Ploughs and tillage machinery, steam engines, grass-cutting equipment, trolleybuses, threshers, tractors, combines, electric trucks and more – the range of products made by Ransomes of Ipswich is perhaps the widest of any similar British manufacturer. From a small workshop in 1789, the company grew to employ 3,000 people and export all over the world.
Brian Bell shows in some detail the development of Ransomes’ products, illustrates key models and gives clear information about their features and uses. His interviews with ex-Ransomes employees have produced fascinating insights into how the company operated at work and play.
Ransomes, Sims & Jefferies and its predecessor and associated companies have many claims to fame. They became the largest plough and agricultural equipment manufacturer in Britain at a time when farming was the country’s major industry; they developed the world’s first self-propelled machine for agriculture and they created the lawn-mower industry. Their trolleybuses provided Cape Town’s public transport; their crawler tractors cultivated French vineyards and their subsoilers and disc harrows were used wherever sugar, tea and coffee were major cash crops.
From Ransomes & Co to Textron Turf Care and Specialty Products, this absorbing account offers a wealth of information about one of Britain’s most wide-ranging and innovative agricultural engineering companies.