Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,380 pages of information and 211,458 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Dick, Kerr and Company of Kilmarnock, Scotland with head office at Leadenhall St, London (1885); later at Preston, England, was a locomotive manufacturer and manufacturer of electrical equipment. Previously part of W. B. Dick and Co, the company also built all kinds of tramway equipment and rolling stock.
1883 The company was formed by spinning out the rail and tramway activities from W. B. Dick and Co with John Kerr and was given the name of Dick, Kerr and Co; the company built around fifty locomotives up to 1919.
1885 Already known as locomotive builders and with extensive shipping interests, Dick, Kerr and Co started construction of 6 steam launches at its Britannia Works, Kilmarnock.
1888 Produced 'Griffin' 6-stroke gas engines, designed by Samuel Griffin. Description and illustration in The Engineer. . Some of the engines were double-acting, i.e. combustion at each end of the cylinder, alternately, after 3 revolutions of the flywheel. Single-acting twin cylinder engines and single cylinder verticals were also produced.
1889 Worked on the Northfleet tramway. 
Involved in various tramway schems, particularly construction of several cable tramways
1890 Showed four sizes of the 'Griffin' gas engine at the Engineers, Electricians, Builders and Ironmongers Exhibition. 
1890 Incorporated as limited company, as railway and tramway appliance makers and as iron and steel founders and electricians. Public offer of shares to acquire the engineering and contracting company of the same name - reasons given were the advancing years of the senior partner and the need for investment to expand the works at Kilmarnock including a modern iron and steel foundry.
1890 Dissolution of the Partnership between Frederick Manuelle and John Kerr, carrying on business as Engineers and Contractors, at 101, Leadenhall-street, London, and Kilmarnock, under the style or firm of Dick, Kerr, and Co
1891 Mechanical engineers, railway contractors, locomotive makers, railway wagon builders, tramway constructors, etc: offices at 101 Leadenhall Street, and 76 Queen Victoria St, EC, London.
1892 Crystal Palace Electrical Exhibition. Griffin gas engines driving dynamos. 
1895 'A BIG GAS ENGINE.
On Thursday afternoon, in connection with Swan Field Shed Company, Limited, Colne, a gas engine was christened in the presence of numerous ladies and gentlemen. The gas engine has been erected by Messrs. Dick, Kerr, and Company, of Kilmarnock, and Mr. J. W. Hartley, manager of that company, stated that the engine had been built at a cost of about £1,700, and it had a maximum of 280 horse-power. The fuel to be used would be coke, it being expected that the engine would consume about 1.5 pounds of coke per indicated horse power per hour. This was lower than any steam engine was at the present time, and in a short time he thought it would be still further reduced. He said this engine was the largest single cylinder gas engine in this country, and he believed until within tho last few months it might be said to be the largest in the world.'
1899 The company was registered on 24 August, and is a reconstruction of a company of the same name, to take over a business of engineers and contractors.
1899 The English Electric Manufacturing Co was incorporated as a public company, for purpose of manufacturing, at its own new works at Preston, every variety of electrical machinery, particularly for use by railways and tramways.
1902 Joint exhibit by Dick, Kerr and Co, the English Electrical Manufacturing Company, and the Electric Railway and Tramway Carriage Works, Limited at the International Tramways and Light Railway Exhibition
1907 Turbo-alternator at Islington Electricity Works
1910 Decided to begin construction of steam turbines under the Bergmann patents .
1911 Construction of a lamp factory at Preston, to make metal filament lamps.
1912 Supplied alternators to Japan.
1914 Listed as electrical and mechanical engineers and contractors. 
WWI During the First World War the company converted a factory to munitions work. The company also made aircraft, to designs from the Seaplane Experimental Station at Felixstowe and acquired the A. E. G. Electric Co, one of 3 subsidiaries in the U.K. of the German company A. E. G.
1916 Acquired Willans and Robinson; full control achieved in 1917 when plans were made for consolidation of the 2 businesses.
1917 The Strand Road works in Preston were known for making electrical appliances (English Electric Works), lamps (Britannia Works) and electric railway engineering (English Electric Works).
1917 Dick, Kerr and Co acquired the United Electric Car Co, also in Strand Road, Preston, who made trams.
1918 Alliance with Siemens Brothers and Co for amalgamation of sales organisations and coordination of designs. Seeking to prepare for expansion of electrical manufacturing, entered option agreement with Coventry Ordnance Works Ltd whose modern factory could be converted to electrical manufacturing.
1919 the Kilmarnock works were sold to the Kilmarnock Engineering Co, and the company Dick, Kerr and Co was concentrated at Preston.
1919 English Electric Co arranged the amalgamation of the contracts department of Dick, Kerr and Co with that of J. G. White and Co in the form of the Consolidated Construction Co, which eliminated one of the main competitors in the field
1922 Manufacturer of rail and tramway appliances.