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British Industrial History

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Broom and Wade

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1909. Broom and Wade's military tractor.
December 1912.
January 1913.
1929. Portable Air Compressor.
1929. A Portable Air Compressor.
December 1929.
1931. Portable Oil Engine Driven Air Compressor.
1933. Component Parts of Multi-Vane Drill.
1933. Air Compressor.
1933. Two Cylinder Motor Driven Air Compressor.
1942. Bench-mounted squeeze riveter.
February 1952.
April 1952.
June 1952.
August 1952.
November 1953.
November 1957. Broomwade air compressors and pneumatic tools.
November 1958.
November 1958.
February 1959.
18th March 1961.
May 1961.
May 1962.
July 1962.
Aug 1962.
September 1962.
October 1962.
Dec 1962.
November 1968.

Broom and Wade, maker of air compressors and pneumatic tools, of High Wycombe.

1899 Company founded by Harry Skeet Broom to make woodworking machinery for the furniture industry

1907 Maker of "paraffin wagons"

1909 Heavy Oil motor wagon built for South America [1]

1909 Supplied tractor (one of 3 competitors) for War Office trials to see whether heavy tractors were suitable for field service[2]

1910 Exhibited band-saw at Olympia; several were said to be in use in the High Wycombe area[3]

1912 Exhibited air compressors for pneumatics at Olympia[4]

1920 A range of motor-driven geared air compressor. [5]

1928 Moved from Desborough Works into larger premises

1932 Acquired majority of Chadwick Patent Bearing Co[6]

1935 Public company.

1936 Acquired B. E. N. Patents Ltd[7], a company made similar equipment to Broom and Wade.

1937 Air compressors, pneumatic tools. "Broomwade" Pneumatic Tools. [8]

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

WWII Made about 1100 Churchill tanks as well as compressors, etc for use by other manufacturers

1961 Manufacturers of air compressors (portable and stationary) pneumatic tools and paint spraying equipment. 1,750 employees. [9]

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Garage equipment. [10]

1968 Announce the completion of a programme of modernisation and extension. Air compressors and pneumatic tools.[11]

1968 Supplied air compressor for IMI when they opened the first liquid-metal-cooled vacuum titanium-melting furnace at Birmingham. [12]

1968 Merger of Broom and Wade and Holman Brothers, with the encouragement of the Industrial Reorganisation Corporation, to form the International Compressed Air Corporation[13], with principal tradenames Broomwade, Holman and Maxam[14]

Memories of Broom and Wade by Pete Williams

"I left school in 1961. My first job was at '584 garage' (Cole and Kirby) on Kingsbury roundabout, London, NW9.

The company had a contract with Broom and Wade, to supply both Ford Diesel engines and also to fit Martin Walker (?) power-transfer boxes to Ford commercial chassis cab lorries - to enable the lorry engine to drive either the vehicle or the rear mounted compressor - which we also delivered to High Wycombe.

The fitting of the power take offs to the first type of Ford, which, at the time when I started work with the company, was mainly carried out by a fitter named Syd(ney) Curtis, was quite a lengthy operation, involving the drilling of the chassis side-rails, to enable the rear axle to be re-located some 2 feet further back.

The later type of Ford, was a much simpler vehicle to convert. Merely involving the drilling and fitting of an extra chassis cross-member (fitted with angle brackets all bolted together) to support the rear of the unit, the shortening of the prop-shaft, and cutting out a hole in the floor to accommodate the control lever- a short prop shaft, fitted between the gearbox and the PTO, was part of the supplied Martin walker kit.

I was (at the age of sixteen and a half) promised a pay rise to £5.00 per week, if I could install a power takeoff in less than the working day.

I remember the operation, quite well especially as the later chassis-cab was the first four wheeled vehicle I ever moved under its own power.[15]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1909/01/22
  2. The Times , Mar 10, 1909
  3. The Times Sep 14, 1910
  4. The Times Oct 09, 1912
  5. The Engineer of 23rd Jan 1920 p98
  6. The Times Feb 26, 1935
  7. The Times, Jul 17, 1936
  8. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  9. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  10. 1963 Motor Show
  11. The Engineer of 12th January 1968 p61
  12. The Engineer of 10th May 1968 p742
  13. The Times, Dec 13, 1968
  14. The Times Jan 04, 1969
  15. Personal account by Peter Williams (02/08/2016)