Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 135,178 pages of information and 215,042 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Richard Garrett and Sons of Leiston Works, Leiston near Saxmundham, Suffolk was a manufacturer of agricultural machinery, steam engines, steam lorries, trolleybuses, and machine tools.
1778 Richard Garrett set up as a bladesmith in Leiston.
1805 The founder's son, Richard Garrett (1779-1837), took over the business.
1806 Built the first Horse-power Threshing Machine.
1830s Richard Garrett III took over the business and started the manufacture of a long line of steam engines.
1840 First portable engine produced and shown at the Norwich Show.
1848 Portable engines were being produced.
1851 Award at the Great Exhibition. Details at 1851 Great Exhibition: Reports of the Juries: Class IX..
1851 Employing 324 persons. 
1860 John D. Garrett left the Leiston business and moved to Germany
1861 Employing 450 men and 100 boys. 
1866 On the death of Richard Garrett senior, Richard junior succeeded as head of the Garrett family and senior member of the Leiston firm, in partnership with his two brothers, Henry Newson Garrett and Frank Garrett.
1870 Image of Annealing Furnace installed at the Leiston Works, designed by Mr. Tenwick of Grantham.
1876 Produced traction engine to Garrett's own design after making Avelings under licence.
1876 Exhibitor at the Royal Agricultural Show at Birmingham with a traction engine and a straw burning engine. 
1878 Henry left the business.
1889 Showed portable, simple and compound engines at the RASE at Windsor. 
1898 Built 10-ton steam roller.
1904 The first steam lorry was produced.
1911 Smithfield Club Show. Exhibited semi-portable superheated steam engine and 3-ton steam wagon. 
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of electric vehicles see the 1917 Red Book.
1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Steam Motor Wagons, Tractors and Ploughs etc. see the 1917 Red Book.
1914 Specialities: Superheated and Saturated Steam Semi-Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Road Rollers, Motor Tractors and Motor Wagons, Boilers and Patent Superheaters and Steam Threshing Machinery. Employees 1500 to 2000. 
1920 They showed a steam motor wagon, an electrically propelled wagon driven from accumulators and a semi-stationary steam plant combining a boiler, super-heater and engine at the Darlington Agricultural Show. 
1920 October. Exhibited at the Commercial Motor Exhibition at Olympia with 3.5 ton electric vehicle with a brewer's type body. Uses an 8 hp motor. Had 30-35 mile range. 
1920 Became part of Agricultural and General Engineers.
In 1925 Garrett developed a steam-powered tractor which became known as the Suffolk Punch. It included a 40 HP engine and used Ackermann steering. It was designed for ploughing, pulling work and threshing. It was too expensive to compete with other tractors and only eight were built.
1925 They tried to enter the railway locomotive market but without any success.
1926 Tender to the West Hartlepool Corporation Tramways for the supply of twelve 'Garrett' low loading line electric trolley buses has been accepted, including their tender for the overhead equipment. The whole contract amounts to about £25,000.
1926 Supplied three large 'semi-stationary' engine/boiler units to drive alternators at the City of Posadas Waterworks, Argentina. These were each rated at 140 HP. 190 psi, superheated. Cylinders 9.75" and 16.75" dia, 17" stroke. Flywheel diameter 7' 6". 
1928 Produced some trolley buses.
1930 Produced their first diesel powered lorry with a Blackstone and Co six-cylinder engine.
1939 Last lorries produced but continued with other engineering work.
January 1981 The works closed.
Today, part of the factory is preserved as the Long Shop Steam Museum. The rest has been demolished and the land used for housing.
The company produced around 22,500 steam engines with 20,000 of those being portable engines.
The financial, technical and production records of Garretts of Leiston are preserved in the Ipswich Record Office of Suffolk Libraries and Heritage under the reference HC 30.