There has been a spate of exhibitions on family businesses of late, including one celebrating the calendars of Italian company Lavazza and another looking at a company that's in its 19th generation. Now JCB, the third-largest construction equipment manufacturer in the world and maker of the iconic JCB digger, has unveiled a permanent display about its past.
Covering 2,500 square metres of floorspace in the company’s headquarters in Rocester, Staffordshire, The Story of JCB follows the Bamfords, the family behind the business, from their time as blacksmiths during the 1820s to the present day.
No doubt to the delight of machinery lovers and JCB fans, the exhibition also focuses on the family business's different products, which range from agricultural machinery to military products and construction equipment, and allows visitors to see 10 of the bright yellow machines displayed in 14 areas.
Visitors can also walk by founder Joseph Cyril Bamford’s old office, which he used from 1970 until his retirement in 1975. The office still contains his original furniture and a bronze bust of him that the company’s workforce offered him in 1964, the year Bamford rewarded his staff with more than £250,000 (€287,000) in productivity bonuses.
Second-generation Sir Anthony Bamford, who currently heads the business, said the exhibition celebrates innovation, adding this has been at the core of company since JCB was established in 1945.
The business shows no signs of slowing down either, reporting revenues of £2 billion last year, a 48% increase from £1.35 billion the year before.