Typed copies of outgoing letters of the Manchester engineering firm W. and J. Galloway, covering the period 1840 to 1863.
The volumes provide detailed information of the firm's development into one of the North West's leading engineering firms in this period. There are copies of over 800 letters to several hundred different firms and individuals at both home and abroad. Most of the letters relate to orders and payments for goods supplied by the firm, but some of the letters deal with Galloways' suppliers (e.g. of pig iron). There is no personal or family correspondence included.
The correspondence provides detailed information about the firm's products, particularly engines and boilers, most of which were produced as bespoke products. There is also interesting information about how goods were distributed to customers by canal and rail networks, and how engines and boilers were assembled, operated and repaired. The letter books indicate how diverse were the firm's customers, which included local textile mills, saw mills, rice and grain mills, rolling mills, rope works, gasworks and railway companies. Correspondence dating from the 1850s indicates the firm's growing international contacts with Europe, Turkey and India, and there is some valuable information about how textile mills in the Mumbai area were equipped. There is also correspondence over specific projects such as that with the Ulverston and Lancaster Railway Co. over the Leven viaduct. There is relatively little information about the Galloways' connections with Henry Bessemer, but there are details of machinery supplied to Weardale Iron Co to operate a Bessemer process.
Overall, the letter books are a valuable source of information for the development of an important area of the capital goods sector in Great Britain at the height of 19th century industrialisation.