James Neill and Co (Sheffield)
Eclipse of Composite Steel Works, Napier Street, Sheffield. Telephone: Sheffield 24372-3. Cables: "Bentley's and A.B.C. Code, 6th Edition"
1889 James Neill, a successful accountant, turns to steelmaking and patents "composite" steel (steel-backed iron).
1909 Registered the Eclipse trademark
1911 Started making the world's first composite steel hacksaw blades.
By 1924 the company was also making saw frames; the company introduced the classic shape which all hacksaws now mirror.
1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Combined Iron and Steel for Machine Knives, Dies, etc., Crucible Steel, Magnet Steel, etc. "Eclipse" Safety Razor Blades. "Eclipse" Hack Saw Blades and Frames. "Eclipse" Permanent Magnets. (Stand No. J.31) 
1937 British Industries Fair Advert for 'Eclipse' Non Electric Magnetic Chucks and Accessories. Also 'Eclipse' Hack Saw Blades and Frames; 'Eclipse' High Grade Crucible Steels. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport) 
1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers
1945 Advert for Eclipse tools including hacksaw blade and frames, pad handles, saw sets etc. 
1959 Patent - Improvements in or relating to tool-holders. 
1960s Acquired Peter Stubs.
1966 Patent - Improvements in or relating to saw-file handles. 
1968 Tool bits. 
1968 Sheffield Rolling Mills was formed as a company jointly owned by British Steel, Balfour and Darwins (38%) and James Neill Holdings (17%) to operate the Tinsley Park bar mills at Sheffield, which were 5 years old; the private sector companies would transfer work there from their older plant
1970 Public issue of shares by James Neill Holdings
1974 British Steel bought out its partners in Sheffield Rolling Mills
1985 Purchased Spear and Jackson
1989 Acquired by the MMG Patricof Group, which said it wanted to expand the business and refloat in c.5 years
1993 Known as Neill Tools
1995 The new company was renamed Spear and Jackson plc.
Sources of Information
- 1929 British Industries Fair p123
- 1937 British Industries Fair Advert p642; and p394
- Mechanical World Year Book 1945. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p1
- The Times, 23 February 1954
-  Wikipatents
-  Wikipatents
- The Engineer of 9th August 1968 p221
- The Times (London, England), Thursday, Sep 19, 1968
- The Times, Jan 17, 1969
- The Times, Jul 16, 1969
- The Times April 17, 1970
- The Times, Nov 27, 1970
- The Times, Nov 30, 1971
- The Times, Jun 08, 1972
- The Times, Apr 27, 1974
- The Times, October 29, 1988
- The Times, October 11, 1989
- The Times Dec. 5, 1997
-  Spear and Jackson website