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Plenty & Son Ltd

Institution: Plenty & Son Ltd
Plenty & Son Ltd was established in the inland market town of Newbury, Berkshire, England in 1790 by William Plenty initially as an agricultural implement manufacturing business. The works became known as the Eagle Iron Works and were located in the centre of town adjacent to the market place behind the shops fronting Cheap Street.

William Plenty developed and built a successful lifeboat accepted by the Royal National Institution for the Preservation of Life from Shipwreck, and by 1824 eleven were in use around Britain's coast. Plenty died in 1832 and was succeeded by his two sons James and Edward Pellew Plenty. In 1864 they brought out their first marine steam engine with a special patent boiler. Two years later they designed and built a steel launch fitted with one of their engines which won the inaugural Royal Yacht Club steam launch race. This launched the company as marine engine builders and in about 1890 Plenty's was among the first engine builders to be placed on the British Admiralty list for the supply of pinnance and steam launch engines and boilers. They began to specialise in marine engines from 1886 and gradually increased both the size of their works and power of their engines.

Engine numbering began in October 1882 with No. 1. KARA KARA's engine is 2540 and by 1938 the numbers were up to 2770. By this time Plenty & Son Ltd was building marine engines for all classes of vessel from 10 to 1,500 ihp.

In 1936 the company became a wholly owned subsidiary of F T Everard & Sons Ltd and made diesel engines for the Newbury Diesel Co. Unfortunately the old Eagle Iron Works in the centre of Newbury no longer survives. It remained there until 1965 when the company, now Plenty Ltd, moved to new premises in Hambridge Road, Newbury. The old site became the Kennet Centre shopping precinct.

Plenty Ltd have offices worldwide including Australia, India, USA and Brazil.