George Cohen, Sons and Co
From Graces Guide
Scrap merchants, refurbishers of machine tools, of 600 Commercial Road, London, E14 and Stanningley near Leeds.
of Broadway Chambers, Hammersmith, London (1947)
1834 Company founded by George Cohen
Post WWI: Administrators of a contract for breaking down ammunition let by the Government and involving several large factories.
1924 Private company.
1926 Opened a new show-room for machine tools at Willesden-lane, Park Royal, London, N.W. 10.
1928 Acquired Kryn and Lahy Metal Works of Letchworth
1931 Acquired Browett, Lindley and Co.
1937 Engineering tools and machinery supplies.
1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers
1947 Generally known as the "600 Group" from the former address of its headquarters in London. Employed 6000 persons. Issue of shares to fund expansion of its subsidiary companies; the principal companies in the Group were:
- T. C. Jones and Co
- K. and L. Steelfounders and Engineers
- Pollock Brown and Co
- Browett Lindley
- Westbourne Park Coal and Iron Co
- Southall and Hayes Coal and Iron Co
- New London Electron Works
- Selson Machine Tool Co
- Hygienic Chemical Co
- Pesticide (D. D. T.) Ltd
- E. H. Hewitt
- Batchelor Robinson and Co
- Motherwell Machinery and Scrap Co
1952 Sold Browett Lindley Ltd to Alley and MacLellan in order to free up capacity at Letchworth for crane manufacture. Acquired 51 percent of F. Burnerd and Co, maker of chucks; Colchester Lathe Co acquired 29 percent; invested in the company to expand the range of its products; in addition to the above companies, also owned Western Metallurgical Industries
1954 Acquired Colchester Lathe Co
1955 Sold F. Burnerd and Co to another chuck maker with assurances about supply of chucks to Colchester Lathes; acquired Midgley and Sutcliffe makers of milling and drilling machines; formed L. Gamet Products Ltd to make Gamet Precision Roller Bearings under exclusive licence
1956 Re-organised when original George Cohen Sons and Co Ltd. became The George Cohen 600 Group Ltd. and present company formed to take over trading activities.
- 1. Raw Materials Division (including iron and steel scrap of all types and grades for steel-works, blast furnaces and foundries; iron and steel for re-rolling, stamping, re-drawing and re-forging; structural steel work, tanks and buildings; rails, railway tracks and accessories; pipes and fittings; dismantling and removal and re-creation of plant; international merchanting of new steel)
- 2. Machinery Division (including secondhand and reconditioned machinery for power, electrical, colliery, mining and quarrying, hydraulic and chemical plant; contractors' plant; plastic moulding and rubber machinery; machine tools, power presses and sheet metal working machinery)
- 3. New Plant and Machinery Division (including woodworking machinery; engineers' small tools; cranes, air compressors and electric motors; tools and equipment, lifting and mechanical handling plant; boilers; grinding mills; stainless steel vessels and equipment) Additionally, the Contractors' Plant Hire Service Fleet includes over a thousand units.
From The Engineer 1934/12/14
"ONE HUNDRED YEARS." - Under the title "One Hundred Years," George Cohen, Sons and Co., Ltd., have just issued a very handsomely produced and copiously illustrated centenary volume. The firm was established in a very humble way in Goulston-street, a turning off Aldgate, in 1834, and its trade appears to have consisted in the purchase and sale of cast and wrought iron scrap. Of steel scrap in those early days there was little or none. The founder was bucolic in appearance, and was known amongst his friends as Farmer George. "He was a cheerful, kindly, big-hearted man, and everywhere made friends who held him in affectionate regard," and "it is scarcely an exaggeration to say that he was adored by his workmen." The firm progressed slowly in the face of grave difficulties, but in 1869 the original premises were found to be too small. In that year a large depot with offices in Cable street, St. Georges, was rented. A little later another depot was opened in Canning Town, and the firm began to trade in machinery as well as scrap. By 1876 further development was necessary, and a move was made from Cable-street to 600 Commercial-road, where the head offices of the company still exist. In 1890 the founder died, and Lewis Levy, one of his sons-in-law, took command. To him is due the development of the ship-breaking business. He died in 1913, and was succeeded by his son, Lawrence, who is the present chairman. Under him the company has greatly extended its interests, and now has a controlling interest in many other companies, all of which hold important positions in the engineering industries. To each of these associated companies some pages of the volume are devoted. A notable feature of the book is the attention which is paid to the staff and personnel of the head and other companies.
Sources of Information
- The Engineer 1926/10/08
- The Times, Mar 12, 1947
- The Times, Sep 26, 1952
- The Times, Sep 30, 1953
- The Times, Sep 29, 1955