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 148,439 pages of information and 233,876 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

James B. Petter and Sons

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1893 steam engine at the Internal Fire Museum of Power
J B Petter01.jpg
1896. Petter and Hill and Boll's Autocar. From Left to Right: (Front) James B. Petter, H. W. Southcombe, (Back) G. B. Petter and E. W. Petter.
1899. The "Petter" Petroleum Engine.
1899. The "Petter" Petroleum Engine - Portable Type.
January 1906.
January 1906.

Petters of Nautilus Works, Yeovil.

1870 James Bazeley Petter received the ironmongery firm Harman and Gillett of Yeovil as a present from his father on his marriage, his father having purchased the business as a wedding gift for his son.

Petter later also acquired the Yeovil Foundry and Engineering Works

1897 James B. Petter and Sons showed a combined oil engine and pump at the Royal Agricultural Show[1]

1901 Ernest Petter and his twin brother Percival Waddams Petter bought the ironmongery and foundry business from their father James Bazeley Petter. Ernest and Percy (Percival) were joint managing directors. Range of engines expanded - 1.25 h.p. to 22 h.p.

1902 Produced the first agricultural tractor, powered by a 30 horsepower (22 kW) horizontal oil engine.

The first engines made by Petters were Standard oil engines which were horizontal open crank engines made to very high standards.

Around 1903 cheap American imports, including the "Jack of all Trades" manufactured by the Fairbanks Morse Company, threatened the English stationary engine industry, and unlike most companies at the time Petter decided to produce a cheaper engine of their own to combat the threat. This engine was called the Petter Handyman which was sold around 20% lower in price than the 'Petter Standard' in batches of 50 or more.

1910 Registered as a public company: Petters Ltd[2].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1897/07/09
  2. Sir Ernest Willoughby Petter, by Anne Pimlott Baker, ODNB