John Johnson joined an existing firm of wire drawers in 1818; his sons Richard and William took over the firm in 1838. In 1857 they supplied galvanized armored wire for the first transatlantic telegraph cable. In 1860, the year after this piece was presented, William Johnson died and his place was taken by a nephew; as Richard Johnson & Nephew Ltd. the firm was highly successful and continued in Manchester until 1973.
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