Coles Cranes were founded in 1879 by Henry James Coles of whom had originally started out as a sawmill machine manufacturer. At this time, Britain was in the height of an industrial revolution, which meant there was a requirement for machinery that could contribute to the building of Britain’s infrastructure.
Early Coles Cranes were powered by steam and were used predominately on the railways to support the growth of the rail network. By the 1930s Coles were manufacturing ‘Deck Cranes’, these were specifically designed to lift goods and move them short distances and were ideal for working in yards or on construction sites. The 6 Ton Argus Crane was first manufactured in 1954 and Argus was the strongest of all the Coles cantilever cranes. Over 50 years on they can still be found in working order in boat yards and on preserved railways.