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Manufacturers Index - Centaur Tool Works Ltd.

Centaur Tool Works Ltd.
Coventry, West Midlands, England, U.S.A.
Manufacturer Class: Metal Working Machinery

Last Modified: Feb 22 2020 1:08PM by Jeff_Joslin
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From a January 1918 Cambridge University publication

Centaur Engineering Co. Ltd. of Coventry was in business by 1908 and making turret lathes that were similar to those made by Alfred Herbert Ltd. in the same city. In 1911, Centaur Engineering's manufacturing business was acquired by International Tool & Supply Co., along with similar portions of Ansell's Machinery Stores of Birmingham, and Grove-Street Works, Smethwick; the business were combined to form the new The merged firm was based in Smethwick, Birmingham, and manufactured engine lathes, turret lathes, and slotters, among other products. In later years Centaur was predominantly a reseller rather than a manufacturer.

Information Sources

  • 1908-07-17 Engineering lists "Centaur Engineering Co, Ltd. Coventry" as an advertiser. In the Google Books scan of this journal volume the ads seems to have been lost in the library binding process.
  • A 1912 report from the US Consulate in Melbourne reports on the shops of engineering firm Geo. W. Kelly & Lewis of that city. The shop's machinery includes a recently-purchased "turret, lathe, very similar to Herbert's, from the Centaur Engineering Co., of Coventry". That description references an Alfred Herbert hexagon turret lathe also owned by the shop.
  • A January 1918 Cambridge University publication (PDF) has an ad for Centaur Tool Works Ltd. The ad shows illustration and specifications of a 14-inch metal lathe with change gears and separate flat-belt jackshaft. "Makers to British, French and Russian Governments."
  • 1920-10-21 American Machinist lists Centaur Tool Works , Ltd. as an exhibitor at the Olympia machine tool exhibition in Britain. Their exhibit included "drilling and/or nut tapping machines", "grinders, surface", "lathes, automatic", "lathes, manufacturing", "lathes, capstan and turret", "lathes, centre", "lathes, precision", "milling machines, Lincoln type", and "milling machines, thread". Elsewhere on their website it lists past presidents of the association including two associated with Centaur Tool Works: R. J. Austin (1943-45) and A. W. V. Agutter (1953-54).
  • Grace's Guide page on Centaur Tool Works. "1911 Company founded when The International Tool and Supply Company (J. H. Petersen) acquired the manufacturing business of The Centaur Engineering Company of West Orchard, Coventry, the freehold works of Ansell's Machinery Stores, 59-61, Sheep-street, Gosta Green, Birmingham, and the Grove-Street Works, Smethwick, retaining its central offices at Trocadero Chambers, Temple-street, Birmingham. The combined firms started trade as Centaur Tool Works Ltd."
  • A Photo Index entry of a Holbrook & Sons 16" engine lathe that was sold by Centaur Tool Works, Eyre Street, Birmingham, in about 1949.
  • The website of the European Association of Machine Tool Merchants lists membership of the British Association of Machine Tool Merchants in the 1960s, including Centaur Tool Works Ltd., member since 1940-10-10.