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Thomas Vaughan & Co of Middlesbrough

Thomas Vaughan of Middlesbrough was the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world.

Thomas Vaughan (1836 – 1900) was the only son of John Vaughan, partner in Bolckow Vaughan & Co, iron manufacturers of Middlesbrough, North East England.

Thomas Vaughan worked at Bolckow & Vaughan. His father gifted him half of his shares in the firm, to the value of £200,000. Using these funds, Thomas Vaughan established works at South Bank and Clay Lane, Eston, Middlesbrough.

By 1869 Thomas Vaughan & Co was the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world.

In 1869 T Vaughan & Co opened two new furnaces which could each produce 400 tons of pig iron per week. In 1871 there were 16 blast furnaces.

In 1871 700 blast-furnacemen went on strike, demanding an increase in pay. All of the strikers were dismissed.

In 1872 the firm had nine furnaces (7.5 of which were in blast) at South Bank and six at Clay Lane. The firm had 36 puddling furnaces at Whessoe, Darlington and 30 at Bishop Auckland.

George Neesham, the general manager, was brought in as a junior partner to reflect his long service to the firm.

In 1876 the loss-making business entered administration. The gross liabilities of the firm amounted to over £1 million.

After being dismissed from his company in 1878, Vaughan retired from business. In his latter years he was an invalid.

In 1879 eight furnaces of the South Bank Iron Works were acquired by Bolckow Vaughan & Co for £125,000.