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British Industrial History

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Charles Price and Sons

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Engine owned by Mr McClellan in Australia, awaiting restoration
Close-ups of engine in Australia
Air-Cooled Paraffin Engine. 1909.
1909. Portable air compressor.
1912 Railcar for MGWR.
Scarifier of Steam Roller.
Charles Price scarifier

Charles Price & Sons of Broadheath, Cheshire.

Makers of stationary internal combustion engines. In 1909 they advertised twin cylinder paraffin engines. In 1910 petrol and petrol/paraffin engines were offered, which could be supplied together with a generator on a bedplate. 70 BHP engines were available by 1912, and just prior to WW1 engines up to 75 HP and with up to six cylinders were available[1].

The remains of a single cylinder engine exist in Australia bearing the name Charles Price and Sons, Broadheath, and the insignia CPS (see photos).

A collection of Price family photographs exists in the Greater Manchester County Records Office, and these give cryptic information relating to Charles Price & Sons, including the following: ‘The works under construction in 1908. Charles Price and Sons. The Lancashire Road Roller Company of Broadheath’; ‘Frederick Charles Price standing by a 70 BHP Naptha Engine in 1912. He designed the engine’; ‘Railcar designed and built for the Midland and Great Western Railway of Ireland, 1911’; ‘Roller Price Scarifier in 1924. Trial scarifier’; Collins Dragon Scenic Railway in the workshop of Charles Price and Sons for repair’. [2]

A photograph exists captioned ‘An interior view of Price and Sons engineering works on Atlantic Street [3] The photograph shows several steam rollers in the course of assembly, although it seems more likely that these are undergoing overhaul than being built from scratch.

1909 Made mobile compressor units powered by a two cylinder paraffin engine. The compressor was designed by neighbouring Broadheath company Tilghman's. The compressor flywheel incorporated an internal reduction gear to reduce the input speed from 950 to 400 rpm. [4]

1912 Charles Price and Sons made a petrol-engined 12-seat railcar for the Midland Great Western Railway of Ireland. The four cylinder engine developed 26 HP at 1000 rpm. The power was transmitted via a cone clutch, 3-speed (forward and reverse) gearbox, with silent chain drive to one axle.[5]

1914 Trade directories include a company called Charles Price and Sons, Motor Engineers, Wright Street, Broadheath.

1923 Price and Sons rebuilt an Aveling and Porter traction engine road roller, now converted to a traction engine [6]

Price’s Patent Scarifiers for attachment to road rollers were made by Aveling and Porter.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. ‘A-Z of British Stationary Engines’ by Patrick Knight
  2. [1]Web page: The National Archives
  3. ‘The Archaeology of Trafford’ by Michael Nevell (Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council, 1997)
  4. The Engineer 20 August 1909
  5. The Engineer 29 March 1912
  6. [2] Website featuring road roller converted to a traction engine