A few queries at bottom
The commerce of Birkenhead was in all respects a branch of that of Liverpool, and chiefly devoted to coal, guano, and grain, - the quantity of coal alone exported being over one
million tons per annum. Many manufactories have sprung up within the last few years on the margin of the Great Float and other parts of the town, such as iron foundries, boiler-works, oilcake and seed mills, &e., some of the engineering works, shipbuilding yards, and forges being on a large scale. The Birkenhead Iron-works of Messrs Laird
from 3000 to 4000 men; these works, in connection with their shipbuilding yards, have turned out some of the largest iron-clad ships ; the engine-works, also belonging to the same firm, are on a very extensive scale. The Canada Works, belonging to Messrs Thomas Brassey and Co., click
carry on an extensive business in marine engines, iron-bridge building,
pontoon and general railway work. There are also the Britannia Works (Messrs James Taylor and Co.) clicky
for portable engines, marine engines, traction engines, steam cranes, &c. ; Messrs
Clay and Inman's Forge, for heavy shafting, &c.; the Wirral Foundry, for large engine castings, &c. ; and the Starbuck Car and Waggon Co.'s Works, for building tramway cars, &c. and Messrs Clover and Clayton's shipbuilding premises as well as other manufactories of less extent.
1 From what countries did they get the guano mainly and would it have been dangerous to store on ship or warehouse?
Guano (via Spanish, ultimately from the Quechua wanu, meaning 'dung') is the excrement (feces and urine) of seabirds, cave dwelling bats, and seals. Guano manure is an effective fertilizer due to its high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen and also its lack of odor. It was an important source of nitrates for gunpowder. Soil that is deficient in organic matter can be made more productive by addition of this manure.
2 Where was the Starbuck Car and Waggon Co.'s Works, for building tramway cars?
3 Any other works in Birkenhead (or Wirral) that would have been known worldwide mid 19th century