Mark Sprot and Robert Denholm clay pipe making machine inventors

09/07/1853 – Patents for inventions. Abridgements of specifications. No 1642 – Mark Sprot and Robert Denholm — Relates to the manufacture of pipes and tubular articles from clay or plastic materials, wherein the sockets or end junction pieces of such articles are formed at the time of moulding or shaping the plain portion of the pipe or another article. To the delivering end of a pug mill is attached the mould for the socket of the pipe, and within it is placed a core bar, made to suit the intended shape of the pipe and socket. The clay is forced, by the action of the pugging apparatus, into the annular space between the end of the core bar and its surrounding socket, whence it issues through an annular space corresponding to the diameter of the main portion of the pipe at the outer end of the socket. When the required length of pipe has been formed, the machine is stopped; and the clay left in the socket mould, at the moment of stopping, becomes the completed socket for the pipe.

Instead of the pug mill arrangement, the direct pressure of a steam or water cylinder, or any known plan of forcing clay, may be used for pressing the clay into and through the mould.


In 1831 the Garnkirk Colliery and Brickfield Company was established and targeted the fire clay to be found in deep seams around Garnkirk and Glenboig area of Lanarkshire. The Company was owned by Mark Sprot, Garnkirk House and his brother Thomas Sprot. James Murray and Co appear to have been given the lease over the ground. The seams of clay were reputed to be of the finest quality and in a bed 4 – 19 feet thick.



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