Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Hans Renold Ltd

From Graces Guide
April 1899.
1899. 1 1/2 Inch Pitch "Renold" Chain.
March 1904.
June 1904.
August 1905.
April 1908. Advert in French.
July 1910.
December 1910.
December 1911. Advert in French.
November 1912.
February 1913.
May 1913.
December 1914.
December 1919
January 1920.
January 1920.
May 1921.
August 1923
August 1923.


June 1924.


June 1924.
March 1925.
August 1926.
November 1926.
Aug 1927.


Sept 1927.
Nov 1927.
December 1929.
June 1930.
June 1930.
January 1931.


January 1931.
January 1931.
February 1931.
February 1931.
1932. Letter.

of Progress Works, Brook Street, Manchester. (1914)

Chronology of this group:

1879 Company founded by Hans Renold. He purchased James Slater's business, a small textile-chain making business in Salford. In December he supplied a chain to James Starley.

1881 Mr. Hans Renold, patent chain maker, mentioned as having three rooms (one with power) at Medlock Sawmills, Chorlton-on-Medlock, and a tenancy of two more years.[1]

1881 He moved from Salford to Brook Street, Manchester, where a new factory, Progress Works, was subsequently built.

1884 Advertising for a Light Tool Fitter and an Improver. Address is Hans Renold, Green Lane, Brook street.[2]

1885 A patent for the block chain was applied for by Hans Renold but he decided to openly give his idea to the cycle trade for all to freely manufacture.

1888 The Hans Renold company were riveting the bearing pins in the assembled chain.

1889 The company designed and manufactured a purpose built plate hole-punching machine.

Designed and manufactured a machine for the Dry Tumbling (Jingling) of chain components.

1893 Hans Renold company were using hardened components.

1895 Designed and manufactured a machine for producing the Rotary Rivet on the ends of the chain bearing pins. The need for an Inverted tooth (silent chain) was apparent to Hans Renold and this resulted in his patent of 1895. Although his design of chain was superseded in later years by the silent chain with rocker joints, he made an impact in the introduction of such a chain. Designed and manufactured a machine for the Wet Tumbling (Jingling) of chain components

1896 Hans Renold company designed and manufactured a machine for the proof loading of their chain.

Introduced the 48-hour week when the general practice in engineering was 52 or more.

1899 The Hans Renold company introduced their patented feature of the end recess in the bearing pin. Introduced the round-ended necked (i.e. shouldered) bearing pin in their 1899 patent.

1899 Introduced a Works Canteen.

1899 Sought the winding up of the Ribblesdale Cycle Co.[3]

1900 The Hans Renold company designed and manufactured a Coning Machine.

In the early 1900s the Hans Renold company introduced an apprenticeship scheme.

1903 The company took limited liability status.

1905 Renolds introduced percussion testing on chain components.

Hans Renold Ltd designed and manufactured a Semi-Automatic Drifting Machine for use on assembled inner links.

1906 Renolds began supplying mortise block chains (and associated equipment) which were a notable part of the business for about 60 years. During the construction of a new factory, rather than use belt drives from overhead line-shafts Renold designed, and installed, overhead chain drives. Began designing and manufacturing special - purpose machines for the assembly of chains. Began the manufacture of chain wheels. Developed a machine for centreless grinding of bearing pins. This was long before centreless grinders became the factor in machine shop practice that they are now.

1907 The company developed a new tooth form for roller chain wheels.

1909 The firm introduced Torsion Testing on chain components. Began supplying transmission chain for aircraft.

1910 Hans Renold Ltd designed and manufactured a Tumbler (Jingler) for the blueing of chain plates. The blue plates being a feature of the Hans Renold chain for many years.

1910 The company has two works with 320,640 square feet of floor space and employs more than 700 persons.[4]

1911 Issued catalogue. Renold Bush Roller Chains. [5]

1912 The company began the process of end softening of bearing pins and only now are many of Renold's competitors beginning to incorporate this feature. Supplied the chain for Big Ben.

1913 Hans Renold launched his improved sprocket tooth profile which, with slight modification, was adopted by the United States as their Standard profile. Designed and manufactured a Fatigue Test Machine for the evaluation of chain fatigue strength.

1914 Designed and patented their flexible chain coupling. A product that is still used today, worldwide.

1914 Driving Chain Manufacturer. Specialities: driving chains and wheels for power transmission, general engineering purposes, motor cars, motor vehicles, motor cycles, bicycles etc. Employees 1200. [6]

c1915 Hans Renold Ltd were manufacturing high waisted chain plates and were also manufacturing chains with straight sided plates. Designed and manufactured Running-in machine for their chain. Introduced Stock Drives, something of which is taken for granted today.

By 1915 the company had completed the construction of, and transferred to the Renold Works in Burnage, Manchester. The first of many branch sales offices were opened in London and Glasgow, in 1910 and 1912, respectively.

1916 Started supplying chain with Case Hardened pins. Patented the segmental bush design of inverted tooth (silent) chain.

1917 Advert for chain (Hans Renold of Didsbury, Manchester). [7]

1917 Hans Renold were market leaders by having coned (i.e. tapered) bush bores.

1918 Manufactured extra strong chains for use on motorcycles.

1919 Advert for Transmission chains (Hans Renold of Didsbury, Manchester). [8]

1920 A selling subsidiary was established in Canada in 1920, and a less successful sales organisation in America, in 1921. The same period saw the formation of Renold Chains Ltd., to handle export sales other than those to Canada and the U.S.A. (mainly with French and Belgian markets in mind).

1920s Early in the decade, Hans Renold supplied bush roller chains for the first marine Diesel engines. Also designed and manufactured a series of chain test machines:

1921 Noise Testing.

1922 Chain Pairing. Designed and manufactured a Bush Curling Machine.

1923 Chain Out Of Alignment Testing. Chain Wobble Testing. High Speed Testing. Impact Testing.

1925 The first acquisition of a major competitor came, when Brampton Brothers with its French manufacturing subsidiary at Calais, was purchased and the operation merged with the manufacturing facility previously established in Coventry.

1927 To improve bush inner/plate security Hans Renold patented the 'keyed' bush. This feature is still used today.

1927 Stand No.180 at the1927 Motor Cycle and Cycle Show at Olympia

1928 The German sales subsidiary, Renold Industrie Ketten GmbH, was formed.

1928 Charles G. Renold became chairman

Hans Renold were approved under the A.I.D. regulations to issue Inspection Certificates and were likewise an approved A.R.B inspection authority.

1930 Merger with Coventry Chain Co created Renold and Coventry Chain Co. The new company had works in Manchester, Coventry and Birmingham, together with the former Brampton works at Calais. Chain production in the UK works was concentrated in Manchester and Coventry, and free wheel manufacture at Coventry was given up.

1932 Formal winding up of Hans Renold Limited. Charles G. Renold is Chairman.[9]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser - Saturday 29 October 1881
  2. Manchester Evening News - Friday 15 August 1884
  3. [1] Gazette Issue 27051 published on the 10 February 1899. Page 12 of 64
  4. 1910 Catalogue preface
  5. The Engineer 1911/07/21 p85 and p319
  6. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  7. Mechanical World Year Book 1917. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p110
  8. Mechanical World Year Book 1919. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p150
  9. [2] Gazette Issue 33885 published on the 22 November 1932. Page 27 of 72
  • [3] Manchester Archives. 1618-circa 1982: mainly 19th and 20th century (approximately 85 shelves)
  • [4] History of Renolds web page