William Foster & Co.
William Foster & Co Ltd was an agricultural machinery company based in Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England and usually just called "Fosters of Lincoln." The company can be traced back to 1846, when William Foster purchased a flour mill in Lincoln. William Foster then proceeded to start small scale manufacturing of mill machinery and threshing machinery. The mill was converted to an iron foundry by 1856, thus becoming the original Wellington Foundry. During the First World War they built the first tanks for the British Army.
The company was known for producing threshing machines, regarded as among the best available. They also made traction engines, steam tractors such as the Foster Wellington and Showman's road locomotives.
Foster's, as builders of agricultural machinery, were involved in the production and design of the prototype tanks, which were, in effect, agricultural tractors with armoured bodies.
An example of one of the first tanks that were used in the First World war is preserved and on display in the Museum of Lincolnshire Life. This is a Mark IV. The tanks were described as "Water carriers for Mesopotania" during production for security.
The firm used the symbol of the tank after the war on other machinery they built as a trade mark.
Gwynnes Invincible Pumps
Gwynnes Limited manufactured centrifugal pumps from the mid 19th century in Hammersmith until acquired by Foster & Co. in 1927. Pump production was moved to Lincoln in 1930 and the company renamed Foster Gwynnes. Pump production ended in Lincoln in 1968.
In 1964 vertical pumps were supplied to the Deeping fen IDB for the pumping station at Pode Hole, where they remain in use.
- History of the tank - General details of development & background
- Marshall, Sons & Co. - Fellow Lincoln firm, and builder of Threshing machines.
- Ruston & Hornsby - Fellow Lincoln Firm, builders of steam engines
- Richard Garrett & Sons - Competitor for Showmans engines.
- Clayton & Shuttleworth - Fellow Lincoln firm and builders of steam engines.
There is a traction engine in both Rev W Awdry's Railway Series and The Thomas & Friends TV Series based on one of these named Trevor.
- Classic farm tractors, by Micheal Williams, ISBN 978-0753714461
- 'The Story of the Wellington Foundry, Lincoln' M R Lane
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