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Richard Garrett and Sons

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From the 1862 London Exhibition Catalogue
1871. Combined threshing machine and straw bruiser.
January 1872.
1881. Sand-Distributor Exhibited at The 1881 Royal Agricultural Show.
1881. Combined Drill and Horse-Hoe, Exhibited at The 1881 Royal Agricultural Show.
1881. 16-Horse Compound Fixed Engine, Exhibited at The 1881 Royal Agricultural Show.
1883. Compound portable engine.
January 1888.
December 1889.
1906. Sirapite. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
1909-16. Stationary engine. Type CCS IV. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
1910. 50 bhp semi staionary compound engine.
1918. Threshing machine. 54 inch. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
1920. Garrett-Crawley Agrimotor. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
1920. Garrett-Crawley Agrimotor. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
1923. Garrett Living Van. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
1926. Trolley Bus chassis. No 281. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
1926. Trolley Bus for Ipswich Corportaion Tramways. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
May 1930.
1931. 42 bhp Heavy oil engine tractor.
1931. Rigid six wheeler steam wagon.
Portable saw bench.
Portable engine at the Kauri Museum in New Zealand
Garrett Oven. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
Seed Drills. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
Seed Drills. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
No 10646. Exhibit at Pearns Steam World.
1950. Beam engine.
1950. Columnar engine.
1950. Garretts first traction engine with 5 wheels.
1950. Patent corrugated firebox.
1950. Semi-portable engine. First to have compound cylinders.
1950. Garrett under type wagon.
1950. The SSW locomobile semi stationary Garrett engine.
1950. Garretts agrimotor or Suffolk Punch.
1950. The Garrett over type wagon.
1950. The Garret's showmans engine.
1950. The Garrett 5-ton tractor.
1950. General purpose traction engine.
1950. First Garrett steam wagon.
1950. The second Garrett engine, 'Savory'.
1950. Richard Garrett's first horizontal engine.
1950. Steam hoist.
1950. Garrett's second traction engine.
1950. The first 'Savory' ploughing engine.
1970-75. Dry cleaning machines. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.
1970-75. Dry cleaning machines. Exhibit at Long Shop Steam Museum.

Richard Garrett and Sons of Leiston Works, Leiston near Saxmundham, Suffolk was a manufacturer of agricultural machinery, steam engines, steam lorries, trolleybuses, and machine tools.

General History

1778 Richard Garrett set up as a bladesmith in Leiston.

1805 The founder's son, Richard Garrett (1779-1837), took over the business.

1806 Built the first Horse-power Threshing Machine.

1830s Richard Garrett III took over the business and started the manufacture of a long line of steam engines.

1840 First portable engine produced and shown at the Norwich Show.

1848 Portable engines were being produced.

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

1851 Employing 324 persons. [1]

1853 Garrett took his sons Richard and his younger brother, John D. into partnership.

1860 John D. Garrett left the Leiston business and moved to Germany

1861 Employing 450 men and 100 boys. [2]

1866 On the death of Richard Garrett senior, Richard junior succeeded as head of the Garrett family and senior member of the Leiston firm, in partnership with his two brothers, Henry Newson Garrett and Frank Garrett.

1870 Image of Annealing Furnace installed at the Leiston Works, designed by Mr. Tenwick of Grantham.

1876 Produced traction engine to Garrett's own design after making Avelings under licence.

1876 Exhibitor at the Royal Agricultural Show at Birmingham with a traction engine and a straw burning engine. [3]

1877 Exhibitor at 1877 Royal Agricultural Show.[4].

1878 Henry left the business.

1889 Showed portable, simple and compound engines at the RASE at Windsor. [5]

1898 Built 10-ton steam roller.

1904 The first steam lorry was produced.

1911 Smithfield Club Show. Exhibited semi-portable superheated steam engine and 3-ton steam wagon. [6]

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of electric vehicles see the 1917 Red Book.

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Steam Motor Wagons, Tractors and Ploughs etc. see the 1917 Red Book.

1914 Specialities: Superheated and Saturated Steam Semi-Stationary Engines, Traction Engines, Road Rollers, Motor Tractors and Motor Wagons, Boilers and Patent Superheaters and Steam Threshing Machinery. Employees 1500 to 2000. [7]

1920 They showed a steam motor wagon, an electrically propelled wagon driven from accumulators and a semi-stationary steam plant combining a boiler, super-heater and engine at the Darlington Agricultural Show. [8]

1920 October. Exhibited at the Commercial Motor Exhibition at Olympia with 3.5 ton electric vehicle with a brewer's type body. Uses an 8 hp motor. Had 30-35 mile range. [9]

1920 Became part of Agricultural and General Engineers.

In 1925 Garrett developed a steam-powered tractor which became known as the Suffolk Punch. It included a 40 HP engine and used Ackermann steering. It was designed for ploughing, pulling work and threshing. It was too expensive to compete with other tractors and only eight were built.

1925 They tried to enter the railway locomotive market but without any success.

1926 Tender to the West Hartlepool Corporation Tramways for the supply of twelve 'Garrett' low loading line electric trolley buses has been accepted, including their tender for the overhead equipment. The whole contract amounts to about £25,000.[10]

1926 Supplied three large 'semi-stationary' engine/boiler units to drive alternators at the City of Posadas Waterworks, Argentina. These were each rated at 140 HP. 190 psi, superheated. Cylinders 9.75" and 16.75" dia, 17" stroke. Flywheel diameter 7' 6". [11]

1926 - November. Acquired the whole of the interests of the Caledon Motor Co of Glasgow. In future all types of the Caledon lorry were manufactured at the Leiston Works.[12]

1928 Produced some trolley buses.

1930 Produced their first diesel powered lorry with a Blackstone and Co six-cylinder engine.

1932 The company was purchased by Beyer, Peacock and Co after the collapse of AGE. The business continued as Richard Garrett Engineering Works.

1939 Last lorries produced but continued with other engineering work.

1966 After the end of Beyer Peacock activities at Gorton, Leiston was one of the parts of the company which was still profitable and operations continued there.

1981 January: The works closed.[13]

Today, part of the factory is preserved as the Long Shop Steam Museum. The rest has been demolished and the land used for housing.

The company produced around 22,500 steam engines with 20,000 of those being portable engines.

The financial, technical and production records of Garretts of Leiston are preserved in the Ipswich Record Office of Suffolk Libraries and Heritage under the reference HC 30.

Electric Vehicles

Lorries (IC Engine)

Steam Vehicles

See Also


Sources of Information

  • British Lorries 1900-1992 by S. W. Stevens-Stratten. Pub. Ian Allen Publishing
  • Traction Engine Album by Malcolm Ranieri. Pub 2005
  • [1] Images of some engines
  • From 1890 to the Present Day Farm Tractors by Michael Williams published in 2005 by Silverdale Books ISBN 978-1-84509-251-1
  • [2] Wikipedia
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  • Steam Engine Builders of Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire by Ronald H. Clark. Published 1950 by The Augustine Steward Press
  1. 1851 Census
  2. 1861 Census
  3. The Engineer of 21st July 1876 p40
  4. The Engineer 1877/07/13
  5. The Engineer of 28th June 1889 p544
  6. The Engineer of 8th December 1911 p595
  7. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  8. The Engineer of 29th October 1920 p425
  9. The Engineer of 9th July 1920
  10. The Engineer 1926/09/17
  11. The Engineer 15th October, 1926
  12. The Engineer 1926/11/05
  13. The Engineer 1982/09/09