Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 150,661 pages of information and 235,200 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Edgar Allen and Co

From Graces Guide
September 1909.
December 1910.
January 1911.
August 1918.




January 1920.
January 1920.
January 1920.
January 1920.
May 1930.
May 1930.
1938. "Stag Brand".
April 1947.
May 1947.
November 1947.
December 1947.
January 1948.
February 1948.
March 1948.
April 1948.
May 1948.
June 1948.
July 1948.
August 1948.
May 1953. K9 Tool Steel.
November 1953.

of Imperial Steel Works, Sheffield 9. Telephone: Attercliffe 41054. Telegraphic Address. "Allen, Sheffield". (1937)

1867 Company founded by William Edgar Allen

Subsequently purchased Messrs. Hoole, Staniforth and Co., makers of similar products.

1890 Mr. Allen was joined by Mr. Robert Woodward, and Mr. Alfred E. Wells

1890 Company took limited status. [1]

1891 The business was transferred to the present situation at Tinsley.

1892 Mr. F. A. Warlow joined the firm.

1900 The company was registered on 19 December, to acquire a business of iron and steel manufacturers. [2]

1903 The business of Askham Brothers and Wilson was transferred to Edgar Allen and Co which acquired 17 acres of land adjoining the works at Tinsley upon which to erect additional works.[3]

1905 See 1905 Industries of Sheffield and District

1914 Manufacturers of steel, steel castings, files, saws, tramway points and crossings etc.; crushing and separating machinery, conveyors, ball mills etc. Specialities: the Edgar Allen high-speed steel, central railway buffers, steel castings, tool steel, imperial manganese steel, elevating and conveying machinery. Employees 150. [4]

1917 Advert for various steels. [5]

1919 Advert for various steels. [6]

1920 Jan. Issued calendar. [7]

1927 Advert for various steels. [8]

1930 "The Edgar Allen News.—First published in 1919 with the object of supplying technical information not only on the products of Messrs. Edgar Allen and Company, Limited, Imperial Steel Works, Sheffield, but also concerning the steel and engineering industries generally, the Edgar Allen News has now attained its hundredth number. This issue, dated September, 1930, contains articles on tipped tools, the file shops of the firm, progress in steel manufacture, cobalt magnet steels, the machining of manganese steel, the mechanical casting of pig iron and many other subjects. It is well printed and illustrated and seems to be quite worth the price of 6d. charged per copy."[9]

1937 Steel makers and engineers. "K9" Steel Products. "£S. D." Steel Products. "Stag" Steel Products. [10]

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Stag Allenite Tungsten Carbide Tipped Tools. Stag Major Superweld Tools for turning, planing, shaping, etc. K9 and Double Six Die Steels. Stag High Speed Steel Twist Drills. Maxilvry Stainless Steel. (Stand Nos. D.831 and D.730) [11]

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers. Acquired British Rema Manufacturing Co

1952 Established Buell Ltd, to make rotary driers

1960 Design, manufacture and erection of plant for crushing, pulverizing etc. [12]

1961 Manufacturers of steels, engineers' tools, magnets, cement plant, grinding machinery, railway and tramway trackwork and steel castings up to 15 tons finished weight. [13]

1961 Acquired Sheffield Hollow Drill Steel Co[14]

The site was the home of the foundry and the fabrication shops of the company, the steel warehousing and magnet shops being on the opposite side of Sheffield Road and the later established engineers tools and railway track work sections being located adjacent to Shepcote Lane, on a narrow strip of land between that road and the Sheffield Canal. [15]

The Melting Shop used metal supplied from two cupola furnaces to feed a pair of Tropenas converters to supply metals to the foundry. These were similar to Bessemer vessels except that the air was blown through tuyères on the side of the vessel rather than the bottom.

The Electric Melting Shop was home to two Héroult electric arc furnaces, installed in 1912, still working when the site closed. These provided metal for the foundry and to ingot production for forging. The company also offered a "remelting" service for special alloy producers, in particular magnet alloys and stainless steels.

