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History[edit | edit source]
The company was founded, as Ransomes, in 1789 by Robert Ransome, an Ironfounder in Norwich before moving to Ipswich. He received patents for improvements to ploughs.
In 1869 four engineers, J.A. Ransome, R.J. Ransome, R.C. Rapier and A.A. Bennett, left the company (At that time called Ransomes, Sims & Head) by agreement, to establish a new company, Ransomes & Rapier, on a site on the River Orwell, to continue the business of railway equipment and other heavy works.
- Main article: Ransomes & Rapier
Time Line[edit | edit source]
- 1785 - Ransomes & Co. formed by Robert Ransome.
- 1789 - Robert Ransome moves company to St. Margaret's Ditches, Ipswich.
- 1809 - Firm becomes Ransomes & Son.
- 1818 - Firm becomes Ramsomes & Sons.
- 1825 - Becomes J & R Ransome
- 1830 - changes to J.R. & A Ransome, following Robert Ransome's death.
- 1841 - Move to new works at Orwell begins
- 1846 - Becomes Ramsomes & May
- 1849 - Move to new works completed
- 1850 - Ransomes & Sims, open London Office
- 1851 - Charles May leaves & Later starts Brown and May in Devizes.
- 1869 - Ransomes Sims & Head, (Also Ransomes & Rapier formed by agreement by 4 of firms engineers, takes over the rail components business)
- 1881 - Ransomes, Head & Jefferies. following John Jeferies being appointed a partner (after Marrying John Allens daughter).
- 1884 - Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies.
- 1901 - Granted the companies First Royal warrant.
- 1902 - Built First petrol engined Lawn mower.
- 1911 - Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies Ltd formed.
- 1949 - New foundry opened at Nacton
- 1966 - Move to Nacton completed.
- 1968 - Orwell works sold
- 1987 - Farm machinery division sold to Electrolux & trades as Agrolux.
- 1998 - Ransomes Plc sold to Textron and becomes "Textron Turf Care & Speciality Products", Registered as Ransomes & Jacobson Ltd. in the UK
- 2001 - Trading name changed to "Textron Golf, Turf and Speciality Products"
In the First World War, they manufactured aeroplanes: - 350 "Royal Aircraft Factory F.E.2" fighters.
(Bit of history missing here ! ! ! )
This left Ransomes solely as a manufacturer of lawn mowers, with the Westwood and Mountfield mower brands. The company accepted a take-over offer from Textron Inc, USA, and their independent existence ended early in 1998.
Product Range[edit | edit source]
- Main article: List of Ransomes model range
The company has over the years produced a vast range of products and models for both the home market in the UK and for export markets with the models built to suit local operation conditions and technology with some products being very basic and having hand powered options for 'third world' countries in Africa for example.
Steam Machinery[edit | edit source]
- Portable Steam engines for driving threshers and grinding machinery.
- Traction engines
Stationary Engines[edit | edit source]
For a short period Ransomes built a small range of oil Engines, often used by farmers in the early 20th century to power machinery like Pumps and Corn mills as the portable steam engines died out and before the diesel engines and electric motors took over.
Harvesting Machinery[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Ransomes Harvesting Machinery
Ransomes were one of the earliest buiders of harvesting machinery in the UK on a large scale, with examples of their Threshing machines still in existence and being demonstrated at Steam fairs and other events such as working days at museums and farm centres like Acton Scot.
- Threshing machines.
- Corn grinders.
- Potato harvesters
- Beet Harvester
- Combine harvesters
- Corn dryers
Ploughs & Implements[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Ransomes Ploughs
Ploughs and cultivators, moving from horse drawn implements to modern linkage mounted versions.
- Ransomes TSR 200-4-S
The Ransomes TSR 200 plough is a four furrow auto reset plough with hydraulic front furrow width adjustment, that was produced from the 1960s to the early 70s.
Mowers[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Ransomes Mowers
Ransomes produced a range of Lawn Mowers from the 1900 on-wards. These were hand push types then larger engine propelled types from the 1920s. By the 1960s they included 'Industrial' ride on mowers for the sports industry, such as Golf courses and Football fields etc.
Sprayers[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Ransomes Sprayers
The company marketed a range of crop sprayers for a period from the 1940s, with the initial machines a design built under license from Plant Protection Ltd and designed in conjunction with ICI research engineering department.
Electric vehicles[edit | edit source]
As steam vehicles went out of favour in the early 20th century Ransomes built a number of Electric trams (Trolley Buses) and these were exported all over the world in the 1920s and 1930s. Ransomes built a range of electric works tugs that had developed from machines built for use in the factories.
