Sunday, December 29, 2013

Rose Kia-Ora

In 1867 a Scotsman by the name of Lauchlan Rose patented the method used to preserve citrus juice without alcohol. A year later he established L. Rose & Co. with a factory in Leith to produce lime juice. The Merchant Shipping Act of 1867 required all ships of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy to provide a daily lime ration to sailors to prevent scurvy. Rose's lime juice became almost ubiquitous, hence the term limey for British sailors. Rose established a presence on the Caribbean island of Dominica and became the main buyer of limes and lime products from across the island. The company contributed to the most prosperous period that the island experienced at the height of the green lime trade from 1903 to the mid-1920s and was one of the most successful agricultural companies ever to be based in Dominica.

In 1917 Rose launched a concentrated fruit soft drink called Kia-Ora. The name was taken from Kia ora a Maori language greeting which means literally “be well/healthy” and was first used for a lemon squash by Arthur Gasquoine in Australia. L. Rose & Co. began the production of  marmalade in the 1930s. The company continued to grow until it was taken over by Schweppes in 1957. The Kia-Ora brand became popular in the 1970s and 80s in the UK. It was widely available in cinemas where it was sold in rectangular plastic cartons that were supplied with a drinking straw.

Today, Rose's lime juice cordial and Kia-Ora are manufactured and distributed by Coca-Cola Enterprises Ltd.

by Mark Matlach

Saturday, December 14, 2013

W. & G. Brown

W. & G. Brown was a flour miller and manufacturer and supplier of cereals, established in 1812 in Derby where the company had a flour mill by the River Trent. The company advertised Brown's barley kernels which were used to make porridge or puddings for babies.

Brown's advertising from the 1920s and 30s claimed that their barley kernels were "invaluable for combating fever and kidney trouble", and "promoted health and natural beauty". Brown's flour mill was still operating in 1935, but little is known of the company after this date.


by Mark Matlach

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Pellatt & Co.

Pellatt & Co. was a glass manufacturing company established in London in 1802 by Apsley Pellatt and James Green under the name Pellatt & Green. The company had a glassworks known as the Falcon Glass House in Blackfriars, and a large showroom at St. Paul's Churchyard which became the principal glass shop in London during the Regency period. Pellatt & Green gained recognition for their glass illuminators (“deck lights”) for admitting daylight into internal parts of ships and buildings. Pellatt & Green was also the first in England to manufacture glass paperweights.

Apsley Pellatt died in 1826 and his son Apsley Junior took control of the company which he renamed Apsley Pellatt & Co. in 1831. The firm patented the process for encasing a medallion in glass, later called cameo incrustation or sulphides, however the company's main production was high quality cut crystal glass.

When Apsley Junior retired in 1855, his younger brother Frederick took over the business which was subsequently renamed Pellatt & Co.

In 1890 the firm returned to its former name of  Apsley Pellatt & Co. and in 1921 it was incorporated as a limited liability company which continued to trade into the 1930s.

Cut glass and sulphides had gone out of fashion in the 1850s and Pellatt & Co. turned to the production of engraved glass. The company began exporting glass products to wealthy Maharajas in India and this became a crucial part of its business.

The Pellatt & Co. showroom at St. Paul's Churchyard. For sale were chandeliers, decanters, paperweights, scent bottles and other glass products.

by Mark Matlach

J. W. & Co. and J W E R

J. W. & Co. Ltd. (John Wright & Co. Ltd.) and J W E R (John Wright & Eagle Range Ltd.)

John Wright & Co. was a manufacturer of gas appliances. The company was established in 1862 at the Essex Works in Aston, Birmingham and made gas stoves, cookers, gas fires and radiators. 

In 1900 John Wright absorbed the Eagle Range & Gas Stove Co. and the company became John Wright & Eagle Range Ltd. 

In 1937 the company exhibited at the British Industries Fair where the the firm displayed "Regulo" gas cookers, gas-operated hot water apparatus and large cooking apparatus for hotels and boarding houses. 

In 1961 the company was described as a manufacturer of kitchen ranges, gas fires, cookers and space heaters and had 1,200 employees.

Advertisement, 1903

by Mark Matlach