Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,455 pages of information and 233,880 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Abingdon Works Co

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
November 1903.
November 1903.
November 1903.
March 1904.
1913. 696cc. Exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum.
1913. 696cc. Exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum.
December 1929.

of Bath and Shadwell Street, Birmingham, maker of tools, and fittings for cycles and motorcycles.

Abingdon Works[1]

1854 Thomas Mabbutt, on his own account, set’s up as a maker of gun implements.

1865 Thomas Mabbutt, advertises as contractor to HM War Department as manufacturer of Sporting & Military Gun Implements. Shadwell Street Birmingham.

1875 Incorporation of the Abingdon Works Co Ltd, Shadwell Street, Birmingham. Thomas Mabbutt Manager.

1881 Registration of the “King Dick” trade mark.

1881 First version Adjustable Spanner.

1882 First Cycle Chain Patent.

1883 First complete cycle produced at the Abingdon Works.

1889 Re construction of Abingdon Works Ltd

1896 2nd Re construction of Abingdon Works Ltd.

1902 Initial joint venture between Abingdon Works and the East London Rubber Co. Limited to a shared use of Olympia show stand.

1904 First Motor Cycle produced.

1905 First Joint venture with East London Rubber Co. - The Kerry-Abingdon Tri-Car.

1906 Thomas Mabbutt death.

1906 The Abingdon-Ecco company was registered on 27 August, to take over the Abingdon Works Co and the Ecco Works. [2]

1907 Abingdon Ecco Ltd, remove the Abingdon works factory from Shadwell and Bath Street to a new site at Tyseley.

1910 Season, New design of Motor Cycle’s with East London Rubber Co acting as “wholesale concessionaire’s for United Kingdom” Abingdon King Dick motorcycles available elsewhere.

1912 T.W. Blumfield, re-joins the company.

1914 Arrangements between Abingdon Ecco Co, and East London Rubber Co, end.

1921 Abingdon Ecco Ltd change company name and reverts to Abingdon Works Ltd.

1922 Abingdon “King Dick” car produced, an unsuccessful 11.9 four seater.

1926-7 No motorcycles produced for sale.

1928 Abingdon Works produce new range motorcycles, new styling includes livery as AKD, with a range of six “ The King of the Lightweights “

1931 Abingdon Works Ltd Liquidated, Sold to Bill Mansell and re-formed as Abingdon Works 1931 Ltd.

1932 This was the last year that the company produced motorcycles and after that they focussed on producing hand tools.

1932 Production now of Cycles, Tools and general work as contracting engineers.

1945 Abingdon Works 1931 Ltd change company name to Abingdon King Dick Ltd. Now concentrating on tools alone.

1992 Abingdon King Dick Ltd sold to Tom Smeaton.

1997 Abingdon King Dick Ltd sold to Griff Roberts, sales manager of the company.


Tool making, from 1854 commencing with gun implements, acclaimed for the King Dick adjustable spanner from c1883.

Small arms manufacture, from c1867 Snider, Chassepot, Field and Swinburn.

Cycle components and Cycles from c1883. Acclaimed for the differential tricycle axel of Starley design.

Motor cycles and components (tricycle, bicycle, tri-car and fore-car,) from c1904.

Engines proprietary and own use, from 1905. Most notable from 1910 3 1/2 H.P. single, and from 1912 5-6 H.P. twin.

General engineers, from c1875.

See Also

  • The Quest for King Dick - An Exploration of the Abingdon Works and their products by William Whiteley. Available in SMCL.

Sources of Information

  1. Bill Whiteley December 2017
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908