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British Industrial History

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Newton Electrical Works

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Former exhibit at Taunton Museum (Mueum of Somerset)
June 1898.
August 1899.
February 1901.
January 1902.

of Taunton (and Rowbarton?). T.A. "Arc, Taunton". T.No. Taunton 9 (1902)

1884 Business established by Francis Murray Newton

1890 'Taunton is fast becoming a centre for electrical works. Mr F M Newton, of the Newton Electrical Engineering Works, has just completed the fitting out for electric lighting of the splendid yacht Seveda, built at Dartmouth for Mr Gordon Bennett, proprietor of the New Yotk Herald. Mr Newton placed the electric light machinery in the engine-room, and also made the wire connections on board the yacht.'[1]

1891 Electrical Exhibition at Taunton: 'The space devoted to Mr F M Newton, the Newton Electrical Engineering Works, Taunton, is in the centre of the machinery hall, and is well worthy of careful attention. The firm is showing a COMPLETE ELECTRIC INSTALLATION for lighting a mansion; also, electric motors for driving a sewing machine, and a small lathe, a fan, and an Elton electric incubator, the working power for these apparatuses being supplied by 5-horse power Priestman oil engine. Mr Newton also exhibits a complete assortment of electrical fittings, all the things he shows being made Taunton.'[2]

1892 'Accident at the Newton Electric Works. — John Lambden, a labourer, of 40, East-reach, has met with a serious accident at the Newton Electrical Works. A heavy bar of iron he was lifting fell with great violence upon one of his feet, completely crushing it. He was taken to the hospital, where he is likely to be detained for some time.'[3]

1893 Francis Murray Newton and Tom Hawkins, both of the Newton Electrical Works, Taunton, patented "improvements in 2 pole dynamos, motors and the like.

1893 'CYCLISTS IN TROUBLE. William Talbot and Arthur Munroe, engineers at the Newton Electrical Works, were summoned for riding without lights, on the night of the 3rd September, at Monkton. — Pleaded guilty.- The evidence was to the effect that both defendants were riding without lights down the hill. The former had a lamp, but the latter had none, Munroe leading. - For the defence, Munroe stated that he had a lamp attached to his machine, but it went out. He intended lighting it at the bottom of the hill.- The Bench dismissed the case against Munroe, and fined the other man 1s and costs.' [4]

1902 Catalogue issued [5]

1902 'We understand that the Newton Electrical Works, Ltd., of this town, have acquired the patents of Allen & Barker, Ltd., for the manufacture of their well-known " A.B." gas and oil engines, and that new buildings are being erected with a view to meeting the increased demand for these engines. Until the new buildings are completed the engines will be manufactured as heretofore by Allen & Barker, Ltd., at their present works.'[6]

1903 Sudden death of the founder of the business, Francis Murray Newton

1905 Newtons Ltd of Taunton supplied electric lighting plant and oil engines

1921 Rotax Motor Accessories Co Ltd amalgamated with Newton Electrical Works, a company in which the Aron brothers (Eugen Aron and Hermann Aron) already had an interest.

1931 Newtons of Taunton Ltd merged with T. Harding Churton and Co of Leeds

1933 Newtons of Taunton Ltd. of 319 Regent Street. W.1. Tools made at Taunton, being constructed at the firms' Rotax Works, Willesden.[7]


  • A short history of the company was produced in 2005: 'The Newton Electrical Works: Taunton: 1889 - 1934' by David Eaton, Holway Publications, 2005

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 16 July 1890
  2. Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser, 5 August 1891
  3. Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 23 November 1892
  4. Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 20 September 1893
  5. Fielden’s Magazine Vol 7
  6. Taunton Courier, and Western Advertiser - Wednesday 19 March 1902
  7. The Engineer 1933/09/15