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.


From Graces Guide
December 1929.
1936. By-product coking plant at Govan Iron Works.
1951. Research and Development Buildings.
1952. Research and Development Buildings.

Makers of coking ovens and other process plant, of Stockport.

1878 Henry Simon visited the Besseges works at Terrenoire in a large party of engineers; he saw the potential for the coke ovens being developed by François Carves which offered to avoid pollution found with conventional ovens. After securing the patent rights for this new design, Henry Simon and François Carves established a new firm in partnership, Simon-Carves[1]

1880 Company founded.

1883 Coke ovens had been installed at Messrs Pease's collieries, Durham; Mr Thomas Simon CE read a paper on the design to the Iron and Steel Institute; Mr Robert Dixon examined the costs of using these furnaces[2].

1885 Paper presented to the Iron and Steel Institute suggested that the competitive advantage of the Simon-Carves oven for coke production depended on the value of the by-products produced, based on tests with Durham coal[3].

1885 Many further licences had been granted under the Simon-Carves patents in the past year[4].

1896 Public company formed as The Simon-Carves Bye-Product Construction and Working Co. Ltd. Another company which employed some of the same staff was Durham Coke and Bye-Product Co Ltd[5]. Henry Simon owned shares in the company.

1907 Alteration of the articles of Simon-Carves Bye-Product Construction and Working Co. Ltd[6].

1908 Company made private again.

1916 Name changed to Simon-Carves Ltd - after this Durham Coke and Bye-Product Co Ltd seems not to have existed.

1917 The company was known as Simon-Carves Ltd[7]

1926 Reconverted to public company.

1935 See Simon-Carves:1935 Review

1951 Opening of new R&D facility at Cheadle Heath[8].

1955 Four industrial groups formed to exploit the information being made available by UKAEA on design of nuclear power "furnaces" - Industrial Atomic Energy Group involving AEI and John Thompson with electrical generating expertise from Metropolitan-Vickers and BTH; English Electric Co and Babcock and Wilcox; C. A. Parsons and Co and Head, Wrightson and Co; GEC and Simon-CarvesLtd[9].

1955 AGM told of demand for coke ovens and coal washeries, at home and in India and Turkey; building high pressure water tube boilers for Central Electricity Authority; specialist in sulphuric acid plant; also carried out specialist civil engineering for clients; main subsidiaries were:

Major projects in R&D included a process to produce smokeless fuel, and removal of sulphur from power station flue gas[10].

The company was one of the 2 parent companies of the Simon Engineering Group; the main departments were[11]:

Associate companies were:

1958 Acquired Lodge-Cottrell, maker of electro-precipitators of Birmingham[12]

1959 After discussions between GEC-Simon-Carves-Atomic Power Group and Atomic Power Constructions Ltd, the 2 groups agreed to collaborate on the design and construction of nuclear power stations. The two groups would submit joint tenders for the Dungeness power station[13].

1960 Mining installations.

1960 EMI bid for Henry Simon (Holdings) Ltd's shares in Simon-Carves but was unsuccessful[14].

1960 Merger of the 2 parts of the Simon Engineering Group: Henry Simon (Holdings) Ltd and Simon-Carves Ltd. Simon Engineering Ltd was formed[15].

1961 Engineers and contractors for colliery plant, coal preparation plant, coke ovens and by-product plant, chemical, gasifications and fertiliser plants, watertube boilers and power stations, nuclear power plant (in association with GEC), electro-precipitators, building and civil engineering works. 5,800 employees. [16]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Simon-Carves website [1]
  2. The Times Sep 19, 1883
  3. The Times, May 07, 1885
  4. The Times, May 09, 1885
  5. National Archives [2]
  6. London Gazette, 12 February 1907
  7. The Times, Apr 20, 1917
  8. The Times, Jul 04, 1951
  9. The Times, 17 March 1955
  10. The Times Jul 12, 1955
  11. The Times Sep 26, 1955
  12. The Times Nov 17, 1958
  13. The Times, 25 September 1959
  14. The Times, 10 March 1960
  15. The Times, 26 May 1961
  16. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  • Mining Year Book 1960. Published by Walter E. Skinner. Advert p65