James B. Petter and Sons
Petters of Nautilus Works, Yeovil.
1870 James Bazeley Petter received the ironmongery firm Harman and Gillett of Yeovil as a present from his father on his marriage, his father having purchased the business as a wedding gift for his son.
Petter later also acquired the Yeovil Foundry and Engineering Works
1901 Ernest Petter and his twin brother Percival Waddams Petter bought the ironmongery and foundry business from their father James Bazeley Petter. Ernest and Percy (Percival) were joint managing directors. Range of engines expanded - 1.25 h.p. to 22 h.p.
1902 Produced the first agricultural tractor, powered by a 30 horsepower (22 kW) horizontal oil engine.
The first engines made by Petters were Standard oil engines which were horizontal open crank engines made to very high standards.
Around 1903 cheap American imports, including the "Jack of all Trades" manufactured by the Fairbanks Morse Company, threatened the English stationary engine industry, and unlike most companies at the time Petter decided to produce a cheaper engine of their own to combat the threat. This engine was called the Petter Handyman which was sold around 20% lower in price than the 'Petter Standard' in batches of 50 or more.
Sources of Information
- The Engineer 1897/07/09
- Sir Ernest Willoughby Petter, by Anne Pimlott Baker, ODNB