Dyer, Joseph Chessborough

Dyer, Joseph Chessborough
b. 15 November 1780 Stonnington Point, Connecticut, USA
d. 2 May 1871 Manchester, England
American inventor of a popular type of roving frame for cotton manufacture.
As a youth, Dyer constructed an unsinkable life-boat but did not immediately pursue his mechanical bent, for at 16 he entered the counting-house of a French refugee named Nancrède and succeeded to part of the business. He first went to England in 1801 and finally settled in 1811 when he married Ellen Jones (d. 1842) of Gower Street, London. Dyer was already linked with American inventors and brought to England Perkins's plan for steel engraving in 1809, shearing and nail-making machines in 1811, and also received plans and specifications for Fulton's steamboats. He seems to have acted as a sort of British patent agent for American inventors, and in 1811 took out a patent for carding engines and a card clothing machine. In 1813 there was a patent for spinning long-fibred substances such as hemp, flax or grasses, and in 1825 there was a further patent for card making machinery. Joshua Field, on his tour through Britain in 1821, saw a wire drawing machine and a leather splitting machine at Dyer's works as well as the card-making machines. At first Dyer lived in Camden Town, London, but he had a card clothing business in Birmingham. He moved to Manchester c.1816, where he developed an extensive engineering works under the name "Joseph C.Dyer, patent card manufacturers, 8 Stanley Street, Dale Street". In 1832 he founded another works at Gamaches, Somme, France, but this enterprise was closed in 1848 with heavy losses through the mismanagement of an agent. In 1825 Dyer improved on Danforth's roving frame and started to manufacture it. While it was still a comparatively crude machine when com-pared with later versions, it had the merit of turning out a large quantity of work and was very popular, realizing a large sum of money. He patented the machine that year and must have continued his interest in these machines as further patents followed in 1830 and 1835. In 1821 Dyer had been involved in the foundation of the Manchester Guardian (now The Guardian) and he was linked with the construction of the Liverpool \& Manchester Railway. He was not so successful with the ill-fated Bank of Manchester, of which he was a director and in which he lost £98,000. Dyer played an active role in the community and presented many papers to the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. He helped to establish the Royal Institution in London and the Mechanics Institution in Manchester. In 1830 he was a member of the delegation to Paris to take contributions from the town of Manchester for the relief of those wounded in the July revolution and to congratulate Louis-Philippe on his accession. He called for the reform of Parliament and helped to form the Anti-Corn Law League. He hated slavery and wrote several articles on the subject, both prior to and during the American Civil War.
1811, British patent no. 3,498 (carding engines and card clothing machine). 1813, British patent no. 3,743 (spinning long-fibred substances).
1825, British patent no. 5,309 (card making machinery).
1825, British patent no. 5,217 (roving frame). 1830, British patent no. 5,909 (roving frame).
1835, British patent no. 6,863 (roving frame).
Further Reading
Dictionary of National Biography.
J.W.Hall, 1932–3, "Joshua Field's diary of a tour in 1821 through the Midlands", Transactions of the Newcomen Society 6.
Evan Leigh, 1875, The Science of Modern Cotton Spinning, Vol. II, Manchester (provides an account of Dyer's roving frame).
D.J.Jeremy, 1981, Transatlantic Industrial Revolution: The Diffusion of Textile
Technologies Between Britain and America, 1790–1830s, Oxford (describes Dyer's links with America).
See also: Arnold, Aza

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

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  • Matthew Curtis — (1807–1887) was an industrialist and civic leader in Manchester. He was Mayor of Manchester three times. Born in Manchester in 1807,[1] Curtis was initially apprenticed to the firm of Joseph Chessborough Dyer,[2] subsequently becoming foreman,… …   Wikipedia

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