W. & S. Butcher


Joseph Tyzack & Son - Meersbrook, UK




Joseph Tyzack was born at Dobbin Hill on 29 March 1813.  On the 20 July 1837 he married a seller of beer, Sarah Carr, a widow (formerly Sarah Wilkinson), and he set up business.  In Drake’s Directory for 1863 Joseph, a fendermaker, is listed as Joseph Tyzack & Son, 160 Fitzwilliam Street.

He built a connection with the Isle-of-Man Steam Pocket Boat Company. The “Legs of Man” trademark, which was required by this customer, was later adopted and registered with the Cutlers’ Company in 1847.

He invented and pioneered the now well known plasterer’s steel trowel or float as one of his most successful products.

His wide range of products included garden, joiners’ and moulders’ tools, bricklayers’ trowels, putty and palette knives, graining combs, butchers’ and bakers’ tools, and of course, as always with a Tyzacks, saws. The range needed a bigger works, so property in Bowden Street was acquired.

Joseph and Sarah had three children, a son Thomas, born 17th April 1842, a daughter Ann, (who married Louis Spencer), and a daughter Louisa, (who became Louisa Wolstenholme).

Thomas was the “& Son” and took over the business when his father retired to Southport.  He built the premises, known as Meersbrook Works, Valley Road, Heeley. Thomas married and had three daughters, Cassandra, Minnie and Rose, and two sons, George and Clement. Clement took over from his father and was succeeded by joint managing directors, Minnie and Rose.

One of his most successful inventions was the steel plasterers trowel, (wooden floats had been used prior to this time), incorporating an improved method of attaching the handle to the blade. This process was patented in 1902, most likely by Joseph’s son Thomas, who succeeded his father and also built the Meersbrook Works in Valley Road, Heeley, to accommodate his expanding business

It was this company which produced the excellent Tyzack Rapper Swords which bear the "Legs of Man” trade mark, and in many cases the patent No.9835 which relates to the handle fixing process devised by Joseph.

The firm continued to exist until about 1942 when it joined Isaac Nash of Stourbridge to form Nash Tyzack Industries.  This did not last long because by 1953 Brades joined in and the company became Brades, Nash & Tyzack.

By 1962 the Skelton company added its name. This was followed by a take-over by Spearwell Tools, then Spear & Jackson but they were all in their turn acquired by Neill Tools Ltd in 1985.

From 1712 Tyzacks had made tools, probably in a small way, and without much variation until 1800. Then from the founding of William’s business in 1812 until around 1950, a total of one hundred and thirty-eight years, there had only been changes to the arrangement of the businesses largely to suit the needs of a growing family and a slowly changing product.

From 1950 onwards, however, we can see the beginning of an explosion.  We see a change towards gross rationalization, where firms battled to take over or be taken over.

As the second half of the century developed and cheap, but reasonable quality imports became common, this became a fury and it proved difficult to keep track of all the moves affecting the residue of the Tyzack companies.

The above sketch is a partial reprint from "Glass, Tools & Tyzacks" by Don Tyzack


English Saws


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