Skip to main content

Vickers Ltd

 Organization

Biography

Vickers, Sons & Company Ltd was formed in 1867. It was based initially in Sheffield, where the head office was attached to the steelworks at the River Don Works. The company did not have a London address until it acquired the Maxim Nordenfelt Guns and Ammunition Company Ltd in 1897, and inherited a suite of offices at 32 Victoria Street.

In its early years the company concentrated on the production of high quality steel castings. By the start of the twentieth century, however, it was producing a wide range of military equipment. Vickers expanded into other areas, acquiring the Wolseley Tool and Motor Car Company, and building the first British submarine and airship. By 1911 there was a need for a stronger presence near Whitehall, which had become the company's major customer, and the head office moved from Sheffield to extensive premises in Broadway, Westminster, which were named Vickers House. During these years the company developed a wide variety of military aircraft, and it was a Vickers Vimy that completed the first non-stop Atlantic crossing in 1919.

In 1927 Vickers merged with the greater part of the company Armstrong-Whitworth of Newcastle to form Vickers-Armstrongs. Armstrong's had been formed by W.G. Armstrong, later Lord Armstrong, who established an engineering works on Tyneside in 1847 to manufacture his newly-invented hydraulic machinery. The firm had developed on similar lines to Vickers, producing a range of different guns, before expanding into naval ships and the car and truck business. It had become (Sir W.G.) Armstrong, Whitworth & Company Ltd (or Armstrong-Whitworth) following a merger with the business of Sir Joseph Whitworth in 1897.

Vickers-Armstrongs was involved heavily in the rearmament programme in the lead up to the Second World War, during which time the company played the major role in rearming the British Army. During the war the company moved its head office to three large Victorian houses on Bathwick Hill, Bath, close to where many Admiralty departments had taken up war-time occupation. The head office returned to Westminster in 1945, remaining there until moving to Millbank Tower in 1963.

After the war the company had four main areas of manufacture: aircraft, steel, shipbuilding and general engineering. Post-war, Vickers was responsible for the production of the first British nuclear submarine, the first British V-bomber and the Viscount and VC10 airliners.







Found in 54 Collections and/or Records:

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
 File

Aircraft G-Bizz and Space, 1945 - 1990

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3015
Scope and Contents

Several groups of photographic slides sorted roughly into: NASA photos, Aircraft G-Bizz, and Space

Dates: 1945 - 1990
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

AIRSHIPS and Australian and Atlantic Flights, 1890 - 1950

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3005
Scope and Contents

Loose photographs of airplanes and equipment related to transatlantic flight

Dates: 1890 - 1950
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Assorted Slides, 1965 - 1995

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3031
Scope and Contents

Slides loosely organized under following tabs: Rolls Royce Production, DSD General, and Trucast

Dates: 1965 - 1995
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Business Portrait Slides, 1985 - 1995

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3037
Scope and Contents

Slides organized into six tabs: Portraits Business Directors, Portraits Public Affairs, Portraits Directors 1990, Directors Portraits July 92, Report & Accounts Specials, and VPC 1990

Dates: 1985 - 1995
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Comforto V.F., 1960 - 1990

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3010
Scope and Contents

A group of slides relating to Vickers furniture show and production, sorted into four tabs: Comforto V.F. 9-12, Comforto V.F. 14-17A, Comforto VF Show 1-4, and Comforto VF Shows 17P-17S

Dates: 1960 - 1990
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Comforto V.F. FI IA-D, 1940 - 1990

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3008
Scope and Contents

Slides relating to the Comforto group, Vickers Furniture

Dates: 1940 - 1990
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Company Images, 1970 - 1995

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3024
Scope and Contents

Folder contains photographic slides divided into eight tabs, originally labeled: "Background - Blank," "V Backgrounds" [Vickers], "Defense"[sic], "Aerospace," "1991 Prelims/Interims 1992 Interims/Prelims," "AirShields S&W," "DSD Armstrong Wks," and "Rolls-Royce"

Dates: 1970 - 1995
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Company Slides, 1965 - 1995

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3032
Scope and Contents

Slides organized into six tabs: VPC, Graphics, Cosworth, Tank Silhouettes & Montages, Brierley Material, and Graphics "Growing The Company" "Vickers Is Boring"

Dates: 1965 - 1995
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Conoco Anchor Trials, 1980 - 1985

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3011
Scope and Contents

Documents relating the Conoco Anchor Trails - Chesterfield Prod. 256

Dates: 1980 - 1985
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Conservatrieve, 1970 - 1980

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3014
Scope and Contents From the Sub-Fonds: The documents are divided into sections: increases and decrease in share capital of Vickers (1-25); papers of Count Leon Ostrorog, European Legal Advisor (26-56); Arms Commission papers (57-147); quarterly reports (148-283); aviation matters (284-456); steel nationalisation, de-nationalisation and re-nationalisation (457-477); McKinsey enquiry (478-480); acquisitions and disposals (481-500); Suez Canal Base (501); Millbank Tower construction finance (502-503); shipbuilding matters (504-517);...
Dates: 1970 - 1980
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 sub-sub-subseries

Correspondence re trade with China - aviation, 1961-1977

 sub-sub-subseries
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS JM/I21/4/216
Dates: 1961-1977
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the collection is subject to special conditions and is at the discretion of Matheson and Co. Ltd, part of the Jardine Matheson Group. A statement of the conditions and an application form are available in the Manuscripts Reading Room. Printed copies of the form are available by post (please contact the University Library). An electronic version can also be found at https://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/files/jm_application_form_2024_02.pdf. Records described in the catalogue as being in a bad condition are in a fragile state that precludes them being made available to readers. Access is generally available to documents dated up to 1969. Access to some earlier records may be restricted under the terms of the Data Protection Act, 1998.
 File

