Jones + Attwood
Jones+Attwood a History of its Beginnings
The origins of the firm can be traced back to a forge set up by John Jones in 1836 in Enville Street (adjacent to Crown Lane), Stourbridge, and penny farthing bicycles are known to have been one of the early products. These first premises later became Wallace’ s-11arage and in more recent times were demolished to accommodate the present day Crown Shopping Centre. Walter Jones joined the business in 1862 and assumed full control at only 20 years of age-on the death of his father in 1866. Walter 1 s obviously inventive brain and enterprise were soon in evidence -initially in the field of hot water heating. The 11 Jones Improved Expansion Joint 11 for heating pipes and his 11Patent Pipe Cutter11 were two early products. The expansion joint replaced the hitherto caulked seal by rubber gaskets compressed inside a bolted housing. Sadly, the joint was never patented – an omission which undoubtedly cost the inventor a fortune and which appears to have taught him a valuable lesson for later in his career. A comprehensive range of heating equipment followed from pipe fittings to boilers and including early air heaters, all of which were designed and developed by Walter Jones.
Entrance into Sewage Treatment
The Company’s involvement in sewage treatment began by manufacturing sewage distributors and went on subsequently to pioneer the commercial development of a new biological method of sewage treatment known as 11 activated sludge 11 • The system was destined to become THE accepted method for treatment of sewage and in 1919, Activated Sludge Ltd., 56o/o owned by Jones & Attwood, was formed to develop the process and market it Worldwide. The business was not without its problems in respect of patent infringement by others, notably in America. Litigation over the period 1920 to 1934 was fought against American cities who were utilising the process without permission, which eventually resulted in fines of almost $1 million on each of the leading offenders, Milwaukee and Chicago. However, settlement of the fmes was not concluded until 1947 by which time the residue after litigation expenses was only £18,850. Despite this small reward, the action had at least prevented further unauthorised use of the process – Walter Jones had certainly learned the benefit of patent protection. The firm became a limited company in 1910.
In 1935, during a visit to America, Ernest Jones negotiated an agreement signed in 1938 with the Chicago Pump Company for Jones & Attwood to manufacture the Comminutor, a disintegrating device used at the inlet to a sewage treatment works. The product partly satisfied the need for work for the Foundry but also extended the Companys growing interest in sewage treatment. Production started in 1939 and for the next forty years it became the Companys best selling product including exports to Japan and America. The subsequent move away from cast iron products in the heating industry, coupled with the addition of other products involved in primary treatment of sewage, saw the :Hydraulic (now known as the Effiueil.t Treatment Plant) Division established as the Company’s core activity.