A family business, manufacturing textile machinery, was established in Keighley by Richard Hattersley (d. 1832), who left his home at Ecclesfield, Sheffield, to serve an apprenticeship with the Beecrofts at Kirkstall Forge and in 1789 set up his own firm in Keighley. Initially making screws, nuts and bolts, he expanded into spindles, and rollers for the textile industry.
Two of his sons, Samuel and George, later joined the business, which became George Hattersley & Sons in 1861. From about 1835 the firm manufactured power looms and in 1921 first produced their Standard Loom, which gave them a wide reputation. When George Hattersley retired in 1863, it was taken over by his eldest son Richard Longden Hattersley (1820-1900), who had long been its driving force. He developed the company, which became Hattersley, Sons & Co. Ltd. in 1888. He encouraged new inventions and travelled widely on the continent promoting sales.
Richard Hattersley had been a Swedenborgian, but his grandson Richard Longden Hattersley was a staunch Wesleyan, like his step-mother Sarah Hattersley (c. 1794-1840), and was a Sunday School teacher. He was a benevolent employer, despite discouraging trade unionism, and was active in the public affairs of Keighley, becoming mayor in 1883. He died in Harrogate on 3 August 1900.