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.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

History of W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner, Ltd.

W. Tyzack, Sons & Turner, Ltd. was a Sheffield, UK maker of hand and circular saws, agricultural knives and machine parts, steel, files, chisels, twist drills, hammers, and plastering trowels. The firm's logo was an elephant, with the word "Nonpareil", meaning unrivaled. This scanned catalog includes all of their tools, but not their agricultural machine parts.
W. Tyzack stone hammers 1950
W. Tyzack Sons & Turner 1950 Catalogue

W. Tyzack Sons & Turner originated from the division of the William Tyzack (1781-1858) family tool-manufacturing into 3 competing businesses, following the death of his son Ebenezer Tyzack (1807-1867). Ebenezer's brothers William (1816-1889) and Joshua (1816?-1889?) were the founding partners. In 1870 their sister Ann's son Thomas Turner joined them, forming William Tyzack, Sons and Turner. The business incorporated in 1906 under William's son Frederick Tyzack, and Tyzack family members continued to largely control it. Here is a collection of photographs, most from 1912, courtesy of Mr. Don Tyzack.

Frederick Tyzack, 1912 (from Don Tyzack) 
W. Tyzack Sons & Turner was unusual for Sheffield tool makers, in that they operated 2 separate works simultaneously for over 55 years. The initial partnership operated as tenants at Abbeydale on the River Sheaf, where the elder William leased rights in 1849. W. Tyzack Sons & Turner operated there until 1933. Abbeydale Works is now a living history museum. The short film from the 1970s shows Abbeydale's machinery running, clay crucibles being made, and tools being forged: Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet - Colour.

In 1876, they purchased a corn mill in Heeley, down-river from Abbeydale, with rights to Little London Dam. They constructed Little London Works, enlarging it over time. The business was also distinctive in preferring to use water power over steam or electricity. Little London Works had a water-powered forge as late as 1926. The business address was Saxon Road, on the north end of the works. The firm was taken over by its rival W.A. Tyzack in 1987, the works were demolished in 1988, and the company broken up and sold off in 1991.

Little London Works (picture Don Tyzack)
Today, Broadfield Court enters the site from the south. The Google Street View below shows the eastern entrance from Little London Rd.

W. Tyzack plasterer's trowels 1950

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