This is the story of Perkins, MacIntosh & Perkins Tool and Boring Company Limited. If you assumed that the company went out of business long ago after unending political turmoil including two World Wars and one Cold War, you would be wrong. The company appears to be very much alive.
First, some background about the company. According to Gary May in “Hard Oiler”:
“Carl’s [MacIntosh] family had a long history in oil, starting in the Lambton fields. His father, George, had taken the family to Austria in 1887, accompanied by George’s father and mother, John and Mary MacIntosh. There, the family teamed up with their Lambton cousins to form the Perkins, MacIntosh and Perkins Petroleum Tool and Boring Company Limited. The company, they claimed, was the largest maker in Europe of high-grade drilling outfits. About 1900, Cyrus Perkins opened a branch office in St. Albans, England.
After the war, in 1919, Carl returned to Stryj, near Borislav, where he joined his cousin, George Perkins, back at the drilling-tool works. By now, however, Stryj was no longer part of Austria, but rather Poland. Under Polish law, in order to regain control of the company, the Canadians were required to take on a local partner, and so the Perkins MacIntosh and Zdanowicz Company Limited was formed, with Carl as director.”
Slawomir Duran of Poland has a much more detailed view of the early history of the company.
“Coming back to the beginning of the (PMP), I found that, an initial stage of Perkins & Macintosh factorys activities took place in Sloboda Rungurska (close to Kolomyja), and based on Stanislaw Szczepanowskis small workshop. The founders were Cyrus Perkins and George MacIntosh. In 1899, the Cyrus son Charles, was brought in and became the third business partner. That is why, the second edition of the companys name was Perkins, MacIntosh & Perkins. The main factory was located in Stryj (close to railway station) the company also had a branches in Boryslaw-Wolanka, Tustanowice, Sloboda Rungurska, and abroad in St Albans. It is truly believed, that Szczepanowski (died in 1900) was that person, who invited McGarvey to start drilling in Galicia (Poland). Among others such as Ignacy Łukasiewicz, he became a great figure, who graced the Subcarpathian oil industry with European dash.”
“In 1911, because of the commercial law regulations, the Perkins, MacIntosh & Perkins company merged with the Polish company Waclaw Wolski & Wladyslaw Zdanowicz & Company. The name of the company after reconstruction was: Fabryka Narzędzi Wiertniczych Perkins MacIntosh & Zdanowicz, Eng: Galician Boring Tool Works Perkins, MacIntosh & Zdanowicz Ltd”
The company has owned the oil mains in Boryslaw area. (see the foto attached). Large part of them were sold out in 1913 . Oil wells names : Williams I, Williams II, Williams III, Williams IV, Phoenix II, Piast Perła
Then found that on 7 May 1913, the company changed its management team
1. Charles Perkins – industrialist /Stryj
2. George Eli Perkins – industrialist /Stryj
3. Bertie Taylor industrialist /Stryj
4. Władysław Zdanowicz – engineer /Boryslaw
“The history of Poland after 1939, when II-World War had started, is so difficult to explain in a short letter. As a result of Jałta and Poczdam conference, Polish east border, has been shifted 200 km west and we lost a large surface of our territory, including cities such as Lwów, Stryj, Boryslaw, Drohobycz, Kolomyja, etc. It is reported, that Poland lost 200 cities on east, as a result of the soviet domination in Europe after 1945, but we have never accepted this. Even today, If you are in Poland you can hear that Lwow is still Polish. For thousands families left on East, it meant a massive extermination (started by Russia in 1939.), deportation by force to far east, bloodbath, (Wolyn, Katyn, Smolensk). Many polish factories, properties, residences have been taken over without a penny compensation. Perkins MacIntosh and Zdanowicz among other oil companies was another victim of this.”
Although the website for the 2005 Perkins, Macintosh & Perkins company no longer exists, it is possible to view it using an internet archiving tool called the “Wayback Machine” (named after the old Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon). You can see the website here:
“…Our products are used extensively in many regions and are recognised as being unsurpassed for quality, style and finish. Intending Purchasers may rest assured that any orders placed with us will receive most careful and prompt attention.”
In 1885 three experienced British drilling engineers arrived in the town of Stryi located in oil rich Western Ukrainian area of Galicia, which was a part of Austria at that time. Their objective was to establish a factory for producing modern oil drilling equipment – complete rigs and components. The company was named according to the names of the founders – Perkins, Macintosh & Perkins.
The products had distinctive quality and high performance and they became very popular among local oil production and drilling operators. Later the sales actively expanded to Western and Central Europe, Far East, Central Asia and Africa.
Early 20th Century Despite dramatic political events, the company continued producing oil industry equipment. The region changed jurisdiction twice – under Poland and later to Soviet Union. The company was sold to the local government whilst under Polish ownership. Under the USSR the company was renamed; to “Metallist Plant”.
Under USSR (1939-1991) the company initially sold most of its products to Ukrainian customers, as Ukraine was formerly one of the main oil-and-gas regions of USSR. However, later the centre of oil and gas production moved to Russia, while Ukrainian factories, being experienced in the industry, then started to sell their products throughout Soviet Union.
At this time Metallist began working for the entire USSR. In the end 1980’s the plant expanded greatly and moved to a new location occupying 26 hectares of land with 10 newly equipped workshops covering 50,000 sq meters.
After 1991, the disintegration of the Soviet Union led to a privatization process and it was at this time the company was purchased by Nadra Group, the largest private petroleum engineering company in Ukraine.
The new shareholders restructured the facility and began manufacturing mobile well-workover rigs for customers in many post-Soviet countries. At the same time the plan for restoring the original concept of Perkins, Macintosh and Perkins (PMP) was developed. This concept included the development and manufacture of leading technology, high quality and customer-friendly equipment for international markets.
In 2004, a British business development team was created together with Ukrainian personnel to build the project. Dr. Mike Flannery, a UK national who formerly held top positions in a number of leading global rigs manufacturers joined PMP as Chairman.
Work began on developing new rigs, new distribution areas and manufacturing processes. In early 2005 Perkins, Macintosh and Perkins Limited was registered in UK with a manufacturing base in Striy at the Metallist plant developing its facilities and experience for the new company objectives based on original values laid down by founders 120 years ago.
To summarize these articles. Perkins, MacIntosh and Perkins was formed around 1885. It fell under Polish rule in 1919. It then fell under Soviet control in 1939 and the factory’s name was changed to the very Russian sounding “Metallist”. After the end of the Cold War, the factory has been owned by a succession of firms. Briefly in 2005, it was renamed Perkins, Macintosh & Perkins to emphasize its western history. Today the company is called Discovery Drilling Equipment.
Here is a summary of the companies involved with Perkins, Mac’Intosh & Perkins
PERKINS, MACINTOSH AND PERKINS TOOL AND BORING LTD starting in 1885
PERKINS, MACINTOSH AND ZDANOWICZ starting in 1919 (Polish Company)
METALLIST PLANT 1939-1991 (Russian Company)
NARDA GROUP 1991-2005 (Ukrainian Company)
RAGWARD LIMITED until 04/03/2005
PERKINS, MACINTOSH AND PERKINS LTD until 10/08/2006
IDM EUROPE LIMITED until 27/02/2009
DISCOVERY DRILLING EQUIPMENT LIMITED until present time