When Stothert & Pitt announced, in January 1989, the closure of its engineering works, 580 local people lost their jobs and the city of Bath lost its single largest manufacturer. For over 250 years the heavy engineering and metalworking business had employed local people (over 2,000 in 1945) and supplied a wide variety of products from bedsteads to boilers and cement mixers to cranes. Today, when Bath is renowned for an 'industry-free' elegance, refined and displayed for tourists, this opportunity to remind us that heavy industry has played its part in the city's evolution could not be more timely. In 1980 the director of the Science Museum claimed that the work of Stothert & Pitt, as a supplier of heavy engineering across the world, was Bath's greatest contribution to world history. This apparently surprising remark reveals an acknowledgement of the company's significance, locally, nationally and internationally.