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British Industrial History

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Saxby and Farmer

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January 1866.
1868. Signal for Regulating Street Traffic.
January 1896.
December 1906.
2015. 112 years after the firm left for Chippenham the office building is being gutted and converted to apartments.

Saxby and Farmer of Kilburn and later of Chippenham were railway signal manufacturers.

1856[1]/61[2] Company established in Haywards Heath by John Saxby who was the first to achieve interlocking of route selection and signalling, a key aspect of safe signalling[3].

1861 John Saxby gained a patent on interlocking signals and crossings.

1860[4]/3[5] John Stinson Farmer joined the firm as partner.

The works were moved to Kilburn

Late 1860s was selling frames to Continental railways

1869 Advert for railway signals. Sole contractors to the London and North Western Railway. (Works at Canterbury Road, Kilburn, London W) [6].

1878 Set up works at Creil in France[7]

1893 Incorporated as a limited company.

1903 Acquired Evans, O'Donnell and Co of Chippenham; the works were moved from Kilburn, London, to Chippenham. Mr Charles Hodgson, Mr A. G. Evans and Mr J. P. O' Donnell are joint managing directors. Mr Charles Hodgson was also appointed chairman.[8]

1905 Set up works at Calcutta[9]

1914 Railway signalling engineers. Specialities: union of lock and block systems, facing point locks and other safety appliances. Employees 800 permanent, up to 1,000 contracted as work necessitates. [10]

1920 Absorbed into Westinghouse Brake Co.

1921 The Saxby and Farmer Interlocking Frame was in use all over the world[11].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1914 Who's who in business
  2. John Saxby's obituary
  3. The Times, 15 August 1921
  4. 1914 Who's who in business
  5. Civil engineer records - J S Farmer's proposal for membership in 1868
  6. Bradshaw’s Railway Manual 1869
  7. The Times Friday, May 12, 1978
  8. The Engineer 1903/01/02 p 26.
  9. The Times Friday, May 12, 1978
  10. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  11. The Times, 15 August 1921
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816