The Dyson group has its origins in the early 19th century, with the founding of a ceramics factory in Sheffield in 1810. The need for heat-resistant bricks for the newly developing furnaces driving the Industrial Revolution led the company to become an important producer of refractories and related ceramics products. Dyson's primary market became England's steel industry, and the group remained focused on that market into the 1970s.
By the late 1950s, Dyson had grown to include three clay preparation plants, each equipped with modern, gas-firing tunnel kilns, as well as ten intermittent kilns. The company also boasted complete brick shaping and drying facilities, in order to produce a wide variety of refractory shapes used for the production of steel ingots.
Dyson, which came under the ownership control of the Lomas family, began an expansion effort in the late 1950s and early 1960s. In preparation for this, the company launched a public offering, listing on the London Stock Exchange in 1958, becoming J&J Dyson PLC. Nonetheless, the company adopted a two-tier shareholding structure, with control of the voting rights shares remaining within the Lomas family.
Dyson's first major acquisition came in 1962, when the company picked up rival Ceramic Holdings. By 1965, the company had expanded again, this time buying a majority stake in Pickford, Holland, another refractory producer. By 1966, the company had completed its acquisition of Pickford, Holland. The two companies had enjoyed some degree of cooperation for some time, and the addition of Pickford, Holland enabled Dyson to extend its range of refractories.
Dyson targeted further growth in its refractories operations through the end of the 1960s. In 1967, the company made its next major acquisition, when it agreed to merge with Price-Pearson Refractories. This raised the company's market value to more than £5.3 million. Two years later, Dyson added another Sheffield-area company, with the purchase of Thomas Wragg and Sons. That business specialized in fireclay refractories.
The Stannington site closed in 2006. The Visits.
I first visited this site solo in Aug 2016 and spent around 4.5 – 5 hours in the place.
I Probably covered less than 60% on this visit so had been wanting to return at some point.
A return visit was arranged this time in the company of Snapt and LuigiDawn. We spent 6 hours in here and covered around 65% of the site including bits I hadn't seen last time round.
I love this site – lots so see and photograph, lots of variety and some decent graf including 4 pieces by Coloquix ( a favourite artist of mine) - two of which were new to me since my first Visit.
Photos taken with a Canon 650D and Tamron 17-50 f2.8, Canon 10-22 and Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lenses.
So without further ado – the images.
There are a few of these small cat Grafs around the place - I rather like them
One of the very long Kilns
One of the "New" Coloquix pieces
The other "New" Coloquix