Warren and Brown was founded in 1921 by Andrew C. Brown and William H. Warren, commencing at this time as “jobbing” engineers, specializing in tool making and gear cutting. After several years, the Company’s production focus shifted to the manufacture of tools to service the motor trade.
During the outbreak of World War II, the factory’s resources were used to aid the war effort and apart from manufacturing its normal range of products, the company took a leading part in production of tools and gauges for military purposes and was largely responsible for the more important tooling associated with .303 ammunition.
The company was next approached by the United States Government’s Director of Machine Tools and Gauges and requested to undertake the manufacture of a range of “self-centering chucks”. These chucks had never been manufactured in Australia before and information regarding overseas manufacturing procedures was not available. Warren and Brown commenced an extensive design and tooling program and after many initial problems made their first deliveries of chucks to Government in February 1942.
In 1948, Warren and Brown took out patents on what has now become known as the “Dual Signal” trip mechanism for their world-renowned range of torque wrenches. The first wrenches were released onto the market in 1949 and to this day still hold the major share of the Australian market despite an onslaught of cheap imports. Warren and Brown torque wrenches are recognised as the benchmark to where similar products aspire to be and have been sold extensively around the world and can be found in the toolboxes of some of the biggest names in world motorsport.
By 1949 the continuing business expansion stretched the company’s financial resources to the limit and in May 1949, Warren and Brown Pty Ltd became part of the Repco organization and with the added resources available the company expanded into the heavier equipment field, adding products such as clutch rebuilders, spring testers, boring bars and other machines to its range.
As a result of a significant change in ownership and corporate direction by the parent Repco Group in 1985, Warren and Brown was finally purchased by five of its management team in 1986 and relocated to its present site in Maidstone, and the rest is history.
More recently, our customer Wayne Salter has contacted us to identify an old piece of equipment, which turned out to be a utility head used during World War II. This tool was manufactured by Warren & Brown and supplied to the Department of Munitions of Australia, between 1940 and 1948.
The utility head was driven by a separate electric motor belt attached on the left-hand side. The right-hand side was the utility component, where you could attach a variety of components into the chuck head, similar to a drill insert. The attachments could be used for grinding, polishing, etc.
We don’t make that tool anymore but it’s definitely a fine piece of Warren & Brown’s history in the production of tools and gauges for the military during WWII.
Don’t forget to check your shed, you might have a Warren & Brown relic hid somewhere. Let us know if you find something or need help identifying one, just shoot us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Learn more about Warren & Brown’s history here