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 148,100 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

J. and E. Hall

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
c.1838 beam engine at London Science Museum.
1883. Hart's cyclic elevator.
1892. Carbonic Anhydride Refrigeration Plant.
June 1898.
March 1907.
March 1907.
March 1907.
November 1907.
1911. Refrigerating machinery.
May 1921.
March 1922.
September 1925.
1929. High Speed Ammonia Compressor.
1929. Twin Speed Ammonia Compressor.
1929. Automatic Electrically Driven Methyl-Chloride Refrigeration Compressor.
1929. Carbon dioxide refrigeration compressor.
December 1929.
1933. Horizontal Twin Marine Type C02 Compressor.
1933. Twin Cylinder NH3 Compressor.
1933. Vertical CO2 Compressor for Ship Use.
1933. The Grimsby Ice Factory.
May 1949.
June 1949.
July 1949.
August 1949.
August 1949.
1951. Escalator Construction.
October 1952.
February 1959. Escalators.
1959. Hydro-cooling plant for vegetables.
1964. Refrigeration plant, grain storage.

of Dartford, Kent.


1785 Company started.

In 1785 John Hall established himself as a smith and millwright in Lowfield Street, Dartford.

1792 On the advice of Smeaton, Bryan Donkin took up an apprenticeship with Dartford millwright, John Hall.

1798 Hall advanced £250 to Donkin to set himself up as a paper mould maker.

c.1800 Hall had moved to larger premises on land which had been part of Dartford Priory.

1801 The Fourdrinier brothers imported from France the first machine for making paper in continuous rolls and erected it at the works of John Hall. There, a third brother, Charles Fourdrinier, worked alongside John Gamble, Leger Didot, and Bryan Donkin, to develop it.

c.1830 Hall worked with Richard Trevithick.

1833 May 17th. Edward Hall took out a patent for the Trevithick engine in France.

1836 John Hall died. He left the Dartford business to his sons John and Edward, who changed the name to J. & E. Hall.[1]

c.1840 Small 25 HP A-frame beam engine driving machinery in the Boxmoor Ironworks (agricultural engineering) of Davies and Bailey. [2]

1875 The second of the Hall brothers (Edward) died. His executors sold the business to Edward Lonsdale Beckwith (1831-1909), a distiller and wine merchant, and Francis Eustace Burke (1849-1927) civil engineer.

1879 Dissolution of the Partnership between Edward Lonsdale Beckwith and Francis Eustace Burke, both of Dartford, in the county of Kent, and St. Swithin's-lane,London, carrying on business at Dartford as Engineers and Millwrights, under the style or firm of J. and E. Hall; all debts discharged by Edward Lonsdale Beckwith, who will in future carry on the business on his own account.[3]

1879 Everard Hesketh became a partner

1881 Dissolution of the Partnership between Edward Lonsdale Beckwith and Everard Hesketh, both of Dartford in the county of Kent, and of No. 23, Saint Swithin Lane, in the city of London, carrying on business as Engineers, under the name and style of J. and E. Hall, as from the 31st day of March, 1881. Debts discharged by the Everard Hesketh, who will carried on the business on his own account.[4]

1881 William Bernard Godfrey became a partner

1881 Developed horizontal dry-air refrigeration machine which would be suitable for use on ships[5]

1881 The Partnership between Everard Hesketh, Thomas Bell Lightfoot, and William Bernard Godfrey, all of Dartford, in the county of Kent, and 23, St. Swithin's-lane, in the city of London, carrying on business as Engineers, under the style of J. and E. Hall, expired, by effluxion of time, on the 2nd day of August, 1881. The assets of the firm will be received and the debts paid by the said Everard Hesketh and William Bernard Godfrey, and the business will be continued by them as heretofore under the style of J. and E. Hall.[6]

1881 Dissolution of the Partnership between Edward Lonsdale Beckwitb, Everard Hesketh, and Thomas Bell Lightfoot, all of Dartford, in the county of Kent, and of No. 23, St. Swithin's-lane, in the city of London, carrying on business as Engineers, under the style of J. and E. Hall, as regards Thomas Bell Lightfoot, on the 2nd day of August, 1881.[7]

Largely occupied in making refrigerating machinery for shipping meat from Australia[8]

1887 Introduced carbonic anhydride refrigerating machines

1894 Brewer’s Exhibition. An Ammonia compressor ice-making machine. [9]

c.1890 Developed a practical CO2 refrigerating machine.

