Martin & Company
Martin & Company
Initially an engineering company, established in 1892 by Thomas Aquin Martin (previously Manager of Walsh, Lovatt & Company), Harold Martin, Rajendranath Mookerjee and C W Walsh; located at Jackson House, Calcutta. The company is in some records named the London based T A Martin & Co. .
The business developed rapidly as a Managing Agent and had interests in light railways, collieries, steel works, docks, engineering works, manganese mines, tea, timber, electric supply companies, cement and allied undertakings. The company built jute mills and had further large contracts for water and drainage works. The building department was responsible for the design and construction of many important commercial and public buildings and private residences .
The company also had a large business in supplying light railway materials and by 1897 were regularly advertising in trade journals which stated they could supply portable and permanent railways for agriculture, industrial and contractors purposes and had a large stock of light rails, sleepers and attachments, steel double-sided tipping trucks, platform wagons, bogie goods wagons, special wagons for timber, plantation and tea garden wagons, special cask wagons, conservancy wagons for municipalities, steel coal tubs and mining wagons and barrows. They also acted as sole Indian agents for a number of locomotive builders and railway equipment companies:- British Thomson Housten (1899); Hunslett Engine Co (1904); Arthur Koppel & Co (1904); Robert Hudson Ltd (1907) .
By 1926 they also had offices in Bombay, Karachi and Dhanbad and a works at Kidderpore. In 1940 they were shown in trade directories as merchants; building contractors and Agents for railways, tea and engineering companies with offices at 12 Mission Row, Calcutta and in Lahore and New Delhi.
Railway Business Interests
The Bengal District Road Tramways Company was promoted in 1889 by Walsh, Lovett & Company (Martin & Company from 1892), of Calcutta, to construct tramways from Howrah to Amta and Howrah to Sheakhala, using portions of existing roads.
Two companies were in fact registered in 1895, one for each line, and in 1899 the titles became Howrah-Amta Light Railway Company and Howrah-Sheakhala Light Railway Company, being then subject to the Railways Act. The District Boards of Howrah and Hooghly guaranteed a net profit of 4 per cent per annum on the capital expended on the Amta and Sheakhala lines respectively, excess profits being shared, and the Howrah Municipal Commissioners allowed free use of their roads for 20 years and thereafter levied a track rent.
See page Howrah-Amta Light Railway
and page Howrah-Sheakhalla Light Railway
Martin’s Light Railways
Martin's Light Railways(MLR ), owned by Messrs ‘Martin & Co’.
From 1897 onwards operated several disparate Narrow Gauge(NG) light railways in the Gangetic plain, from Calcutta in the east to Delhi in the west.
See page Martin's Light Railways for details
Selling Agents in India
Robert Hudson Ltd. A Leeds UK based light railway manufacturer from 1883 onwards. By 1907 ‘Martin & Co.’ had become their selling Agents
Other known Business Interests
- Kulti Iron Works. An iron works originally the ‘Barakar Iron Works Co’, 1875-79; taken over by the Government of India, 1881. Sold later to the ‘Bengal Iron and Steel Co.’ with ‘Martin & Co.’ as Managing Agent from 1892 until 1919 when a new company ‘Bengal Iron Co’ acquired the business (Later in 1936 becoming ‘’Indian Iron and Steel Co.’
- Calcutta Storm Water Construction Railway. Between 1898 and 1905 the remodelling of the storm water outfall for Calcutta was undertaken by ‘Martin & Co.’
- Kodaigaon Manganese Mine. A manganese mining operation owned by the ‘Indian Manganese Company’, commenced operations in 1904, with ‘Martin & Co.’ as Managing Agent
- Simlipal Forest, Mayurbhanj District,Tramway. The ‘Borooah Timber Company’ was incorporated in 1919 with ‘Martin & Co.’ as Managing Agent. The primary object of the company was to supply railway sleepers
- Japla Cement Works. A cement works established in 1922 in UK by ‘Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers’ with ‘Martin & Co.’ as Managing Agent
- Raniganj, Samla Collieries Ltd. A coal mining company, established in 1927, with ‘Martin & Co.’ as Managing Agent
- “Industrial Railways and Locomotives of India and South Asia” compiled by Simon Darvill. Published by ‘The Industrial Railway Society’ 2013. ISBN 978 1 901556 82-7. Available at http://irsshop.co.uk/India. Reference: Entry WB104 page ....