Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 143,733 pages of information and 230,103 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
of Dartford, Kent.
1785 Company started.
In 1785 John Hall established himself as a smith and millwright in Lowfield Street, Dartford.
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 business to his sons John and Edward who changed the name to J. & E. Hall.
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.
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.
1881 William Bernard Godfrey became a partner
1881 Developed horizontal dry-air refrigeration machine which would be suitable for use on ships
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.
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.
Largely occupied in making refrigerating machinery for shipping meat from Australia
1887 Introduced carbonic anhydride refrigerating machines
1894 Brewer’s Exhibition. An Ammonia compressor ice-making machine. 
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.
1900 The company was registered on 30 November, to acquire the business of a company of almost similar title, manufacturers of refrigerating machinery. 
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.
1959 Private company.
1961 Manufacturers of refrigerating and air-conditioning equipment, lifts, escalators and associated products. 4,000 employees. 
1968 New machine installed for the machining of crankcases. 
John Hall Sr. died in 1836, and in his will he left the engineering business to his eldest sons, John (1792-1850) and Edward (1799-1875). 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.
An official history was published in 1985. 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.