||Technology in Australia 1788-1988
Table of Contents
I The First Half Century - The Initial Struggle
II The Second Fifty Years - The Start Of Expansion
III The Third Fifty Years - Federation And The First World War
i General Conditions
ii Some Early Innovative Approaches
iii Concrete Pipes
iv Cement-fibre Pipes
v Concrete Products
vi The Birth of the Iron and Steel Industry
IV The Fourth Period - Second World War To The Present
Lithgow works (continued)
In the meantime the Eskbank Works was being operated on a reduced scale by a workers' co-operative and Sandford became its manager, after resigning from Lysaght Bros. in 1886. There is some evidence that he tried to interest John Lysaght Ltd. in purchasing the Lithgow works some time before 1900, but it is obscure whether this was before or after he retired from their service. He did, however, make a later offer in 1906-7.
Sandford eventually took over the Lithgow Works on the basis of a seven year lease of 10/- per ton output and 2/6d for financing arrangements with an option to purchase and which he subsequently exercised to take over the works, estate and colliery for £62,600.
At the time of the original lease, the Lithgow works consisted of six puddling furnaces, one ball furnace, two mill furnaces, steam hammer and 475 mm mill. A sheet rolling mill was installed in 1894 and a steel furnace in 1900, the first cast of steel in Australia being accomplished in the same year. He had also put in two cupola foundry furnaces which were used to re-melt pig iron that had been 'at grass' when he took over the plant. The Siemens-Martin furnace installed for steel production, however, held only about five tonnes metal and was ridiculously small for the expected use.
Oct. 1901. The works as then existing were under offer to a London Syndicate for £50,000 in shares, the Company to pay a royalty of 9d per ton of coal used and to provide a working capital of £250,000.
The blast furnace referred to above, probably had a capacity of up to 800 tonnes per week but at that size, was probably the largest in the southern hemisphere. It was blown-in in 1907, at a time when Sandford appeared to be facing a critical financial crisis and when he was troubled with obtaining sufficiently low cost raw materials, with a lack of tariff protection and with a financial burden compounded by the new blast furance costs greatly exceeding estimates. By the middle of 1907, W. Sandford Ltd. had a bank overdraft of £128,000.
Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Eskbank Ironworks Co.; John Lysaght Ltd; Lysaght Bros. & Co. Pty Ltd; W. Sandford Ltd
People in Bright Sparcs - Lysaght, John; Sandford, W.
© 1988 Print Edition pages 870 - 871, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher