View Full Version : Tinsmiths and Gas Fitters
10-01-2010, 5:15 PM
Can anyone enlighten me as to the relationship between the two trades. I have come across a line of ancestors who were apprenticed as tinsmiths but in the 1860s and 1870s appear to have taken on work as Gas Fitters. I assume they used their metal working skills in some way in the installation of the gas fittings but would be interested to know more re these skills.
10-01-2010, 7:13 PM
Hope this helps,
A tinsmith worked with sheet metals and as such being an apprentice he would have learned the art of soldering metal objects together using tinmans solder. To transfer his trade to that of gas fitter would cause him no problem for he would then be using plumbers solder to join gas lead gas pipes together, both jobs used the same tools, heat source for heating up the soldering iron the correct type of solder, tinmans or plumbers, and a tin of flux.
Many years ago I worked in an old fashioned ironmongers were they sold large quantaties of tinmans and plumbers solder.
The only problem I have heard about with soldering is sweating lead to copper a good solderer could do this no problem.
10-01-2010, 9:57 PM
I googled for
Tinsmith AND Gasfitter
I was really surprised as to the amount of hits. I do not know the connection between the trades but there were lots of them. ;)
12-01-2010, 7:42 PM
Thanks for the replies. I will have to do a bit of research on t'internet and find out exactly what gas fitters were doing in 1870
Ken is a tinsmith the same as a tinplate worker?
16-01-2010, 8:12 PM
It would appear so. I am no expert and hope that there are others within the forum who may be able to give some information on the work of tinsmiths and how they transferred their skills into the fitting of gas pipes
16-01-2010, 10:33 PM
The worshipful company of Tin Plate Workers (http://www.tinplateworkers.co.uk/history.php)
but then again
Wikipedia says about tinsmiths (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinsmith)
Make your mind up time ;)
16-01-2010, 10:48 PM
This link may help if you have tin men and gas men.
It is the story of a man named William Sugg (http://www.williamsugghistory.co.uk/history.htm), it is quite long but if you bear with it, it tells of how the gas industry developed.
17-01-2010, 9:11 PM
Thanks for the links. I had had a look at both the " Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers" and Wikipedia sites but neither gave any great explanation as to the link between the two trades.
The story of William Suggs is however a little more specific and one can begin to grasp how the tinsmiths transferred their skills. My ancestors are certainly from far humbler stock than Suggs and it will be interesting to find out what the work of the common tinsmith/gas fitter actually entailed.
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