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British Industrial History

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Harry Harley

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Sir (Herbert Henry) Harry Harley (1877-1951)

1877 Born in Coventry

1902 Married Lydia Tatlow[1]

c1905 Became manager of the small tool department of Albert Herbert Ltd

1911 Tool maker, lived in Coventry with Lydia Harley 46, draper, and their son Stanley Harley 5[2]

1913 His brother in law, Walter Tatlow, established a company, Walter Tatlow Ltd, a gauge and tool manufacturer.[3]

1915 He left Alfred Herbert Ltd, where he had been foreman of the small tool department for 10 years. On behalf of the members of the small tool department, T. J. Harris made a presentation to him of an illuminated address. Mr Harley was going to undertake the management of Walter Tatlow Ltd of Earlsdon[4]

1916 December: Harley renamed the company as Coventry Gauge and Small Tool Company, Ltd.

1918 He was managing director of Coventry Gauge and Small Tool Company, Ltd. when he filed several patent applications, some with Edmund Vaughan.



1951 Obituary [5]

"WE have learned, with deep regret of the death of Sir Harry Harley, of Coventry, which occurred on January 19th on board the " Dominion Monarch," in which, accompanied by Lady Harley, he was travelling to Australia. For many years Sir Harry had occupied a distinguished place in the British machine tool industry and was well known as the chairman of Coventry Gauge and Tool Company, Ltd.

Sir Harry was born on March 8, 1877, in the Hillfields district of Coventry, and began his long career in the machine tool industry when he was fourteen. He served an apprenticeship with Alfred Herbert, Ltd., and after its completion, continued to work for that firm until 1913. In that year he founded the Coventry Gauge and Tool Company, Ltd., and shortly afterwards took over full control of it. The whole of his working life was therefore spent in the city of his birth, and by far the greater part of it in the development of the business which he founded.

During the second World War responsibility for a great amount of munitions production was readily undertaken by Sir Harry. He had charge of no less than twenty factories engaged in various kinds of work for the Government, and in 1942 the honour of C.B.E. was conferred upon him in recognition of his special services to the Admiralty. Two years later he became a Burgess and Freeman of the City and Royal Burgh of Brechin, Scotland, where one of his firm's factories is situated.

Sir Harry was created a knight in the Birthday Honours last year. Sir Harry was a member of the Institution of Production Engineers and was a founder member of the Gauge and Tool Makers' Association. He served as President of that Association from its inception in 1942 until March, 1947. He also took a prominent part in the public life of Coventry, and was a generous supporter of many of its organisations. Sir Harry had been Freeman of the city since 1899. For many months he had been suffering ill-health, and it had been hoped that the voyage to Australia - to visit his company's new factory at Sydney might help to restore him. His numerous friends in the machine tool and other sections of the engineering industry, and especially those in Coventry, will mourn his death.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. 1911 census
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Coventry Telegraph 29 July 1915
  5. The Engineer 1951 Jan-Jun: Index