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Ardill & Co., Metal Checks Manufacturer, Ridge Works, the Fly Press

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Ardill & Co., Metal Checks Manufacturer, Ridge Works, the Fly Press
Image taken at Ardill & Co., metal checks manufacturers at Ridge Works in Meanwood Road. The worker is hand-making metal checks or discs by operating a fly press. This small company was founded by John Ardill and his brother Thomas in the 19th century and continued over three generations. At the time of this photograph it was run by the grandson of John Ardill, Brian Ardill, born in 1907.

User Comments:

Graham A. Schofield

I have to question the use of the expression 'Fly Press', in the title here. A 'Fly Press' nearly always has a solid cast iron body, in the shape of an inverted 'G'. They are hand operated by swinging a weight-loaded horizontal operating arm in a circular motion. This arm sits on the very top of the press, and is attached to a vertical screw, which descends at speed when the operating arm is swung, to deliver the pressure or force to whatever die or etc., which is fixed to the bed of the machine. The machine shown here is not of that particular genre. The operator appears to be using a 'pull-handle' to perform whatever task he is involved with here. It seems to be some kind of specialised machine tool, and I doubt that it is a press. I would think that any vertical pressure would tend to distort that slender central spindle/column. Is that spindle revolving? What is the function of those two heavy looking securing bosses/brackets at the base of that spindle? Are they to stop the spindle-end from' wandering'. Is there anyone out there who worked at this company, and who can tell us as to what is going on here? Images of Fly-Presses being used by this company, can be seen on, 2011329_171976 and 2011329_171977.




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