Engineering has been important in the Stroud area since the 1700s and it still forms a significant part of Stroud's economy.
From the late 1700s into the 1900s, cloth and mill machinery was being designed and built by local millwrights, iron founders and engineers. Major engineering companies around Stroud included George Wallers, T.H. & J. Daniels and Redlers.
The demand for more efficient textile machinery led to many local innovations. John Lewis of Brimscombe Mill patented a rotary shearing machine in 1815. John and James Ferrabee's Phoenix Ironworks at Thrupp developed fulling machines, waterwheels and steam engines.
As the cloth industry declined in the late 1800s, local engineering companies specialised in manufacturing other products such as gas engines, pumps, cars and plastic extruding machines. Many of these were exported around the world.