Please note

Because of the lack of published trowel and masonry tool histories, the information here is based on other sources that may be less reliable and certainly are incomplete. These include eBay and tools that I purchase myself that are the starting points for my research. I will write what I know as I learn it. If what you read here interests you, please check back often and look for revisions and corrections. Scanned catalogs are either mine or by Rose Antique Tools and used with permission, and are on Google Docs as pdf files. A few are links to other websites. Your photos and information are welcome. Please click on any picture to enlarge it. Comments are welcome, but any with links will be deleted as possible spam.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

History of United Engineering and Malleable, Victoria, Australia

United Engineering and Malleable manufactured cement tools, builder's hardware, and metal components in Footscray, which is 5 km west of Melbourne. They were established about 1887 and were operating as late as 1947. The original location was on Elizabeth St., and in 1944 the foundry was on Gordon St. For National Library of  Australia search results on hardware company John Danks & Son Pty., Ltd., who carried UEM's products, click here.

Thank you to Chris from Australia for photographs of his tools and links about this company.

UEM No. 119 corrugating tool
UEM 116A external angle
UEM 196 step noser (altered)
From The Age, Melbourne, Victoria, 2 May 1935:

United Engineering & Malleable's products, 1940s
....In the foundries of the United Engineering and Malleable Co. at Footscray, metal products previously imported from America and England...are being turned out....

Carried on for 48 years, the industry was originally established by Shiner and Co., in Elizabeth-street. All that time the works have specialised in mixed medium-weight job work and machinery repetition work in agricultural machinery and general engineering requirements. The process illustrated on this page is used in connection with the filling of moulds, prepared by skilled tradesmen, in the malleable iron foundry. Taken from the mixing ladle the metal is agitated, then poured into small hand ladles, each moulder carrying his ladle and pouring the metal into his own moulds. The rod shown in the hands of the tapper is 8 or 9 feet long, on the end of which is a shaped daub of clay. This is forced into the orifice, a small opening at the bottom of the cupola, for sufficient time to enable the congregation of another 5 or 6 cwt. of metal to be treated for, say, 30 minutes. As the process takes place sparks fly about in a thrilling pyrotechnic display.

"Malleable" is a term to define the making of metal ductile so as to stand up to shocks and blows, particularly in the case of articles which are too expensive to forge. Under strict scientific control, this manufacture is not completed until the moulded articles have been treated for many days in the annealing ovens, which are maintained day and night, Saturdays and Sundays, at certain temperatures. Metal parts used in the railway and electricity undertakings call for constant analysis, and pyrometer control in this way. The manufacture of detachable link sprocket chain and attachments, used in conveyors, elevators and agricultural machinery, has replaced heavy importations of this product. In the industry also is found a complete plant for the output of builders' hardware, including metal stamping, manufacturing and assembling and electroplating of different finishes, and the packing and distribution. The company reports splendid support of the Australian-made products.

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