Part 70r - Great-Great-Grandfather John Robertson, An Iron Moulder?

21 September 2009


Tonight's supper - shrimp, zucchini, onion, fiddle-heads, tomato sauce, and pasta. T'weren't bad.

And my question in Part 69r, "What pray tell is an 'Iron Moulder'?"

I would like to know. My great-great-grandfather John Robertson is listed, in the 1841 Census of England and Wales, as an "Iron Moulder".

I found a definition at the Hall Genealogy Website; Old Occupation Names and it states "Made moulds for casting iron". Well this teacher and banker still hasn't got the vision of what gg-grandfather John Robertson did, expect I have a picture of some sweaty dude pouring red-hot liquid into some pot on a long handle over an extremely hot fire. So?

At Scots Family, Scottish occupations, the definition given is "Iron foundry worker who poured molten iron from furnace into moulds". A bit more elaborated... The next, link at Parishmouse provided a bit more substance "A foundry worker who produced the sand moulds from wooden patterns into which the moulten iron was poured to produce a cast metal/iron object." But Jeff who posted at a message board, Occupations (General) at provides a fair and detailed discussion:
An iron moulder made moulds from which castings were made,

An iron founder founds or casts iron using moulds, and

An artisan is a skilled person.

As an Artisan he would progress to learn more skills and therefore earn better pay.

To make moulds that work one would need to know how molten iron flowed and cooled. What better way to learn about the mistakes of the moulder than to cast the material. A moulder was higher paid than the founder.

Once he possessed both skills he could change employment or employer as the available work waxed and waned or even his age and health allowed.

1873 Banner for Iron Moulders Society of Victoria, Australia

The Iron Moulders, a stained glass window by Stephen Adam, c 1878
Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Next installment, great-grandaunt Agnes at 10 years of age.




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