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Encyclopedia > Vickers

Vickers was a famous name in British engineering that existed through many companies from 1828 until 2004.



Early history

Main article: Vickers Limited

Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a steel foundry by the miller Edward Vickers and his father-in-law George Naylor in 1828. Naylor was a partner in the foundry Naylor & Sanderson and Vickers' brother William owned a steel rolling operation. Edward's investments in the railway industry allowed him to gain control of the company, based at Millsands and known as Naylor Vickers and Company. It began life making steel castings and quickly became famous for casting church bells. In 1854 Vickers' sons Thomas and Albert joined the business. In 1863 the company moved to a new site in Sheffield on the River Don in Brightside. The company went public in 1867 as Vickers, Sons & Company and gradually acquired more businesses, branching out into various sectors. In 1868 Vickers began to manufacture marine shafts, in 1872 they began casting marine propellers and in 1882 they set up a forging press. Vickers produced their first armour plate in 1888 and their first artillery piece in 1890. Vickers, Limited was a famous British engineering conglomerate that merged into Vickers Armstrong in 1927. ... For other uses, see Sheffield (disambiguation). ... The steel cable of a colliery winding tower. ... A foundry is a factory which produces castings of metal, both ferrous and non-ferrous. ... For other uses, see Miller (disambiguation). ... Church bell from Saleby, Västergötland, Sweden containing an inscription from 1228 in the Runic alphabet A church bell is a bell which is rung in a (especially Christian) church either to signify the hour or the time for worshippers to go to church, perhaps to attend a wedding... The River Don is a river in South Yorkshire, England. ... Shiregreen and Brightside ward—which includes the districts of Brightside, Shiregreen, and Wincobank—is one of the 28 electoral wards in City of Sheffield, England. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... This article is about smithing. ... A picture of a destroyed M113 armoured personnel carrier showing a section of the armour. ...

Vickers bought out the Barrow in Furness shipbuilder The Barrow Shipbuilding Company in 1897, acquiring its subsidiary the Maxim Nordenfelt Guns And Ammunitions Company [1] at the same time, to become Vickers, Sons & Maxim. The yard at Barrow became the "Naval Construction Yard". With these acquisitions, Vickers could now produce a complete selection of products, from ships and marine fittings to armour plate and a whole suite of ordnance. In 1901 the Royal Navy's first submarine, Holland 1, was launched at the Naval Construction Yard. In 1902 Vickers took a half share in the famous Clyde shipyard John Brown and Company. Barrow-in-Furness or simply Barrow is a town in the county of Cumbria, North West England with a population of around 71,000. ... Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim, 1916 1895 . ... The Royal Navy of the United Kingdom is the oldest of the British armed services (and is therefore the Senior Service). ... Holland 1 was the first submarine commissioned by the Royal Navy, the first in a six-boat batch of the Holland class submarine. ... The River Clyde, looking eastwards upstream, as it passes beneath the Kingston Bridge in Central Glasgow. ... HMS Indefatigable being launched at Clydebank. ...

Further diversification occurred with the purchase of the car building activities of the Wolseley Sheep-Shearing Machine Company in 1905, which was set up as the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company. In 1911 a controlling interest was acquired in Whitehead and Company, the torpedo manufacturers. In 1911, the company name was changed to Vickers Ltd and expanded its operations into aircraft manufacture by the formation of Vickers Ltd (Aviation Department). In 1919, the British Westinghouse electrical company was taken over as the Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company; Metrovick. At the same time they came into Metropolitan's railway interests. Wolseley plc is a British company based in Droitwich formerly known for the manufacture of Wolseley motor cars. ... The Wolseley Motor Company was an automobile manufacturer in the United Kingdom from 1905. ... Robert Whitehead (January 3, 1823 - November 14, 1905), British engineer. ... A modern torpedo, historically called a locomotive torpedo, is a self-propelled projectile that (after being launched above or below the water surface) operates underwater and is designed to detonate on contact or in proximity to a target. ... An aerospace manufacturer is a company or individual involved in the various aspects of designing, building, testing, selling, and maintaining aircraft, aircraft parts, missiles, rockets, and/or spacecraft. ... British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company was a subsidiary of the American Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. ... Metropolitan-Vickers, or Metrovick, was a British heavy industrial firm of the early-to-mid 20th century formerly known as British Westinghouse. ...

