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Manufacturers Index - Crossley & Co.
Last Modified: Jul 3 2018 10:00AM by Jeff_Joslin
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In 1895 in Johnstone, Scotland, Charles William Bate Crossley and Charles H. Clifton established Clifton & Crossley to manufacture machine tools, especially radial drilling machines. Clifton left the partnership in 1897 (eventually co-founding the successful machine tool maker Clifton & Baird), and Crossley continued the business as Crossley & Co. Crossley relocated to Manchester in 1901. Besides radial drilling machines he reportedly made other products as well. Crossley was not much for advertising and publicity, and since ads and articles are typically the best available source of information, there isn't much information available.

Crossley & Co. was also a machinery dealer and a few ads from other makers mentioned that firm as one of their distributors.

Mr. Crossley died in 1941 and it appears that his business did not long survive him.

Clifton & Crossley radial drill, from 1896-09-11 The Engineer

Information Sources

  • 1896-01-17 Engineering lists advertisers, including "Clifton & Crossley, Johnstone, near Glasgow".
  • 1896-09-11 The Engineer has an illustrated article on Clifton & Crossley's 4-foot and 5-foot radial drilling machines with tapping capabilities.
  • 1905 issue of The Electrical Review: "...recently put upon the market by Messrs. Crossley & Co. of Johnstone, N.D., and was shown in operation at the exhibition recently held in connection with the Yorkshire electric power scheme, by Mr. C. W. B. Crossley, of Exchange Buildings, Manchester. The drill is made in two sizes; the lighter one (No. 1), weight 15 lb, is extremely portable, and will drill up to ? in. diameter in steel; the heavier one (No. 2), of 25 lb. weight, although also adaptable as a breast drill, is provided with accessories, which render it useful in a variety of ways; it is designed to drill up to ? in. diameter in steel. Thus, the latter drill can be used suspended from a bar, for which a feeding screw is provided as shown in the illustration, or it can be fitted with a taper shank, as..."
  • 1905-09-01 The Electrician. "Messrs. C. W. B. Crossley & Co., of Manchester, showed specimens of their electrical drilling machines. One of these weighed only 15 lb. and was capable od drilling hoes up to ? diameter in steel. It took 0.7 amp. at 220 volts. Current is supplied to the motor from an ordinary lampholder."
  • 1906 issue of The Mechanical Engineer: "...spindle by hand and also a quick motion by hand. These two motions are both essential. To use the fine adjustment there are means to disconnect the self-acting motion, and then to use the quick motion we find there generally is provision made to either disconnect the worm or else the worm wheel from the self-acting motion and either a lever, hanging chain, or some form of hand wheel to obtain the motion. This requires the hand wheels and clutches to be duplicated and requires the operator to move his hands to two positions. An improvement on this method was made by Mr. C. W. B. Crossley in the radial drills made by his firm. The general arrangement of the carriage and feed motion are shown in Fig. 6, and it will be seen that only one hand wheel is used for both slow and quick motions. The feed shaft a has a worm e at its inner end and a worm wheel..."
  • Advertisement in 1906-06-29 Engineering from John Lang & Sons of Johnstone, for their heavy engine lathe. The ad lists Mr. C. W. B. Crossley, Exchange Buildings, 6, St. Mary's Gate, as their Manchester representative.
  • Advertisement in 1908-03-21 The Timber Trades Journal from John McDowall & Sons of Johnstone, for their gang sawmills and planer-moulder. The ad lists Mr. C. W. B. Crossley, 6, St. Mary's Gate, as their Manchester representative.
  • 1916 Machinery and Production Engineering lists "Crossley & Co., 6 St. Mary's Gate, Manchester".
  • 1921 issue of Who's Who in Engineering: "Crossley & Co., 6, St. Mary's Gate, Manchester...Proprietor : C. W. B. Crossley. Manufactures. — Multiple radial drilling machines and other machine tools."
