Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Vickers, Sons and Co

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April 1870.
January 1872.
January 1896.

of Sheffield, manufacturers of various steel articles, as well as guns and solid steel armour plate.

1828 Edward Vickers married Ann, the daughter of George Naylor of Naylor and Sanderson

1829 George Naylor retired from Naylor and Sanderson. His son, George Portus Naylor left to start the new firm of Naylor, Hutchinson, Vickers and Co which later began making steel castings and quickly became famous for casting church bells.

1836 Vickers, Sons and Co was mentioned as not providing any Police Commissioners, nor did Naylor, Hutchinson, Vickers and Co; Edward Vickers was then so elected[1].

William Vickers, brother of Edward, owned a steel rolling operation.

1843 Vickers and Sons were signatories to a petition asking the Master Cutler to call a meeting relating to a recent bank failure; Naylor, Hutchinson, Vickers and Co was another signatory[2].

1854 Edward Vickers' sons Thomas and Albert joined the business.

Edward's investments in the railway industry allowed him to gain control of the company, based at Millsands and known as Naylor, Vickers and Co.

1863 The company moved to a new site in Sheffield on the River Don in Brightside.

1867 The company went public with a capital of £155,000 as Vickers, Sons and Co and gradually acquired more businesses, branching out into various sectors.

1868 Vickers began to manufacture marine shafts.

1872 They began casting marine propellers.

1882 They set up a forging press.

1885 In response to challenge to the Sheffield industry from the Government, the company inaugurated the largest press ever made, capable of handling ingots for guns and other heavy marine work; the associated crane had capacity for 150 tons although the largest ingot yet handled was only 57 tons[3].

1888 Vickers produced their first armour plate.

1890 They produced their first artillery piece.

1896 Agreement to purchase Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Co.

1897 Vickers, Sons and Co purchased the Naval Construction and Armaments Co of Barrow-in-Furness. Issue of new stock. Name changed to Vickers, Sons and Maxim[4].

See Vickers

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Sheffield Independent, 6 August 1836
  2. The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent, 21 January 1843
  3. The Times, 5 January 1886
  4. The Times, 17 November 1897
  • Biography of Thomas Edward Vickers, by Geoffrey Tweedale, ODNB [1].