Dawson Shanahan celebrates 80 years of innovation

Dawson Shanahan celebrates 80 years of innovation

Dawson Shanahan celebrates 80 years of innovation

In 2023, Dawson Shanahan will celebrate what traditionally would be described as our oak anniversary, meaning that we have been in business for eighty years. Our dedication to innovation, the nurture of young talent and our local community have been critical to our longevity.

Early history
Dawson Shanahan was founded to service the aerospace and automotive industries. In the early 1920s, Edward Dawson launched an innovative mobile engine-rebuilding business in North London. With the help of specialised tools imported from the USA, Edward was able to recondition cylinders without removing the engine from the chassis. This meant that he could perform major work on his customer’s cars at their own homes. Just as Edward’s reputation was growing, in South London, another entrepreneur, Fred Shanahan, became well-known for his expertise in the same sector. In January 1943, the two businesses merged to become Dawson Shanahan Ltd.

Sprit of innovation
The spirit of innovation behind the establishment of Dawson Shanahan has persisted throughout our history to the present day. In the 1940s, for instance, we developed a unique process for the manufacture of precision components for the anti-lock braking systems of military aircraft. During the 1970s, we pioneered the development of cold-forming and machining techniques to supply the Westinghouse Electric Corp, and grew rapidly during the decade with the semiconductor boom.

Cold forming remains central to our operations today; we have adapted the process for the manufacture of a wide range of precision components, including nozzles for use in computer-numerical control laser-cutting systems, valve sleeves for advanced low-emission diesel engines and connectors for drive-train systems in electric vehicles. Parts produced using cold forming are durable, strong and have highly defined geometries. The process is carried out at ambient temperatures, which makes it energy-efficient, and it generates significantly less waste than machining processes.

Nurturing talent
We also remain committed to nurturing the talent of the future. We run our successful engineering apprenticeship scheme from our headquarters and it has enabled dozens of young people get into engineering. Through the scheme, our apprentices are provided with opportunities to develop their skills while being mentored by highly experienced and skilled engineers.

We live in uncertain times, but with our commitment to innovative technologies, our community and developing the engineers of the future, we look forward to another 80 years of making history.

Dawson Shanahan - 80 years of precision engineering excellence