From humble beginnings in Sheffield at the start of the 20th century it became a global success story – now Dormer Tools is preparing its biggest milestone to date.
The company, which began life as Sheffield Twist Drill and Steel with 20 employees in 1913, will celebrate its 100-year anniversary by giving residents of South Yorkshire a unique glimpse into its past.
A host of memorabilia and artefacts from a staple of the city’s industrial heritage, which once saw it employ 1,500 people in Sheffield, will be on display at the UK branch in the Advanced Manufacturing Park, Catcliffe, on the border of Sheffield and Rotherham.
Workers past and present will be featured in the exhibition, which documents Dormer’s journey – from the first drill manufacturer in Europe to introduce steam tempering in the 1950s, to being one of the first businesses to make it possible for customers to order online when the internet was still largely unknown.
Newly-discovered footage from the Yorkshire Film Archive of the firm in the 60s and 70s will be shown as part of the celebrations.
John O’Donoghue, managing director of Dormer Tools UK, said: “It is important to celebrate and recognise a centenary of achievements and developments at Dormer, but we are also keen to look ahead at the next 100 years.
“We have grown from a successful Sheffield company to a major global organisation, with staff located in key global markets.
“As we enter a new century in the company’s history, we continue to look at the latest technology in product development and improved customer facilities, all working to strengthen Dormer’s global position for a new generation.”
For many years, Dormer was based between Napier Street and Cemetery Road.
During World War Two 600 employees engaged in drill and reamer production at Dormer to meet the demands of Winston Churchill’s ‘Tools for the job’ campaign leading to a visit from the Prime Minister himself in 1941.
It moved to a £10 million state-of-the-art factory in Holbrook in the mid 1990s, just before being acquired by Swedish industrial giant Sandvik. It now has subsidiaries in 25 countries.
The company has adopted a new slogan ‘Your trusted partner since 1913’ for its centenary to showcase the company’s reputation.
* Visit www.Dormer100.com for more information on the celebrations.