The Story of St Nicholas Works, A History of Charles Burrell & Sons 1803-1928, by Michael R Lane

The Story of St Nicholas Works, A History of Charles Burrell & Sons 1803-1928, by Michael R Lane

Book published by Unicorn Press in 1994, 304 pages. Large Hardback with Dust Jacket - c.21.5cm by 30.5cm (A9UWSO)

From the front inside fly leaf:
Joseph Burrell (1759-1831) established the St Nicholas Works in Thetford in 1803, and for 125 years, from small beginnings as a foundry and agricultural machinery works, its reputation grew. To-day, the traction engines and road locomotives which his successors built are generally regarded as the 'Rolls Royces' of their kind. Joseph's nephew, Charles I, built his first portable engine in 1848. In the second half of the nineteenth century, the company developed into an internationally-known manufacturer of self­ propelled steam engines with a workforce of over 300.

Although Burrell's specialized in the production of general-purpose traction engines, road locomotives, engines for the travelling showman, steam road rollers, steam tractors and steam wagons, throughout their long and distinguished history they also designed and manufactured an interesting diversity of other engineering products. They patented fairground machinery, built street tramway engines and marine engines and barges for East Anglian waterways. More mundane devices recorded in their manufacturing records include machinery for freezing, improved window sash fastenings, chair castors, bacon slicers and brush-making machinery. Until 1914, the firm continued to manufacture threshing machinery and ploughing engines, but during World War I munitions were produced.

When the company finally closed its doors in 1928, following an ill-fated takeover, its reputation as one of the most famous manufacturers of steam traction engines in the world had become legendary. Today, the survival of the marque is assured by the activities of the many hundreds of preservationists and model makers worldwide who continue to keep the name Burrell to the fore. The recent opening of the Burrell Museum in Thetford will also keep alive the knowledge of the many achievements of St Nicholas Works.

Michael Lane's book, researched over twenty years, deals with the evolution of the firm of Charles Burrell & Sons Ltd, in Thetford, Norfolk and the development of the products which were manufactured by them. There are descriptions of the many patents filed by the firm and lists of all known engines built.

The condition of the book is generally very good. The dust jacket is clean and bright, with one or two very minor scuffs and some light wear along the edges and corners. The spine is tight and intact, and all pages are clean, intact, unblemished and tightly bound. Not price clipped.