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Ridgway, Nigel; Lamb, Rohan
Tangye in Australia and New Zealand
16th Engineering Heritage Australia Conference: Conserving Our Heritage - Make a Difference!
Engineers Australia, Barton, Australian Capital Territory, 2011, pp. 337-354

Tangye, a company founded by four brothers (Richard, George, James and Joseph), was a prolific designer and manufacturer of engineered products including hydraulic jacks, pumps, steam engines and machinery starting from 1857 in Birmingham, UK as James Tangye and Brothers. Later they converted to a limited liability company Tangye's Ltd 1881, and exported their products globally. (Sir) Richard Tangye the youngest brother expanded the business globally through regular visits to Australia (1873,1884 and 1886) to develop local agents at various stages and the company owned warehouses with show rooms and inventory. A significant proportion of extant heritage survives in Australia and NZ and the name itself is remembered for its superior quality and engineering and the word "Tangye" itself is still an iconic brand. There is also a significant number of horizontal single mill engines still in use by Javanese sugar mills and there is a website dedicated to their history (Dickinson). It is important to note very few Tangye engines survive in the United Kingdom and this increases the national significance of Tangye products in Australia and New Zealand. Their business was founded on hydraulic jack design and progressed into standard manufacture of steam engines. These principles of manufacture are still in use today including make to stock, standard designs, interchangeable parts, production lines, innovation and high quality. An observation of extant objects (Tangye products) and examination of the published literature shows these manufacturing principles started from circa 1869 when Tangye released their famous Quaker design engine which was sold until the 1940s.

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