Correspondence re Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd, 22 Dec. 1936-10 Nov. 1944

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS JM/I21/2/2/43
Scope and Contents Correspondence between J.F. Owen, Matheson & Co. Ltd, and Major H.R. Kilner, Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd (Aircraft Section), Weybridge Works, Surrey, with many related letters, including correspondence between Matheson & Co. Ltd and J.F. Dolan, Alfred Field & Co. Ltd, Sutton Coldfield, and Major John Robinson, Reiss, Bradley & Co. Ltd, London. There are also a few related papers, including a memorandum on aviation in China, 12 May 1944, 2 pages. The ring-binder is labelled...
Dates: 22 Dec. 1936-10 Nov. 1944
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the collection is subject to special conditions and is at the discretion of Matheson and Co. Ltd, part of the Jardine Matheson Group. A statement of the conditions and an application form are available in the Manuscripts Reading Room. Printed copies of the form are available by post (please contact the University Library). An electronic version can also be found at https://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/files/jm_application_form_2024_02.pdf. Records described in the catalogue as being in a bad condition are in a fragile state that precludes them being made available to readers. Access is generally available to documents dated up to 1969. Access to some earlier records may be restricted under the terms of the Data Protection Act, 1998.
 sub-sub-sub-subseries

Correspondence re Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd, 1963-1972

 sub-sub-sub-subseries
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS JM/I21/4/1/505
Scope and Contents

Correspondence and related papers regarding the business of Jardine, Matheson & Co. Ltd and the Jardine Engineering Corporation Ltd with Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd and its subsidiary Vickers-Armstrongs (Engineers) Ltd. The correspondence is comprised of originals and copies of letters to Matheson & Co. Ltd and copies of letters from the firm.

Dates: 1963-1972
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Access to the collection is subject to special conditions and is at the discretion of Matheson and Co. Ltd, part of the Jardine Matheson Group. A statement of the conditions and an application form are available in the Manuscripts Reading Room. Printed copies of the form are available by post (please contact the University Library). An electronic version can also be found at https://www.lib.cam.ac.uk/files/jm_application_form_2024_02.pdf. Records described in the catalogue as being in a bad condition are in a fragile state that precludes them being made available to readers. Access is generally available to documents dated up to 1969. Access to some earlier records may be restricted under the terms of the Data Protection Act, 1998.
 File

Correspondence with instrument firms, 1918 - 1936

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0180/RGO 8/53
Scope and Contents

Correspondence, estimates and orders relating to scientific instrument firms, including Negretti and Zambra; Troughton and Simms; Siemens Bros. and Co. Ltd; Adam Hilger Ltd; Phillips; the Cambridge Instrument Co.; C.F. Casella and Co. Ltd; Sir Howard Grubb, Parsons and Co. Ltd; and Vickers.

Dates: 1918 - 1936
Conditions Governing Access: From the Management Group: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Desert Cargo, 1975 - 1985

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3012
Scope and Contents

Documents sorted into two parts: Desert Cargo and Data on: Desert Cargo. Conch Methane. a 35 mm Eastman color sound film held by Rank Film Labs Denham. Distributed by C.O.I. Inc Foreign Versions Conche.

Dates: 1975 - 1985
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Dora Dark Sound Tapes and Comforto Vic V-Fam., 1940 - 1990

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3007
Scope and Contents

Slides relating to the Vickers Furniture company

Dates: 1940 - 1990
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

DSD Slides, 1965 - 1995

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3033
Scope and Contents

Slides organized into five tabs: Warrior, Michell, Challenger, DSD Armstrong Wks., and DSD Barnbow

Dates: 1965 - 1995
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Energy Production, 1975 - 1985

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3013
Scope and Contents

Documents detailing a presentation about energy and fuel production

Dates: 1975 - 1985
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Guns/Tanks/Other Products, 1910 - 1965

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3002
Scope and Contents

Photographs of military equipment and vehicles

Dates: 1910 - 1965
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

History of Cheques, 1975 - 1985

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3041
Scope and Contents

Full title of file is Prod. 235. R.V.B.F. "History of Cheques"

Dates: 1975 - 1985
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

HMS Sheffield and ShareSave, 1979 - 1985

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3044
Scope and Contents

Folder contains two document folders: Launch HMS Sheffield Prod 163. Held By Universal and ShareSave. Also contains a small group of photographic slides labeled South Africa Prod 250

Dates: 1979 - 1985
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Howson Algraphy, 1975 - 1985

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3017
Scope and Contents

Slides and documentation relating to Vickers Ltd owned Howson Algraphy, a printing plate manufacturer based in the UK, and its sales conference. Slides were labeled Howson ALGRAPHY, documents Howson-Algraphy Sales Conf. 226.

Dates: 1975 - 1985
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Howson-Algraphy, 1975 - 1985

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3018
Scope and Contents

Slides relating to the Howson Algraphy printing plate manufacturer, including a guide to the slides

Dates: 1975 - 1985
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Howson-Algraphy Prod. 182, 1975 - 1985

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3019
Scope and Contents

Documents relating to Howson-Algraphy production of printing materials

Dates: 1975 - 1985
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Hydro-Man and Hydraulics, 1975 - 1985

 File
Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Vickers Doc 3020
Scope and Contents

Contains two subfolders, Hydraulics Prod 213 and "Hydro-Man" (Hydraulics) Prod. Nos. 143

Dates: 1975 - 1985
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Additional filters:

ARCHON code (for CUL materials)
Archives and MSS Dept. (GBR/0012) 53
Royal Greenwich Observatory (GBR/0180) 1
 
Type
Archival Object 53
Collection 1