Forklift Trucks[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Ransomes Forklifts
The building of Forklifts started with electric powered lifting tables foir use in the works in the early 1900s, as a modified platform truck. These evloved into small electric works cranes basaed on a truck. Later Forks were added to a platform truck for lifting stillages and tooling in factories and this evolved into electric forklift trucks in the post war years. Over a thousand electric works trucks were built during the war period.
In 1959 a marketing agrrement was signed with the American Hyster company for them to sell the Ransomes electric trucks world wide and Ransomes to market Hyster Petrol and electric Forklifts in the UK. This agreement lasted till 1973.
Ransomes Brand[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Ransomes Tractors
Ransomes initially built a prototype internal combustion engined tractor in the 1920 but the idea did not take-off.
The firm later moved on to producing a range of tracked garden tractors from the mid 1930s.
In the 1950s they added producing combine harvesters to the list of machinery manufactured. This was a natural progression from their existing threshing machine business, as the industry moved to the new 'self-propelled' technology. The initial trailed model was built under license from Swedish manufacturer.
Preservation[edit | edit source]
Please add any known Steam machine details to the table below.
Click Here to edit list.
|Engine No.||Name||Build Date||Type||Weight||Power nhp||Reg No.||Owner||Image||Other info|
|-||1869||PE||weight ?||6 nhp||-||Owner ?||
|-||1872||PE||weight ?||? nhp||-||Owner ?||
|Lizzie McKenna||1882||Traction engine||7 ton||6 nhp||Z 1||Museum of East Anglian Life||
||lowest sn surviving RSH engine in the TER 2008 list|
|George||1882||PE||weight ?||? nhp||-||Owner ?||
|-||1883||TE||weight ?||? nhp||Reg no. ?||Owner ?||
|Little Ben||1886||Portable engine||-||8 nhp||na||Owner ?||
||lowest sn surviving RSJ engine in the TER 2008 list|
|Island of Mor||1891||Portable engine||-||3 nhp||na||The Bicknell Family, Hampshire||
|Lily||1897||PE||weight||8 nhp||-||Owner ?||
|Lily||1897||TE||-||7 nhp||FI 1407||Owner ?, Carlow ROI||
|Poppy||1894||PE||weight ?||2 nhp||-||Owner ?||
||(T96) ex UP103|
|Rosalee||1901||TE||weight ?||7 nhp||IP 727||Owner ? in Tralee, ROI||
|Marie||1902||Portable||-||2 nhp||-||Brian Dando, Bristol||
||listed at Kemble 2009|
|The Countryman||1903||TE||10.5 ton||7 nhp||NO 4034||Owner ?, Coventry||
|Winifred||1903||TE||8.5 ton||6 nhp||TA 1935||Owner ?||
|Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies no. 15278||The Chieftain||1903||TE||? ton||7 nhp||NO 2009||S. Haylock, Cambs||At Stoke Goldington Steam Rally Old Warden 2009|
|Lady Diana||1904||TE||9 ton||6 nhp||CJ 4220||Allan Prout, Ledbury||At Welland 2010 & Shrewsbury Steam Rally 2011|
|Dolly May||1904||TE||?||?||J 14457
(Jersey reg no.)
|Pallot Steam Museum||In the collection of the Pallot Steam Museum on Jersey|
|No. 8||1906||PE||weight||6 nhp||-||Owner ?||
|Sybil||1904||TE||-||? nhp||NO 6925||?||At Belvoir Castle Steam Festival 2008|
|-||19 ?||Portable||-||? nhp||N/A||Bromyard Gala 2008|
|-||1908||Portable engine||5 ton||6 nhp||NA||R. Hinch||At Little Casterton 2009|
|Jubilee||1908||TE||9 ton||6 nhp||2891 UR||A. Frost, of ?||to add||At Old Warden 2009|
|-||1910||PE||weight||power||-||R. Scourfield, Pembs||To add
||At South Cerney 2013|
|William Fletcher||1911||TE||10 ton||7 nhp||NO 3291||A. Roan, Wiltshire||to add
||at South Cerney 2013|
|Northern Star||1911||TE||9 1/2 ton||6 nhp||J 6719||D Cuthbertson, Co Durham||to add||Masham Steam Rally 2010|
|Little Lucy||1917||portable||-||4 nhp||-||Owner ?||to add||Beaulieu Steam Revival 2010|
|The Leprechaun||1918||TE||10 ton||7 nhp||DS 7473 (ex AT 1253)||J. Garrod, of Harlton, Cambridge||to add||At Old Warden 2011|
|Paddy||1918||Traction engine||9 ton||6 nhp||FI 1176||Owner ?||at Onslow Park Steam Rally 2009|
|Jesse||1918||Traction engine||10 ton||7 nhp||E 5123||K&G Jones, Forest of Dean ?||At Black Country Steam Weekend 2010|
