Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Bentley Engineering Co

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'Komet Knitter' at Calderdale Industrial Museum
'Komet Knitter'. Exhibit at National Wool Museum, Geelong.
'Komet Knitter'. (Detail). Exhibit at National Wool Museum, Geelong.

Makers of industrial knitting machines

1910 Company founded by Mr. P. A. Bentley, M.I.Mech.E. to manufacture "earth-driven clocks" and scientific instruments invented by Mr. Bentley.

1912-4 The pedograde machine, which was patented by Mr. Harry Church, was redesigned and perfected.

WWI The firm concentrated on the production of both male and female screw gauges, which were used in all branches of munitions production for the Army, Navy, and Air Force.

1916 the name of the firm was changed; larger premises were obtained.

Post-War: Introduced a fully automatic hose, half-hose, and sock machine making products with seamless-ribs

The success of the hosiery machine made it necessary to move to larger premises again.

1934 the business was made into a private limited liability company: Bentley Engineering Group.

1935 Acquired the business of Messrs. T. Grieve and Company, Ltd. to manufacture hosiery latch needles.

1945 Issue of preference and ordinary shares[1]; subsidiary companies were:

and an associated company Bentley Martin Ground Form Cutter Co.

1949 Acquired Wildt and Co[2]

1954 Acquired Mellor, Bromley and Co[3]. Issue of shares to raise funds for this. Charles Clore was a director as a result of his company owning a considerable number of shares in the company[4]. Additional subsidiaries were:

1954 Was a subsidiary of Haverton Holdings when J. Sears and Co (True-Form Boot Co) Ltd acquired Haverton Holdings[5]

1955 Sears Holdings acquired the outstanding shares in the company[6]

1961 Manufacturers of hosiery machinery. 1,270 employees. [7]

1968 Queen's Award to Industry for Export Achievement [8]

1974 The downturn in the market for knitting machinery hit Bentley's profits[9]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Sep 05, 1945
  2. The Times, Jul 20, 1949
  3. The Times, Mar 20, 1954
  4. The Times, Aug 12, 1954
  5. The Times, Sep 15, 1954
  6. The Times, May 16, 1956
  7. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  8. The Engineer 1968/04/26 p650
  9. The Times May 01, 1974