Shortly after the Netherlands Navy bought and tested the first steamship made by J.H.& J. Duke shipyards in Dover, England in 1825, the company Machinefabriek Werkspoor was founded in order to bring the technology to the Netherlands. The company was successful, becoming the largest machine factory in Holland, building ships and ship components, later adding railway steam locomotives and rolling stock to the product line. The company went through several iterations over the years and after a reorganization in 1890, it became a major manufacturer of all sorts of machinery, their first marine diesel engine was installed in 1908. The railway portion of the business also did well, supplying locomotives and rolling stock for railways in South Africa and Indonesia as well as the Dutch railways.
The company merged with another large manufacturer Stork in 1954 and that concern was taken over by the Finnish concern Wärtsilä in 1989.