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British Industrial History

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Holmes and Sons

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Crystal House, Norwich, former showroom of Holmes & Sons

Holmes and Sons of Prospect Place Works, Castle Hill, Norwich, Norfolk.

1827 Company established by John Holmes

1851 Award at the 1851 Great Exhibition. See details at 1851 Great Exhibition: Reports of the Juries: Class IX.

1852 Death of John Holmes and the business continued by his three sons - James Holmes, George Thomas Holmes and Fredrick R. Holmes

JAMES, GEORGE T., & F. R. HOLMES, ENGINEERS, IRON AND BRASS FOUNDERS, AND General Agricultural Machine Manufacturers
Beg to inform their agricultural friends and the public generally that the business carried on by their late Father, Mr. John Holmes, deceased, will be continued by them in all its several branches, and it will be their utmost endeavour to obtain a continuance of the distinguished patronage and support which was so liberally extended to their late Father; they have pleasure in calling attention to their improvements and superior style of workmanship in Portable Steam Engines, also to their improved Thrashing Machines with Straw Shaking, Riddling, and Winnowing apparatus combined; they are highly distinguished by having the First Prize Medal awarded at the Great Exhibition.
All persons having any claims on the late Mr. John Holmes, or on the firm of Holmes and Sons, are requested to forward an account thereof to the Counting Room at the Works, (Globe lane,) where all parties indebted to the deceased, or the above firm, are also requested to pay the amount of their respective debts.'[1]

1855 Produced their No. 1 engine

1865 Made their first traction engine and exhibited in the Norwich Show

c.1870 Supplied a steam engine to drive a scoop wheel at Chettisham, Ely[2]

1896 Produced the Norwich gas and oil engines rated at 1.5 and 3 hp.

1897 Advertising 'Norvic' and 'Fly' cycles.

1907 March. Announcement. 'The old-established business of Messrs. Holmes and Sons, engineers, Castle Hill, Norwich, which has of late years been carried on by Mr. F. R. Holmes, has this week been disposed of by auction. By an advertisement in another column it will seen that Messrs. A. Pank and Son, of Bedford Street, (who are successors of the old firm of Riches and Watts), have made arrangements to continue the business, especially in the supply of new parts for Holmes agricultural implements and other machines. It is therefore satisfactory to learn that the business still will be retained in Norwich, as the firm have a high reputation in several important branches of the engineering trade.'[3]

Premises were later occupied by A. Pank and Son

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Norfolk News - Saturday 14 August 1852
  2. 'Fenland Pumping Engines' by K. S. G. Hinde, Landmark Publishing Co., 2006 ISBN 1 84306 188 0
  3. Norfolk News - Saturday 30 March 1907
  • Steam Engine Builders of Norfolk by Ronald H. Clark. Published 1948 by The Augustine Steward Press
  • A-Z of British Stationary Engines by Patrick Knight. Published 1996. ISBN 1 873098 37 5