Materials Matter

The Story

Imagine what your life could have been like in the early 1900s.

Meet Edwin

The year is 1910.

Edwin is 19 years old.

He completed his five-year apprenticeship last year.

He is carefully measuring the wood to create a pattern.

Edwin is wearing blue overalls and keeps his workplace tidy.

Edwin’s Story

Working as a pattern maker at Hargreaves iron foundry Edwin had to be very careful with measurements. And very careful in cutting the wood to make the pattern.

When the wooden patterns were lifted out of the mould they left the space the molten iron would flow into. But as the iron cooled it contracted. Edwin had to make the pattern just a little bit bigger than the cast iron piece they were making.

He felt he had the best job in the foundry. He worked surrounded by the lovely smell of cut wood. And the workshop had to be clean.

His friend Claude worked on the foundry floor. It was hot and very smoky, and dangerous. Splashes of the hot iron could burn you badly if you got too close.

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