Sir Joseph Whitworth (BART)
(1803 - 1887)


Joseph Whitworth was born in Stockport, where his father Charles, a Church Minister, also ran a school


Aged 16 he ran away from his uncle's farm in Derbyshire to become a mechanic with Crighton and Co. in Manchester.


He married and moved to London to work for Henry Maudsley


He returned to Manchester to set up his own business in the Chorlton St area


Produced a renowned paper "On a uniform system of screw threads" - to become known as the "Whitworth thread"


At the Great Exhibition he showed many types of engineers' tools and measuring machines. By now the name of the firm was world famous as makers of machine tools


The Crimean War stimulated his researches into guns, experimenting both at home the "Firs" Fallowfield and on Southport sands. Elected Fellow of the Royal Society and received honorary degrees at Oxford and Dublin


Awarded the Legion of Honour by the French Government for his work in field guns


Awarded the Albert Gold Medal of the Society of Arts and was created a Baronet.


Whitworth's wife died. He remarried (a widow from Cheadle) in 1871


The Chorlton Street workshop moved to Openshaw (the College site) and by 1884 1000 workers were employed here.


Sir Joseph Whitworth died leaving no children.
He was buried at the church of Darley (or Darley Dale) St Helen in Derbyshire.
He left a large amount of money for the people of Manchester.

1892 Money from the Whitworth Estate was used to set up a home for people with cancer. The home being in Stanley Grove Manchester. In 1901 the home was renamed the "Christie Hospital" in honour of the trustee of the Whitworth estate - Richard Copley Christie and his wife Helen, a driving force behind the project.

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