Sunday, December 16, 2012

G. King and Son

The firm of G. King and Son established themselves as glaziers in the Cathedral Close, Norwich in 1927. The firm’s founder, Dennis King, initially worked alone, until he was joined by his father, George King, who had worked with a firm of decorative plasterers and mosaic-workers. He had specialized in gilding and the leading of windows, after training with William Weyer.

Much of the firm’s early work was on pubs and cinemas, but by the 1930s, working from larger premises in King’s Lane Norwich, they had started restoring ecclesiastical glass. Under Dennis’s direction, the business became the leading stained glass conservation firm in Britain.

King and Son worked on many of the parish churches of East Anglia, and also on many other key sites for surviving stained glass nationally, including Great Malvern Priory, Wells Cathedral, Highcliffe Castle and many Oxbridge colleges. Internationally, they worked on commissions as far afield as Athens, South Africa and Canada. Dennis King also acted as a consultant to conservation workshops at York and Canterbury, and he advised on the creation of the Stained Glass Museum at Ely. No other British studio has handled so much conservation work in connection with historic stained glass.

Dennis King was made a freeman of the City of Norwich in 1933, and of the City of London in 1969; he became a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1959; and was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1979 for services to the conservation of stained glass. He was also a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass, a member of the International Technical Committee of the Corpus Vitrearum Medii Aevi and was awarded the honorary degree of Master of Arts at the University of East Anglia in 1994. He continued to work as an adviser to his son, Michael, into his eighties and died after a short illness in March 1995.

In late 2003, the business was wound up on the retirement of Michael King, Dennis King’s son.

by Paul Green

D.E.R. Ltd. (Domestic Electric Rentals Ltd.)

 D. E. R. Ltd. was a TV rental company that was established in 1938 as a single shop in Twickenham, Middlesex.

Radios and the earliest type of television receivers were rented throughout Greater London. Rental charges were competitive and covered full maintenance, service and renewals. The unreliability of television at this time gave D.E.R. Ltd. the opportunity to make significant profits and the company quickly expanded outside of London, establishing regional offices and shops in the Home Counties, Scotland, Wales and southern England.

Eventually the rental market started to tail off as the reliability of television sets improved. Around 1968, D.E.R. Ltd. merged with rival company Radio Rentals and became part of Thorn Television Rentals, which became part of the merged Thorn-EMI in 1980.

D.E.R. Ltd. overprints are common on  2d Wildings and 2d Machins, although there are minor varieties in the thickness of the font.

by Paul Green and
Mark Matlach

W. B. Fordham & Sons Ltd.

W. B. Fordham of 36-40 York Road, Kings Cross, London was established in 1825. On the 7th December 1885 the company was registered, to take over the business of the firm of this name as hardware factors, manufacturers, and contractors.

In 1932, the company closed:

W. B. FORDHAM & SONS Ltd. (In Voluntary Liquidation.)
The Companies Act, 1929.
Notice is hereby given that General Meetings of the shareholders and creditors of the above named Company will be held at the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Moorgate Place, London, E.C.2, on Monday, the 31st day of October, 1932, at 11 o'clock and 11.30 o'clock in the forenoon respectively, to receive the account of the Liquidator, showing how the winding-up of the Company has been conducted and its property disposed of, and to hear any explanation that may be furnished by the Liquidator, and to pass a Resolution as to the disposal of the books, accounts, and documents of the Company.
—Dated this 23rd day of September, 1932.
    GEORGE C. JARVIS, Liquidator.

by Paul Green

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Bullard King & Co. Ltd.

Bullard King & Company, Limited, was founded in 1850 with a fleet of small sailing ships trading from the Thames to the Mediterranean.

In 1879 they built their first steamer and introduced the Natal Direct Line to carry passengers directly to Durban and later to East African ports. In 1889 they commenced sailing from India to South Africa to carry field laborers for the sugar plantations.

In 1911 immigration from India was stopped and in 1919 Bullard King & Company, Limited, was taken over by the Union-Castle Line, although keeping its independent identity and colors.

Their last ships were merged into the Springbok Line in 1960.

by Paul Green

Huntley & Palmers Ltd.

Huntley & Palmers was founded in 1822 by Joseph Huntley as J. Huntley & Son.

