In 1880 an American called George Richards established a company in Hulme, Manchester for building woodworking machinery. The company prospered and expanded, soon moving to larger premises in Broadheath, Altrincham.
In 1896 George Richards & Co. Ltd. was taken over by Tilghmans Patent Sand Blast Co. but continued to trade under its own name.
By 1912 the company confined its activities solely to the manufacture of high class machine tools including the Pearn-Richards patent universal horizontal surfacing, boring, miffing, drilling and tapping machines.
By the 1950s the firm had become a part of the Staveley Coal & Iron Co.