James Nasymth Collections

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

James Nasmyth's was an engineer with great artistic capabilities; he is best known for the improvements he made to the steam hammer. Our Archive contains material for Nasmyth, Gaskell and Company, James Nasmyth and Company, Patricroft Ironworks and Nasmyth Wilson and Company. Includes, company drawings and Nasmyth's own schemebook, taken to show clients it details the company's designs and work. Nasmyth's non-engineering drawings are also featured.

Items, mainly drawings, produced by Nasmyth, Gaskell and Company, James Nasmyth and Company, Patricroft Ironworks and Nasmyth Wilson and Company. Some items were created by James Nasmyth, others by Robert Wilson; however many of the drawings were created by company draughtsman. The collection also includes some patent material, and business letters. In addition there are some non-engineering etchings by Nasmyth, whose father was an artist and whom was a keen amateur artist.

The drawings and Nasmyth's scheme book have been digitised - digitised items.

Administrative / Biographical History

Nasmyth was a Scottish engineer, philosopher, artist and inventor famous for his development of the steam hammer. He was the co-founder of Nasmyth, Gaskell and Company manufacturers of machine tools, and of many of companies. He had his own works at Patricroft. He retired at the age of 48, and moved to Penshurst, Kent where he developed his hobbies of astronomy and photography.

The company went through several name changes:

  • Founded 1836 Nasmyth Gaskell and Company
  • 1850 changes to James Nasmyth and Company
  • 1857 changes to Patricroft Ironworks
  • 1867 changes to Nasmyth Wilson and Company

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