The Rural History Centre

Address: University of Reading, Whiteknights, Reading, Berkshire RG6 6AG. Telephone: (0118) 931 8660.

Archive Collections: a summary guide

Trade Records

John Allen & Sons (Oxford) Ltd.

Includes records of Oxford Steam Plough Co., 1875-1924.

Agricultural and general contractors; manufacturers of agricultural, horticultural and civil engineering equipment.

Ledgers and accounts, 1897-1954; minute book, 1915-49; drawings; various manufacturing papers, 1922-1930s; advertising and technical literature; photographs; house magazines.

Beeby Bros, Rempstone, Leicestershire

Cultivating and threshing contractors

Ledgers, 1906-1962; cash books, 1906-1952; day books, 1908-1968; farm and estate sale catalogues.

Berry & Sons Ltd, Barnstaple, Devon

Agricultural merchants and implement dealers.

Accounts, 1923-55; stock registers, 1887-1957; photographs.

Bomford & Evershed Ltd, Evesham, Worcestershire

Contractors and agricultural engineers.

Ledgers, 1940-56; financial statements, 1910-67; minute books, 1904-69; commercial records, 1903-40; limited company records, 1904-70; patents, 1928-66; drawings; technical records, 1956-67; advertising and technical literature, 1910-70; photographs, 1920s - 1950s; records relating to the Bomford family.

David Brown Tractors Ltd

Advertising, technical and photographic records of David Brown Tractors, and some subsidiary companies, including Harrison, McGregor & Guest Ltd, 1890s-1970s.

Francis Bugler Ltd, Beaminster, Dorset

Implement, machinery and wagon repairs and sales

Sales ledgers 1870-1890; 1923-5.

Burbage Wharf

Records of a contractor's and wharfage business on the Kennet & Avon Canal

Ledgers, 1878-99, 1926-47; cash books, 1874-85; farm and miscellaneous accounts; invoices and receipts, 1840s-1940s; licences and insurance papers.

Clayton & Shuttleworth, Lincoln

Manufacturers of steam engines, threshing machines and other implements.

Production records, 1840s - 1932.

Cooch & Sons Ltd, Northampton

Agricultural engineers

Sales ledgers 1874-1956; nominal ledgers 1940s-1960s; cash books 1846-1950 (includes some farm cash accounts); day books 1890-1955; journals 1945-58; wages books 1871-1926, 1942-52; financial statements 1917-26; sales registers 1800-1940s; notebooks 1875-90; partnership 1906; patent specifications; particulars books 1891-1923; advertising literature.

John Fowler & Co (Leeds) Ltd

Manufacturers of steam ploughing equipment, steam traction engines and locomotives.

Financial statements, branch and miscellaneous accounts, 1860 - 1938; various administrative and commercial records, 1868 - 1938; partnership and company records, 1863 - 1940; patent records, 1852 - 1920s; drawings; technical records; production records; publicity and technical publications; photographs, 1860s - 1940s.

Guinness Barley Research Station

Includes papers of E.S. Beaven, research plant scientist

Correspondence and papers relating to British Seed Corn Association; barley trials plot books, 1901-1967; barley collections books, 1946-52; papers relating to malting; barley research papers; miscellaneous cuttings and papers on barley prices, maltings, brewing; photographs.

R. Hunt & Co, Earls Colne, Essex

Agricultural engineers, manufacturers of barn machinery and other implements

Ledgers, 1849-1940s; day books, 1908-1967; other accounts, 1870s-1940s; order books, 1890s-1918; technical and production records; drawings, 1870s-1890s; advertising and technical publications; photographs; farm accounts, Green Farm; family and personal papers.

International Harvester Company of Great Britain Limited

Agricultural engineers. British subsidiary of American firm

Financial reports and statements, 1905-1949; general ledgers, 1912-1949, 1956-1960; journals, 1907-1920s; cash books, 1919-1937; minute books, 1907-1946; managers' reports, 1960s; annual reports, published, 1949-1980; minutes of product committees, 1963-1979; product planning papers, 1970s; international correspondence, 1970s; market surveys, 1957-1965; show files, 1964-1980; technical and advertising publications; photographs, 1920s-1960s; films.

Lawes Chemical Company Ltd

Manufacturers of superphosphate fertilizer and other agricultural chemicals

Customer ledger, 1898-1914; general administrative papers; technical reference files, 1930s-1950s; advertising literature, 1900s-1960s; house journals; photographs.

McHattie & Co Ltd, Chester

Seedsmen and implement dealers

Wages accounts, 1912-1962; financial statements, 1881-1942; administrative records, 1921-1941; commercial records, 1875-1941; albums of preserved flora, 1920s; seeds reference book, 1940s; advertising publications, 1870-1969.

Marshall, Sons & Co Ltd, Gainsborough

Agricultural engineers

Sales ledger (L-Q), 1921-30; labour records, 1872-c.1950; premises records; overseas agreements; production records(including general summary 1863-94, 1910-59, steam engines, 1864-94, threshing machines, 1865-70, tractiion engines, 1881-92, diesel tractors, 1933-38); drawings (threshing machines, boilers, semi-portable engines); technical and advertising publications; photographs; newspaper cuttings.

