The Iron Duke

The Iron Duke calender, made in 1848Moves are afoot to bring the Iron Duke back to Bradford. It is a big calender machine that was used to roll sheet rubber and cotton together and vulcanise them to make waterproof fabric. This was the actual machine with which Stephen MoultonĀ  started the rubber works in Bradford in 1848 and is important not just in Bradford’s history, but in the history of technology.

It was named after Arthur Wellesley (1796-1852), the Duke of Wellington, hero of Waterloo and Prime Minister.

It has been in store in the Industrial Museum in Bristol, in pieces, since 1973 and is now outside the scope of Bristol’s collecting policy. It is large (the rollers weigh three tons each) and requires some conservation before it can be moved and reassembled. It also requires a place to set it up and, of course, it will require plenty of money.


Look at other old photographs of the rubber works

> Article on the BBC News website

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