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 163,372 pages of information and 245,906 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.

Ruston and Hornsby

From Graces Guide
1921. Boilers.
1922. Wallis Tractor. Exhibit at Pearns Steam World.
1922.Two Horse Power Electric Lighting Set.
1923. 'British Wallis' Tractor.
November 1923.
1923. Motor road roller.
1928. Steam shovel.
1929. Contractors' Lift Pump.
1929. Oil road roller.
1929. 11 Ton Three Wheel Crude-Oil Road Roller.
1930. 850 hp airless injection oil engine driving DC generator.
1931. Light oil engine driven roller.
1931. 6000 Gallon Diaphragm Lift Pump.
February 1931.
1932. 400kW DC generating sets at Ealing Studios
1933. 16/20 H.P. Oil Engine Locomotive.
1933. 150 B.H.P. Five Cylinder Oil Engine Generator Set.
September 1947.
1949. Base Load Gas Turbine Generating Unit.
1950. Beevor Foundry.
1950. Beevor Foundry
1951. Underground Diesel Locomotive.
c1950. Path Roller. Exhibit at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.
c1950. Path Roller. Exhibit at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.
1952. Straw Tier.
Engine No. 421432. 20 hp. Exhibit at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.
November 1957.

Manufacturer of traction and stationary engines, diesel engines, gas turbines, of the Sheaf Iron Works, Lincoln. Telephone: Lincoln 580. Telegraphic Address: "Ruston, Lincoln". (1937)

See also -

1918 September 11th. Richard Hornsby and Sons and Ruston, Proctor and Co merged to form Ruston and Hornsby.

1919 Acquired the ordinary shares of Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies[1]

1919 October. Prospectus. Directors are:[2]

D. Roberts and G. R. Sharpley are Joint-Managing Directors

After World War I they attempted to diversify and one outcome was the Ruston-Hornsby car. Two versions were made, a 15.9 hp with a Dorman 2,614 cc engine and a larger 20hp model with 3308 cc engine of their own manufacture. The cars were expensive and never reached the hoped for production volumes. About 1500 were made between 1919 and 1924.

Introduced the IP (Industrial Paraffin) engine

Post WWI. Built the Wallis Tractor Co tractor under licence

1920 Extensive exhibition of single-cylinder and compound traction engines, steam tractor, compound road roller, portable steam engines, thrashing machines, binders, baling press, centrifugal pumps, a cold starting oil engine of 32 bhp, petrol-paraffin lamp-less engines from 3-9 bhp and various other internal combustion engines were shown at the Darlington Agricultural Show.

1920 November. Exhibited at the Motor Car Show at Olympia and the White City with a 20-25 hp four-cylinder engine (in addition to the already well known 16-20 hp model).

1920 Acquired the Wellington Foundry of T. and W. Bradley[3]

1921 Introduced the AP (Agricultural Paraffin) engine.

1921 Ruston Crane Navvy excavators[4]

1924 After March 31st 1924 their London address changed from 46 Queen-street E.C. 4 to Imperial House, 15-17-19, Kingsway, London, W.C.2.[5]

1924 Description of an 'exceptionally large and powerful navvy' constructed by Ruston and Hornsby to the order of the State Electricity Commission of Victoria, Australia, for excavating brown coal for use in connection with the Morwell power scheme for supplying electrical energy to Melbourne. 'The machine is similar with regard to its overall dimensions, and also in some of its design features, to the drag-line excavator which Messrs. Ruston and Hornsby constructed last year for the Sutlej irrigation scheme. The last-mentioned machine, which was the largest excavator of its type ever built in this country, was illustrated and fully described in our issues of December 21 and 28 last on pages 763 and 795. The machine now illustrated, however, differs from that for the Sutlej irrigation scheme in that it is of the crane-navvy type, as will be seen from our illustrations, and also in that it is operated by electrical power instead of by steam. ....'[6]

1927 See Aberconway for information on the company and its history. Held a controlling interest in Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies of Ipswich.

1927 Engine type 6H. 25 hp. Exhibit at Anson Engine Museum.

1929 The interest in Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies continued to be classed as that in an associated company[7]

1930 Continued to hold a controlling interest in Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies[8]. Owned all of the ordinary shares

1930 The Bucyrus-Erie company of the USA joined with Ruston and Hornsby Ltd, the leading British maker of excavators to form Ruston-Bucyrus Ltd., in which Ruston and Hornsby owned 50 percent of the shares.