Merger with Armstrong Whitworth

Main article: Vickers-Armstrongs

In 1927, Vickers merged with the Tyneside based engineering company Armstrong Whitworth, founded by W. G. Armstrong, to become Vickers-Armstrongs, Ltd. Armstrong Whitworth had developed along similar lines to Vickers, expanding into various military sectors and was notable for their artillery manufacture at Elswick and shipbuilding at a yard at High Walker on the River Tyne. Armstrongs shipbuilding interests became the "Naval Yard", those of Vickers on the west coast the "Naval Construction Yard". Armstrong Whitworth Aircraft was not absorbed by the new company. The Vickers corporation, founded as the Vickers company in 1828, was a British manufacturer, primarily of military equipment. ... Tyneside is a conurbation in northern England, covering part of the area of Tyne and Wear. ... Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd was a major British manufacturing company of the early years of the 20th century. ... Block quote Sir William George Armstrong William George Armstrong, 1st Baron Armstrong (November 26, 1810 – December 27, 1900) was an English industrialist, the effective founder of the Armstrong Whitworth manufacturing empire. ... Elswick could be Elswick, Lancashire Elswick, Tyne and Wear This article consisting of geographical locations is a disambiguation page, a list of pages that otherwise might share the same title. ... Walker is a residential suburb and electoral ward just east of the centre of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. ... The Tyne looking west and upstream from the Newcastle bank towards the Gateshead Millennium Bridge The Tyne Bridge across the River Tyne between Newcastle and Gateshead. ... Sir W G Armstrong Whitworth & Co Ltd was a major British manufacturing company of the early years of the 20th century. ...

In 1928 the Aviation Department became Vickers (Aviation) Ltd and soon after acquired Supermarine, which became the "Supermarine Aviation Works (Vickers) Ltd". In 1938, both companies were re-organised as Vickers-Armstrongs (Aircraft) Ltd, although the former Supermarine and Vickers works continued to brand their products under their former names. 1929 saw the merger of the acquired railway business with those of Cammell Laird to form Metropolitan Cammell Carriage and Wagon (MCCW); Metro Cammell. Supermarine was a British aircraft manufacturer that become famous for producing a range of sea planes and the legendary Supermarine Spitfire fighter. ... Cammell Laird logo Cammell Laird, one of the most famous names in British shipbuilding during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, came about following the merger of Laird, Son & Co. ... The Metropolitan Cammell Carriage and Wagon (MCCW) was a Birmingham, England based manufacturer of railway carriages and wagons. ...


In 1960 the aircraft interests were merged with those of the Bristol, English Electric and Hunting Aircraft to form the de facto nationalised British Aircraft Corporation. This was owned by Vickers, English Electric and Bristol (holding 40%, 40% and 20% respectively). BAC in turn owned 70% of Hunting. The Supermarine operation was closed in 1963 and the Vickers name for aircraft was dropped in 1965. Under the terms of the Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act BAC was officially nationalised in 1977 to become part of the British Aerospace group, which exists today in the guise of BAE Systems). Bristol Aeroplane Company logo The Bristol Aeroplane Company (formerly British and Colonial Aeroplane Company) was a major British aircraft company which, in 1959, merged with several major British aircraft companies, to become the British Aircraft Corporation and later still part of British Aerospace, now BAE Systems. ... English Electric logo English Electric was a 20th-century British industrial manufacturer, initially of electric motors, and expanding to include railway locomotives and aviation, before becoming part of GEC. // 1917: Dick, Kerr & Co. ... Hunting Aircraft was a British aircraft manufacturer, primarily producing light training aircraft. ... The British Aircraft Corporation, or BAC, was a British aircraft manufacturer, formed from the forced merger of the Bristol Aeroplane Company, English Electric, Vickers-Armstrong and Hunting Aircraft Company in 1959. ... The Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act 1977 nationalised large parts of the UK aerospace and shipbuilding industries and established two corporations, British Aerospace and British Shipbuilders. ... British Aerospace (BAe) was a UK aircraft manufacturer, now part of BAE Systems. ... BAE Systems plc is the worlds fourth largest defence contractor,[3] the largest in Europe and a commercial aerospace manufacturer. ...

The Aircraft and Shipbuilding Industries Act also led to the nationalisation of Vickers' shipbuilding division as part of British Shipbuilders. These had been renamed Vickers Armstrong Shipbuilders in 1955, changing again to Vickers Limited Shipbuilding Group in 1968. This division was privatised as Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (VSEL) in 1986, later part of GEC's Marconi Marine. It remains in operation to this day as BAE Systems Submarines. British Shipbuilders was a public corporation that owned and managed the UK shipbuilding industry from 1977 to 1986. ... Vickers Shipbuilding and Engineering Ltd (VSEL) is based at Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. ... The General Electric Company plc (GEC) is a British company that was renamed Marconi plc on November 30, 1999 after its defence unit Marconi Electronic Systems was divested and sold to British Aerospace. ... BAE Systems Submarines, until 2003 a unit within BAE Systems Marine, is responsible for the development and production of the Astute class submarine. ...

