Born in the vilage of Smallwood, Cheshire in August 1841, Edwin Foden began his working life at an agricultural engineering firm, Plant & Hancock. He eventually became a partner and took control of the firm, which became Hancock and Foden, during which time it began making agricultural steam engines.
In 1887, Edwin Foden formed a new company called ‘Edwin Foden Sons & Co. Ltd, and began work on developing the steam wagon, which was to set the standard for steam wagons from 1901 onwards.
In 1980 Foden became a divison of PACCAR Inc, one of the world's largest and most financially stable heavy truck manufacturers. Alongside other PACCAR owned truck brands, Kenworth and Peterbilt in the USA, and DAF in Europe(from 1996), Foden continued to develop and manufacture trucks to meet the requirements of operators in the UK and New Zealand until the Foden brand was retired from new vehicle production in July 2006.