Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Henry J. Coles

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1886 slipway machinery.
1886. Hydraulic Crane at a pier extension at Woolwich Arsenal.
1917. 22 tons. Exhibit at Beamish Museum.
1917. 22 tons. Exhibit at Beamish Museum.
December 1929.

of 89 Sumner Street, Southwark, London, SE; and of London Crane Works, Derby.

1878 Henry James Coles set up business making cranes in a workshop in Sumner Street, Southwark, London[1]. Three of his brothers also worked for the business.

1879 Acquired Appleby Brothers Sumner Street factory

1881 Henry's brother Walter Joseph Coles joined the business

1886 Supplied a set of hydraulic slipway machinery with steam-powered pumps to the Imperial Japanese Government’s yard at Hiogo. Designed to haul 1300-ton vessels up a slope of 1 in 20. [2]

1886 Supplied a 5-ton hydraulic dock crane for the New Pier Extension at Woolwich Arsenal [3]

1887 Products included gantry cranes and steam-powered slewing cranes of 2 to 10 tons lifting capacity.

1890 Range of rail-mounted steam cranes, some with Coles patent single chain grab.

1898 Expansion by moving to a site in Derby. New generation of rail cranes developed.

1904 Supplied a 2 ton electric crane to John Broadwood and Sons, works No. 297, for their new factory. [4]

1907 Henry J. Coles Ltd was incorporated.

1922 Mobile crane launched, based on Tilling-Stevens petrol-electric solid-tyred chassis.

1926 Sale of company to A. W. Farnsworth.

1928 Introduction of diesel-engined railway crane.

1939 Company sold to Steel and Co Ltd - Coles Cranes became a subsidiary of Steels Engineering Products Ltd.

1951 Henry J Coles Ltd of Pallion, Sunderland, was voluntarily wound up[5]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The history and development of Coles Cranes [1]
  2. 'The Engineer' 12th February 1886
  3. 'The Engineer' 1st October 1886
  4. H J Coles order book 1888 - 1919, Industrial Railway Society Archives.
  5. London Gazette 3 April 1951