Saturday, September 30, 2017

Vanished tool makers: L.A.L. Ltd. (Lehmann-Archer & Lane, Ltd.), Ilford, Essex, England


Above, a tap and a die made by this firm.  The company dates back to the 1890's.  According to one story I read online, when the British Association (BA) thread form was developed, Mr. Lehmann was approached by the committee to produce the very first BA taps and dies from 0 to 16 BA.  To do so, he had to develop special machines to produce these special thread cutting tools.  The firm operated initially out of Derwent Mills (now a World Heritage Site) and then out of  their Hampshire Works on Forest Road, Ilford, Essex, in east London.

1945

1951

Apparently, their tap and die works was located in the new town of Newton-Aycliffe in the north-east of England.  (According to  its Wikipedia entry, "Aycliffe was a key element in World War II ammunitions manufacturing. The marshy land was ideal cover against the Luftwaffe as it was almost continually shrouded in fog and mist. Huge grass-covered munitions factories were built and serviced by the nearby railway lines. The factories were largely staffed by women (in their thousands); these ladies were dubbed the "Aycliffe Angels", who braved incredible dangers inside the factories."


1951 aerial view of L.A.L. Factory on Aycliffe Industrial Estate, Newton Aycliffe
Source:  Britain from Above

They eventually produced taps under the "Blue Wizard" trademark.  In Canada, this was first registered in 1960.  The company was bought by Osborn-Musket Tools Ltd. (now Clarkson-Osborn) which still uses the Wizard trademark:

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