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 148,386 pages of information and 233,851 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Britannia Engineering Co

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1903. Oil Engine designed by V. R. Nicholson.
1904. Portable stone cutting machine.
1905. Crude oil engine.
January 1906.
1906. Chassis.
1906.Plan view of Chassis.
1906. Elevation of Chassis
Early 1900s. Bench lathe. Exhibit at Museum of East Anglian Life.

of Colchester, Makers of Britannia Oil Engines and Cars.

1903 the Britannia Co was bought by the Nicholson brothers- Victor Ralph Nicholson, Hugh Godfrey Nicholson and Percy Claude Nicholson - who changed its name to The Britannia Engineering Co Ltd

1904 Introduced the Britannia motor car, with a four cylinder 18-24 hp engine. Sales were poor as they were neither well-made nor reliable.

1907 July. Details of their 18hp car.[1]

1907/8 The Company ceased manufacturing cars.

c.1910 Designed an internal-combustion engined locomotive for a sugar cane mill in Australia.

1911 8.5 inch centres high-speed lathe. (Britannia Engineering Company (1910)). [2]

1912 Britannia Works closed

World War I: Works reopened in 1914 to manufacture munitions and war supplies

1918 Still owned by the Nicholsons, the business was operating again, as the Britannia Lathe and Oil Engine Co Ltd. It reverted to the production of metal-turning lathes for which it became world famous.

Late 1930s: Britannia's business again declined.

1938 The company closed

1941 The Ministry of Supply leased the Britannia Works to provide Davey, Paxman and Co with space to build its TP diesel engines.

1957 Grymak Ltd. were proprietors of a company of similar name, of 310 Ashton Road, Luton, Beds. - see Britannia Engineering Co (Luton). They were makers of Presslite Fluorescent Work Space Illuminators. These were sealed, vibration proof, adjustable for height and position without springs or friction joints.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Paxman History [1]