Mark Firth

Founder of the Firth family engineering and armaments business in Sheffield. Mark Firth was to be elected Master Cutler of Sheffield and also Lord Mayor.

Sheffield Cultural Heritage


Mark Firth was born in Sheffield, the son of a head smelter at Sanderson Brothers, and Mark himself worked there until deciding to set up his own business with his brother and father in 1852.
The Firth family business succeeded from the outset and ventured into the armaments market, building notable steam hammers, a 35 ton gun known as the “Woolwhich Infant”, and an eighty ton version later in 1875.
Steel blocks for ordnance was their main export, but they also produced shot and other forgings. In fact they became so successful that by the next century they were producing almost all the metal that was used for gun making by the British government, and even a majority of metal in the French market.
It is thanks to the Firth family that Sheffield became such a sweeping commercial power in the Industrial Age.
Mark Firth died of a stroke in 1880, and was survived by twelve children - a busy man till the end.
Sheffield Cultural Heritage

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