1900 Manufactured refrigerating systems to what was stated to be the three largest meat-carrying steamers afloat - The Suffolk, Norfolk and Sussex. The refrigerating machines, were on Hall's dry air carbonic system.[10]

1900 The company was registered on 30 November, to acquire the business of a company of almost similar title, manufacturers of refrigerating machinery. [11]

1904 DEtails of their 2.5 ton petrol lorry.[12][13][14][15]

1906 Produced a commercial vehicle with a 25hp four-cylinder engine using Sauer patents under the brand name Hallford.

1907 Making under the Saurer patents.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Petrol Motor Commercial Vehicles see the 1917 Red Book.

1926 - December. Acquired a controlling interest in Medway's Safety Lift Co and the manufacture of that company's electric, hydraulic and hand power lifts and hoists, both land and marine, was transferred to their works at Dartford.[16]

1959 Private company.

1959 Merger with Thermotank, forming Hall-Thermotank[17]

1961 Manufacturers of refrigerating and air-conditioning equipment, lifts, escalators and associated products. 4,000 employees. [18]

1968 New machine installed for the machining of crankcases. [19]

John Jr. and Edward Hall

John Hall Sr. died in 1836, and in his will he left the engineering business to his eldest sons, John (1792-1850) and Edward (1798-1875). They had served their time as apprentices in their father's works. Edward was recalled from Paris, where he had been sent in 1817 as their overseas representative.

The death of John in 1850 dealt a serious blow to the business. Edward Hall continued until his death in 1875, but failed to invest in new plant.

A Company History

An official history was published in 1985[20]. We learn that after Edward Hall's death in 1875, his executors sold what was left of the business to E. L. Beckwith and F. E. Burke, who struggled on with the old equipment.

In 1878, a young Everard Hesketh started with the firm to gain experience, having served his time with the prestigious firm of Easton and Anderson. He entered the drawing office, where James Snowden was in charge, having joined the firm in 1837. The firm struggled on, and Burke retired, followed by Beckwith, who sold their shares to Hesketh.

Following a visit to the Paris Exhibition in 1878, Hesketh decided to embark on the production of refrigeration machinery, which was to prove a valuable business line. In 1881 Hesketh's friend, Bernard Godfrey joined as a partner.

Automobiles and Buses

J. and E. Hall of Dartford Automobile Engineering Works produced commercial vehicles from 1906 under the name of Hallford (a combination of the company name and the location).

See Hallford

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Dartford Archive
  2. Plate 98, 'Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain, Volume 6: The South Midlands', by George Watkins, Landmark Publishing Ltd
  3. London Gazette 5 Aug 1879
  4. London Gazette 22 July 1881
  5. The Engineer 1881/05/13
  6. London Gazette 24 Jan 1882
  7. London Gazette 7 Feb 1882
  8. The Engineer
  9. The Engineer of 2nd November 1894 p388
  10. The Engineer 1900/05/04 p 472.
  11. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  12. Automotor Journal 1904/06/25
  13. Automotor Journal 1904/07/02
  14. Automotor Journal 1904/07/09
  15. Automotor Journal 1904/07/16
  16. The Engineer 1926/12/24
  17. The Times, Jun 23, 1959
  18. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  19. The Engineer of 12th April 1968 p577
  20. 'Halls of Dartford 1785-1985' by Harry Miller, Hutchinson Benham, 1985
  • Richard Trevithick by H. W. Dickinson and Arthur Titley. Published 1934