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Manufacturers Index - Frederick Town & Sons
Last Modified: Feb 3 2019 3:51PM by Jeff_Joslin
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Frederick Town & Sons, of Halifax, England, was established in 1903. In 1914 they opened a new factory, the Mile Cross Works, for building radial drilling machines. They were also making gear cutting machinery among other machine tool products. By 1961 they had become Frederick Town & Sons, Ltd. Their machines have the name "Town" cast into them and some machine have no other identifying markings.

In 1962 Frederick Town & Sons, Ltd., merged with the Yorkshire lathe maker Woodhouse & Mitchell to create Town Woodhouse Ltd. By 1963 they were part of the Ward Group, which was descended from machine tool maker T. W. Ward Ltd.

Information Sources

  • Grace's Guide page on Frederick Town and Sons.
  • From the 1957-11-29 Machinery.

    Fredk. Town Works Extensions—Established in 1903 by the late Mr. Frederick Town and his eldest son, William, the firm now known as Fredk. Town & Sons, Ltd., Mile Cross Engineering Works, Halifax, is still concentrating on the manufacture of radial and vertical drilling machines. The founders were later joined by four other sons, and a daughter who became secretary of the company. For some years the works were situated in Brunswick Street, and the company moved in 1914 to a new building, on the present site, specially designed for drilling machine production. A foundry was added close to the main works in 1923, two years before Mr. Fredk. Town died.

    In 1943 the business was converted into a limited company having previously been run by members of the family as a private partnership. Another change came in 1954 when the whole of the share capital was purchased by Thos. W. Ward, Ltd., Albion Works, Sheffield, and Mr. Eric Town, a grandson of Mr. Fredk. Town, who had joined the firm in 1929, was appointed a director and general manager in charge of the company, with Mr. H. Vernon (chairman) and Mr. G. S. Wood, as co-directors. Under the new owners a policy of expansion and modernization was initiated, and new extensions have now been completed which have increased the machine shop floor area from 120 ft. sq. to 200 by 120 ft. Part of the additional space is occupied by a new stores and sub-assembly section. A new heating system has also been provided, comprising a Cochran automatically-fired, high-pressure, hot water boiler, and overheat radiator panels for the works and foundry. Among the new machine tool plant recently installed we note a Sift-Summerskill 18- by f-ft. square all-electric planing machine, a Precimax 10- by 100-in. plain cylindrical grinding machine, a Pfauter spline hobbing machine, and a Rapidor sawing machine.

    The works are at present fully occupied, and have orders on hand for the next 12 to 14 months. Approximately 65 per cent of the output is destined for export, the principal markets being Canada, the U.S.A., South Africa and Australia. The current range of products comprises radial drilling machines, of various types, from 36 to 96 in. radius, and box-body vertical drilling machines, of 30-, 36-, and 42-inch capacities. Representatives of the technical press were recently awarded the opportunity of inspecting the machine shop, pattern shop and foundry, and were entertained by the company.`"

  • From the 1999 book, Halifax, by John Andrew Hargreaves. "...and Frederick Town and Sons Ltd, founded in 1903, which opened a new purpose-built factory for the specialist production of radial drills at Mile Cross in 1914."
  • National Archives web page lists a "Plan of the Mile Cross Works, Halifax, belonging to Frederick Town and Sons Ltd., manufacturers of radial drilling machines, gear cutters, engineers' and machine tools", dated 1916.