Partridge Paging Machine

Dorman Grinding Machine

and sales of petrol and paraffin fuelled car engines.
   From that moment internal combustion engine manufacture was to increase steadily to dominate the company's activities. To imagine that all other Dorman activities became defunct overnight would be very reverse of the case, as remains to be seen.

  While petrol and paraffin engine production, for many types of automotive power, increased steadily up to the outbreak of war, two further events took place, of which both are historically noteworthy, these were the appointment in 1911 to the post of Chairman and Managing Director of Mr. Walter Haddon, a well known City figure of the time with a wide array of financial and business connections, this being followed in the following year by Dorman becoming a public company. In the same year, of 1912, purchase took place of the business of Mr. W. L. Adams from the Redbridge Motor Works, Southampton, together with his entire stock of finished engines, spare parts, drawings, mouldings patterns, tools and jigs, for what was then known as the Adams aeroplane engine, and was to become known, following Mr. Adams'

appointment as "Engineer and Sales Expert" to the Areo-engine Section of Dorman's Internal Combustion Engine Department, as the 1912 Pattern Dorman Aeroplane Engine.
   This was a 60—80 b.h.p. vee-eight 7.8 litre petrol engine with an extremely low weight to power ratio of less than 4.5 pounds per horsepower, and several interesting features designed to combat over-heating Dorman hoped, by the employment of the Adams engine in monoplane type of aircraft, to afford themselves a stake in Britain's fledgling aviation industry comparable to that they already possessed in the motor industry — at this period the company proudly described itself as motor engine makers to the trade. The company certainly issued circulars, in May 1912, when Mr. Adams' business was acquired professing themselves ready, willing, and able to commence engine production 'immediately and energetically' once an ample market had been seen to exist, and in 1913 the Adams engine monoplane was successfully tested in flight.

1912 Aero Engine


Dorman Aero-engine.

An early Partridge Paging Machine.

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Dorman Internal Grinding Machine.

on these features are still being expertly combined in the most modern Dorman engines of today.
   It was during these years that machines produced by Dorman, to customers' design, were to win awards of merit in the United States and on the Continent.

  Meanwhile with their eye ever on the requirements of local industry, Dorman included amongst these machines, locomotive link and bush grinders of which at least two were supplied to the factory beside the old L.&N.W.R. main line from Euston to Crewe where another Stafford firm, that of W. G. Bagnall Limited had been producing locomotives since 1875. When in 1959 Bagnalls in fact were to be absorbed by Dorman two of these machines were still to be found on the inventory of their machinery.
   It was almost, perhaps, inevitably following upon the development of these sophisticated internal grinding machines that the company should begin to manufacture and market tools to be used in the grinding of cylinders for the new internal combustion engine — so it was, that, beginning in 1903, the company should commence the design, production

  With the opening of the new century an important development came to take place: the concentration of the firm's activities into two principal fields, the production of printing and grinding machines, although the production of both general and specialised machine tools continued unabated. In the former category contemporary catalogues including rotary perforating and page numbering equipment and stitching machinery as used "in binderies throughout the civilised world". These were made for such names as "Elliott", "Partridge" and "Caxton" as by now the company had secured the manufacturing rights of their equipment from these original companies; but the grinding machines were produced in Dorman's own name and included equipments to perform a wide variety of applications ranging from compact and inexpensive grinders of simple design to automatic multi-speed internal grinders capable of carrying out the most difficult tasks accurately and rapidly. In these machines Dorman's successfully blended modern design elements with the most practical concern possible for the convenience of the operator and profit margin of the customer — seventy years

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Dorman Centenary CB 2-3 CB 6-7 CB Index