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 148,396 pages of information and 233,863 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Herbert Morris

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Nov 1919.
1930s. Portable jib crane. Exhibit at the Snibston Discovery Museum.
1931. Versatile Crane.
1933 catalogue. Crane at Cox & Co (of Falmouth?)
1933 catalogue. Locomotive steam crane at an ironworks
1933 catalogue. Steam cranes in Morris's works
1933 catalogue
1933 catalogue. Steam crane taking steam from separate boiler
1933 catalogue. 12/35 ton crane at power station, Kyoto Municipality
1933 catalogue. 80 ton crane in Borough of Marylebone power station
1940s. Exhibit at the Snibston Discovery Museum.
Morris diesel-electric mobile crane at Snibston Discovery Museum
Overhead crane. Exhibit at the Museu de Electricidade, Madeira
Detail of mobile crane at The Bratch Pumping Station
2/3 Ton Block and Pulley. Exhibit at National Waterways Museum, Gloucester.
2/3 Ton Block and Pulley. Detail. Exhibit at National Waterways Museum, Gloucester.
July 1949.

of Empress Works, Loughborough.

formerly Herbert Morris and Bastert. Owned by Herbert Morris (1864-1931)

1912 Name changed to Herbert Morris.

1914 Manufacturers of electric, pneumatic and hand overhead travelling cranes, pulley blocks, conveyors, overhead runways and lifting miscellanea. [1]

1919 Public offer of shares[2]

1920 Took over the business of H. Coltman and Sons. [3]

1920 December - W. H. Purnell was appointed vice-chairman of the company.[4]

1931 Frank Morris took over the company on the death of his father

1931 Company employing 2,000 persons.[5]

1930s Took over Alexander Chaplin and Co, Craven Brothers, Holt and Willetts and the Vaughan Crane Co

1932 Acquired Royce Ltd

1937 Lifting machinery manufacturers. [6]

1939 Became a quoted company.

1959 Took over British MonoRail

1961 Manufacturers of cranes, pulley-blocks; runways; telphers; conveyors, elevators; lifts and trucks. 1,900 employees. [7]

1968 Built thirty Goliath cranes for British Railway Freight. [8]

1969 Frank Morris resigns as chairman

1969 Won orders for Goliath and Semi-Goliath cranes at 3 British aluminium smelters[9]

1970 E. and H. P. Smith acquired 30 percent of the shares of the company[10]

1974 Assembled four 130-ton giant overhead cranes for the Cammell Laird's shipyards.[11]

By 1975 had about 2000 employees; trading subsidiaries were:

Had a joint interest with C. T. Bowring and Co Ltd in Senelco Ltd, a company manufacturing under licence an American anti-shoplifting device.

1976 The holding in Herbert Morris was sold to Babcock and Wilcox[12]

1977 Davy International acquired the company[13]

The crane business was taken over by Konecranes of Finland, who closed the Loughborough works in 2010.

  • Goliath cranes, sometimes called portal cranes, are similar to overhead travelling cranes, but instead of running on rails at high level, or on a free standing gantry structure, they run on rails on the floor. One of the advantages of a goliath crane is that the absence of support gantry rails can save money.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  2. The Times, Jun 11, 1919
  3. The Engineer of 30th Jan 1920 p128
  4. The Engineer 1920/12/17
  5. Nottingham Evening Post - Monday 27 April 1931
  6. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  7. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  8. The Engineer of 12th January 1968 p66
  9. The Times Dec. 30, 1969
  10. The Times, Oct 16, 1970
  11. The Engineer 1974/07/04
  12. The Times, May 07, 1976
  13. The Times, Apr 10, 1978
  • Competition Commission [1]