Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,111 pages of information and 233,643 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
William Foster (c1816-1876) of William Foster and Co
c1816 Born at Potter Hanworth, Lincolnshire
1846 Purchased a flour mill in Lincoln
c1855 Birth of son Henry M. Foster
c.1857 Started making threshing machines.
1861 Living at Lindum Terrace, Lincoln (age 45 born Potter Hanworth, Lincolnshire), Merchant Malster, Miller and Engineer employing eighty men and boys. With wife Mary A. (age 31) and son Henry M. (age 6). Four servants. 
1861 Exhibited a portable engine at the Smithfield Show.
c1863 Birth of son Frederick William Foster
1871 Living at Lindum Terrace, Lincoln (age 55 born Potter Hanworth, Lincolnshire), Landowner, Farmer 100 acres (6 men and 2 boys, head of firm of Malsters (about 50 men), Agricultural and General Engine and Machine Makers (68 men and 41 boys). With wife Mary A. (age 42) and sons Henry M. (age 16) and Frederick W. (age 9). Four servants. 
1876 Died of typhoid
1881 Mary Ann Foster living at Lindum Terrace, Lincoln (age 51), Ironfounder, Widow. With son Frederick William (age 19 born Lincoln), Ironfounder. Three servants.