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Company Histories

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The British Steel Archive Project contains the records of many iron and steel companies which were based in Teesside between 1840 and 1970. During this period, companies changed their legal status, merged, amalgamated, were bought out by, or took over, other firms. This page will be used to try and make sense of these relationships.


Initially, a short history of each company will be added to the page. Over the next few months a corporate 'family tree' with a time-line will be added.


The British Steel Archive Project is very grateful to Stephen James from the Business School, Teesside University, for compiling these company histories.







Samuelson’s is probably best known for its Newport ironworks, located on a 40 acre site at the western end of Middlesbrough’s Ironmasters’ district.  Rather like Bell Brothers, the firm concentrated primarily on iron smelting: by the early 1870s its eight blast furnaces were capable of producing 2,500 to 3,000 tons of pig iron each week.  The Newport works, however, were not the firm’s first or only venture in the Cleveland iron trade.  Bernhard Samuelson, the owner, and later principal partner, had been producing iron in Middlesbrough since the early 1850s and was also involved in other parts of the industry at one time or another. To read more, click here.







Bell Brothers was one of the earliest firms to build blast furnaces on Teesside to smelt

Cleveland ironstone.   It became widely known as a specialist pig iron producer and one of the district’s most prominent businesses: it was second in size only to Bolckow, Vaughan, at least in terms of the sheer volume of output.  By 1875 its twelve 80 foot high furnaces at the Clarence Ironworks were producing annually about 200,000 tons of pig iron, approximately 16% of the Cleveland district’s total production. To read more, click here.


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