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 148,518 pages of information and 233,949 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

James and Frederick Howard

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1867. Ploughing and traction engine.
Published in 1870. Original buildings completed in 1857.
1870. Horse Rake and Details of Harvesting Machines at the Smithfield Show.
June 1872.
1871. Boiler of the SS Fairy Dell.
June 1872. Safety boiler.
1874. Patent double ploughing gear windlass.
1874. Winlass for steam cultivation.
1875. Farmer's engine at the 1875 Royal Agricultural Show in Taunton.
1875. Farmer's engine at the 1875 Royal Agricultural Show in Taunton.
1880. Single action haymaker at the 1880 Smithfield Show.
1880. Farmers Engine.
June 1888. Portable railway.
1891. Ladd's Hay and Straw Baling Press at the Doncaster Show.
1892. Binding Reaper and Elevator.
1892. Diamond Chill Breast Plough.
February 1901.
January 1902.
1903. 5 ton steam wagon.
January 1906.
May 1929.
December 1929.
1931. Mole Drainer.
Sugar Beet Lifter.
Sugar Beet Lifter (detail).
Potato Plough. Exhibit at Temple Newsham Museum.
Name plate for Original Zigzag Harrows.
Vertical boiler found in South Africa.
S.A. Vertical boiler detail.

James and Frederick Howard, sometimes J. and F. Howard, sometimes Howards, of Britannia Ironworks, Bedford.

1837 Company established

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

1851 Employing 80 men [1]

1859 James Howard and Frederick Howard opened the Britannia Iron Works in Kempston Road as a manufactory of steel ploughs.

1861 Employing 400 men and boys [2]

1863 Advert for Howard's Patent Horse Rakes. More than 12,000 in use. James and Frederick Howard of Britannia Iron Works, Bedford. [3]

1866 Details of their patent agricultural engine [4]

1870 Read a synopsis of the company in The Engineer 1870/09/16.

1871 Employing 700 hands. [5]

1876 Exhibitor at the Royal Agricultural Show at Birmingham with their 'Farmers Engine' and tackle [6]

1877 Exhibitor at the 1877 Royal Agricultural Show in Liverpool.[7].

1881 Employing 650 persons [8]

1885 Exhibited their design of light permanent way.

1885 Gold medal for invention: Apparatus for trussing and binding straw as it issues from the threshing machine, and a string binding Appleby reaping machine.

1894 Smithfield Club Show. Exhibited an oil engine. Image in 'The Engineer'

1894 Royal Agricultural Show. Exhibitor. Article and illustration on their apparatus for steaming compressed hay

1894 Introduced a range of horizontal oil engines

1898 'The Britannia Iron Works, the property of Messrs. James and Frederick Howard, occupy an area of about 20 acres. Tramways extend all round the works for the conveyance of materials to and from the different departments, the largest of which is the foundry, a rectangular building, more than 250 feet long, and covering about an acre ; the departments for fitting, forging, finishing, painting, and forwarding are all admirably adapted to their various purposes ; these magnificent works are built in part of the site of Caldwell Priory, founded about he year 1200: the Midland and London and North-Western railways run into the works, and the river Ouse, which is navigable by steamers and barges to the sea flows alongside and combines with the railways to give these works almost unrivalled advantages in the transit of goods'.

1900 June. Royal Agricultural Show at York. Agricultural implements

1900 Paris Exhibition. Showed an engine (as Howard and Co of Bedford)

1911 Royal Agricultural Show. Four-furrow plough

1911 Smithfield Club Show. Exhibited ploughs including steam and motor types

1919 Became part of Agricultural and General Engineers

1920 Showed a powerful steam driven cultivator for working on heavy or light land at the Darlington Agricultural Show [9]

1932 F. C. Hibberd and Co company acquired the drawings, patents etc. from the liquidator of James and Frederick Howard Ltd of Bedford who had built internal combustion locos from about 1923 to 1931.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1852 Census
  2. 1861 Census
  3. The York Herald (York, England), Saturday, May 23, 1863
  4. The Engineer of 26th January 1866 p64
  5. 1871 Census
  6. The Engineer of 21st July 1876 p58
  7. The Engineer 1877/07/13
  8. 1881 Census
  9. The Engineer of 9th July 1920