Onions was born in Broseley, Shropshire, later moving to Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. He married Elizabeth Guest, sister of John Guest, a founder of Guest, Keen and Nettlefold, which is today the British conglomerate GKN In 1783, Onions received patent number 1370 for his invention. Henry Cort later improved on Onion's process during the development of his puddling furnace.
- Newsletter of the Broseley Local History Society (PDF): 10. November 2010 http://www.broseley.org.uk/Newsletters/November%202010%20Newsletter2.pdf. Retrieved 6 June 2012. Missing or empty
- Ashton, Thomas Southcliffe (1963). Iron and Steel in the Industrial Revolution. Footnote to page 87
- Hammond, J.L.; Hammond, Barbara (2005). The Rise of Modern Industry. Routledge. p. 139. ISBN 978-0-415-37996-0.
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