Ashton Valve Company

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Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:05 pm

Hello. I have been researching the Ashton Valve company for the past 3 years. The company was founded in 1871 by my ancestor Henry G Ashton after his invention of a pop safety valve that was a breakthrough in the efforts to reduce boiler explosions, a big problem in the 1800's. Through the collection of history, old catalogs, and vintage advertisements, I'll explain how the products the company made helped make locomotives, marine ships, and stationary boilers safer. I hope you find it interesting.
Here's a history of the company:

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachme ... 1561734973
Rick A
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:12 pm

IMG_20180318_082051.jpg
Early catalog page
The pop safety valve was the item that put the company on the map. attached is some information about it.
Attachments
IMG_20190412_170217.jpg
The patent for the valve.
IMG_20190417_163039.jpg
An advertisement from 1872
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:16 pm

A picture of the actual valve from around 1874.
Attachments
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IMG_20190829_165803.jpg
Information from a circa 1917 Railroad guide the company issued
IMG_20190814_142457.jpg
An actual pop safety valve circa 1874
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:19 pm

Attached are a few other Railroad related patents the company held.
Attachments
IMG_20190417_163608.jpg
IMG_20190417_163405.jpg
IMG_20190417_163142.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:26 pm

Here are a few early adverts taken from various trade journals of the time.
Attachments
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IMG_20190412_170452.jpg
1887
IMG_20190412_170341.jpg
1886
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:34 pm

items from my collection.
Attachments
IMG_20190530_112113.jpg
IMG_20181002_150459.jpg
Quadruplex air brake gauge
IMG_20190823_140142.jpg
Protected dial pressure gauge
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Wed Oct 16, 2019 3:41 pm

At a steam show last year someone gave me an original stock certificate from 1877

https://us.v-cdn.net/5021738/uploads/ed ... 20tkk7.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:30 am

gauge testing was important and the company made a number of testing devices.
The first one is the Dead Weight Tester
Attachments
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:34 am

Another was an "easier to carry" version
Attachments
IMG_20190503_082603.jpg
IMG_20190503_083844.jpg
IMG_20180429_120717.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:39 am

The Test Gauge had to be calibrated perfectly at all times to insure the accuracy of the gauge to be tested.
Attachments
IMG_20190503_084153.jpg
IMG_20180429_115553.jpg
IMG_20190624_172718.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Thu Oct 17, 2019 9:10 am

more tester info.
Attachments
IMG_20190829_171221.jpg
IMG_20190829_171254.jpg
IMG_20190416_174517.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:52 pm

Ashton Valve products were built to last and replacement parts were available for all products.
Attachments
IMG_20180506_160911.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:25 pm

In 1892 the company purchased the Boston Steam Gauge Company and entered the gauge market. It wasn't long before the gauges earned the same reputation for quality the safety valves had. Today the gaiuges on ebay go for good money.
Attachments
IMG_20190413_130518.jpg
IMG_20190412_171213.jpg
Gauge announcment letter 1892.jpg
The letter sent to all customers about the Boston Steam gauge Co purchase.
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Sat Oct 19, 2019 3:28 pm

some of hte gauges in my collection.
Attachments
IMG_20190710_154759.jpg
IMG_20190823_135826.jpg
Ashton Valve.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:49 pm

A few others.
Attachments
IMG_20180621_112749.jpg
IMG_20180621_110351 (1).jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:46 pm

Ashton Valve and WWII.
Many factories were purchased by the War Department during WWII and used to manufactures materials for the war effort. The Ashton Valve company was one of those. The continued to make gauges and safety valves, but now exclusively for Naval ships.

The Defense Plant Corporation was the branch of the government assigned to this task. Here's a link to more information about them and a couple of letters that show the Ashton Valve's involvement.

http://what-when-how.com/the-american-e ... ation-dpc/
Attachments
WWll Defense#2.jpg
WWll Defense #1.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:41 am

Attached are pictures of the important people in the company's history.
Attachments
Columbus Dill (2).jpg
IMG_20190818_170217.jpg
Henry G. Ashton.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Tue Oct 22, 2019 9:43 am

And these people.
Attachments
J. W. Motherwell (2).jpg
Harry H Ashton.jpg
F.A. Casey.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:47 pm

A surviving document shows the gauge serial numbers, the year they were produced, and the quantity produced for the years 1895-1922.
Attachments
gage production figures.jpg
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Re: Ashton Valve Company

Unread postby Rick A » Tue Oct 22, 2019 1:54 pm

The company's first "home" was at 138 Pearls Street, Boston. In less than a year they were burned out by the Great Boston fire of 1872. The next few years they were at various locations in Boston. After another fire in 1879 they settled in at 271 Franklin Street, Boston where they remained for 27 years. 1907 saw the company outgrowing Franklin Street and building a much larger facility at 161 First Street, East Cambridge, where they were until 1948 when they moves to Wrentham ,Ma with the Crosby Valve Company. That was the final home of Ashton Valve.
Attached Thumbnails

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachme ... 1571532981

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https://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachme ... 1571532966

https://www.smokstak.com/forum/attachme ... 1571532966
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