Ashley, Howard Matravers

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b. 1841
d. 1914 England
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English inventor of the semi-automatic bottle-making machine.
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Ashley, manager of an iron foundry at Ferrybridge, Yorkshire, began trying to construct a bottle-making machine in the 1880s. In 1886 he obtained a patent for a two-stage machine. This proved to be impracticable, but improvements were described in further patents in 1887 and 1889, leading to a three-stage process, embodying the basic elements of a machine to make narrow-necked glass bottles. The Ashley (Machine-Made) Bottle Company was set up to exploit the invention, but had failed by 1894 due to poor management, although it had claimed to make bottles in a tenth of the time taken to make them by hand. Ashley had shown the way, however, and his machines were still producing good bottles in 1918. The process was a stage along the way to complete mechanization brought about by M.J. Owens's machine.
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Bibliography
Ashley took out nine British patents during 1886–90, including: 2 July 1886, British patent no. 8,677 (two-stage bottle-making machine).
Further Reading
R.E.Moody, 1985, "A century of mechanical bottle making", Glass Technology 26 (2): 109 ff.
LRD

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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