Born Chatteris, Cambs in 1835, he went on
to become the founder and owner of Ruston, Proctor & Company in 1857, a
Lincoln-based industrial equipment manufacturer employing 1600 men. RPC
became a public company in 1889, Joseph Ruston receiving £465,000 as the
proceeds of the flotation. RPC was taken over by GEC in 1967.
Joseph Ruston died in 1897.
William Jessop & Sons
Jessop was born on 30th January 1804 at the family home in Blast Lane,
Sheffield. The house was situated next to William Jessop’s works, the
company, taking the name of the partners, being known as Mitchell, Raikes
and Jessop. With expanding markets in the United States Thomas and his
brothers joined the business in 1830 and just two years later the small
crucible steelmakers became William Jessop & Sons.
The business moved to a site in the Brightside area of Sheffield and later a
works at Kilnhurst was added. The Brightside works eventually covered 30
acres and included the site of the former water works. Following the deaths
of his father and brothers, Thomas was in sole charge of the business by
1871. The company which was originally established in 1793 became a Limited
Company in 1875. Thomas Jessop died on 30th November 1887 and is buried in
Ecclesall Parish Churchyard.
In 1901, with problems in Sheffield caused by the high price of fuel and an
adverse American tariff the company was having difficulty offering
competitive prices to its U.S. customers. Following an amalgamation of some
U.S. crucible steel makers, which would make competition even harder, it was
considered that a successful melting facility could be set up in the U.S.A.
Many British steelmakers considered that the "Made in England" or "Made in
Sheffied" marks were a big selling point for their materials, however
Jessop's did not hold the view and considered that they could use their
Sheffield name on steel which was made in America.