Rubery, Owen and Co
of Darlaston, South Staffordshire. Telephone: Darlaston 130 (P.B.X.). Telegraphic Address: "Ruberowen, Darlaston". (1937)
1884 Company founded by John Rubery and his two brothers, as an ironworks manufacturing gates and fences - see Rubery and Co
1893 The Rubery brothers were joined by an engineer Alfred Owen
1903 The company name of Rubery Owen was established.
1910 Exhibited at Aero Exhibition at Olympia, displaying tubes, wires, etc for aircraft construction
1910 "NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us, the undersigned, John Tunner Rubery and Alfred Ernest Owen, carrying on business as Manufacturers of Bridges, Roofing, Motor Frames, Fencing, and General Iron and Steel Work, at Darlaston, in the county of Stafford, under the style or firm of 'RUBERY, OWEN AND CO.,' has been dissolved, by mutual consent, as and from the 30th day of June, 1910. All debts due to and owing by the said late firm will be received and paid by the said Alfred Ernest Owen, who will continue to carry on business at the late firm's premises at Darlaston aforesaid, on his own account, under the style of 'Rubery, Owen and Co.' "
Alfred Owen became sole proprietor of the company.
1911 Water filtering and softening plant. 
By 1912 the company had expanded into Aviation Engineering, Motor Frames and Roofing, in addition to fencing manufacture.
1919 March. Advert for car frames. 22 years experience claimed. 
1920 Private company. New company registered: Rubery, Owen and Co, constructional engineers
The company expanded still further during the 1920s and 1930s, to include the production of metal airframes, metal storage equipment, steel pulleys and armour plate. They also acquired a Warrington hydraulic company which became Rubery Owen Conveyancer.
1929 Alfred Ernest Owen, proprietor of Rubery, Owen and Co, died. Rubery Owen was a middle-sized engineering firm with a turnover of some £580,000 per annum and a workforce of approximately 1750. The company had become a successful producer of components for the motor and aviation industries and of structural steel for the building trade.
1934 Alfred and Ernest became joint managing directors of this private business. Their sister, Jean, owned the other third of the business.
1930s The company won major contracts to supply materials for municipal buildings, shops, offices, and blocks of flats in central London, as well as for grandstands at Twickenham rugby football ground and several association football clubs including Manchester United, Derby County, and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
1937 Advert for: Pressed Steel, Split Pulleys; Steel Storage Equipment; Structural Steelwork. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport) 
1937 Aircraft parts and accessories. 
1938 Alfred George Beech Owen was chairman
c.1938 Rubery Owen (Cooker Dept.) was in Coventry
1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers
WWII Rubery Owen expanded rapidly, manufacturing a huge range of military, aviation, and naval equipment. The company produced parts for war planes including parts for the De Havilland Mosquito.  Between 1936 and 1946, turnover rose by some 950 per cent.
Post-WWII. After the war, they expanded their engineering products to include ploughs for Ferguson Tractors, metal pressings, fasteners, motor vehicle components and structural steel components for the building industry.
1946 Messier Aircraft Equipment Ltd, a member of the Rubery-Owen group of companies, designed and manufactured hydraulic and electro-hydraulic equipment for aircraft and industrial applications, including the Conveyancer forklift truck. This has been claimed to be the UK's first forklift truck. Later became Electro-Hydraulics.
By 1950 the company was part of the Owen Organisation (see advert)
1953 New engines under test by BRM but no intention to produce formula racing cars
1953 Acquired Charles Clark and Son Ltd of Wolverhampton
1954 A new organisation was set up by Alfred Owen to take over the activities of BRM and develop a Formula One BRM car
1956 The company was restructured into seven divisions:
1961 Manufacturing and constructional engineers. 5,000 employees. 
- Brooke Tool Manufacturing Co Ltd
- Charles Clark and Son Ltd of Wolverhampton and its subsidiaries
- Electro-Hydraulics Ltd
- Joseph Gillott and Sons (Sheffield) including Gillott's Forge and Rolling Mills Ltd
- C. and L. Hill Ltd of Willenhall and its subsidiaries
- Leabank Office Equipment of London
- Motor Panels (Coventry) Ltd
- Salopian Engineers
- Shorrock Superchargers
- A. G. Sutherland Ltd
- A. Warden and Co
1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Car accessories and motor car assemblies. 
