Thomas Mabbutt apprenticed as a young man making parts for firearms. He established Abingdon Engineering in 1856. Firearms were the only business until around 1865. War in Europe and then America kept them busy. Abingdon began producing parts for velocipedes in addition to their firearms business. They began making the King Dick adjustable spanner soon after Billings & Spencers 1879 patent. Mabbutt owned a bulldog descended from King Dick. This trademark was registered in 1881 and appeared on the wrench.
A merger with the Albert Eadie Chain Company occurred in 1906 forming Abingdon-Ecco Ltd. By now, they were making bicycles and motorcycles. The company tried their hand at automobiles in 1921 and 1922. They wandered a bit after the depression ended in 1933. Motorcycles were dropped to concentrate on hand tools. A vacuum sweeper was made for a while in addition to contract manufacturing for other companies. World War II required they concentrate on government contracts. These contracts included tools for aircraft. After the war ended, hand tools became their primary business. The company became Abingdon King Dick Ltd in 1945. Their product was often included in leading British automotive tool kits.
Tomarc Ltd purchased Abingdon in 1991 and employee Griff Roberts bought it in 1997. The company is still producing hand tools today.
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