By Edgar Jones
This can be the tale of an incredible supplier. It describes the transformation of a small partnership, shaped in 1759, into a world staff, the dimensions of whose varied actions has demanded the construction of a multi-divisional constitution, supported via many expert departments. essentially the most longeval of Britain's present production businesses, GKN's background could be interpreted as a distinct and revealing perception into Britain's business adventure over previous centuries.
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Extra info for A History of GKN: Volume 1 Innovation and Enterprise, 1759–1918
To a certain extent, the intricate nature of some company histories has been mitigated because the business in question has been associated consistently with a single industry, albeit, a complex one. This is particularly true of small and medium-size enterprises without the resources or expertise to diversify far beyond their prime activity. The same cannot be said of GKN. Through acquisition and internallygenerated expansion, the group has been involved in coal mining, iron and then steel making, and a variety of engineering trades.
The formation and development of GKN from its roots in the Dowlais Iron Co. represents the transformation of a partnership limited in essence to Glamorgan and Bristol into an international group, the scale of whose diverse activities have now demanded the creation of a devolved, multi-divisional structure with central strategic control and operational monitoring, supported by a number of specialist head office departments. Important stage posts along this evolutionary road included the resort to limited liability following the Companies Acts of 1856 and 1863, the formation of a holding-subsidiary company relationship after the mergers of the Edwardian and inter-war periods, and in the mid-1960s the creation of 'Sub-groups' arranged according to product or territory.
However, the shape of the roofs and their chimneys bear a considerable Similarity to the view of Penydarren by Wood (plate eight) IElton Collection, Ironbndge Gorge Museum Trust) 21 of workers were local men - John Guest when he became manager of the Dowlais Iron Co. felt it desirable to learn Welsh - and in later periods because the foremen and managers would have been Welsh speaking. The frightening impact made by the ironworks on the uninitiated 22 IRON IN SOUTH WALES, 1759-1850 visitor was captured by Malkin's description of Cyfarthfa, then the largest in the world: 102 His [Richard Crawshay's] house is surrounded with fire, flame, smoke and ashes.
A History of GKN: Volume 1 Innovation and Enterprise, 1759–1918 by Edgar Jones