Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,705 pages of information and 232,164 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
Coles Cranes of Sunderland, manufacturers of cranes
1879 Acquired Appleby Brothers Sumner Street factory
1887 Products included gantry cranes and steam-powered slewing cranes of 2 to 10 tons lifting capacity.
1890 Range of rail-mounted steam cranes, some with Coles patent single chain grab.
1898 Expansion by moving to a site in Derby. New generation of rail cranes developed.
1907 Henry J. Coles Ltd was incorporated.
1922 Mobile crane launched, based on Tilling-Stevens petrol-electric solid-tyred chassis.
1926 The company was taken over by A. W. Farnsworth, William Searl and William Robinson.
1926 Sale of company to A. W. Farnsworth
1928 Introduction of diesel-engined railway crane.
WWII Supplied thousands of mobile cranes for the Services
1948 The manufacture of Coles cranes, electric hoists, and the "Electric Eel" industrial truck were transferred in stages to Steels' Crown Works, Sunderland.
1951 Henry J Coles Ltd was voluntarily liquidated
1976 Research Centre opened.
1982 October. Closed the Glazebury factory near Manchester with the loss of 200 jobs. Cranes were still made at Grantham.
1982 Grantham and Warrington works closed.