The Foundry comprised moulding shops, casting bays, fettling shops and machine shops, all suitable for castings up to three tons weight. Although larger castings were made by mixing metal from all the sources these were machined and finished outside. The remainder of the site comprised the Fabrication Shops, three bays laid out for the production of welded fabrications and heat exchangers. Following World War II a new laboratory block was added adjacent to the Sheffield Road entrance. This comprised facilities for Chemical Analysis, Physical Testing, Non-Destructive Testing, Mechanical Testing and Metallography. This facility also had its own small machine shop, for making mechanical test pieces, and a reference library / conference facility.

On the Sheffield Road site, a narrow, triangular section of land between Sheffield Road and the Sheffield to Doncaster railway line, opposite the Imperial site was at its apex the Magnet Dept, the steel heat treatment and warehousing section and fronting Sheffield Road the main company offices. A memorial to those workers from the company who lost their lives in World War I was fixed to the wall adjacent to the main doors.

The third section of the works was the Shepcote Lane site, between that road and the Sheffield Canal. This was the site used by Edgar Allen Tools, makers of "Stag" brand engineers cutting tools, and the layout facilities of the railway track work department, makers of some of the most complex railway crossings in the country including the major crossing built for the east end of Newcastle Central station where the tracks of the East Coast Main Line crossed the local network after leaving the station platforms. This was constructed in sections in Sheffield and re-assembled on site. With track rationalisation this crossing was simplified using a new configuration. In connection with EA Foundry (and their Non-Destructive Testing facility to ensure quality) they were the first in Britain to develop cast manganese high speed main line turnouts.

1963 Acquired Aerex[16]

Mid-1960s it was seen that some rationalisation was needed within the Sheffield steel industry, particularly steel founding. With respect to this Edgar Allen split into separate companies: EA Foundry, EA Steels, EA Engineering, and with one of its subsidiaries, Aerex Limited, EA Aerex. Similar moves were taking place at Samuel Osborn and Co, Jessop Saville and Co and Hadfields

1967 The intention was to merge the foundry interests of the four companies to form one large steel foundry with the capability of making castings from a few ounces to 40 tons, with only English Steel Corporation's Grimesthorpe foundry in the city able to make larger castings. As negotiations were taking place the deal fell through leaving Osbourne's and Hadfield's to merge, with the foundry being located on Hadfield's East Hecla (Vulcan Road) site, and Edgar Allen's to purchase Jessop's[17], relocating Jessop's special alloy (medium frequency) melting to Edgar's Sheffield Road site and the 3-ton electric furnace to one end of the Tropenas Melting Shop.

1972 Edgar Allen and Co acquired the tool steel and tools businesses of the British Steel Corporation, including premises at Openshaw, Manchester and Holme Lane, Sheffield[18]

Early 1970s Edgar Allen and Co took over Balfour and Darwins forming Edgar Allen Balfour.

1979 Aurora Holdings acquired Edgar Allen Balfour

1988 The Imperial works site closed with the work being transferred to another foundry within the group. The Sheffield Road site was also closed at the same time, cleared and now houses a budget price hotel and a catering outlet.

There were several companies within the Edgar Allen group: Aerex, British Rema Manufacturing, Hollow Drill Steel Co and Openshaw Forge

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1890/04/11 p305 & p327
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  3. The Engineer 1903/03/20 p 302.
  4. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  5. Mechanical World Year Book 1917. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p45
  6. Mechanical World Year Book 1919. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p53
  7. The Engineer 1920/01/16 p63
  8. Mechanical World Year Book 1927. Published by Emmott and Co of Manchester. Advert p29
  9. Engineering 1930/09/19]]
  10. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  11. 1937 British Industries Fair Page 327
  12. Mining Year Book 1960. Published by Walter E. Skinner. Advert p4
  13. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  14. The Times, Aug 03, 1962
  15. [1] Wikipedia
  16. The Times, Oct 21, 1963
  17. The Times, Apr 22, 1967
  18. The Times, Jun 21, 1972