Chelmsford City Museums
Hoffmann's Lathe Industrial Collection

Industrial Collection

Artefact from industrial collection

Industrial Collection


Our collections  chronicle  the enormous contribution made by the ‘Big Three’ industries in Chelmsford – Marconi, Hoffmann and Cromptons, by displaying products from the companies and objects connected with their employees, as well as some of the smaller lesser celebrated industries. 

Discover more about these industries at our Bright Sparks exhibition.

Marconiphone radio receiver Industrial Collection
Marconiphone V2 radio receiver, 1922.

Hoffmann's Ball Lathe Industrial Collection
Hoffmann's ball lathe

This was used for making a perfectly spherical ball bearing. Hoffmann's was one of Chelmsford's Big Three companies, alongside Crompton and Marconi. 

[ Zoom ]
Hoffman Crown Industrial Collection Chelmsford Museum


This crown was made by an apprentice for a competition run by Chelmsford Engineering Society, and was made from Hoffmann’s ball bearings and other products.

[ Zoom ]
Chelmsford From Springfield Hill by John Colkett Industrial Collection
'Chelmsford from Springfield Hill' 

By John Colkett. Oil on canvas, 1847. This painting shows the railway which had come to Chelmsford in 1843.

[ Zoom ]
Arc Lamp Industrial Collection
Arc Lamp

The arc lamp was  manufactured by Col. R.E.B Crompton at his Arc Works in Anchor Street in c1890.

Crompton placed the arc at the bottom of the lamp, so that no shadow was cast by the casing, giving a steadier light.

[ Zoom ]
Motor Generator Industrial Collection Chelmsford Museum

Motor Generator (comprising an engine and dynamo) 

Made before 1890 by Crompton’s to run the Toastrack Railway along Southend Pier. A toastrack carriage is due to be refurbished as part of the current Lottery project.

[ Zoom ]
Marocni Coherer Industrial Collection Chelmsford Museum
Marconi coherer

Made in the Hall Street factory in 1905. The glass tube contained silver and nickel filings which were continually aligned, shaken and re-aligned to allow the radio signal to be generated.