Waygood & Co.

Lift manufacturers

B/W Advertisement for Waygood & Co., 1902

R. Waygood & Co. – later ‘Ltd’, and 'Waygood-Otis Ltd' – of London, made 'hydraulic, electric, and [hand] power lifts for passengers and goods’. 1 Founded by Richard Waygood in the 1830s, by the 1890s they were known nationwide. 2 At the Royal Naval Exhibition of 1891, adventurous visitors could even 'ascend the [replica] Eddystone Lighthouse by Waygood's Patent Lift'. 3 As 'lift makers to H.M. the Queen', they erected passenger lifts ‘at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle' (1894), as well as the Piccadilly Club, London, and the Crystal Palace. 4

From 1892–3 until the mid-1920s, their Glasgow representative was Richard G. Warren (1863–1949), who was an electrical engineer's and steelworks commission agent and shared offices with civil-engineering relatives at various city-centre addresses. 5 In 1900, Waygood changed from a private to a public limited liability company, with the considerable share capital of £210,000, to ‘provide additional working capital’ for expansion. 6 Their prospectus stated that they were the largest British producers of lifts, cranes and hoists, listing branches in Bombay, Mexico and St Petersburg, and ironworks in London and Coventry. 7

In 1907–8, Waygood fitted lifts in the ocean liners Lusitania and Mauretania, and in 16 hospitals and 20 banks, as well as the 23 lifts in the Strand Hotel and the cliff lifts at Bournemouth. 8 Their clients in 1908–9 ranged from the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Guildhall in London to Lord Rothschild, the President of Brazil and the Ottoman Turkish Parliament. 9 A tentative merger with Otis Elevators in 1902 was unsuccessful; however Waygood ultimately joined Otis as a subsidiary in 1914. 10

B/W Advertisement for Waygood & Co., 'Glasgow Building Trades Exchange', 1896, p. 160 B/W Advertisement for Waygood & Co., 'Glasgow Building Trades Exchange', 1896, p. 161


1: Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1900–01, p. 634.

2: 'Mr H. C. Walker, A Pioneer of the Lift Industry', The Times, 27 March 1939, p. 14C; 'R. Waygood and Co.', Company History, in Grace's Guide to British Industrial History website, 2007, www.gracesguide.co.uk/R._Waygood_and_Co [accessed 24 September 2012].

3: The Times, 4 September 1891, p. 1B.

4: Buckingham Palace and Windsor: The Times, 8 October 1894, p. 11F; 24 February 1896, p. 12E; Piccadilly Club and Crystal Palace: The Times, 26 August 1892, p. 6F; 20 April 1900, p. 5G.

5: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1890–1928; Warren's birth and death dates, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 24 September 2012].

6: The Times, 2 July 1900, pp. 6C, 17A.

7: The Times, 2 July 1900, p. 17A.

8: The Times, 19 June 1908, p. 4E.

9: The Times, 18 June 1909, p. 14D.

10: The Times, 3 September 1902, p. 9F; 18 June 1903, p. 3F; 28 June 1913, p. 21C; 9 May 1914, p. 20B; 18 June 1914, p. 21B; 25 June 1914, p. 23B.