Brief History of the Holman and Wilfley Shaking Tables

The first ever shaking table was patented in America by Arthur Redman Wilfley in 1896. By the 1930’s over 25,000 ‘Wilfley Tables’ were being used globally.

Whilst in the UK, from 1908, the Holman Brothers of Camborne were selling an exclusive patent of the radically different South African designed James Table.

Both tables were designed to mechanically process fine ore enabling improving plant throughput and overall recovery of valuable metals.


By the 1940’s the branding had transformed from the James Table to the now globally recognised style of Holman, as they promoted and exported them from Cornwall around the world. This continued until the late 1960’s.

Over time there were constant improvements and even though the overall design stayed the same there are clear changes and refinement from the James design (left) to the now recognisable Holman head motion (right).


The Wilfley head motion over the years has had a greater change over time, with obvious noticeable health and safety improvements.


In the late 1960’s Wilfley Mining and Machinery moved production out of Cornwall to their factory in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire when they bought the rights to the Holman table, they manufactured the tables for the next thirty years alongside the original USA designed Wilfley table.


By the late 1990’s Cornwall based Holman Wilfley Ltd purchased the rights to manufacture both designs of table and successfully brought the production of the wet shaking tables back to Cornwall. Initially manufacturing was conducted on the site of a former tin mine Wheal Jane located near Truro and more recently at Forth Kegyn, Redruth where they continue today to build and export to the global mining industry.


Even though the shaking tables were originally designed for processing minerals in the mining industry and that is still their primary function. Today shaking tables have also found a new roll.

With justified concerns about the environment, and useful metal and plastic waste going to landfill, currently a large number of shaking tables are used both here in the UK and in Europe within the recycling industry with the focus separating dense non-ferrous metals like copper from the lighter plastics and rubber.

Tel: +44 (0)845 872 1820    Fax: +44 (0)845 872 1807    email: mail@holmanwilfley.co.uk


©2024 Holman Wilfley Limited. Registered Office: Mills Pyatt Ltd, 11 Kingfisher Park, Arthur Street, Lakeside, Redditch B98 8LG. Registered No. 02492558

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