Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Shelley Wrenches

From what I've been able to find, Shelley supplied wrenches, jacks and toolkits for British cars and motorcycles. These were picked up at a local vintage motorcycle meet.
The Duke continues:


Wrenches in Norton tool kits were always made by Shelley.

R.T. Shelley's Birmingham company actually saved Norton.  In 1912, the company went bankrupt (Pa Norton was no businessman) and Shelley (the firm's chief creditor) bought it at auction.  Shelley became the parent company and Bob Shelley became the chairman of the board.  Shelley realized J.L. Norton's importance to the company, and kept him on as joint managing director.  Shelley's factory was nearby and so engine parts were made there.  This made Norton independent of outside suppliers.  In 1920, the Norton factory was moved to a larger premises that backed onto Shelley's main factory:  Bracebridge Street.

R.T. Shelley's brother-in-law was none other than Daniel O'Donovan, who switched to Nortons from NSU and who then rode the Norton machine to 4 world records at Brooklands in 1913.

The above is taken from Mick Wollett's excellent and comprehensive history, Norton (Osprey, 1992).


And more from The E-type forum


R. T. Shelley 
Makers of automotive accessories 
1908 Private company. 
1908 The Norton company was bought by Bob Shelley, who owned R. T. Shelley, an automotive accessories manufacturing business. Most people credit James Norton with the success of the company but actually, without Bob Shelley, there probably would not have been a Norton motorcycle company at all. R. T. Shelley were already suppliers to Norton so the transfer of power was made a little easier - however the relationship between Bob Shelley and James Norton was not a good one. 
1913 James Norton was not a business man, his strengths lay elsewhere. His company ran into trouble and was forced into liquidation in 1913. 
1916 the Shelley company moved to Phillips Street, Aston. Bill Mansell moved from R. T. Shelley to take over Norton management and under his guidance the company was reformed in 1926, the new company name being Norton Motors (1926) Ltd. 
1953 AMC acquired Norton including its wholly-owned subsidiary R. T. Shelley. 
1961 General engineers, manufacturing tools and components for automobiles and aero engines, also manufacturers of lifting jacks for private and commercial vehicles. 400 employees. 
1969 Tangye, another jack maker bought out Shelley and the company renamed Tangye-Shelley Limited, Gough Road, Greet, Birmingham B11 2NG 
The ‘Rasputitsa’ – the season without roads...  
During WW2, the 
G&H Barnett of Philadelphia used the brand name Black Diamond File Works starting the business in 1863. Nicholson bought Barnett in late 1911 or early 1912 and kept Black Diamond as a file brand name.The Nicholson Brand is now owned by Apex Tool Co. 





No comments: