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Note: This is a sub-section of National Gas and Oil Engine Co
Visit of the Iron and Steel Institute to the Iron, Steel and Engineering Industries of Manchester and District
The National Gas and Oil Engine Company Limited, Ashton-under-Lyne.
Forty-five years ago the late Mr. Henry Nield Bickerton, a leading authority on internal combustion engines, commenced business at Ashton-under-Lyne, with the object of supplying town's gas engines to factories in the neighbourhood. From this small beginning the works was extended and the output increased, until to-day upwards of 1,000 employees are engaged in the manufacture of National engines so that they may be despatched to all parts of the world.
In 1902 another noted pioneer on internal combustion engines — the late Sir Dugald Clerk — joined the Board.
For the next ten years the activities of the National Company were devoted mainly to the manufacture of town and producer gas engines in units up to 300 b.h.p.
In 1910 several new bays were built for the production of large vertical engines, and since then many large gas engines have been supplied to collieries and iron and steel works for operation on blast-furnace and coke-oven gases; a typical installation will be seen by many members at the works of the Lancashire Steel Corporation, Irlam, near Manchester, where seven National gas engines, totalling 10,500 b.h.p. have been in operation for the last 15 years, 6,000 h.p. of which are driving electrical generators, and the remaining engines are direct coupled to blowers also designed and manufactured by the National Company.
Four 1,000 kW. National blast-furnace gas engines of similar design, at another large steel works, developed during the year 1934 the equivalent of 91% of the possible full load continuous output.
In 1920 the first National compression-ignition heavy oil engine was placed on the market and many thousands of these are now at work.
The National works covers 30 acres and is complete with its own drawing offices, pattern shop, iron and brass foundries, case hardening, white-metalling, machine, erecting and testing shops,....[more]