Daniel Adamson was born in Shildon, Co. Durham.
In 1852 he set up the Newton Moor Iron Works at the junction of Talbot Road and Ashton Road. In 1874 due to lack of space he re-established his business on a new site about a quarter mile to the north west, at Johnsonbrook Rd.
He specialised in engine and boiler making, initially following designs created by Hackworth, making and exporting the renowned "Manchester Boilers". Adamson was able to experiment with the new found wealth from the worldwide export of these boilers and due to his remarkable capability in engineering was able to design the collapsible valve known as the Adamson Flange Seal. He was also one of the pioneers of explosive forming used in the foundry process.
He lived at various address in Hyde, including
- Goodier House, Back Lane (now Victoria Street), Newton - see Hyde Cheshire.
- Newton Hall, Muslin Street (now Talbot Road), Newton
- Oakland Hall, Godley - see Hyde Daily Photo.
Adamson was a champion of the Manchester Ship Canal project. He arranged a meeting The Towers, his Didsbury home, on 27 June 1882, attended by 68 people including the mayors of Manchester and surrounding towns, leaders of commerce and industry, bankers and financiers. Adamson was elected chairman of the provisional committee promoting the Ship Canal, and was at the forefront in pushing the scheme through Parliament in the face of intense opposition from railway companies and port interests in Liverpool. The requisite Act of Parliament enabling the canal was finally passed on 6 August 1885, after which Adamson became the first chairman of the board of directors of the Manchester Ship Canal Company – a post he held until February 1887 when he resigned due to his disagreement with the financial restructuring of the company, although he still ardently maintained his support for the project throughout the rest of his life.
Daniel Adamson died at his home, the Towers, Didsbury, on the 13th January 1890. He left his wife Mary and two daughters, Alice Ann and Lavinia. Newton Moor Iron Works was passed to his daughter Lavinia who had married William Parkyn, an engineer, in April 1873.
A portrait of Daniel Adamson by Philip Richard Morris can be viewed at Manchester City Art Gallery.
For a timeline of events in his life see Geoff Royle's website.
The town of Hyde had the benefit of another firm of boilermakers, Joseph Adamson & Co. Ltd. Joseph also grew up in Shildon and was the son of Daniel's elder brother John, an N.E.R. engine driver. Joseph's son Dr. Daniel Adamson, became a President of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers.
Dr Daniel Adamson was born in Hyde in 1869. He began an apprenticeship at the age of 16, attending evening classes at the Manchester School of Technology at the same time. His apprenticeship was divided between the works of Scott and Hodgson of Guide Bridge and Joseph Adamson and Company of Hyde, which had been founded by his father in 1874.
In 1893 he was promoted to works manager, and in 1904 he and his brother Harold entered into partnership with their father. In 1925 Daniel became sole proprietor of the firm.
Adamson was a pioneer in the development of the electric crane. After a visit to the United States in 1893, the firm commenced the building of electric cranes by constructing one of the first three-motor overhead cranes in the country.
He was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1929. He died in 1930.