Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,194 pages of information and 233,428 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Coventry Ordnance Works (C.O.W.) was a British manufacturer of heavy guns, particularly naval artillery in Coventry, Scotstoun and Cliffe.
1903 In order to produce naval ordnance, with its very different requirements, the Coventry Ordnance Co organised its Ordnance Works into a separate company which was acquired by Charles Cammell and Co. H. H. Mulliner became managing director; Mr F. Wigley remained responsible for the technical side of the business. Large capital investment was made in the necessary equipment
1905 Shares in the company were acquired by other British shipbuilding firms in order to gain entry to the ordnance business and compete with the duopoly of Vickers and Armstrong Whitworth. John Brown planned to acquire a half share in the Coventry Ordnance Works of Cammell, Laird and Co
1906 Fairfield acquired a large share in the company. A novel feature of the design was a system where up to 20 portable machine could be applied to the piece being worked, rather than having to move it from one machine to the next. The company later set up a factory in Scotstoun, Glasgow, which made heavy gun mountings, and at Cliffe, for cordite and magazines.
1906 20,000 yards testing range set up in the Wash.
1907 Established plant for construction and fitting of complete gun mountings at Scotstoun, beside the Clyde, a facility similar to that of the company's competitors - Armstrongs and Vickers. This could manufacture 12 sets of complete heavy double gun mountings per year.
1917 The C.O.W. 37mm gun was the first modern auto-cannon developed in 1917. The firm also designed the 5.5 inch Naval gun and a 15 inch siege howitzer for the British Army.
1925 The firm struggled in the recession after the end of World War I which affected Britain's arms industry and closed in 1925.