Geo. Monro Ltd, Waltham Cross

Agricultural engineers

Drawings of Rototiller, Rowtrac and other cultivator tractors.

Nalder & Nalder Ltd, Wantage

Agricultural engineers

Invoice books; estimate books; order books; sales and purchase records; financial statements; cost accounts; letter books; manufacturing and technical records; publicity; photographs.

National Traction Owners' & Users' Association

Includes records of the National Tracion Engine & Tractor Association, National Threshing Machine Owners' Association, Steam Cultivation Development Association

Financial statements, 1894-1940s; cash book, 1941-49; annual reports, 1903-56; minute books, 1900-53; registers of members, administrative and legal papers; case files, 1906-1940s; publicity and information leaflets.

Nitrate Corporation of Chile Ltd

Financial statements; research and information files; publications; photographs.

A. T. Oliver & Sons Ltd

Contractors and engineers

Threshing ledgers, 1879-1929; implement sales ledgers, 1896-1932; day book, repairs, 1936-44; bought ledgers, 1915-33; advertising and publicity (various firms).

H. Plowright & Sons Ltd, Swaffham, Norfolk

Agricultural engineers

Sales ledgers, 1775-1841; bought ledger, 1802-40; day book, 1837-38; publicity, 1880s-1930s

Ranks Hovis McDougall Ltd

Minute books and registers of members of various liquidated subsidiary companies, 1880s-1960s. Includes Thomas Hanley & Sons Ltd, John Herdman & Sons Ltd, Samuel Kidd & Co Ltd, Mark Mayhew Ltd, Medway Milling Co Ltd, J. &. H. Robinson Ltd, Sun Flour Mills Co Ltd.

Ransomes Sims & Jefferies Ltd

Agricultural engineers: makers of cultivating implements, steam engines, threshing machines, lawnmowers

Ledgers, 1884-1967; cost accounts, 1885-1940s; financial statements, 1837-51,1880s-1970s; other accounts, 1804-32, 1884-1901; minutes, 1884-1930s; labour records, 1850s-1920s; general administrative notes, 1880s-1960s; premises records, including maps, 1840s-1918; branch records, 1892-1950s; commercial records, 1840s-1970s; partnership and company records, 1809-1949; patent and trade mark records; engineering drawings; experimental and technical records, 1840s-1960s; production registers, 1850s-1950s; publications: catalogues, leaflets, posters, technical manuals, 1840s-1980s; press cuttings and press releases; photographs, 1860s-1960s; records of shows and exhibitions, 1851-1960s.

Reference:D.R. Grace and D.C. Phillips,Ransomes of Ipswich: a history of the firm and guide to its records, 1975.

R. & J. Reeves & Sons Ltd

Agricultural engineers

Day book, 1870; financial statements, 1881-1957; administrative records: cost analyses, 1921-51, wartime controls, 1940s; labour records, 1871-1948; premises records, 1906-45; materials records, c1905-40s, commercial records, 1901-67; correspondence, 1922-51; business agreements, 1875-1954; patent records, 1871-1920s; drawings, 1875-1930s; experimental and technical records, 1881-1960; production registers: drills, elevators and carts, 1848-1960; manufacturing working papers, 1859-1940s; parts and patterns records; publications; photographs; show registers and certificates, 1851-1969; records of events and organizations.

Sutton & Sons Ltd


Ledgers, 1881-1960s; financial statements, 1847-1969; valuations and stock summaries, 1832-1969; cash books, 1881-1962; other accounts, 1830s-1940s; labour records, 1860s-1940s; branch records, Calcutta, 1917-1954; partnership records, 1843-1926; company records, 1930-1952; travellers' diaries, 1872-86; publications; photographs; company social papers; personal papers, M. H. F. Sutton.

Unigate plc

Minute books and registers of various non-trading subsidiary companies, 1930s-1960s

Wallis & Steevens Ltd

Agricultural engineers

Sales ledgers, 1856-1950s; general ledgers, 1897-c1970; journals, 1897-1960; financial statements, 1893-1980; agency sales register, 1930-45; minute books, 1893-1961; partnership and limited company records; registers of employees, 1926-46; census of production records, 1907,1912; drawings; production registers, 1872-c1970; shop books, 1900-1930s; pattern registers; boiler register; price books; publications.

Wantage Engineering Company

Agricultural engineers

Sales ledgers, 1908-68; bought ledgers, 1908-68; day books, 1926-68; journals, 1900-59; wages books,1932-68; invoice copy books, 1933-58; 1901-49; materials books, c1900-65; limited company records, 1894-1926; external agreements, 1882-1945; patent records, 1891-1909; general correspondence, 1873-1901; production records: parts, patterns, requisition books; publications.

Walter A. Wood Co. Ltd, Horsham

British subsidiary of American firm of engineers

Sales ledgers, 1910-1964; bought ledger, 1924-48; journals, 1953-60; customers' order sheets; consignment books; requisition books; technical records: repair books and parts details; publications.

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