Dobson & Barlow

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Dobson and Barlow
IndustryTextile machinery
FounderIsaac Dobson
Key people
Peter Rothwell
ProductsHydraulic presses
Number of employees
1600 (1860)

Dobson and Barlow were manufacturers of textile machinery with works in Bolton, Greater Manchester. Isaac Dobson (1767-1833) founded the company in 1790 and by 1850 Dobson in partnership with Peter Rothwell had premises in Blackhorse Street which produced mules for cotton spinning. The company moved to a larger factory in Kay Street which had 1,600 workers in 1860.[1]

Early history[edit]

Isaac Dobson was succeeded by his nephew Benjamin Dobson (1823-1874), with Edward Barlow (1821-1868) becoming a partner in 1851. Benjamin Alfred Dobson (1847-1898) became a partner on the retirement of his uncle in 1871, and was the great-grandson of Isaac Dobson.[2]

During World War I the company withdrew from textile machinery manufacture and became one of the largest manufacturers of munitions in the area, making hand grenades, artillery shells, field kitchens, mobile workshops, naval mines and search lights.[1]

Later history[edit]

Dobson and Barlow Factory TM84.png

In the recession of the 1930s, Platt Brothers, Howard and Bullough, Brooks and Doxey, Asa Lees, Dobson and Barlow, Joseph Hibbert, John Hetherington and Tweedales and Smalley merged to become Textile Machinery Makers Ltd., but the individual units continued to trade under their own names until the 1970, when they were rationalised into one company called Platt UK Ltd.[3] In 1991 the company name changed to Platt Saco Lowell. [4] The Globe works closed in 1993.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Dobson and Barlow, Grace's Guide, retrieved 16 July 2012
  2. ^ "Bolton: a tale of two statues". John Cassidy: Manchester Sculptor. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Platt maker of quality textile machinery and parts". Archived from the original on 2007-12-29. Retrieved 2009-04-17.
  4. ^ "Howard and Bullough, Cotton Machinery Manufacturers". Retrieved 2009-01-26.