Tata Steel reclaims a piece of history

A section of the first steel rail track rolled that from the Tata Steel (then the Tata Iron & Steel Co. Ltd, Sakchi), Jamshedpur on March 18th 1912 has been reclaimed by the company.

The item was set up for sale at the Sotheby’s in London. As per their records, this was cut to be used as a desk weight, and was presented to Robert Crewe-Milnes, 1st Marquis of Crewe (1858-1947) by Tata Steel. This “desk weight” became part of “The Duchess” Indian collection consisting of property and precious objects from the Estate of Mary, the Duchess of Roxburghe.

The engraved text on it says “FIRST RAIL ROLLED FROM TATA STEEL BY THE TATA IRON & STEEL CO. LTD. / SAKCHI. INDIA/ MARCH 18TH 1912 / THE RIGHT HONOURABLE MARQUIS OF CREWE K. G.” — possibly done when it was gifted by the Tatas to Robert Crewe-Milnes.

Sotheby’s website mentions “LOT SOLD. 9,375 GBP (919,970 INR) (Hammer Price with Buyer’s Premium)“; the press release from the company does not mention the price, though.

India--Early Rail and Steel Industry; ''First Rail Rolled From Tata Steel" dated 1912
India–Early Rail and Steel Industry; ”First Rail Rolled From Tata Steel” dated 1912

Established in 1907 as Asia’s first integrated private sector steel company, Tata Steel is among the top global steel companies with a crude steel capacity of nearly 30 million tonnes per annum (MnTPA).

It is now the world’s second-most geographically diversified steel producer, with operations in 26 countries and a commercial presence in over 50 countries.

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