  • 1922-08-12 Engineering Production has a brief article on a lawsuit brought by Charles W. B. Crossley against John Lang & Sons, Ltd., Johnstone, over commission that Crossley felt was owed to him for lathes sold on a government contract with delivery in Crossley's territory. Based on the summary provided, the suit seemed unlikely to be decided in Crossley's favor.
  • 1924-09-12 Supplement to The Engineer
  • From a 1922 issue of Iron and Coal Trades Review: "Messrs. H. Crossley, R. Leach and B. Overfield, brass founders, finishers and engineers, Cowhill Brass Works, Oldham, trading under the style of Crossley & Company, have dissolved partnership. Mr. H. Crossley and Mr. R. Leach will continue." In an earlier issue it says, "Crossley Brother, Limited,—Directors unable to recommend payment of preference dividend due September 1."
  • 1931 Manchester Chamber of Commerce Handbook lists "Crossley, C. W. B.—Engineer—Crossley & Co. 6 St. Mary's Gate, Manchester, (Tel.: Blackfriars 2415). Telegrams: "Tooling."
  • From a 1941 issue of Journal of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers: [189] "Charles William Bate Crossley had an extensive experience in the machine tool industry, with which he was associated for the whole of his career. From 1883 to 1893, he served his apprenticeship with Messrs. Smith and Coventry, Ltd., in Manchester, and after a further year's experience in their Paris office, he joined Messrs. Escher, Wyss and Company, of Zürich, and was later employed by Messrs. Singrim Frères, in Épinal, until he established his own business in 1895. He commenced business in Johnstone, Scotland, under the designation of Clifton and Crossley, and was first engaged in the manufacture of drilling machines. The name of the firm was changed to Crossley and Company in 1897 and the works were moved to Manchester in 1901. At that time the drilling and boring machines, which Mr. Crossley had patented, were built by Messrs. George Richards and Company, of Broadheath. Subsequently Mr. Crossley's firm was converted into a limited liability company ; he was made a director and held that position up to the time of his death, which occurred on 24th March 1941, in his seventy-fourth year. In 1922, Mr. Crossley acted as valuer for all the plant of Messrs. Redpath, Brown and Company, at the time when it was taken over by Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan and Company, Ltd. He introduced "rigid" milling machines, as made in Switzerland, into England in 1924 and became a director of Messrs. Kitchin and Wade, Ltd., of Halifax, who were engaged in the manufacture of these machines. In addition he was a director of Messrs. Ormrods Tools, Ltd. Mr. Crossley was elected a Member of the Institution in 1932. He was the holder of several patents for various improvements in machine tools."
  • 1941-05-09 London Gazette. "Re CHARLES WILLIAM BATE CROSSLEY, Deceased. Pursuant to the Trustee Act, 1925. NOTICE is hereby given that creditors and others having claims against the estate of Charles William Bate Crossley late of "Rosewall" Calonne Road Wimbledon in the county of Surrey and of 6, St. Mary's Gate, Manchester, Mechanical Engineer who died on the 24th day of March 1941 at Marine Gate Brighton Sussex should give notice thereof in writing to us the undersigned Solicitors to Martins Bank limited and Nora Florence Crossley the executors of the Will of the said Charles William Bate Crossley on or before the 10th day of July 1941 after which date the said executors will proceed to distribute the assets of the said deceased among the parties entitled thereto having regard only to the claims of which notice shall then have been received by the said executors.—Dated this sixth day of May, 1941. HAMLINS GRAMMER and HAMLIN, 3, St. Mark's Place, Wimbledon, S.W.19, Solicitors for the said Executors."
  • Grace's Guide has pages on and Clifton and Crosby and Crossley and Co.
  • We first learned of this maker from a correspondent who reported a lathe badged by Crossley & Co. The Crossley name is on a separate badge and we suspect that in this case Crossley was the retailer rather than the manufacturer, but we cannot be certain.