Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Belliss and Morcom

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1891. Exhibit at London Science Museum.
February 1901. Three-Crank Triple Tandem Engine.
1904. High-speed engines.
1904. Triple expansion engines for the Leeds Corporation Electricity Works.
1910. Exhibit at Millicent Museum.
1928. Vertical compound engine. Exhibit at the Snibston Discovery Museum.
1928. Vertical compound engine. Exhibit at the Snibston Discovery Museum.
December 1929.
1933. 'Midget' Turbo-Generator.
1933. Turbine in course of Erection.
1933. 200 B.H.P. Six Cylinder Oil Engine Generator Set.
1938. Belliss & Morcom Type S5A 120 HP 3-cylinder diesel engine. Exhibit at the Internal Fire Museum of Power.
1938. Belliss & Morcom Type S5A 120 HP 3-cylinder diesel engine. Exhibit at the Internal Fire Museum of Power.
August 1946.
Detail. Exhibit at Crich Tramway Museum.
Detail. Exhibit at Crich Tramway Museum.

of Ledsam Street Works, Birmingham, producers of stationary steam engines, diesel engines, steam turbines, and compressors.

1862 Shortly after completing his articles, George Edward Belliss acquired the business of R. Bach and Co at 13-14 Broad Street, Islington, Birmingham, and went into partnership with Joseph J. Seekings, as Belliss and Seekings.

1866 End of partnership with J. J. Seekings; Belliss continued the business as G. E. Belliss and Co [1].

1875 Moved to Ledsam Street Works [2].

1884 Marine engineer, Alfred Morcom invited by Belliss to join G. E. Belliss and Co as partner. Morcom had previously been chief engineer at Sheerness Dockyard; before that he had been an instructor in the Navy's steam department at Portsmouth and was "one of the few engineers to gain a first class certificate at College" [3].

1885 Messrs George Belliss and Co received further orders for machinery for torpedo boats constructed by J. Samuel White and Co[4]. Mr Morcom represented George Belliss and Co at the trial of a torpedo catcher[5].

1887 Order placed with Messrs Belliss and Morcom for triple-expansion engine for H.M.S. Sharpshooter, which would be the lightest engine for its power[6].

1889 Development of automatic lubrication system for engines.

1891 High-speed engine with forced lubrication is in the London Science Museum.

1893 G. E. Belliss and Co incorporated as a Limited Company

1895 Advert. [7]

1899 New factory opened in Icknield Square. Need for extra capital met by formation of the company Belliss and Morcom, which was registered on 3 May, to take over the business of engineers of G. E. Belliss[8].

1900 Public issue of shares [9].

1900 Belliss and Morcom supplied engines to the Gloucester Electricity Supply Works[10]. Manufactured engines for the Port Dundas electricity works in Glasgow[11]. Supplied engines for generating plant at Bury St Edmunds [12].

c.1902 Built a factory at Rotten Park Street.

1907-8 Built one double-decker bus for the London General Omnibus Co. It had twin chain final drive.

1909 Built an engine for Park Gate Iron and Steel Co. This was a three-cylinder compound producing 1,080 hp at 300 rpm.

1909 Albert Edward Seaton, chairman of Messrs Belliss Morcom Ltd, was appointed a director of the Homoil Trust.

1914 Manufacturers of Patent Forced Lubrication, Quick-Revolution Engines for Electric Lighting, Power, Traction and Mill Driving in standard sizes from 10 to 3000 B.H.P.; also of Condensing Plants, Air Compressors, Fan Engines, Pumping Engines, Paraffin Engines, Steam Turbines etc. [13]

1919 Producing I.C. engines and continued until the mid 1930s [14]

1922 Belliss & Morcom overhauled six diesel-generators, ex-German Navy submarines, and installed them in a power station and sub(!)-stations at Southend-on-Sea (London Road, Thorpe Bay and Leigh) [15]

1937 Manufacturers of oil engines, condensing plants and compressors. [16]

Post WWII Belliss and Morcom Ltd. began to take a financial interest in W. Sisson and Co, a firm developed from the business established in Gloucester by Joseph Seekings.

1949 New steel shop opened on the former site of James Archdale and Co.

1958 Belliss and Morcom acquired full control of W. Sissons

1960 Heavy duty compressors and other equipment.

1966 The receivers of Crossley Brothers had reorganised the company and sold the business and assets to some of its subsidiaries. Subsequently Belliss and Morcom acquired, from this process, Crossley-Premier Engines and Furnival and Co[17].

1968 Merger of W. H. Allen, Sons and Co and Belliss and Morcom; new holding company known as The Amalgamated Power Engineering Company Ltd (APE) would be owned 60:40 by Allen's and Belliss's shareholders [18]. Later this became part of NEI.

1992 Rotten Park Street works closed

1995 Belliss and Morcom was acquired by Hamworthy Engineering Co from Rolls Royce Engineering[19]

2001 The reciprocating high pressure air compressors business of Belliss and Morcom was acquired by Gardner-Denver Co[20]

  • An excellent collection of photographs and reminiscences is available online [21]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Daily Post, 19 April 1866
  2. Birmingham Daily Post, 24 June 1875
  3. Hampshire Telegraph and Sussex Chronicle, 15 March 1884
  4. Birmingham Daily Post, 3 April 1885
  5. The Belfast News-Letter 2 December 1885
  6. Glasgow Herald, 10 December 1887
  7. Post Office London Directory, 1895
  8. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  9. Birmingham Daily Post, September 27, 1900
  10. The Engineer of 27th July 1900 p93
  11. The Engineer of 14th September 1900 p260
  12. Bury and Norwich Post, 4 September 1900
  13. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  14. A-Z of British Stationary Engines by Patrick Knight. Published 1996. ISBN 1 873098 37 5
  15. ‘The Engineer’ 26th May 1922
  16. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  17. The Times, 7 November 1966;
  18. The Times, 17 February 1968
  19. The Times, June 02, 1995
  20. [1] Gardner Denver website
  21. [2] Website with numerous photographs and former employees' recollections
  • Ian Allan - British Buses Since 1900 - Aldridge and Morris
  • Mining Year Book 1960. Published by Walter E. Skinner. Advert p171
  • The Steam Engine in Industry by George Watkins in two volumes. Moorland Publishing. 1978/9. ISBN 0-903485-65-6
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816
  • Stationary Steam Engines of Great Britain by George Watkins. Vol 10