Edward Bayzand Ellington, engineer and inventor and Brian Johnson, engineer of Chester went into partnership in 1869 as Johnson and Ellington, they began specialising in hydraulic machinery. Ellington was also in partnership with Corbet Woodall as Ellington and Woodall c1890s (they designed the power station for Glasgow Corporation's Hydraulic Power Supply system in 1895). A few of the papers relate to Brian Johnson's pre-partnership work and a few to Ellington and Woodall.
Around 1875 Johnson and Ellington became a listed company and were renamed the Hydraulic Engineering Company and then the General Hydraulic Power Company. This was followed in 1877, with the establishment of Hull Hydraulic Power Company (the first of its kind); having acquired the right to manufacture the Brotherhood three cylinder hydraulic engine in 1875, the Hull company allowed them to demonstrate its use and that of their ideas on a large scale.
In 1882/3 the London Hydraulic Power Company was formed when Ellington's Wharves and Warehouses Steam Power and Hydraulic Pressure Company merged with the General Hydraulic Power Company. Ellington and Woodall were appointed Managers and Engineers, Ellington remained in these posts until his death (1914).
The General Hydraulic Power Company formed subsidiary companies to supply power to Liverpool (in 1889), Manchester (in 1894) and Glasgow (in 1895).