Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Eley Brothers

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January 1897.
December 1927.
Exhibit at Powerhouse Museum.

of 254 Gray's Inn Road, London WC, and of Sutton Coldfield; factories at Angel Road, Upper Edmonton, and Harty Ferry, Faversham, Kent

  • 1842 On William Eley's death, his three sons inherited the business which became Eley Brothers.
  • 1855 joint patent with Samuel Colt for Colt revolver cartridges.
  • 1857 Britain's first centerfire cartridge.
  • 1860s patents on the development of the Boxer primer system.
  • 1869 development of the first bottleneck rifle cartridges.
  • 1874 Incorporated as a Limited Company. The company was registered on 26 February, to take over the cartridge manufacturing business of the firm of this name. [2]. Major expansion funded through the sale of shares to the public.
  • 1882 thin-brass totally waterproof shotshell cartridges developed.
  • 1889 May. Paris Exhibition. Light weapons. [3]
  • 1894 Antwerp Exhibition. Awarded Gold Medal for Armoury. [4]
  • 1914 Manufacturers of Sporting and Military Ammunition. Specialities; Cartridges for all kinds of Small Arms, Percussion Caps, Gun Wads, Lead Shot and Fulminate of Mercury. [5]
  • 1928 the business moved to the Witton site in Birmingham as a subsidiary of ICI Metals Division.
  • 1951 Development of Tenex rimfire system, initially for shooting competitions.
  • 1962 The name of the parent was changed to Imperial Metal Industries Limited (IMI Group for short).
  • 1978 IMI became fully independent of ICI.
  • Early 1980s Developed the only fully automated dry priming system in the world.
  • 1993 IMI's Ammunition Division was incorporated as Eley which continued as manufacturer of ammunition for sporting uses.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Eley website [1]
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  3. The Engineer of 3rd May 1889 p363
  4. The Engineer of 2nd November 1894 p387
  5. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  • Eley website [2]