Initially the business was a small biscuit baker and confectioner shop at number 119 London Street. At this time London Street was the main stage coach route from London to Bristol, Bath and the West Country. One of the main calling points of the stage coaches was the Crown Inn, opposite Joseph Huntley's shop and he started selling his biscuits to the travelers on the coaches. Because the biscuits were vulnerable to breakage on the coach journey, he started putting them in metal tins. Out of this innovation grew two businesses: Joseph's biscuit shop that was to become Huntley & Palmers, and Huntley, and Bourne and Stevens, a firm of biscuit tin manufacturers founded by his younger son, also called Joseph.

In 1838 Joseph Huntley was forced by ill-health to retire, handing control of the business to his older son Thomas. In 1841, Thomas took as a business partner George Palmer, a distant cousin and member of the Society of Friends. George Palmer soon became the chief force behind its success, establishing sales agents across the country. The company soon outgrew its original shop and moved to a factory on King’s Road in 1846, near the Great Western Railway. The factory had an internal railway system with its own steam locomotives; one of these has been preserved near Bradford.

Thomas Huntley died in 1857, but George Palmer continued to direct the firm successfully aided by his brothers, William Isaac Palmer and Samuel Palmer, and subsequently by his sons, as heads of the company. They became biscuit makers to the British Royal Family and in 1865 expanded into the European continent, and received Royal Warrants from Napoleon III and Léopold II of Belgium. At their height they employed over 5,000 people and in 1900 were the world's largest biscuit firm. The origins of the firm's success lay in a number of areas. They provided a wide variety of popular products, producing 400 different varieties by 1903, and mass production enabled them to price their products keenly.

Palmers sent biscuits all over the world, perfectly preserved in locally produced, elaborately decorated, and highly collectable biscuit tins. The tins proved to be a powerful marketing tool, and under their easily recognizable image Huntley & Palmer's biscuits came to symbolize the commercial power and reach of the British Empire in the same way that Coca Cola did for the United States. The tins found their way as far abroad as the heart of Africa and the mountains of Tibet; the company even provided biscuits to Captain Scott during his expedition to the South Pole. During the First World War they produced biscuits for the war effort and devoted their tin-making resources to making cases for artillery shells.

In 1921, Huntley and Palmers entered into an amalgamation agreement with rival biscuit firm Peek Frean, resulting in the creation of a holding company, Associated Biscuit Manufacturers Ltd. Both biscuit firms retained their own brands and premises.

In 1960 Jacob's joined Associated Biscuit Manufacturers, and in 1969 ABM was reorganized as Associated Biscuits.
Manufacturing in Reading ceased in 1976. In 1982 Nabisco acquired Associated Biscuits. Production continued at Huyton until 1983. After the closure of the Peek Frean factory at Bermondsey in 1989, Nabisco sold the Associated Biscuit brands (Huntley and Palmers, Peek Frean, and Jacobs) to Danone.

In 2006, Huntley & Palmers resumed operations from Sudbury in Suffolk. The management team included a former marketing director of Jacobs Bakery, which once owned the company, and a founder of Vibrandt, a successful packaging design company. They targeted the speciality and fine-food sector. Since 2008, Huntley and Palmers has been owned by the Freeman family, with three generations in the biscuit business. Their aim is to bring the name of Huntley and Palmers back into the mainstream, with several product ranges focusing on different market sectors, and including once again, biscuit tins.

by Paul Green

Crescens Robinson & Co.

Robinson was a member of an entrepreneurial family that had interests in paper-making and printing in Bristol and London and in a wide range of goods in Singapore.

The family company of E. S. & A. Robinson owned a large printing and paper-bag manufacturing site at Bedminster in Bristol.

Crescens Robinson's unusual name was a family name: his uncle Crescens had a firm called "Crescens Robinson & Co." in Islington, London, that acted as an agent for his uncle Philip who was the founder of Robinson & Co. in Singapore. That firm later became a lithographic printing company specializing in fine printing of posters, with London Transport among its customers:

by Paul Green

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Brentnall & Cleland Ltd.

In 1883, Gervase Stanley Brentnall moved from Eastwood, Nottinghamshire to London. Together with his cousin John Henry Cleland, they bought the business of A Howard and Company at Kew Bridge, thus founding the company Brentnall and Clelands.

