The story of our past drives the success of our future.

Interactive Timeline

Take a look through our rich history with our interactive timeline!

An innovative approach to engineering challenges was evident from the outset, as Edward Dawson was the first in the UK to import specialised boring bars and vacuum equipment from America.These allowed him to recondition automotive engine cylinders without removing the engine from the chassis, saving considerable time and cost.


Within years, and by now an established and specialised automotive and aviation engineer, Edward Dawson teamed up with Fred Shanahan to create Dawson Shanahan Ltd.


From the outset, the partners established a reputation for innovative and effective solutions to engineering problems. During the war years, their expertise was put to the test in the manufacture of precision components for anti-lock braking systems used in heavy bombers, including the Lancaster, Wellington and Halifax. To learn more about these systems then click here.


So successful was Dawson Shanahan’s solution that the UK Government arranged for new and advanced lathes to be shipped by convoy from America; unfortunately the vessel was torpedoed and the machines lay to this day on the floor of the Atlantic.


In the post war years Dawson Shanahan took on a wide range of engineering work. This included the production of Copper components for the first power semiconductor devices. These had to be manufactured from virtually pure Copper, known today as Oxygen-Free High-Conductivity Copper (OFHC). This is a difficult material to machine, so Dawson Shanahan pioneered the use of precision cold-forming to reduce both material and machining time.


Precision cold forming has since become the mainstay of the Dawson Shanahan business. Alongside our precision engineering, technical support and value added services, it has helped us build long lasting partnerships with customers in almost every sector of industry: from automotive and aerospace, to power distribution, energy, electronics, plasma and medical.


With over 100 years experience in precision engineering and cold forming, we’ve the knowledge, skills and resources to help you design, develop and manufacture innovative, cost-effective and high quality parts for almost any application – in high and low volumes, as one-offs or long term contracts, for JIT delivery or stock anywhere in the world.


Put us to the test by calling today on +44 (0)1938 551700 or use our contact form.

dawson shananhan history
Fred and Edward Dawson and their wives
dawson shanahan history profile
Edward, David and Robin Dawson
dawson shanahan history
David Dawson – 1973
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