Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,095 pages of information and 233,633 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Britannia Co

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Treadle Lathe. Exhibit at Queensland Maritime Museum.
Treadle Lathe. (Details). Exhibit at Queensland Maritime Museum.
Treadle Lathe. (Details). Exhibit at Queensland Maritime Museum.
Treadle Lathe. (Details). Exhibit at Queensland Maritime Museum.
June 1880.
1885. General purpose lathe.
December 1887.
January 1888.
March 1888.
1889. Horizontal drilling and boring machine.
December 1889.
1893. Punching and Shearing Machine.
1896. Facile Petroleum Oil Motor.
1897. Facile Petroleum Oil Motor.
January 1902.

Britannia Co, later the Britannia Manufacturing Company of Colchester.

The name of the Britannia Sewing Machine Co was changed to The Britannia Co.

c.1880 Commenced producing a gas engine.

1880s Started production of larger industrial lathes. Some particularly large ones were produced by it for James Paxman's business at Hythe Hill. They also manufactured treadle operated drills for dentists.

1882 Advertising lathes [1]

1892 Agents for Roots engines

1895 Producing engines under the Facile licence rated at singles (1-20 bhp) and twins (24-40 bhp)

1889 Lukin Lathe - an ornamental lathe. [2]

1891 Released a catalogue of their lathes. [3]

1893 Built some oil engines which were exhibited at the Royal Show.

1894 June. Took part in the Royal Agricultural Society’s Competitive Trial of Oil Engines with 7 bhp Root's patent. Article in ‘The Engineer’. [4]

1894 June. Royal Agricultural Society's Show. Oil engines and combines with lathe and pump. [5]

1897 Britannia electric carriage (presumably built by this company)

1897 Britannia Facile oil motor. Full specifications and details.[6]

By 1898 Thomas Bear was a sick man and James Paxman made a bid for his business but this proved unsuccessful.

1900 Details and illustration of a Boiler Flue Drilling Machine. [7]

1903 Introduced a new safety oil engine under the Nicholson patent

By the early years of the 20th century the firm was in difficulties.

1903 the business was bought by the Nicholson brothers who changed its name to The Britannia Engineering Co Ltd.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Cyclist 1882/05/03
  2. The Engineer of 22nd Feb 1889 p171
  3. The Engineer 1891/04/10
  4. The Engineer of 22nd June 1894 p540
  5. The Engineer of 29th June 1894 p562
  6. Automotor Journal 1897/01/18
  7. The Engineer of 20th July 1900 p65 & p620
  • A-Z of British Stationary Engines by Patrick Knight. Published 1996. ISBN 1 873098 37 5
  • Paxman history [1]