Vickers plc

Main article: Vickers plc

With their steelworking operations also nationalised into British Steel the remnants of Vickers became Vickers plc. In 1986, Vickers acquired the armaments manufacturer Royal Ordnance Factory, Leeds, which became Vickers Defence Systems. Other acquisitions included automotive engineers Cosworth in 1990, waterjet manufacturer Kamewa in 1996 and Norwegian marine propulsion and engineering company Ulstein in 1998. 1998 also saw the sale of Rolls-Royce Motors and Cosworth to Volkswagen. Vickers plc was the remainder of the Vickers company after the privatisation of three of its four operating groups; aviation (50% share of British Aircraft Corporation in 1977), shipbuilding (Vickers Limited Shipbuilding Group in 1977) and steel. ... British Steel is a large British steel producer, privatised in 1988 under the Thatcher government. ... Vickers plc was the remainder of the Vickers company after the privatisation of three of its four operating groups; aviation (50% share of British Aircraft Corporation in 1977), shipbuilding (Vickers Limited Shipbuilding Group in 1977) and steel. ... Royal Ordnance Factories (ROFs) was the collective name of the UK governments munitions factories in and after World War II. Until privatisation in 1987 they were the responsibility of the Ministry of Supply and later the Ministry of Defence. ... Leeds is a major city in West Yorkshire, England. ... Cosworth Logo Cosworth is an automotive engineering company founded in London in 1958 specialising in engines for automobile racing. ... Waterjet diagram A waterjet, as the name suggests, is a jet of water at high velocity and pressure used in a wide range of industries for cutting, shaping, mining, carving, reaming, etc. ... Kamewa is a Swedish company which was acquired by the British Vickers group in 1996. ... County Møre og Romsdal District Sunnmøre Municipality NO-1516 Administrative centre Ulsteinvik Mayor (2003) Hannelore MÃ¥seide (Ap) Official language form Nynorsk Area  - Total  - Land  - Percentage Ranked 389 97 km² 95 km² 0. ... Volkswagen AG (ISIN: DE0007664005), or VW, is an automobile manufacturer based in Wolfsburg, Germany. ...

Current Status of Vickers

Vickers remained independent until 1999 when the then Vickers plc was acquired by Rolls-Royce plc who sold the defense arm to Alvis plc, which became Alvis Vickers. Vickers plc and the subsidiaries retained by Rolls-Royce were renamed Vinters in March 2003 [1]. This Vickers name lived on in Alvis Vickers, until the latter was acquired by BAE Systems in 2004 to form BAE Systems Land Systems. Rolls-Royce plc is a British aircraft engine maker; the second-largest in the world, behind General Electric Aviation. ... Alvis Vickers in context of the evolution of the land systems division of BAE Systems, 1970s to Land & Armaments formation Alvis Ltd. ... The Vickers corporation, founded as the Vickers company in 1828, was a British manufacturer, primarily of military equipment. ... BAE Systems Land Systems is a division of BAE Systems specialising in ground warfare systems, e. ...

 Currently, Eaton Hydraulic's Vickers business[2] provides power and motion control components including vane pumps, piston pumps, valves, cylinders, and filtration products to the industrial, aerospace, marine, and defense industries. 

See also

The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled . ...


  • Companies House accessed 22 June 2006
  • Anon (1898), Vickers, Sons and Maxim Limited: Their Works and Manufactures, "Engineering", London
  • Scott, J.D. (1962), Vickers: A History, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London

External links

  1. ^ Rolls-Royce plc. The "Principal subsidiary undertakings" Retrieved 12 June, 2006

  Results from FactBites:
Vickers - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1066 words)
Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a steel foundry in 1867.
Vickers Sons and Maxim began work on a rigid airship for the British Admiralty in mid 1909 in a dock at Walney Island, Cumbria, sadly it disintegrated upon its second trip out of a floating hangar on the evening of 23 September 1911.
Vickers was a pioneer in producing airliners, early examples being converted from Vimy bombers, and went on to manufacture the piston-engined Vickers VC.1 Viking airliner and Varsity military crew trainer, the Viscount and Vanguard turboprop airliners, and the stylish though noisy VC-10 jet airliner, which remains in RAF service as an aerial refuelling tanker.
Vickers machine gun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (672 words)
The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled.303 inch (7.7 mm) Machine Gun produced by the Vickers company, originally for the British Army.
Vickers produced the original Maxim guns and therefore had an unrivalled knowledge of its operation and manufacture.
In British service, the Vickers gun fired the standard.303 inch (7.7 x 56 mm) cartridges used in the Lee Enfield rifle, which generally had to be hand-loaded into the cloth ammunition belts.
  More results at FactBites »



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