The company was founded in 1851 by Thomas Ibbett as a blacksmiths shop in Bells Yard, South Street in St Neots, Cambridgeshire. The business prospered as general agricultural engineers, smiths and implement makers. Arthur was the third son of Thomas who suceeded him after his death in 1904. As agriculture became more mechanised Arthur introduced engineering into the business such as steam engine repairs and millwrighting which included lawn mower sharpening. The First World War provided the impetus for increased land cultivation and machinery was imported from the U.S.A. After the war Arthur`s son Cyril was involved in expanding the business as new American farm machinery was being introduced into the country. Ibbetts were importing and selling John Deere, Allis Chalmers and International Harvester tractors into the U.K. agricultural market.