1930 Formed a working arrangement (but not a financial merger) with R. A. Lister and Co to make best use of design, manufacturing and sales resources; this affected 12 subsidiary companies[9]

1930 Description of 64 bhp high speed (900 rpm) airless injection diesel engine. The engine had overhead valves orientated horizontally [10]

1930 'Messrs. Ruston and Hornsby, Limited, Lincoln, have just secured a repeat order for an additional six-cylinder vertical oil engine for the Jerusalem power station. Three 450-h.p. Ruston airless-injection engines were ordered in 1929, and the engine now ordered is for the extension of the power station[11]

1931 Oil engine. Exhibit at Bradford Industrial Museum.

1931 Ruston and Hornsby was a major producer of small and medium diesel engines for land and marine applications. It began to build diesel locomotives in 1931 (and continued up until 1967). It was a pioneer and major developer in the industrial application of small (up to 10,000kW) heavy duty gas turbines from the 1950s onwards.

1933 Horizontal Oil Engine. Type 6XHRE. 36 hp. Exhibit at Anson Engine Museum.

1936 Built last steam engine.

1937 Engineers.

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Patented Horizontal "Thermax" Boiler, 7ft. (2.13m) diameter, Patented Vertical "Thermax" Boiler, 3ft. (0.91m) diameter, 120lb. (54.4kg) pressure, Vertical Boiler, 2ft. (0.61m) diameter, 80lb. (36.3kg) pressure. Three Air Receivers. Specimens and photographs of Welded Work. (Stand No. D.318)

1940 Sold c.40 percent of the holding in Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies[12]

1940 The company merged with Davey, Paxman and Co of Colchester.

1944 Advert for oil engines.

1946 Gas turbine department established

1945 Sold almost all of the remaining interest in Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies to institutional investors[13]

1950 Gas turbine generator demonstrated to the press

1952 The TA gas turbine went into production; the first unit was sold to an oil company for use in the Middle East

1953 Used a gas turbine to provide power for an exhibition at Olympia.

1961 Manufacturers of gas, oil, diesel and marine engines, gas turbines, diesel locomotives, boilers, steel tanks and vessels, pumps and pumping plants, rotary industrial filters and chemical plant. 8,340 employees.

1962 Acquired Alfred Wiseman and Co of Birmingham, gear specialists and maker of industrial locomotive and marine gear boxes[14].

1963 The company closed its Grantham factory.

1966 Ruston and Hornsby acquired Bergius-Kelvin Co[15].

1966 English Electric Co acquired Ruston and Hornsby which become part of English Electric Diesel Engines Ltd

1966 Subsidiaries included Alfred Wiseman and Co of Grantham[16].

1968 The company became part of the General Electric Company (GEC).

1968 Cochran and Co (Annan) acquired the shell boiler busines of Ruston and Hornsby[17].

1969 At a meeting held at Vulcan Works, T. P. Spares Ltd was renamed Ruston Gas Turbines

1970 Ruston Paxman Diesels produced diesel engines at the Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows, which operation had been moved from Lincoln. Output was mainly for marine and stationary applications, but the company was the engine supplier of choice for British Rail Engineering for locos built at Doncaster and Crewe.

1972 Became part of GEC Diesels

1989 Part of GEC-Alsthom.

1998 Part of Alstom.

2000 Ruston Diesels was taken over by MAN B and W Diesel AG on June 12th.

2003 Part of Siemens (United Kingdom); the gas turbine business became Siemens Industrial Turbomachinery.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Oct 14, 1919
  2. The Times, Tuesday, Oct 14, 1919
  3. The Engineer 1921/01/14
  4. [1] Historic England
  5. The Engineer 1924/03/28
  6. Engineering 1924/08/29
  7. The Times, Jun 25, 1929
  8. The Times, Jun 19, 1930
  9. The Times, Jun 30, 1930
  10. Engineering 1930/08/22
  11. Engineering 1930/12/05
  12. The Times , Oct 16, 1945
  13. The Times, May 18, 1946
  14. The Times, 24 May 1962
  15. The Times 19 January 1966
  16. The Times, 8 December 1966
  17. The Times, 19 October 1968