In 1868 Lawrence Gardner set up as a sewing machine maker in Manchester. He died in 1890, but the business was continued by his sons under the name L. Gardner & Sons Ltd.
From about 1895 the company was building gas engines and in 1903 it became a limited company, L Gardner and Sons Ltd.
Diesel engine production began in around 1903 and In 1912 a new sales subsidiary, Norris, Henty and Gardners Ltd, was formed.
After the war the ‘LW’ diesel engine were built in large numbers for lorries and buses and was later supplemented by the more modern ‘LX’
Perkins Engines purchased Gardner in 1986 and subsequently stopped production of new engines in the early 1990s.