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Inhabitents of Warrington... show your interest


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Algy help me out here as I remember us all trying to find out about a building on Winwick Road ages ago (near the station) and we found that the Edlestens had lived there and I'm sure I mentioned this chap had also lived too.  I can't for the life of me find it now to see if I ever uploaded these but I don't think I did.


Anyway first ones more to do with the Manchester Ship Canal really so I'm sticking the other two one here as well as you might like to see them


He  (Dr Alexander Mackie) was founder and editor of the Warrington Guardian amongst other things..










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Harry got it in one!.


Not seen that poster before Dizz, interesting that they needed to drum up interest in the MSC. mind you there had been quite a bit of opposition to the project.


The house was Beech House the one almost opposite the Bay Horse in Winwick Street, WBC sneakily had it demolished, and yes it was also Mackies house.



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I forgot to ask. 


Where was the drill hall ? Obviously somewhere near Legh Street as I'm not that stupid


Dizzy.... the drill hall is in what is known as the West Annexe of the Town Hall.... not been in there for a while, but there was a big painted sign for the Regiment on one of the walls. I will try and get in and take a photo....

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It is a device run by steam and using a punched tape to set type for printing or possibly to produce a punched tape for use in printing.


I assume the punched tape would be set into a machine which would then automatically set up the correct sequence of letter to produce a printed page. Presumably the steam composer was the equivalent of a typewriter in that as the typewritten words would be set by hand by the printer the punched tape would set the type instead.


A bit like the punched cards used in the fairground organs of the day to produce the various tunes.


Of course this is just speculation as I could only find two references to the Mackie steam composing machine on google and both were on a printing website and gave little or no indication on how they worked.

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Tracey, this is the best I can do, it does make sense if you concentrate. i could only find a pdf of an old newspaper report and it hasn't converted very well.


Good Luck



For many years, Mr. A. Mackie, of Warrington, has

been constiucting and perfecting a machine for composing

printing types. Several machines for the purpose havo

been made, but the steam type composer which Mr. Mackie

exhibited at tho International Exhibition of 1871 appears

to have excelled all previously made. It is thus described

in an English journal:-"1 his typo composing maohine

differs from all that have preceded it*in taking.advantage of

the Jacquard principle as a means of composing the type.

As is well known, the invention of Jacquard conaiatod in

employ ing perforated cards to determino which threada of

tho warp should be raised and lowered in woaving, and

which should remain at rest. In the machino exhibited,

the perforation of two series of holes upon a long riband of

paper ¡B made to effect two distinct objects ; tho ono series

determines the particular box or pocket from which a typo

is to be taken, and the other series doflneB the particular

letter or letters which the eolectcd pocket is required to


furnish. The riband which directs the working of the

machine is about two inches in breadth, and is divided

longitudinally into two distinot atripes. The perforation of

the riband is effected by punches; a frame is provided

where tho letters of the alphabot^are arranged in one line

of keys, and a number of short words which are more commonly

met with aro placed in the fivo other rows. The act

of pressing the linger upon any key will cause the corresponding

punches to be driven through the paper, and a

scries of perforations upon the riband will reprosent the

several letters and words. The perforated paper is now

carried to the type setting machine, which is constructed

with a number of pockets each containing eight compartments

filled with typo, and during tho revolution of the

table eight small bars or pickers travel round under the

pockets, and are ready to remove the typo from tho separate

compartments, and to dispose them on piano siirfacoa. from

which they can be swept away and arranged in tho order

required for printing. It is hero that the Jacquard principle

conies into ploy. Tbo perforated paper is carried over

the furfnee of a ey finder in which there aro sixteen openings

corresponding to the sixteen perforations, which may

possibly bo made in one line across tho ,paper;

eight lever aims, pressed down by a spring, are

always seeking to enter a perforation, and as soon as any

one of them finds the road open it will enter ; the tail end

of the lever will bo raised ; two projecting pieces will riso

in obedience to the motion, and will define tho particular

pocket from which ty pes aro to bo taken. In this way the

scries of holes upon ono side of tho perforated riband are

utilized, A second row of eight levers is at elie same time

acted upon by the second aeries of eight holeB in tho paper ;

these holes permit pins to bo raised, which piok out as

many typo as oro wanted from thoso boxes which have

been virtually opened by the first mentioned arrangement

There oro grooves cut m a circular band extending round

the machino, which aro really cams, and which permit the

rising of the type-picktrs at. tho correct time. A circular

indented cam is attached to tho rotating table, and actuates

a bar which sweeps off the selected typo, and starts them

on their road to a vertical column, from whence they issue

in regular order, and are pushed forward until they fill a

brass rule and are ready for justifying. A great amount of

thought haB been expended in arranging the boxes with

their type, so as to produco the largest number of useful

combinations. As a mattor of fact, out of every one

hundred words occurring in printed mattor, fifty-four will

probably repeat themselves, and that ia the reason why so

many eeparato words are carried in the respectivo pockets.

One noticeable feature of tbo invention is that the perforated

paper will set up the same matter in different points

of typo; and also that, it

may be used any number of

times in the came machine. At ordinary working speed,

the machine is competent to set up 12,000 letters and

spaces per hour. It is due to the inventor to state that, the

methodof introducing the Jacquard principle'for settingup

the type has been worked out with great ability, rho

idea is perfectly original ; the mechanical arrangements,

depending upon the continuous circular motion of a tnblo,

are well designed, and it would appear that an important

step has at length been made in a now direction

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Ahhh so it didn't say 'composting' machine then, I really should put my reading glasses on :wink:  :lol:


Beech House, that's the one cheers Algy and how did I forget that as it's the same name as our vets durh.


Interesting posts and looking forward to your photo Baz :)

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Interesting topic but I think the "Beech House" vets that dizzy refers to is on the Causeway and is named after "Beech House" that once existed on London Road Stockton Heath. It was a beautiful building that has now been replaced by flats (opposite London Road chip shop).Shame! Also the "Jaquard Machine" was an early attempt to combine steam power with newspaper compositing (warp and weft) but it never caught on. Alexander Mackie was a pioneer publisher of his day (a bit like Eddy Shah, Robert Maxwell, Rupert Murdoch or Gary Skentelbery) but there seem to be very few records of his life and achievements, apart from this. Please correct me if I am wrong?

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