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Ashton Valve Company


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  #1  
Old 05-29-2019, 05:18:09 PM
Ashton Ashton is offline
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Default Ashton Valve Company

My ancestor, Henry Ashton founded the Ashton Valve company back in 1871 based on the popularity of his patented "lock safety valve". It was a game changer in the age of boiler explosions. I've been researching the history of the company over the last few years and I'm wondering what the steamers of this group might know about the company.
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  #2  
Old 05-29-2019, 11:22:49 PM
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ulgydog56 ulgydog56 is offline
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

you must be very proud....
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  #3  
Old 05-30-2019, 10:15:16 AM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

It has been a lot of fun. Nobody in the family knew anything about the company and I've been able to tell them a little history and show them pictures of relatives that they have never seen before. I think the people I've met at museums and steam shows have been incredible, telling me how some of the products work and stories about their experiences working with Ashton and other valves.
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  #4  
Old 06-04-2019, 11:22:01 PM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

A few of the items the company produced:
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:54:29 PM
Ashton Ashton is offline
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

And a little more info about the company.
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:01:18 PM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

A few of the turn of the century ads I've found in old trade journals.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:15:29 AM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

Here's a copy of a talk given about the Ashton Valve company at a Boston Museum.
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Old 06-28-2019, 11:17:53 AM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

oops, here's the story...
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Old 07-10-2019, 10:42:44 AM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

Here are a few more items manufactured by Ashton Valve
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Old 07-23-2019, 11:39:30 AM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

Many factories were purchased by the War Department during WWII and used to manufactures materials for the war effort. The Ashton Valve company was one of those. The continued to make gauges and safety valves, but now exclusively for Naval ships.

The Defense Plant Corporation was the branch of the government assigned to this task. Here's a link to more information about them and a couple of letters that show the Ashton Valve's involvement.

http://what-when-how.com/the-america...rporation-dpc/
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Old 07-24-2019, 02:01:42 PM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

The final foundry site was built in Cambridge ,Ma in 1907. Here are some sheets on the building.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:27:58 PM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

The company was also very involved with the rise of steam driven automobiles. They made gauges for the Stanley steamers, Wintons, White Steamers,and Pope-Toledo autos.Possibly others.
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Old 08-13-2019, 05:34:37 PM
anthony k axsom anthony k axsom is offline
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

Is building still there?
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:55:38 PM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

Yes it is. It is currently being renovated for office space. I drive by it all the time and was given a quick tour by the site manager once. Nothing really old inside as it has been used as office space for many years. I did grab a brick though!
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:35:36 PM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

A few key people in the Ashton Valve story.
Henry Ashton...founder
Albert Ashton....his son
Columbus Dill....salesman and complete character!
Fred Casey ......long time employee
J.R. Motherwell..another long term manager
Harry Ashton....also Henry's son
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Old 08-19-2019, 07:43:47 AM
Peter Holmander Peter Holmander is offline
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

Where did you search the trade journals? Library? I have an engine manufacturer I want to research. I wish I had known you sooner. Before I retired, I worked at the former Quonset/Davisville Navy base in RI. The state turned it into an industrial park when it closed. Just before I retired, they tore down the original steam plant that provided the steam for heating all the buildings there. I'm sure there were Ashton gauges or valves in there. I remember seeing some of those square shaped ones on the huge boilers they had. They also had a stock room full of NOS parts still in the original packaging. And I can remember tons of vendor literature stored alphabetically on metal shelves. I grabbed a bunch of boiler thermometers before the wrecking ball went to town on the building and two vintage Lunkenheimer catalogs. Will have to take a peek at the thermometers, see who the manufacturer was. They tried to find an interested party to purchase the contents of the plant, but there was little interest. So the entire machine shop on the lower lever was emptied out into dumpsters and went for scrap. The rest of it was torn down. Seemed to me like such a waste, but I guess it happens all the time.
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Old 08-19-2019, 05:11:50 PM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

What a sad story. I'm sure it does happen a lot but the old materials seem to be getting popular on ebay and the the asking prices of gauges have really gone up as gauges are a big part of the Steampunk movement.

https://machineagelamps.com/

As for the Trade Journals, I find them all on Google Books. someone has spent considerable time and effort to scan thousands of them. Once I type in the key words, Ashton Valve, Ashton gauges, or whatever other phrase I want to try a massive list comes up. Some can't be seem, "snippet", but others can be read page by page. Once you bring a journal up there is a box where you can get more specific about what you want to search for.
Be warned, it's addictive! But there is a lot of info out there.

Also www.archive.org is another place to search for old information.
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Old 08-27-2019, 09:57:12 PM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

Here is some information on the Ashton lock up pop safety valve, the item that was responsible for putting the Ashton Valve Company on the map.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:00:14 PM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

And the pictures....
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Old 08-29-2019, 08:59:01 AM
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Default Re: Ashton Valve Company

In 1892, the company purchased the Boston Steam Gauge Company and entered the gauge business. Today, the Ashton gauges are remembered more than the safety valves. They are often very expensive on ebay.
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