nautilus grate works

nautilus grate works



Around 1881 James Bazeley Petter founded the Nautilus Stove Co, making grates and kitchen ranges. In 1882 Petter showed his Nautilus Grate at the Manchester Smoke Abatement Exhibition and after Queen Victoria installed Nautilus fire grates at Balmoral Castle and Osborne House, demand for them grew substantially.

Around 1881 or 82 the building owned by Frederick Greenham known as 'The Rink' in Hendford, (photographed below) was leased by Petter and became known as the Nautilus Grate Works. The building was known as 'The Rink' because it had originally been built as a skating rink. The Nautilus Grate Works was Petter’s factory before moving to the purpose-built Nautilus Works premises in Reckleford. The Hendford building was next to Ayr House on the east side of Hendford. In 1889, following the death of Frederick Greenham, the Rink was put up for sale as part of Greenham's extensive land holdings. It was bought by cabinetmaker Henry White for £800 (about £90,000 at today's value) and Henry established his business there.

Illustrated here is an advertisement for the Nautilus Dog Grate placed in Whitby's Yeovil Almanack Advertiser of 1888. In November 1893 Petter advertised his "Nautilus Dog-Grate by James B Petter, Nautilus Works, Yeovil" nationally in the 'The Times'.

In 'The British Architect', Volume 43, 29 March 1895 appeared "The 'Nautilus' grate, with the many excellent qualities of which most of our readers are probably familiar, is shown by the patentee, Mr. Jas. B. Petter, of Yeovil, and 20 Cheapside, EC.

In 1914 the Davis Gas Stove Co acquired Nautilus Fire Co Ltd. The site of the Nautilus Grate Works in Hendford is now occupied by Dolphin House.




This map, based on the 1886 Ordnance Survey, shows the Nautilus Grate Works at bottom left.




This photograph features in my book 'Yeovil From Old Photographs'

Henry White's Furnishing Warehouse, known as 'The Rink', in Hendford opposite the Manor Hotel, at that time known as Hendford House. The front of the building was a shop and at the rear was the upholstery and cabinet works where Henry and his employees produced and repaired furniture. The goods on display outside the shop would almost certainly have been produced in the workshop at the rear of the premises. Photographed around 1890, it had earlier been Petter's Nautilus Grate Works.