These Wheels Were Made for Rollin’

Cast iron wheel by Slingsby of Bradford, found last year whilst out with @mudlark_mud_god.

In 1893 Harry Crowther Slingsby, part of a family firm of wholesale bottlers, established in Bradford, began to look into the invention of labour saving devices for the company.

Recognising that working practices in the local factories relied heavily on manual hauling, using gravity and lifts for floor to floor movement, he set about solving the problem of moving items horizontally around large buildings, creating robust trucks and trolleys to move heavy loads with relative ease.

The present day Slingsby workshop, with members of the family still on the board of trustees, tells me that Slingsby had their own foundry for casting wheels from 1893 until 1980.

This wheel most likely came from Bradford, went down to their workshop in London, and used as a trolley or cart wheel. Below, the photos show what the wheel was like when I found it, after I’d cleaned it up, and some examples of what the wheel might have been used for.

Sources: Slingsby workshop, Graces Guide to British Industrial History.