History of William Turner & Co (Kismet Manufacturer)


History of Willam Turner ( Kismet) Pump Maker

One of my good 'pump contacts' is Bill Axten in Australia - he gave me the guidelines elsewhere on this website for making leather washers. Here's one of his communications quoted below which gives some history he found on William Turner (Kismet) Ltd.  Bill was, at the time, refurbishing a Kismet Duplex Master ( he calls it a quadruple action) and was looking for some information on its 'innards'. He found a design drawing, sent it to me  and I've included this elsewhere on the site.


Hallo , I am attempting to restore a brass air pump manufactured by the now defunct firm of William Turner , Pneumatic Engineers , Eyre Works , Sheffield. Whilst I am reasonably sure that I have the complete "innards", I would very much like to get hold of an illustration of the pump.

Sheffield Public Library has kindly supplied some information concerning William Turner's firm and its history up to the time in the 1960s when it was amalgamated into Cape Asbestos and the trade mark "Renrut" was changed to "Kismet". I understand that a very successful footpump , the "Kismet Duplex" , was a later product of the company , and is something that I should like to get my hands on if at all possible.

There must have been quite a lot of these Quadruple Action pumps imported into Australia for I have been able to get hold of two recently - using parts from both .

It seems strange that more is not known of the firm and its fine products : for instance , the Duplex pump could manage 600 psi , and pilots of Spitfires in the last war were supplied with one for emergency use to recharge their compressed air bottles and thus be able to take to the air again ( and fire their guns , which also needed a charged bottle).

I am hoping that this may be spotted by a one-time employee of the firm who can perhaps supply some info. Although here in Australia , I am a Londoner by birth , and though from the South , the words "Sheffield Made"makes my proud of my country.

In hope , sincerely , Bill Axten , Fremantle , W.Australia.



I've found a bit more information. Apparently, according to a company publication celebrating 50 years of operation, William Turner - who had been long seeking a decent name for his company - attended the musical 'Kismet' in London and appropriated the name.

The trademark RENRUT, which is seen on some pumps and also is on the famous RENRUT connector (none better!) is Turner spelt backwards

During WWII, Turner worked together with another famous Sheffield maker ( Walters and Dobson) to jointly support the war effort - as many firms did in the 'Steel Town'. Some details of their pump designs 'crossed over' as a result of this.

Anyone else, ex employee or relative of Turner who can give me more information - please get in touch! I can include your material on this page and correct any inaccuracires above - as appropriate!