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For two hundred years, England led the world in the manufacture of chain and anchors, and the centre of the industry was in the Black Country: at the end of the nineteenth century 90 per cent of all the chain workshops in England and Wales were in the five chain making towns of Cradley, Cradley Heath, Old Hill, Quarry Bank and Netherton. Most of the chain shops were very small; many of them were to be found in the back yards of the workers' houses, and a large number of the chain makers were women. The largest firm was Hingley's, which has entered the folklore of the Black Country as manufacturer of the anchors and anchor cables of the ill-fated Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage in 1912. The local wry sense of humour has it that the anchor was the only part of the ship that worked properly. Ron Moss has drawn on his wealth of knowledge to compile a fascinating record of this industry, which over the last couple of decades has almost entirely vanished. Photographs and sketches illustrate the techniques and tools used, while personal reminiscences are included alongside the author's authoritative text. This book will appeal to anyone interested in the Black Country or in this important industry.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780750942218
ISBN-10: 0750942215
Format: Paperback
(244mm x 172mm x 10mm)
Pages: 144
Imprint: Sutton Publishing Ltd
Publisher: The History Press Ltd
Publish Date: 13-Jul-2006
Country of Publication: United Kingdom


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Author Biography - Philip Moss

Ron Moss is a toolmaker, engineer and draughtsman - as well as the author of two books about Cradley Heath (his home town) for SPL. Ron is the leading authority on the Black Country chain industry, and lectures on the subject all over Britain.