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1865 James Bazeley Petter received the ironmongery firm Harman and Gillett in Yeovil as a wedding present from his father.He later acquired the Yeovil Foundry and Engineering Works. It was there that two of his children, the twins Ernest and Percival, designed and built a self propelled oil engine in 1892 .The company subsequently sold its calculator designs to the Bell Punch Co. These were actually produced by Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day and continued until 1951 1938 Acquired 90% of shares of Liverpool Refrigeration and Engineering Co.
1897 The twins continued to develop vehicles, the twelfth of which they entered to a competition at Crystal Palace in 1897, without success. The Nautilus Works was named after the fire grates that had made James Petter's fortune in Reckleford The first engines made by Petters were the Standard oil engines which were horizontal open crank engines made to very high standards. They ranged from the AF (1.5 hp) to the LL (50 hp).
Tube ignition is adopted, and a small heating lamp is used …
The engine starts in ten minutes and runs, we are told, without attention.
A contemporary report said: The carriage is intended for two persons, with which a speed of ten miles an hour is obtained on level road.
It will mount the hills of the neighbourhood with two persons, but larger power would be used for four persons …