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Boilermakers made boilers and were also general metal workers.

Boilermaker's EmblemSteam engines were used to power many machines, trains and ships in the 19th Century.

A boiler was an essential part of a steam engine as it was used to heat water to create steam. Boilers were made of plates of metal or tubes that were cut, bent and shaped by the Boilermakers.

Boilermakers also worked as general metal workers rolling, shearing, welding, riveting and making metal structures and machines. They built steam trains, constructed metal bridges and built iron and steel ships.

For information about boilermakers' unions, click here

Sources for family history in our collection

Amalgamated Society of Boilermakers, Blacksmiths, Shipbuilders and Structural Workers
The following information can be found in annual reports

  Information Dates
New members Name and registration number 1872-1873, 1875-1983
Members expelled, black listed and in arrears Name and registration number 1872-1873, 1975-1983
Deceased members and members' wives Name, age and cause of death 1872-1973, 1976-1983
Accident benefit Name, registration number and monies received 1872-1975
Superannuation benefit Name, registration number and monies received 1872-1875, 1880-1973
Other benefits including sick pay Name, registration number and monies received 1872-1875, 1880-1882, 1885, 1887-1917
Branch Secretaries Names and addresses 1872-1873, 1875-1983


Resources about Boilermakers in the library collection

North East Trade Union Studies Information Unit, British shipbuilding: what next? - a study commissioned by the Amalgamated Society of Boilermakers (ca. 1977) - Shelfmark: AG Ships Box 1

Gordon H. H. Glasgow, Coroners and steam boiler explosions: the case of Richard Palmer in early Victorian Preston (2009) – Shelfmark: E56


Related Object of the Month

January 2013: Poster marking the 125th anniversary of the boilermakers' union - from the collection of Peter Carter

Boilermakers 125th anniversary commemorative posterThe poster was designed by HJ Davis, a union member from Devonport No 1 Branch who won the first prize in the Society's design competition according the July 1959 issue of their Monthly Report, which is held in the Library.