Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Perry and Co

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of Perryian Works, 36 Lancaster Street, Birmingham and 49 Old Bailey, London, EC4. T.A.: "Perry", Birmingham, and "Penmaker", London. Code: A.B.C. (5th Edition). (1922)

Ditto Address. Telephone: Birmingham Central 2457-8-9 and London Central 6255. Cables: "Perry, Birmingham". (1929)

of Rushley Lane, Tyseley, Birmingham, 11. Telephone: Acocks Green 0606/9. Telegraphic Address: "Perry, 'Phone, Acocks Green". (1937)

Steel pen and cycle chain manufacturers.

1824 The firm was founded in Manchester, as James Perry and Co, but later moved to London, where they made and sold pens and pen-holders (including those of Josiah Mason), pencils, elastic bands and ink, and dealt in stationers' supplies.

Sometime after 1847, James Perry and Co became Perry and Co as the name was used in an 1866 advert.

1876 Josiah Mason's steel-pen firm came together with Wiley and Son, pen and pencil case makers, and James Perry and Co under the title of Perry and Co Ltd and acquired its Birmingham base at Lancaster Street Works. The London office was at 37 Red Lion Square but moved to 19/20 Holborn Viaduct the next year[1].

1876 The public company was registered on 28 January, to take over the businesses of Josiah Mason and A. Sommerville and Co, manufacturers of pens of Birmingham, Wiley and Son, manufacturers of pencil cases, solitaires and studs of Birmingham, and James Perry and Co, manufacturers and merchants of London; while the company also manufacture cycle chains and accessories. [2]

1888 February. Stanley Exhibition of Cycles in Westminster. Showed an assortment of cycle component parts including a ball-bearing hub. [3]

1896/7 Directory: Advertiser. More detail [4]

1896/7 Directory: Listed under cycles. More details [5]

By the late 1890s the company was having financial problems and was helped (refinanced?) by James William Bayliss, part owner of the Bayliss-Thomas car making company

1897 It was decided to reconstruct the company in connection with some alterations in the business;Perry and Co Ltd was registered on 14 May.

1899 J. W. Bayliss joined the company[6].

1902 Steel pens, cycle chains and accessories. Their works are in Lancaster Street and cover nearly 2 acres. [7]

1912 The Perry car was designed and Perry Motor Co was formed.

1914 Specialities: steel pens and penholders, cycle chains, free wheels, hubs, bells and cycle accessories, stationers' sundries, gold pens, solitaires, studs, sleeve links, tobacconists' and drapers' sundries. Employees 2,000. [8]

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Steel and other Metallic Pens, Penholders, etc. (Stand No. K. 154) [9]

1926 Acquired Bayliss, Wiley and Co[10]. J. W. Bayliss joined the board[11].

1927 Stand 255 at the 1927 Motor Cycle and Cycle Show at Olympia

1929 British Industries Fair Advert for 'Perry Tested Pens' and 'Durabrite' Stainless Steel Pens. Steel and other Metallic Pens. Penholders, Indiarubber Bands, Letter Clips, Letter Files, and Stationers' Sundries. Proprietors of Perry, Perry-Mason, Sir Josiah Mason, A. Sommerville and Co, Alexandre and V. Sagrile Pens. (Stationery Section - Stand No. R.20) [12]

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Roller Chain (single, duplex and triplex). Chain Drives and Sprockets. Chain Couplings. Cycle and Motor Cycle Chains. Freewheels. Hubs. Expanding Brake Hubs (single and three-speed). Coaster Hubs. Axles. Cups. (Stand Nos. D.819 and D.718) [13]

1945 The company transferred its chain making and cycle coaster hub business to a subsidiary, Perry Chain Co Ltd. The pen business was continued by Perry and Co (Pens) Ltd, while Perry and Co (Holdings) Ltd became the main parent company, with financial control of the whole Perry Group.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Daily Post, 12 February 1877
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  3. The Engineer of 24th February 1888 p162
  4. Peck's Trades Directory of Birmingham, 1896-97: Advertisers
  5. Peck's Trades Directory of Birmingham, 1896-97: Cycles
  6. The Times, 17 December 1951
  7. Kelly’s Trade Directory 1902
  8. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  9. 1922 British Industries Fair p62
  10. The Times, 15 February 1927
  11. The Times, 17 December 1951
  12. 1929 British Industries Fair Advert 164; and p135
  13. 1937 British Industries Fair p400
  • [1] Manchester Archives
  • Birmingham’s Industrial Heritage by Ray Shill. Published by Sutton Publishing 2002. ISBN 0-7509-2593-0