A once common sound in the Black Country was the relentless 'thud, thud, thud' of the drop hammer, which produced a wide range of products that were formed in a die, beneath the hammer. Drop forging or stamping as it was known, became a practicality thanks to James Nasmyth's steam hammer, that was developed in the late 1830s and patented in 1840. Prior to this, manufacturers relied on the smith's anvil, and the water-powered, and later steam-powered tilt hammer, which was less powerful than Nasmyth's device.

An advert from 1894.

In Kelly's Staffordshire Directory of 1896, John Golcher is listed as a gun lock maker & general stamper, in Bright Street, King's Hill. The same entry appears in the 1904 edition.

In Kelly's 1912 Staffordshire Directory the business is listed as: John Golcher, general stamper, Bright Street, King's Hill.

The entry in the 1914 edition of Bennett's Business Directory is very different: Golcher J, iron and steel merchant, Bright Street, King's Hill.

On 23rd February, 1917 the business became a private limited company, trading under the name of John Golcher Limited.

The firm produced stampings of all kinds for many industries. In the late 1940s and the 1950s, two of their customers were Ford, and Rolls Royce.

An advert from 1897.

An advert from 1918.

The following photographs, taken inside the factory, are courtesy of Sylvia Peters, one of my cousins. Her father, Ben Platt, was a manager at the factory, and worked there for many years.
A stamper at work under the hammer. The hot bar would have been held above the die while the hammer dropped, and pressed the hot metal into the die to stamp out the required shape.
Chiselling-out a die by hand.
A very skilled job.
Dies had to be frequently replaced, and so they were copied from a master, in the machine opposite.

Milling and die copying machines in operation.

Another corner of the factory.

A final interior view of the factory.

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