Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,125 pages of information and 245,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Holroyd and Co

From Graces Guide


February 1901.


January 1902.


1906. Gear Hobbing Machine
1909. Electrically driven plain grinder.
December 1929.
1931. Worm Wheel Generating Machine.
1932. Large Internal Cylindrical Grinder.
November 1943
November 1944
October 1945.
April 1946.
April 1947.
May 1947.
November 1947.
December 1947.
January 1948.
February 1948.
May 1948.
August 1948.
May 1950.
November 1950.
January 1952.
February 1952.
March 1952.
April 1952.
May 1952.
August 1952.
November 1954.
November 1957.
May 1961.
May 1962.
July 1962.
Aug 1962.
Sept 1962.
Sept 1963.
May 1964.
September 1968.

John Holroyd and Company, Manchester and Milnrow, Rochdale.

1861 (?) Company founded.

1868 John Holroyd went into business on his own account making special tools of his own patented design.

1870s John Holroyd of Hulme, Manchester, produced sewing and knitting machines in the 1870s and 1880s.

1887 John Holroyd and Co. Ltd. was formed by John Holroyd and E. Liebert and family. The company extended production to include small tools, machine tools and industrial machinery. Their main products were ultimately worm and other gears, bronze and other non-ferrous castings, and machine tools for use in a wide variety of industries including cycle, automobile and locomotive manufacture, ship building, printing press construction and tablet manufacture.

1887 Henry Anton Liebert became a managing director[1]

1888 Issued catalogue of engineers' machine and other tools of new and special designs, milling machines, lathe attachments etc. [2]

Early 1890s John Holroyd left the firm.

1893 Henry Liebert was the sole managing director

1896 The firm moved to Perseverance Mill, Milnrow, Rochdale.

1896 Advert: 'Desirable Freehold Works and Premises (lately occupied by Messrs. Jno. Holroyd and Co. Limited, tool makers and machinists) situate in Tomlinson-street, Hulme, Manchester, with steam boiler, steam engine, shafting, and piping, well adapted for bicycle, electrical, machine tool and brass works, cabinet works, and other light manufacturing trades.
TO BE SOLD BY AUCTION, by EDWARD RUSHTON, SON, and KENYON. at the Thatched House Hotel. Newmarket-place, Manchester, on Tuesday, October 27th. 1896, at 3 for 3.30 p.m., subject to the conditions of sale of the Manchester Incorporated Law Association, and to such other special conditions which will be produced at the time.
MACHINE WORKS AND PREMISES - known as Tomlinson-street Works, situate in Hulme, Manchester, comprising an excellent works building of three storeys, and cellar about 30 yards long, 12 yards wide, fitted with three brick-built stoves for annealing, lacquering, and japanning, each fitted with iron doors, fire places, and accessories, double smiths' hearth, outside iron fire escaue and main brick built chimney; the whole containing floor space of about 1,440 square yards. The works are fitted with an excellent Cornish steam boiler, 12 feet long feet diameter, by Edward Heaton, Manchester, to work at 80lb. pressure ; first class horizontal steam engine, about 12in. cylinder, 24in. stroke ; ranges of shafting, and gearing, gas meters and piping. The land forming the site of the premises freehold, and comprises a total area of 513 7-9 square yards, and is subject to chief rents amounting io £27 16s. 8d. per annum. Particulars and cards to view may be obtained from the Auctioneer, 13, Norfolk-street, Manchester; from Messrs. SUTTON, ELLIOTT, & TURNBULL, solicitors, Spring-gardens, Manchester.'
Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 24 October 1896</ref>

By 1899 Emil Hermann Liebert was also a managing director

By 1901 Holroyds were proprietors of Shepherd, Hill and Co (see advert)

1902 Public company.

1906 Illustrated descriptions of a special 'scroll turning lathe' for machining test pieces, and a gear hobbing machine, made by Holroyd, and exhibited at Olympia [3]

1907 It acquired the adjacent Providence Mill.

1907 Acquired John Petrie and Co of Rochdale

1920 A bronze factory (later to become the Holfos Works) was established in Rochdale.

1920 September. Exhibited at the Machine Tool and Engineering Exhibition at Olympia with an automatic chasing machine for nuts. [4]

1924 Machine Tool Exhibition: Holroyd exhibited a combination turret lathe, universal relieving lathe, test piece lathe, worm wheel hobbing machine, worm grinding machine, a bar turret lathe, woodworkers cutter grinder[5]

1933 Private company.

1936 Henry Anton Liebert retired

1936 Public company.

1937 Bronze founders. "Holfos" Bronze. "Spuncast-Holfos" Bronze. "Super-Holfos" Bronze. [6]

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1943 Acquired John Mountford and Co of Manchester

1946 Acquired Manesty Machines of Speke, Liverpool

c.1947 Acquired Billetop and Gilpin of Syston, Leicestershire,

1950 They began milling pump and compressor rotors and manufacturing rotor milling machines.

c.1952 Acquired Sibleys (1922), of London, bearing manufacturers

1956 Mr E. O. Liebert, chairman, said the money was being retained in the business to invest in equipment[7]

1957 Established a joint venture with the De Laval Gear Group (USA) to produce worm gearing in the USA. In 1961 De Laval (USA) acquired Holroyd's interest, and the company name was changed from De Laval–Holroyd to Delroyd.[8]

1961 Manufacturers of worm gear speed reducers, worm gears, spur, helical and bevel gears, machine and sand moulded phosphor bronze castings; shell moulded castings; phosphor bronze cored and solid bars; machined phosphor bronze bearings and bushes; machine tools; machinery and components for the pharmaceutical, confectionery, plastic and allied industries; water stills; helical rotors; forgings in carbon and alloy steels. 1,500 employees. [9]

1963 Mr E. O. Liebert, chairman, on behalf of the company said that business was expected to improve with the better trading atmosphere[10]

1964 Merged with Renold Chains.

1968 Profile cutter grinder. [11]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1891 census
  2. The Engineer of 27th April 1888 p338
  3. Engineering 1906/09/21, p.394ff.
  4. The Engineer of 1st October 1920 p357
  5. Engineering 1924/09/12
  6. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  7. The Times Nov. 27, 1956
  8. [1] Delroyd Worm Gear history
  9. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  10. The Times, Dec 19, 1963
  11. The Engineer of 5th July 1968 p31
  • [2] Manchester Archives