. He is employed as a cellar lad at the beck and call of the workers at Dyson's Scythe Works. Ben's father, Frank, is employed at the works as the Pot Man, responsible for making the special crucible pots used in the steel making process.

The story involves Ben in the events in Sheffield at the time of the Chartist Movement's attempts to achieve political change and also in the struggles of the local union movement to protect the interests of its members. This struggle involved the ratteners who removed the driving belts from water powered grinding wheels to encourage support for the union. It also uses the more serious and violent actions taken by some clandestine activists against the workshops and the employers. These events led to the setting up of a Royal Commission to investigate the Sheffield Outrages.

Theresa Tomlinson has used the real events in Sheffield to produce a lively and enjoyable story which also gives a useful insight into the social and industrial history of the time.

The Cellar Lad is probably most appropriate for children in the 9 to 12 age range (UK Key Stages 2 and 3) but could also be enjoyed by older readers.

The Cellar Lad is published in hardback by Julia MacRae Books, an imprint of Random House, (20 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, UK, SW1V 2SA)
(ISBN 1-85681-581-1) price in the UK UKP9.99

and also in paperback by Red Fox
price in the UK UKP3.50

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Giants of Steel

by Geoffrey Tweedale

published by Sheffield City Libraries, Central Library, Surrey Street, Sheffield, UK, S1 1XZ
(1986) (ISBN 0 86321 039 2

A collection of short biographies of ten of scientists or industrialists who contributed to the development of the Sheffield Steel Industry. The accounts are written in a manner which makes them easily accessible to the general reader.

The author gives details of the sources of the information and, where availabe, pointers to further information.

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The Oldest Sheffield Plater

by John and Julia Hatfield

published by The Advertiser Press Ltd, Huddersfield, UK

This book is mainly the story of Thomas Boulsover and the development of Old Sheffield Plate. In telling the story, the authors give a lot of background information about local and national events which affected Sheffield and the Boulsover family from the 17th Century.

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Glass, Tools and Tyzacks

by Don Tyzack

This book describes the Tyzack Tool makers and their businesses which were founded after Benjamin Tyzack became a scythemaker when his family business of window glass was in decline. His descendants made scythes in Sheffield for several generations but they expanded their range making tools such as saws, used in the furniture industry and most agricultural tools including machine knives. The stories of the tool companies they founded in Sheffield are told. In their day, these companies supplied tools to the world. Most early Tyzack tool companies are described, intertwined with an outline of the social conditions at the time.

As the family were glassmakers in Lorraine from 1400, this connection is also explored at length. It traces their position in the feudal society of the dukedom of Lorraine. Many were Huguenots and the book gives a good account of the background to the Huguenot cause. Glassmakers in Lorraine were privileged and became wealthy. They prospered for two centuries in spite of the many adversities besetting their border regions.

There are also tables with a wealth of genealogical information including 1500 references to TYZACK family births deaths and marriages. The marriage table alone contains about 270 other family names. So anyone with a Tyzack in their family tree should get invaluable help. All this is strung together by following the Tyzack family from generation to generation.

Published in hardback, in 256 pages of size 21.6 cms. x 13.8 cms., with thirty-four illustrations.

ISBN 0 9526390 5 X

Price £11.49 including UK postage, Overseas Postage add £3.00

Orders accepted by e-mail on don@tyzack.net

More info on the author's web site.

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Seven Hundred Years

The history of cutlery making in Sheffield
by Sheffield Cine And Video Club Price UKP10

This video highlights some of the key developments in the cutlery industry in Sheffield from the late 1200's to the present day. You are able to see how the cutlers utilised Sheffield's natural resources to develop an industry that has achieved world-wide acclaim.

Existing remains of key water-powered sites in the city are used to demonstrate the ancient arts of forging and welding. Dramatic reconstructions help to portray the basic living and working conditions of these artisans. Unique events such as the Trade Mark wars; the Cholera Outbreaks and the Sheffield Flood are featured.

Archive film footage is used to trace the expansion of the steel industry during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

This video provides an historically accurate overview of the cutlery industry in a manner that is readily accessible to all ages.

Highly recommended.

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A History of Sheffield

by David Hey

published by Carnegie Publishing

It starts with a Bronze Age burial urn and finishes with The Full Monty. In between these , David Hey covers an incredible amount of detail from the history of The Largest Village in the World.

This account is essential reading for anyone who has any interest in the development of Sheffield and its people but it is much more than this. It puts the geography and social history of the region into the melting pot, with details and stories of the families and individuals to produce a fascinating account of the special alloy which is Sheffield.

If you want to know about the early layout of the old town and the influence of the Lords of the Manor or you are more interested in the Little Mesters and their influence on the cutlery industry, or you are looking for information on the great steel pioneers, then this book will be welcome.

The book contains a large number of illustrations - maps drawings, paintings and photographs, all well chosen to add atmosphere and effect to the text.

There is also an extensive bibliography for those who want to take their studies further.

Highly recommended

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Henry Maudslay and the Pioneers of the Machine Age

edited by John Cantrell and Gillian Cookson

published by Tempus Publishing, The Mill, Brinscombe Port, Stroud, Glos., GL5 2QG
(2002) (ISBN 0 7524 2766 0

A project which set out to investigate the engineering stalwarts of Manchester has resulted in this collection of biographies of the pioneers of machine tool technology which was influenced so much by Henry Maudslay.

Maudslay's workshops became the nursery for a group of outstanding engineers. Richard Roberts, David Napier, Joseph Clement, Joseph Whitworth, James Nasmyth and William Muir spent time at the Lambeth factory and many other notable engineers must have passed through its gates. Even Isambard Kingdom Brunel, arguably the greatest of all of the engineers, claimed to have gained his early knowledge of mechanics from Maudslay.

John Cantrell and Gillian Cookson have brought together an impressive collection of articles on Maudslay and his "students" and their roles in the development of the machine tool industry. The articles provide a wealth of information about the lives of these pioneers as well as descriptions of the machine tools and technology which they invented or improved, and the businesses they developed. The pages of this book are filled with the fascinating details of the people, products and methods which provided the foundations of the industrial and technological age.

Highly recommended for all who are interested in the history of engineering.

For more information, see the Tempus Publishing web site.

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