Crossley Brothers was established in 1867 by brothers Francis and William Crossley. Francis Crossley had bought the engineering business of John M Dunlop at Great Marlborough Street in Manchester, and began manufacturing pumps, presses and small steam engines. The company was originally known as Crossley Brothers and Dunlop, but in August 1867 the partnership with John M Dunlop was dissolved and the company became known as Crossley Brothers. In 1869, the company acquired manufacturing rights outside of Germany for the gas fuelled atmospheric internal combustion engines patented by Otto and Langden of Cologne. In 1876, the rights were extended to include the Otto four-stroke engine, which replaced production of the atmospheric engines from 1877. In 1881, the company was registered as the limited liability company Crossley Brothers Ltd.