Andrew Handyside and Company
was an iron founder
in the nineteenth century.
Born in Edinburgh
in 1805, Handyside worked in his uncle Charles Baird
's engineering business in St. Petersburg
before taking over the Brittania Foundry in 1848. It had first been opened around 1820 by Weatherhead and Glover to cast ornamental ironwork, and had achieved a high reputation, partly from the skill of the workers, but also because of the quality of the local moulding sand. By the 1840s it was diversifying into railway components. Among the early customers were the Midland Railway
's Derby Works
for which it supplied cylinder blocks and other castings.
Although cast iron ornaments were going out of fashion, until the advent of steel
there was an increasing demand for engineering and for iron framed construction. He concentrated in improving the strength of the material, which, when tested at Woolwich
in 1854 proved to have a tensile strength of between 20 and 23 tons per square inch, against a norm of about seventeen. He also retained the artistry that had gone before and improved upon it.
His output ranged from garden ornaments to railway bridges. He produced lamp posts for the new gas street lighting (one of which still exists in the Wardwick in Derby) and was one of the first to produce the new standard Post Office letterboxes. Nearly two thousand different window frames designs were produced. The company even supplied a... Read More