Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Joseph Baker and Sons

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1889. Machinery exhibited in the 1889 Paris Exhibition.

Biscuit, bread making machinery, of 56, City Road, London.

of Hythe Road, Willesden (from 1890)

1823 Joseph Baker was born, son of Samuel Baker, in Canada

c.1870 Joseph and his son Joseph Allen Baker established a business in Canada selling books, maps and other products door-to-door.

Joseph invented a flour sifter for domestic use which he sold initially along with the other products; it was so successful that the business concentrated on selling the Baker flour sifter, which was patented in Canada in 1870.

1876 Joseph and J. Allen Baker visited England. J. Allen stayed behind when his father returned to Canada and set up a company to sell his father's products, with offices in London and Liverpool.

1878 The rest of the family moved from Canada to England. Another son, George, added new products to the business, especially powered large-scale sifting machines.

1879 Opened small factory in Finsbury

1881 Moved to larger premises at 58 City Road. Exhibited flour sifter and biscuit making machinery.

1889 May. Paris Exhibition. Biscuit making machines as used by Huntley and Palmers and Peek, Frean and Co. [1]

1880s Were agents for Perkins steam ovens.

1890 Moved to purpose built factory in Hythe Road, Willesden.

1892 Joseph Baker died; the company was then run by his son J. Allen Baker.

Started to make chocolate confectionary machines, an automatic baking machine for sugar wafers, and various other machines for making new food products.

1890s Catalogue featured steam and oil engines but these seem not to have been manufactured by the company.

1902 The company was registered as a limited company on 2 July, to acquire the business of engineers, of the firm of the same name. [2]

1902 Directors are Joseph Allen Baker, William King Baker, George Samuel Baker, and Philip Barton Baker.[3]

c.1902 Agent for the Stevens-Duryea car, made in the USA

1900s Having developed the travelling chain oven for baking biscuits, then developed a travelling (i.e. conveyer belt) oven for baking bread in 1908.

1907 Designed and built a motor lorry for their own use.[4]

1914 Engineers. Specialities: biscuit machinery and ovens, bread and cake machinery and ovens, chocolate and cocoa machinery, confectionery machinery, food preparing machinery, grinding, sifting and mixing machinery, refuse destructors, refrigerating machinery, suction gas plants. [5]

1914 Contract awarded by the War Office for the Baker Perkins Standard Army Bread Plant; Werner, Pfleiderer and Perkins, specialists in bread making machinery, received a sub-contract with the work divided between the two firms.

WWI Made shell casings, cordite mixers, tank links and gun parts.

1920 Joseph Baker and Sons acquired Perkins Engineers Ltd forming Joseph Baker Sons and Perkins Ltd. Willesden was to be responsible for supplying the biscuit, chocolate and sugar confectionary trades; Peterborough was to be responsible for equipment for the bakery and chemical industries, and also for the heating department which continued at Collier St, London.

Took over the Coventry Ordnance Works but the staff were unable to work to the precision required and, after 2.5 years, the link with Coventry was ended.

1921 Experiments carried out at the Willesden factory of Joseph Baker and Sons showed that a certain combination of chemicals could enhance the action of yeast in bread. Production of the "bread improver" began at Willesden. A subsidiary company British Arkady Co was formed to exploit this development.

1922 Acquired David Thomson Ltd of Edinburgh, makers of peel cutters, mixing and kneading machines.

1923 Company renamed Baker, Perkins Ltd.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer of 14th June 1889 p502
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  3. London Daily News - Tuesday 15 July 1902
  4. Complete Encyclopedia of Commercial Vehicles. Edited by G. N. Georgano
  5. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  • History of Joseph Baker and Sons [1]
  • History of Joseph Baker Sons and Perkins[2]