Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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L. Sterne and Co

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1885. Clerk's Gas Engine.
1905. Gas or air compressor.
1905. Gas or air compressor.
November 1953.

Louis Sterne and Co of London, later of Glasgow.

1865 Louis Sterne arrived in the UK

1871 Sterne and Co. exhibited traction wheels, with india-rubber tires and iron shoes for protecting them, "but probably also for diminishing the 'bite' on the road".[1]

1873 The company exhibited electro-magnetic adaptions to lathes and other iron- and wood-working machines[2]

1874 The business of Thomson and Co of Victoria St, Westminster (manufacturer of railway springs and buffers at Crown Ironworks, Glasgow) and the business and patents of Mr L. Sterne, carried on under the name of L. Sterne and Co, were amalgamated as a limited company, Thomson, Sterne and Co; the whole of the capital was taken by the partners of the firm[3]. Subsequently obtained from America the right to construct refrigerating machinery on the De la Vergne system.

Mr. Sterne introduced many important improvements, especially in cold storage engineering and refrigerating plant.

1882 The name of the firm was changed to L. Sterne and Co., Ltd., and, in addition to refrigeration, the company carried on general engineering work, including grinding machinery and wheels and steel springs, at the Crown Ironworks, Glasgow.

1884 Advertised Clerk's patent gas engine - sole maker[4]

1888 Issued catalogue of Emery Machines and Emery Wheels [5]. Introduced the American de la Vergne ammonia refrigeration system into the UK with first installation at Leadenhall Market Cold Storage Company[6]

1908 Samuel Richard Beale was appointed managing director[7]

1909 Public company.

1915 Won tender to supply refrigeration equipment for new cold storage at Royal Albert Dock, London[8]

1934 Universal Grinding Wheel Co acquired the goodwill of the grinding wheel business of L. Sterne and Co[9]

1935 Acquired the refrigeration side of the business of Haslam and Newton of Derby, which would be operated under the Haslam name[10]

1947 Release of preference shares to the public market but ordinary shares were not so offered[11]

The Hermetic Unit Division had factories at Hillington near Glasgow.

1961 Manufacturers of refrigerating and ice machines; land and marine installations; ammonia CO2, methyl chloride and freon systems. [12]

1961 440 workers at the Hillington, Glasgow factory were made redundant[13]

1968 Prestcold Ltd, a subsidiary of British Leyland Motor Corporation, bid for L. Sterne and Co in order to expand the refrigeration business which Leyland regarded as "developing" and sharing mass production techniques[14]

1971 L. Sterne, a subsidiary of Prestcold acquired Blackfriars Cold Storage[15]. The Sterne name was phased out by Prestcold.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1871/06/09
  2. The Engineer 1873
  3. The Times, Jul 17, 1874
  4. The Times, Nov 03, 1884
  5. The Engineer of 27th April 1888 p338
  6. The Times, May 02, 1888
  7. The Times, Oct 13, 1964
  8. The Times, Nov 05, 1915
  9. The Times, Mar 07, 1935
  10. The Times, Jan 01, 1935
  11. The Times, Jan 06, 1947
  12. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  13. The Times, Jul 12, 1961
  14. The Times, Sep 10, 1968
  15. The Times, Mar 03, 1971