The firm was founded by Benjamin Hick, senior, who built the Soho Ironworks in 1832, and commenced trading as a general engineer in partnership with his two sons, John and Benjamin junior, under the name of Benjamin Hick and Sons.
Benjamin junior left the firm shortly after its foundation to take up a partnership in Liverpool; Benjamin senior died in 1842, leaving the business in the hands of John Hick.
In 1845, John Hick took into partnership John Hargreaves and his son William Hargreaves, and the name of the firm was changed to Hick, Hargreaves & Co. In 1868, John Hick retired from the business when he was elected M.P. for the Borough of Bolton. He subsequently became a director of the London and North Western Railway Company, and is also remembered for his work in restoring the locomotive steam engine 'Sanspareil', which he subsequently presented to the Science Museum, South Kensington.
From 1868 until his death in 1889, the business was carried on successfully by William Hargreaves, after which date the firm became a limited liability company.
Hick, Hargreaves & Co. produced a wide range of products for customers at home and overseas (including India, Russia, Spain, South America, China, and Japan). In the early period they specialised in the manufacture of stationary and locomotive steam engines, boilers, water wheels and mill gearing. In 1864, they were responsible for the introduction of the Corliss valve gear into the United Kingdom. During the present century they have been notable for the manufacture of Diesel Engines and Hick-Breguet condensing equipment.
ZHH/1. Financial Records, including Wages Books.
ZHH/2. Engineers' Copy Books.
ZHH/3. Engineering Drawings. 1819-1958
ZHH/4. Correspondence, 1854.
ZHH/5. Records relating to The Australian Co. (Refrigerated Ships, etc.
ZHH/6. Lists of Engines and Firms Supplied.
ZHH/7. Publications: "The Engineer", 1942 - 1963.
"Engineering", 1943 - 1962.
Further Instalment, deposited December 1982.
ZHH/8. Engine Drawing Catalogues.
ZHH/9. Engine Drawing Lists.
ZHH/10. Engine Renewal Books.
ZHH/11. Engine Work Ordered Out Books.
ZHH/12. Engine Estimates.
ZHH/13. Engine Sizes as Made.
ZHH/14. Engine Smiths' Books.
ZHH/15. Engine Enquiry Books.
ZHH/16. Engine Files.
ZHH/17. Millwrights' Drawing Lists.
ZHH/18. Millwrights' Copy Books.
ZHH/19. Millwrights' Fitting Books.
ZHH/20. Millwrights' Estimates.
ZHH/21. Millwrights' Smiths' Books.
ZHH/22. Wheel Order Books.
ZHH/23. Millwrights' Files.
ZHH/24. Diesel Engine Drawing Lists.
ZHH/25. Diesel Engine Renewal Books.
ZHH/26. Diesel Engine Work Ordered Out Books.
ZHH/27. Diesel Engine Copy Books.
ZHH/28. Diesel Engine Order Books.
ZHH/29. Diesel Engine Files.
ZHH/30. Hick-Breguet Drawing Catalogues.
ZHH/31. Hick-Breguet Drawing Lists.
ZHH/32. Hick-Breguet Work Ordered Out Books.
ZHH/33. Hick-Breguet Order Books.
ZHH/34. Hick-Breguet Files.
ZHH/35. Power Station Files.
ZHH/36. Bolt Books.
ZHH/37. Works Copy Books.
ZHH/38. Miscellaneous Lists and Indexes.