Soho Foundry

This year, Avery Weigh-Tronix celebrates 200 years of innovation in weighing technologies. Life has changed dramatically since the company was founded in 1818, however innovation has always remained constant, with the company continually evolving over the years to develop products that meet changing consumer demands.

  • The early days
  • Supporting product with service
  • A site steeped in history
  • Evolutions and electronics
  • Celebrating innovation

The early days

Horse and cart weighbridge

Today, Avery Weigh-Tronix is a global company, operating in more than 100 countries across the world. However, the company’s history stems back to more humble beginnings when a small weighing company producing stilliards (portable scales) in the back streets of Birmingham took on the name of W&T Avery in 1818.

The company’s first weighbridge was produced 1876, and was designed to weigh a cart pulled by a horse. The weighbridge had a mechanical dial on the side to take a reading which provided people with a means to check they were buying and selling goods at a fair rate. At the time this was the forefront of technology, however it’s a far cry from today’s weighbridges which use the latest in electronics to deliver highly accurate digital readings.

Supporting product with service

In 1887, a mere decade after the production of the first weighbridge, the company introduced its first service contract. Avery were the first weighing company to introduce the concept of a service contract and this completely revolutionised the customer experience. This innovative approach to customer service continues today with service contracts remaining at the heart of the business and Avery Weigh-Tronix continuing to offer unparalleled levels of customer support.

A site steeped in history

The historic 25-acre Soho Foundry site was acquired in 1895 and is still home to Avery Weigh-Tronix today. Built in 1795, the site played a key part in the Industrial Revolution, and was originally used to manufacture steam engine components, as well as housing gas works and a Royal Mint.

Today, the site is still fully functional; with offices, production and training facilities operating side-by-side with key pieces of British history including WWII air raid shelters, Victorian workers cottages and some of the original factory buildings.

Evolutions and electronics

As times moved on and mechanical scales were increasingly used to cheat customers into paying for more than they had bought, Avery introduced a world first in 1971 – the electronic scale – which disrupted the market again and ensured a fairer deal for consumers.

By this time Avery had become a household name, thanks to a continued product range expansion. The Avery brand name became so synonymous with weighing that in some countries a scale was known simply as an “Avery”.Avery electronic scale

In the year 2000, Weigh-Tronix, an American company designing and manufacturing agricultural scales, acquired Avery, henceforth the company was known as Avery Weigh-Tronix.

Celebrating innovation

Today, Avery Weigh-Tronix continues to be a forward-thinking company that embraces the future by employing new technologies wherever possible.

The 200-year milestone is important, not just because it proves the longevity of the company, but because it’s representative of Avery Weigh-Tronix’s continued drive for innovation and success.Avery Soho Foundry front gates

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