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 (1799 – 1868), a 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.
Thomas Vaughan & Co was the largest manufacturer of pig iron in the world by 1869.
T Vaughan & Co opened two new furnaces in 1869 which could each produce 400 tons of pig iron per week. There were 16 blast furnaces by 1871.
700 blast-furnace workers went on strike in 1871, demanding an increase in pay. All of the strikers were dismissed.
In 1872 the firm had nine furnaces (7.5 of which were in use) 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.
The loss-making business entered into administration in 1876. The gross liabilities of the firm amounted to over £1 million.
Vaughan was dismissed from his business in 1878. He suffered from ill-health in his later years.
Eight furnaces of the South Bank Iron Works were acquired by Bolckow Vaughan & Co for £125,000 in 1879.