|-||1919||TE||10 ton||7 nhp||NL 2563||Owner ? in Ireland ?||
||In Cheffins July sale 2007|
|Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies no. 27596||Lady Mary VC
ex. Old Peculiar
|1919||TE||10 ton||7 nhp||WR 6553||J. Carr, Sheffield||at HarewoodLincoln 2008|
|-||1919||TE||? ton||nhp||R 6968||Owner ?||
||Haddenham Steam Rally 2005|
|Hooky||1920||Crane Engine||? ton||6 nhp||PV 4943||B. Bicknell, Hants||at Lister Tyndale Steam Rally & Old Warden 2009|
|Name||1920||Portable||-||9 nhp||-||Owner ?||
||Museum of Country Life - Sandy Bay|
|-||1920||TE||?||?||DM 3048||Cardiff Industrial & Maritime Museum||
|Garioch Queen||1919||TE||9 ton||6 nhp||SA 4253||B. Peacock||Holcot Kettering & Lincoln 2008 (Worked in Scotland)|
|Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies no. 34270||Matilda||1927||wagon||5 ton||7 nhp||SV 9177||M. Savage, Hampshire||At Bill Targett Steam Rally 2011|
One of only 3 surviving RSJ wagons worldwide
|-||192?||type ?||?||?||-||owner ?||
|Old Faithful||1924||TE||? tton||6 nhp||PU 4391||Owner ?||
|-||1924||TE Colonial type||7 nhp||BS 9010||J.J. Forshaw||Holcot 2008 & Woodcote Rally + Old Warden 2009 (repatriated from Mozambique)|
|-||1925||Portable||-||8 nhp ?||-||Strumpshaw Hall Steam Museum||In the Strumpshaw Hall Steam Museum in Norfolk|
|-||1920||ST||5 ton||4 nhp||UE 2496||J. Holman, of ?||At Old Warden 2009|
|General Wolfe||1928||traction engine||7 1/2 ton||4 nhp||PN 1903||B. Biddlecombe, Southampton||Seen at Bill Targett Steam Rally 2011|
|Velfry Queen||1931||TE||10 ton||6 nhp||IH 2816||Owner ?||at Astwood Bank Vintage Gathering 2011]]|
|Alica Rose||1932||TE||12 ton||6 nhp||ANG 194||Owner ?||
|Langham Belle||1932||TE||10 ton||7 nhp||TL 2366||W.K. Kirby & Family||Holcot Steam Rally 2008|
|Harvest Time||1935||Portable||4.5 ton||5 nhp||-||Owner ?||
|Winifred||1943||portable||6 1/2 ton||10 hp||-||Owner ?||
||Youngest listed RSJ engine in the TER 2008 list|
|Name||date built||type||weight||power||Reg no. ?||Owner ?||
|Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies no. 59336||n/a||date built||AM54 Thresher||weight||-||N/A||Owner ?||
|-||1930||Portable||-||?||-||Brighton Engineerium Museum||
||Late model (steam) engine|
|Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies no. ?||Name ?||date built||type||weight||power||Reg no. ?||Owner ?||
|Name||date built||type||weight||power||Reg no. ?||Owner ?||
|Machine types Key:||References / sources|
|SW = Steam Wagon, PE = Portable, Plg = Ploughing Engine, RR = Road Roller, SM = Showmans, TE = Traction Engine|
The Jersey based The Pallot Steam Museum at Sion near Trinity has a 1904 RSJ Ransomes Sims & Jefferies Steam Engine nicknamed Dolly May still running well even after more than a century of opperating, and was the first ever machine equipment that the museum acquired. She was bought new and spent most of her long life helping the many Jersey farmers at the time and even in both World Wars as a haulage road tractor and worked heavily ever since, and she was also honoured with being named after Samuel Pallots late wife who was named Dorothy Pallot. The original Dolly May is occasionally still driven regularly in Jersey every Summer for the locally known Battle Of Flowers and shipped to England for the famous Devon Steam Rally Meeting held every year, among with many other original and classic original vehicles.
References[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia for base article
- Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, A history of their products, by Brian Bell - Book on company history
- Old Glory Magazine for surviving engines
- Steam Scenes for surviving engines
- TER for engine nos and names
[edit | edit source]
- Old Mower Club Features Ransomes mowers
|This page uses some content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons by Attribution License and/or GNU Free Documentation License. Please check page history for when the original article was copied to Wikia|