Boulsover, Thomas

Boulsover, Thomas
b. 1704
d. 1788
English cutler, metalworker and inventor of Sheffield plate.
Boulsover, originally a small-scale manufacturer of cutlery, is believed to have specialized in making knife-handle components. About 1742 he found that a thin sheet of silver could be fused to copper sheet by rolling or beating to flatten it. Thus he developed the plating of silver, later called Sheffield plate.
The method when perfected consisted of copper sheet overlaid by thin sheet silver being annealed by red heat. Protected by iron sheeting, the copper and silver were rolled together, becoming fused to a single plate capable of undergoing further manufacturing processes. Later developments included methods of edging the fused sheets and the placing of silver sheet on both lower and upper surfaces of copper, to produce high-quality silver plate, in much demand by the latter part of the century. Boulsover himself is said to have produced only small articles such as buttons and snuff boxes from this material, which by 1758 was being exploited more commercially by Joseph Hancock in Sheffield making candlesticks, hot-water pots and coffee pots. Matthew Boulton introduced its manufacture in very high-quality products during the 1760s to Birmingham, where the technique was widely adopted later. By the 1770s Boulsover was engaged in rolling his plated copper for industry elsewhere, also trading in iron and purchasing blister steel which he converted by the Huntsman process to crucible steel. Blister steel was converted on his behalf to shear steel by forging. He is thought to have also been responsible for improving this product further, introducing "double-shear steel", by repeating the forging and faggoting of shear steel bars. Thomas Boulsover had become a Sheffield entrepreneur, well known for his numerous skills with metals.
Further Reading
H.W.Dickinson, 1937, Matthew Boulton, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (describes Boulsover's innovation and further development of Sheffield plate).
J.Holland, 1834, Manufactures in Metal III, 354–8.
For activities in steel see: K.C.Barraclough, 1991, "Steel in the Industrial Revolution", in J.Day and R.F.Tylecote (eds), The Industrial Revolution in Metals, The Institute of Metals.

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • Boulsover, Thomas — born 1706, Elkington, Derbyshire, Eng. died September 1788, Sheffield British inventor of fused plating ( old Sheffield plate ). As a craftsman of the Cutlers Co. in 1743, while repairing a copper and silver knife handle, he discovered that the… …   Universalium

  • Boulsover, Thomas — (1706, Elkington, Derbyshire, Inglaterrra–sep. 1788, Sheffield). Inventor británico del enchapado fusionado ( antiguo plaqué de Sheffield). En su calidad de artesano de la compañía de cuchillería Cutlers Co. descubrió en 1743, al estar reparando… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Thomas — Thomas, Albert Thomas, André Antoine Thomas, Ch. L. Ambroise Thomas, Dylan Thomas, Sidney Gilchrist Thomas, Theodore * * * (as used in expressions) Adès, Thomas …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Thomas — /tom euhs/ for 1, 2, 4 14; /taw mah / for 3, n. 1. an apostle who demanded proof of Christ s Resurrection. John 20:24 29. 2. Augustus, 1857 1934, U.S. playwright, journalist, and actor. 3. (Charles Louis) Ambroise /shannrddl lwee ahonn brddwannz… …   Universalium

  • Thomas Boulsover — (1705 mdash;September 9, 1788), Sheffield cutler and the inventor of Sheffield Plate, was born in what is now the Ecclesfield district of the city and died at his home at Whiteley Wood Hall, on the River Porter.Boulsover completed his… …   Wikipedia

  • Sheffield plate — sheet copper with a cladding of silver. [1855 60; named after SHEFFIELD, England] * * * Articles made of copper coated with silver by fusion. The technique was discovered с 1742 by the Sheffield (Yorkshire, Eng.) cutler Thomas Boulsover, who… …   Universalium

  • Sheffield — For other uses, see Sheffield (disambiguation). City of Sheffield   City Metropolitan borough   Top left …   Wikipedia

  • metalwork — metalworker, n. /met l werrk /, n. objects made of metal. [1840 50; METAL + WORK] * * * Useful and decorative objects fashioned of various metals. The oldest technique is hammering. After с 2500 BC, casting was also used, molten metal being… …   Universalium

  • Whiteley Wood Hall — is a stately home, built by Alexander Ashton, in 1757 the Hall was bought by Thomas Boulsover from his friend Strelley Pegge of Beauchief [] . In 1760 Boulsover bought the adjacent woodland on the River… …   Wikipedia

  • Sheffield plate — is a layered combination of silver and copper that was used for many years to produce a wide range of household articles. These included buttons, caddy spoons, serving utensils, candlesticks and other lighting devices, tea and coffee services,… …   Wikipedia

  • Bolsover — This interesting name is of locational origin from the village Bolsoner approximately six miles due east of Chesterfield in the county of Derby. This place derives its name from the old English bulan laes , bullock pasture, and ofer , meaning… …   Surnames reference

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