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Note: This is a sub-section of Gardner
Visit of the Iron and Steel Institute to the Iron, Steel and Engineering Industries of Manchester and District
L. Gardner and Sons Ltd., Patricroft, Manchester.
Though the firm dates from 1868, its home has constantly kept abreast of the enormous developments which have taken place in engineering practice. In it are lodged the iron and brass foundries, forge, pattern shop and stores, machine shops, fitting and erecting shops, component stores, test bay, shipping and packing bay, laboratories, power house, research and inspection bays.
One of the features of the works is the huge component stores, where are kept in stock, under a "maximum and minimum" system, all the components which are required for the erection of engines. The primary object of this stores is to facilitate the administration of the works, but it will be conceded that it facilitates equally the expedition of spare parts and the delivery of engines.
Closely related to the component stores is the inspection bay, where every component is examined.
The shops are equipped with the most modern machine tools including several special appliances of the firm's own make, and design. One of the latter, an electrically driven tool for finishing the crank pins of crank shafts in two cuts, is unique.
It was not until 1893 that the first Gardner engine was built. It operated on town's gas and gave an output of 1 B.H.P. The firm then employed 20 hands. Since then the organisation has grown until its present capital is £350,000 and it finds employment for 2,000 hands. From the inception of the first engine the sizes and types of engines have gradually increased until a large marine oil engine of 400 B.H.P. has been reached. Engines to work on town's gas, producer gas, petrol, benzol, alcohol, paraffin and crude oil have been included in the range of the firm's products, employed chiefly for industrial and marine work.
In 1930 a small Gardner high speed oil engine was introduced for road transport, the first British heavy oil engine to be used for this purpose.