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Glamorgan Archives

Brown Lenox and Co. Ltd records

Reference code(s): GB 0214 D179

Held at:

Title: Brown Lenox and Co. Ltd records

Short title: Brown Lenox and Co. Ltd records

Dates of creation: c1950-1986

Level of description: Fonds

Extent and medium: 0.12 cubic metres (approx 25 rolls)

Name of creator(s): Brown Lenox and Co. Ltd


Administrative and biographical history: The firm was established by Lieut (later Captain) Samuel Brown RN who patented a stud-link chain and formed a partnership in 1808 with his cousin Samuel Lenox which traded as Samuel Brown & Co until 1823. Brown demonstrated the reliability and strength of chain cables to the Royal Navy in 1810 and by 1815 they were in use by the force. The firm were sole suppliers to the navy for a long period. Brown patented a cable composed of oval-shaped links in 1815, a design which was used with little change throughout most of the firm's history, and a design for chains in 1817 suitable for suspension bridges. Brown formed a co-partnership in 1824 with Samuel Lenox of London, James Thomas Walker of Bethnal Green, and George William Lenox of Millwall. A site for their London works was obtained in 1813 at Millwall near the Royal Dockyard at Deptford. Their Pontypridd works were established at Tappenden's disused nail factory alongside the Glamorganshire Canal in Ynysangharad in 1818 and was initially known as 'Newbridge Chain Works'. The factory expanded rapidly through supplying cables and other equipment to the iron and coal industries, cables for suspension bridges, and through production of hooks, mechanical releases, mooring buoys, dock gear, pulleys and other devices and equipment for merchant shipping and marine services; its improved technology included use of steam for a Nasmyth steam hammer in 1842, general use of steam in 1853, and later electricity. A foundry with electric furnaces was installed in 1922. The firm's high-quality chains and cables led to their use by Isambard Kingdom Brunel for his ship the 'Great Eastern' 1858. The factory closed after clearance of most of its site in 1987. A summary of the history of the company and the Pontypridd works is given in Victorian Pontypridd by Don Powell (Merton Priory Press, Whitchurch, Cardiff 1996).


Scope and content: Brown Lenox and Co. Ltd records comprising of technical drawings and plans of equipment utilised mainly by merchant shipping and marine services, c1950-1989


Language/script: English

System of arrangement: Brown Lenox and Co. Ltd records arranged chronologically by record series

Conditions governing access: No Restrictions

Conditions governing reproduction: Normal Glamorgan Record Office conditions apply

Finding aids: Handlist available at the Glamorgan Record Office
Detailed catalogue


Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information: All records offered have been accepted and listed

Accruals: Accruals are possible

Immediate source of acquisition: Deposited by a private individual, 2002


Related units of description: See also DBL (Brown Lenox and Co. Ltd, records)


Archivist's note: Compiled by Annabel Wickham for the ANW Project; Sources used: Glamorgan Record Office finding aids

Rules or conventions: Description follows Archives Network Wales guidelines based on ISAD(G) second edition; AACR2 and LCSH.

Date(s) of description: March 2006



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