Company founded by Arthurt Lowe Dalton
In 1901, Arthur Lowe Dalton recognised the new world of opportunity and started the engineering company that still bears his nameover a century later. Today, Daltons is regarded in the UK and worldwide as one of the leading suppliers of woodworking machinery and support solutions. The modern business world is light years away from that of Arthur Dalton, but the company founder would identify with the standards of excellence and quality that remain the key to Daltons’ success.
A century of trading has seen Daltons survive and prosper despite two World Wars, economic depression, an era of boom and bust, and the downturn in the British manufacturing industry. Credit for the early strength of the company goes to Cyril and Vernon Dalton, the founder’s sons, who ran the business from the early 1920’s.
In those years, woodworking machinery was sold alongside stationary diesel oil and petrol/ paraffin engines, electric motors and electric generating plants. A newspaper article of the time quoted the brothers as offering “anything from a bench-trimmer to a four-cutter, a 0.5 h.p. to a 100 h.p motor, or a 1 h.p. petrol engine to a 500 h.p. crude oil unit.” Increasing mechanisation and demand saw Daltons developing the woodworking machinery sector and carving a reputation for rebuilding quality machinery for sawing, planing, moulding, turning and sanding etc.
In the post war 50’s, Daltons forged links with Wadkin, when in 1957 they were appointed the first stockist for the Leicester based manufacturer.
From Leicester to Nottingham
Following financial difficulties at Wadkin in the early part of this century, Daltons, headed by Nigel and Francis Dalton, brought the exclusive rights to manufacture the Wadkin Classical range of woodworking machinery.
Over one hundred years on and the company is under the control of the third and fourth generation of Daltons, with Francis and Alex the directors.
Today Daltons Wadkin continues the manufacture of new Wadkin products from its Nottingham base, a long way since those early years on Canal Street.
The third generation
Nigel Dalton was joint owner and Director of Daltons for over 45 years before his untimely death in 2009.
Nigel was involved in all aspects from sales to service, he was when necessary a ‘hands on’ practical person who took a special pride in ensuring that the company offered the very best in aftercare, transport, machine moving and installation.
Well known in the woodworking machinery sector, he and his brother Francis were the third generation to enter the family business of A L Dalton Ltd. in Nottingham.
A pioneering time
The 1970’s proved the key period for driving Daltons into a new era of growth. 1971 saw the company pioneering the promotion of rebuilt woodworking machinery at national exhibition level when they exhibited at the Building Trades Exhibition at Olympia.
In 1974, Daltons moved from Canal Street to new purpose built premises at Crossgate Drive. The building provides an unrivalled setting for the display and demonstration of an extensive range of both new and previously owned machinery. Visitors are often unprepared for the extent and quality of the equipment available. Visitors can see for themselves the team of highly skilled fitters, engineers and electricians at work whose skills ensure every machine leaving the premises bears the Daltons’ stamp of quality.
Many seek to emulate but few can match the standard
A commitment to quality
The reputation Daltons enjoy for expertise and quality is legendary. Many seek to emulate but few can match the standard of machine that emerges from the workshops.
Travel the globe and discover just how far Daltons’ roots have spread from Nottingham. Export success in recent years has seen particular demand from Asia, India and the Middle East, with activity spreading across Africa, Australasia, South America and the newly developing countries of Eastern Europe. A recent innovation is the addition of manufacturing to the company’s activities. The Phillipson range of sanding machines is now built to precision standards in the Dalton workshops.
The fourth generation
Arthur Lowe Dalton founded the company in the same year as Marconi’s first trans-Atlantic message and Britain’s first submarine launched. Today, in the new Millennium, trade is dominated by e-commerce. Daltons span the generations by offering quality products backed up by old fashioned standards of service, while anticipating and providing for the needs of customers well into the next 100 years.