Rubery Owen is a British engineering company which was founded in 1884 in Darlaston, West Midlands.
In 1884 the company was started by John Rubery and his two brothers, as an ironworks manufacturing gates and fences. In 1893 the two brothers were replaced by a trained engineer Alfred Owen, and in 1903 the company name of Rubery Owen was established.
By 1912, after Rubery had departed from the company, the company had expanded into Aviation Engineering, Motor Frames and Roofing, in addition to fencing manufacture.
The company expanded during the 1920s and 1930s to include the production of metal airframes, metal storage equipment, steel pulleys and armour plate. They also acquired a Warrington hydraulic company which became Rubery Owen Conveyancer, and which claims to have launched the UK's first forklift truck in 1946.
During World War II they concentrated on supporting the war effort, producing parts for war planes.
After the war they expanded their engineering products to include ploughs for Ferguson Tractors, metal pressings, fasteners, motor vehicle components and structural steel components for the building industry.
In 1956 the company was structured into the following seven divisions:
- Bolt and Nut
- Metal Assemblies
- Metal Equipment
In 1977 Coventry Climax acquired the Warrington forklift truck business of Rubery Owen Conveyancer.
In 1981 the main Darlaston works, in Walsall closed down.
Rubery Owen is now managed by David Owen, and co run by Jim Owen. David Owen recently sold the building for £1 to Walsall Housing Regeneration Agency (WHRA), a local charity who offers numerous projects based in Darlaston and surrounding areas. David and a small team are still based within Rubery Owen. The firm is now involved in industrial cleaning chemicals.
- Twin axle 2 Ton Cargo trailers (4 wheeled drawbar type) for the MOD - some now used as living van chassis by steam men and others as coal and water tenders.(photo above)
- Double-4 Buckets (4 in 1)
- Tractor loaders for International Harvester and others
- Drott 4in1 buckets and loaders built under license from USA
- Single axle 1 ton trailer for MOD for Landrovers
- 8 Ton plant Trailer (tilting bed twin axle)
- Upstairs/Downstairs At The Facory - Time Magazine article
- Rotech Laboratories - A Rubery Owen company
- Rubery Owen History - Rozone Ltd
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