John Abbot & Co
The firm was founded in Gateshead High Street by Joseph Abbot, brassfounder and coppersmith in 1770. On his death in 1812, Joseph Abbot was succeeded by his son, John, who moved the firm to Oakwellgate in around 1825 and subsequently undertook great expansion of the business.
The Park Iron Works was then built in 1834 and by 1841 the workforce at the Park Iron Works was 640, making anchors, chains, chain cables and nails. By 1889 the workforce was up to 2000 and the variety of products much wider, including cranes, steam and hydraulic machinery, brass and copper goods, tinware and pewter pots. The works had a long frontage on the riverside and its own internal railway system. The output diversified considerably until they produced everything from tin-tacks to railway engines.
But the decline was as fast as the growth. As late as 1907 the works employed 1,180 people, but then the firm went into liquidation in 1909 and by 1913 the site was completely cleared of standing buildings.
Above map showing the Abbot's Works in Gateshead