E.P. Barrus, based in Oxfordshire, England, has been supplying the marine, automotive garden, and agricultural markets for over one hundred years. It all started in 1917 when Ernest Barrus and John Redmond Cullen established Barrus & Cullen Ltd, a London-based tool distributor. In 1924 Herbert Franklin Barrus, Ernest Barrus' nephew, joined the company, and Mr Cullen departed. The company then became E.P. Barrus Ltd. and through the 1920's concentrated on the increasing power tools market selling new and top of the range equipment such as saws, grinders, precision shapers, lathes, and drills from companies including Stanley, Walker-Turner, and the Mariola Electric Company to name a few.
The move into the marine trade came when Ernest Barrus began racing powerboats using Lycoming and Johnson engines from the USA. In the 1930s Barrus became the sole UK distributor for Lycoming and Johnson engines and, at the same time, began the sale of 'package boats' where customers could buy different variations of completed boat and engine setups. The 1930s also saw Barrus enter into the automotive industry and during the 1940s Barrus turned its attention to the war effort.
With renewed prosperity on the horizon after the war the 1950s saw Barrus move into the garden machinery market and by the time Barrus celebrated its 50th year they had engine supply and service contracts for the British military and the RNLI too. The 1970s saw Barrus importing Japanese made Yanmar diesel engines, Zodiac inflatable boats, and the launch of the new Johnson Marinier outboard range.
The 1980s saw Barrus launch the Industrial Engine Division that concentrated on heavy machinery used in the agriculture and construction trades. Huge investments in the 1990s saw the development in in-house employee training, huge investments in production facilities and the launch of the Barrus Shire range of engines. On the turn of the Millenium Barrus became the leading supplier to the trade for Mercury and Mercruiser engines and began to increase investment in the marine trade celebrating one hundred years of trading in 2017, together with the 20th birthday of the Shire engine brand.
Barrus is now leading the way in the electrification of marine engines with the launch of the Shire EZ Electric Outboard range and associated lithium battery technology. Sheridan Marine, now a main dealer of the Shire EZ Electric outboards, has also continued to work closely with E.P. Barrus on the development of inboard electric boat engines too.
For more information read our Sheridan Liner blog posting on the Barrus Shire EZ Electric Outboards.