Our History

Trading for over 160 years Farmer Norton has been at the forefront of the metalworking machinery industry, designing and building equipment.


Sir James Farmer born 28 October

Became an Engineer and politician, including Mayor of Salford in 1885. Died 1892.


Started the millwrights and engineering company Sir James Farmer & Sons from Adelphi Street, Salford.

Started manufacturing textile machinery.


Supplied their first steel related equipment in the form of tube and wire drawing machinery for the King of Burma's new steelworks.

Located on the Irrawaddy, about 12 miles from Mandalay. The main contractor, Claridge & Company found it necessary to sub-contract significant parts of the plant to James Farmer and Sons. Their supply included blast furnace blowing engines, a punching and rail straightening machine, blast furnace hoists, wire drawing and tube-making plant including furnaces, draw benches, straightening, screwing machines, etc. The wire-drawing and tube-making plant was powered by a pair of engines of 16" bore, 2 ft stroke, made by Farmer & Co


Incorporated as Sir James Farmer Norton & Co. Ltd

The existing partnership was converted into a limited company, and traded as a business of machinists, mechanical engineers, machine and engineering toolmakers, boilermakers, ironfounders, brassfounders, millwrights and metalworkers, and to buy, sell, manufacture, convert, let on hire, and deal in machinery, rolling-stock, iron, steel, metal implements, tools, utensils and conveniences of all kinds.


Employed 680 people

Manufacturing metalworking and textile machinery.


Company purchased by Parex Engineering Ltd


Company purchased by the Shepherd family

The company had ceased manufacturing equipment and the Shepherd family decided to purchase the company to continue the Farmer Norton name and tradition of quality machinery.