1964 6,500 employees
1964 Displayed the Rowen dishwasher at the Hanover Fair
1965 BRM was prepared to supply 3 litre engines to any British team to accomodate the change in Formula 1 Grand Prix rules
1967 Cash problem faced the company due to the death of Ernest Owen who owned one-third of the shares
1969 The structural fabrications department at Darlaston was closed as part of a group-wide reorganization which included central financial control. Sir Alfred Owen had a stroke; his 2 sons took over the running of the business - David handled Group business; John ran Darlaston which accounted for 40 percent of the company.
1971 14,200 employees. After substantial reorganisation, the group's profits had improved but were still low
1972 Sale of subsidiary companies as part of a plan to concentrate on manufacturing and engineering activities - those sold included Charles Clark and Son, the British Leyland distributor, and the merchanting business Rogers and Jackson
By 1973 20 companies had been sold to raise cash whilst concentrating on motor components and materials handling. Darlaston was split into  into 2 companies: Rubery Owen Motor and Rubery Owen Contracts. Acquired the 40 percent of Conveyancer not owned by Rubery Owen
1974 January: Rubery Owen established a new company Rubery Owen Conveyancer. The name Electro-Hydraulics seems to have been discontinued about this time.
1974 Flaskless foundry moulding machine produced up to 240 moulds an hour with cores. 'Larkinmatic-3 was a machine without a moulding box. It conformed to coventional foundry practice by pouring moulds horizontally. 
1974 Rubery Owen Conveyancer introduced a new computer service that could produce a plan showing the optimum use of warehouse space by calculating the number of pallets to be stacked, height and number.
1974 The Commission on Industrial Relations made proposals for improving industrial relations in the company
1970s Motor car assemblies and components made at Darlaston
1976 The Rosafe wheel for preventing skidding after a burst tyre was specially commended by the Don Trophy scheme
1976 Darlaston factory threatened with closure unless industrial relations improved.
1981 The main Darlaston works closed.
1981 The BRM business was auctioned
Sources of Information
- The Times, Mar 16, 1910
- London Gazette 30 December 1910
- The Engineer 1910/04/15
- The Engineer of 10th November 1911 p496
- The Autocar of 29th March 1919 p LXIII
- The Times, 2 February 1924
- The Times, Apr 20, 1920
- The Times Jan 02, 1930
- 1937 British Industries Fair Advert p651
- 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
- Mosquito by C. Martin Sharp and Michael J. F. Bowyer. Published by Crecy Books in 1995. ISBN 0-947554-41-6
- The Times, Mar 14, 1946
- The Times, Oct 24, 1952
- The Times Jan 22, 1953
- The Times, Jan 22, 1954
- 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
- The Times, Oct 09, 1963
- 1963 Motor Show
- The Times, Mar 19, 1964
- The Times, Wednesday, May 06, 1964
- The Times, Dec 22, 1964
- The Times, Feb 16, 1965
- The Times Jan 16, 1965
- The Times, Nov 30, 1966
- The Times, Dec 18, 1967
- The Times, Jul 15, 1969
- The Times, Jun 15, 1970
- The Times, Jul 06, 1971
- The Times, Apr 22, 1972
- The Times, Monday, Aug 06, 1973
- The Times, Thursday, Jun 28, 1973
- The Times, Friday, Aug 24, 1973
- The Times, Thursday, Nov 08, 1973
- The Engineer 1974/01/17 p 20.
- The Engineer 1974/05/30
- The Times, Thursday, Jul 25, 1974
- The Times, Thursday, Jan 09, 1975
- The Times Wednesday, May 12, 1976
- The Times, Friday, Dec 31, 1976
- The Times, Saturday, Apr 09, 1977
- The Times, Saturday, Oct 17, 1981
- The Times, Jan 28, 1982