Although not made in the UK, Ajax industrial lathes have always been made in Europe, rather than the Far East.
Ajax, formed in 1939 and based in West Mount, Halifax, Yorkshire was begun one George Carter and Donald Walker. The name for their new machine-tool company came from H.M.S. Ajax, the Royal Navy battle cruiser that had been adopted by the town.
Original products, not doubt insisted upon by the Ministry of Supply during WW2, included a variety of drilling and milling machines needed urgently for war work By 1950 a new public company, Ada Domestic Appliances had been incorporated and acquired the whole of the issued share capital of the original Ajax company. With a new machine-tool factory built and equipped at Holmfield, Halifax, the West Mount premises were used for the production of the rather less exciting though no doubt profitable washing and ironing machines. In 1953 Ajax became a Limited Liability Company and, following considerable success in machine-tool sales, was acquired in 1958 by the Dutch Electronics Group, Philips International. By the 1960s the Company had changed direction and become, as well as a manufacturer, a well-known importer and distributors of a wide range of what might be described as well-constructed but less expensive industrial machine tools. Items factored included milling machines ranging from simple hand-operated horizontal types through a number of popular Bridgeport Series 1 clones to ordinary but massively-built vertical and horizontal types. Slotting machines, shapers, metal saws, lathes drills and doubled-ended grinders were also offered in a wide variety of models, styles and sizes..
In 1979 the Company moved to new premises in Bredbury, Stockport and became part of the CEI Group, within their specialist engineering sector - a subsequent sale transferring assets to Graseby Plc. In 1992 the Company was transferred back into private ownership following a management buyout from the Graseby Group. By October 2001 the company was in new hands, having been taken over by the Viking Group - who counted amongst their acquisitions Startrite bandsaw and drilling machines. Now based in Birmingham, in November 2002 the company was taken over by its current owner Mr Savin, (who relocated it to Hampshire), to be joined in March 2005 by the long-established Southampton-based machine tool dealership Semco Machine Tools ( Southern Engineering & Machinery Co.) The Company trades successfully to this day..
Below are shown the Ajax lathes Models: AJC150, AJ150 & AJ210