Wallis & Steevens Ltd., Archive

Reference: TR WALDate: 1856-1980Extent: 40 linear metres

A sepia image of a Wallis TractorWallis and Steevens Ltd., agricultural implement makers and dealers, was founded by Arthur Wallis, grandson of Richard Wallis of Richard Wallis and Sons, a Basingstoke merchant company. Arthur Wallis opened his first ironworks at Station Hill, Basingstoke in 1847 and entered the steam engineering business, producing portable engines, small stationary engines and threshing machines. Subsequently the company specialised in self-moving engines: traction engines, steam tractors, steam wagons and road rollers. From the 1920s onwards the company increasingly concentrated on the manufacture of its Advance series of road rollers, and shifted away from steam to the production of diesel and petrol motor rollers. The company also acted as an agent for other agricultural manufacturers including David Brown Tractors until 1953 and Massey Ferguson until 1976 and had showrooms on Reading Road, Station Hill, Basingstoke where it displayed and sold a range of agricultural machinery. During 1966-1967 Wallis and Steevens Ltd. moved to a new works at the Daneshill Industrial Estate, Reading Road, Basingstoke. Although the mid 1970s saw a brief return to profit, the company ceased trading in 1981 after incurring considerable losses, compounded by a sharp decline in new orders. Its wholly-owned subsidiary AJB Engineers was sold in the same year to Belcher Brothers Investments Ltd and its road roller and sprayer business was taken over by BSP International Foundations Ltd., part of the Tex Holdings PLC group of companies.

The collection contains accounts, administrative and company records, drawings, experimental records, manufacturing and production records, publications and advertising records as well as photographs.

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