Nasmyth, Wilson & Co was founded in 1867 when Robert Wilson and Henry Garnett became the principal partners in what had previously been called Nasmyth, Gaskell and Co.
The firm was based at Bridgewater Foundry at Patricroft near Manchester.
By 1938 the firm had supplied over 1,500 locomotives of which over 1,000 were exported.
During the First World War the factory was mainly engaged in munitions work but it built twenty 2-8-0 locomotives for the Chemin de Fer de l’État in France and thirty two for India along with a hundred small petrol driven locomotives.
In the early 1930s orders began to dry up after the Wall Street Crash of 1929. In 1938 only four locomotives were produced – two 2-6-4T metre gauge tank locomotives dispatched to the South Indian Railways and two 0-6-0 standard gauge locomotives for the Palestine Railway.
As part of a planned reorganisation of the industry, the company ceased manufacture of locomotives and handed over all its drawings and patterns to the British Locomotive Manufacturers Association. The company however continued to make steam hammers and machine tools.
The company was wound up on 7 November 1940.
On 1 June 1940 the Ministry of Supply took over the factory; and it became a Royal Ordnance Factory, ROF Patricroft.
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