On 14th July 1712, Thomas Newcomen built the world’s first successful steam engine, which he built in the Black Country. This day is now marked every year to commemorate ‘Black Country Day’ to celebrate our history from the industrial revolution to the engineering and industry success the region still has today.
This week is even more special for the Black Country, having joined landmarks including the Jurassic Coast, Stone Henge and Tower of London to gain UNESCO status.
Jenks & Cattell Engineering have manufactured metal products and metal pressings since 1886 in the Black Country, and we are proud of our heritage and location.
For those of whom who aren’t familiar with the Black Country, it covers four boroughs of the West Midlands and is famous for mining, metalwork and glass blowing – including the manufacture of chains and anchors.
Facts about the Black Country:
- The Black Country manufactured the anchor for the Titanic.
- 1712, the Black Country built the worlds first successful steam engine.
- The Black Country put the first steam train on US soil in 1828.
- Some say the Black Country inspired Mordor in the Lord of the Rings.
- In 1868, the Black Country was described as “black by day and red by night” due to the coal mining and hot ironmongery industry.
- In 1910, women chain makers brought the worlds attention to slave-like conditions they worked in which led to the introduction of Britain’s first minimum wage.
- Famous people from the Black Country include Lenny Henry, Robert Plant, Noddy Holder, Julie Walters and Beverley Knight.
- Metalwork from the Black Country thrived during the Civil War where swords, pikes, guns and ammunition were manufactured.
- Its name was given by a young Queen Victoria who was offended by the black skies caused by the industry.
Jenks & Cattell Engineering have an impressive history ourselves, being established since 1886 and were once the UK’s manufacturing leaders of garden tools as well as having the prestige of in 1951 of being one of the first metal pressings company to supply the automotive market, which we still do today. More information on our history can be found here: https://www.jcel.co.uk/our-timeline