Ashwell and Nesbit Ltd

Scope and Content

Job sheets, November-December 1914; Plans and drawings, 1910-1916.

Administrative / Biographical History

Ashwell & Nesbit was founded in Leicester by Frank Ashwell in 1879, when the firms main activity was mill-wrighting, and went on to expand to cover heating ranges, ovens, CI railings and windows and a hosiery press. The heating department was started in 1884 and expanded from 1890 with the 'Propulsion, Impulsion or Plenum system'. David M Nesbit was made a partner in 1891. Frank Ashwell died in 1896 aged 41. During the early years of the 20th century Ashwell & Nesbit continued to develop the various patented systems of heating and ventilating which had been introduced mainly by David M Nesbit and then modified and refined by his chief technical assistant. The most important and successful of these was the 'Nuvacuumette' a vacuum steam heating system. For Ashwell & Nesbit the 'Nuvacuumette' system was a distinct success. Even by 1914 this apparatus had been installed in seventy major buildings and a large number of smaller properties of almost every type. These included factories and shops, over thirty hospitals, hotels, including the Grosvenor in London, and the Metropole in Brighton, as well as the Town Halls in Perth, Deptford and Sutton Coldfield, Arbury Hall at Nuneaton, the Empire and the Collisium theatres in London, and concert halls in Glasgow and Edinburgh.


By fond, series and item level.

Access Information

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information

Dundee University Library

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list. Subject source lists and databases are also available.

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

ISAD(G) description compiled by Sarah Bland, ARM Trainee, April 2005.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges are made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply.

Custodial History

The collection is part of a larger archive which was donated by the firm to Leicestershire Record Office and transferred from that office to the University Library. It consists mainly of plans of University College, Dundee Engineering Laboratories and Dundee [Teacher] Training College, and Practising [Demonstration] School subsequently Dundee College of Education. The buildings were acquired by the University of Dundee when the College moved to new premises in 1975. [Scrymgeour Building and Computing Centre]. The plans refer to the installation of heating.

Location of Originals

The material is original.