Richard Johnson & Nephew Ltd
Richard Johnson and Nephew were a firm of ironmasters and wire drawers based in Bradford, Manchester, with a heritage dating back to 1773. They revolutionised the wire industry with the introduction of the first continuous galvanising plant in 1860 and later with the world's first successful continuous rod rolling mill in 1862. These machines sped up the wire-making process at a time when demand was rising rapidly.
The company supplied wire for a range of uses, including galvanised armouring wire for submarine cables, and for use in suspension bridges including one at Niagara. In 1877, the company bought the sole licence to manufacture barbed wire under patent across Britain. The company later supplied over 60% of the steel-cored aluminium conductors for the National Grid.
In 1973, Richard Johnson & Nephew merged with Thomas Firth & John Brown Ltd, becoming Johnson & Firth Brown. The Bradford Works closed in 1986.