Brentnall and Cleland goods train passing through Berkhamsted

At its peak, the Company traded coal throughout the country, with local branches at Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted and Kings Langley. G S Brentnall settled at Roughdown House, Boxmoor, and played an active role in the community as President of Hemel Hempstead District Swimming and Life Saving Society. He died on 15 April 1937.

 The London Gazette published the following announcement on the 24th October 1977:
BRENTNALL & CLELAND LIMITED Notice is hereby given (pursuant to sections 290 and 341 (1) (b) of the Companies Act 1948) that a General Meeting of the Members of the above named Company will be held at the offices of Mordant Latham & Co., Tower House, Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HZ, on Tuesday the 6th December 1977, at 12 noon, for the purpose of having an account laid before them showing the manner in which the winding up has been conducted and the property of the Company disposed of, and of hearing any explanation that may be given by the Liquidator, and also of determining by Extraordinary Resolution the manner in which the books, accounts and documents of the Company and of the Liquidator thereof shall be disposed of. A Member entitled to attend and vote is entitled to appoint a proxy to attend and vote instead of him. A proxy need not also be a Member of the Company.
   —Dated 24th October 1977. G. A. Wale, Liquidator

by Paul Green

David Bumsted & Co.

The 1846 London Directory lists David Bumsted & Co., trading at 86 Lower Thames Street, 35 Bridge Wharf, City Road Basin & 338 Wapping High Street Droitwich, as a salt merchant.

The London Gazette had the following announcement dated 30th November 1887
NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, David Bumsted and John Campbell Bumsted, carrying on business at 36, King William-street, in the city of London, as Salt Merchants, is dissolved as and from this date; and that the business will be continued to be carried on by the said John Campbell Bumsted alone, under the style or firm of D. Bumsted and Company, by whom all the credits and outgoings of the late firm will be received and all debts due will be paid.
—Dated this 30th day of November, 1887.
    D. Bumsted.
   John C. Bumsted.

by Paul Green

F.N.C.B (First National City Bank)

Founded in 1812 as the City Bank of New York, ownership and management of the bank was taken over by Moses Taylor, a protégé of John Jacob Astor and one of the giants of the business world in the 19th century. During Taylor's ascendancy, the bank functioned largely as a treasury and finance center for Taylor's own extensive business empire. The first president of City Bank was Col. Samuel Osgood, born in North Andover, Massachusetts.

In 1863, the bank joined the U.S.'s new national banking system and became The National City Bank of New York. By 1868, it was considered one of the largest banks in the United States, and in 1897, it became the first major U.S. bank to establish a foreign department.

National City became the first U.S. national bank to open an overseas banking office when its branch in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was opened in 1914. Many of Citi's present international offices are older; offices in London, Shanghai, Calcutta, and elsewhere were opened in 1901 and 1902 by the International Banking Corporation (IBC), a company chartered to conduct banking business outside the U.S., at that time an activity forbidden to U.S. national banks. In 1918, IBC became a wholly owned subsidiary and was subsequently merged into the bank. By 1919, the bank had become the first U.S. bank to have $1 billion in assets.

Charles E. Mitchell was elected president in 1921 and in 1929 was made chairman, a position he held until 1933. Under Mitchell the bank expanded rapidly and by 1930 had 100 branches in 23 countries outside the United States. The policies pursued by the bank under Mitchell's leadership are seen by historical economists as one of the prime causes of the stock market crash of 1929, which led ultimately to the Great Depression. In 1933 a Senate committee, the Pecora Commission, investigated Mitchell for his part in tens of millions dollars in losses, excessive pay, and tax avoidance. Senator Carter Glass said of him: "Mitchell, more than any 50 men, is responsible for this stock crash."

Following its merger with the First National Bank in 1955, the bank changed its name to The First National City Bank of New York, then shortened it to First National City Bank in 1962.

Later to become part of MasterCard, the bank introduced its First National City Charge Service credit card – popularly known as the "Everything Card" – in 1967.

In 1976, under the leadership of CEO Walter B. Wriston, First National City Bank (and its holding company First National City Corporation) was renamed Citibank, N.A. (and Citicorp, respectively).

John S. Reed was selected CEO in 1984, and City became a founding member of the CHAPS clearing house in London. Under his leadership, the next 14 years would see Citibank become the largest bank in the United States, the largest issuer of credit cards and charge cards in the world, and expand its global reach to over 90 countries.

by Paul Green