Great Grandad's micrometer

Objects from this contributor

Great Grandad's micrometer

The micrometer is used in engineering to make very small, very accurate measurements. This one belonged to my Great Grandfather, Chas Wade, an engineering fitter at Woolwich Arsenal in the 1890s.

Chas was producing torpedoes, invented just 25 years earlier by Englishman Robert Whitehead. Woolwich Arsenal had been manufacturing them for the Admiralty since 1872.

In the early years of the 20th century tension was growing with Germany and arms production was stepping up. Woolwich was seen as possibly vulnerable to air attack, so the torpedo factory was moved to new site well away from the threat.

Chas became one of the 700 'Woolwichers' who settled in Gourock on the Clyde to work in the new Royal Naval Torpedo Factory. Chas and his family travelled on 5 November 1910 - my Grandad, Fred, then aged 13, remembered seeing fireworks from the train as they journeyed north.

Chas's career began just as warfare entered the industrial age. When the first industrial war started in 1914, most of Britain's torpedoes came from his workplace. By the time it closed in 1969, warfare had moved into the nuclear age, and the Gourock factory was working on Polaris missiles.

Comments are closed for this object

Comments

  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 09:18 on 3 May 2012, liscsamento wrote:

    I think my grandfather Walter Livemore, was a Woolwicher, because he was a scientific instrument maker at Woolwich Arsenal. His family were all local to that area of London. But he met my grandmother in Gourock, and my mother, born in 1919, was their only child.I can't be certain because accurate information seems to be lost. It is good to learn about others with simlar family histories.What a wonderful heirloom you have in that beautiful micro meter, regards from Ausralia.

    Complain about this comment

Most of the content on A History of the World is created by the contributors, who are the museums and members of the public. The views expressed are theirs and unless specifically stated are not those of the BBC or the British Museum. The BBC is not responsible for the content of any external sites referenced. In the event that you consider anything on this page to be in breach of the site’s House Rules please Flag This Object.

About this object

Click a button to explore other objects in the timeline

Location

Providence, Rhode Island

Culture
Period
Theme
Size
H:
11cm
W:
5cm
D:
1cm
Colour
Material

View more objects from people in Guernsey.

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.