Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 138,038 pages of information and 222,628 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

E. Elliott

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of 17-18 Warstone Lane, Birmingham. London Office at 59-61 Hatton Garden, EC1. (1922)

of Victoria Works, 315 Summer Lane, Birmingham. Telephone: ASTon Cross 1156/7/8. Telegraphic Address: "Galalith, Birmingham". (1937)

of Bescot Crescent, Walsall (1982)

1878 Edwin Elliott was born in Birmingham. He started work in a machine shop before going into the jewellery trade, but his eyesight was not up the task so he became office boy at the Birmingham branch of a firm from Hamburg. He learned German at evening class, also with the help of two Austrian friends.

1903 One of them returned to Austria and Edwin took over his job which was selling imitation jewellery stones.

1908 Company founded.

1909 Elliott started his own business in Frederick Street, Birmingham, as an importer and manufacturer's agent, Galalith casein plastics material being one of his imports. He soon began machining the material to his customers' requirements. He was also agent for a manufacturer of spectacle lenses.

1911 He bought them out and developed it into The British Optical Lens Co. Supplies of Galalith dried up because of the First World War but fortunately Erinoid had just started to make casein plastics in England.

1916 Elliott moved to larger premises in Warstone Lane which took both sides of his business under one roof. After the war, the company expanded the machining of Erinoid casein into beads, knobs, manicure sets, etc. and started to produce compression mouldings in Bakelite.

1922 British Industries Fair Advert for Articles in Erinoid: Bead Necklets; Manicure Sets; Cigarette Tubes, and many other lines. Also: Hatpins, Brooches, Insulating Bushes; Turned and Screwed Articles from Erinoid, Fibre, Hardwoods, Brass, etc. The Hallmark of Quality. (Stand No. K.41) [1]

1926 The Warstone Lane premises soon became too small so the company moved to premises in Brearley Street. Here their first transfer moulding press was installed and Elliott's became one of the largest suppliers of radio components, claiming to be the first large scale producer of moulded radio cabinets for Telsen in 1928.

1933 saw the installation of an Isoma injection moulding machine - the first of its kind in Britain.

1935 To cope with demand, Elliott's bought the moulding section of Messrs. Harrison (Birmingham) Ltd. in Cheapside, which became a private limited company.

1936 Private company.

In addition to custom moulding, a range of items under their own trademark (L-yacht) were produced. Optical and moulding sides of Elliott's business combined to produce cameras, from the 1930s to the 1950s, such as the VP Twin, with its BOLCO (British Optical Lens Co) lens - he also moulded cameras for the neighbouring Coronet, including the Midget and Vogue, and in turn bought shutters from K. G. Corfield for the VP Twin camera. Optical and moulding operations also combined to produce self-selection spectacles for sale in Woolworth's (this was eventually stopped by the Optician's Act of 1958).

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Bakelite Mouldings, Injection Mouldings, and Erinoil Turned Articles for all trades. Extensive and efficient plant for large quantity production. High class finish and accuracy guaranteed. Contractors to the Air Ministry. (Stand No. Cb.513) [2]

1937 Business expanded and a new factory covering 18,000 square ft. was leased at Bescot Crescent, Walsall.

1938 Elliott's workforce totalled 700.

1940 The optical department at Summer Lane received a direct hit with incendiary and suffered considerable damage.

1941 A second bomb also destroyed much of the moulding side (including all company records) - all machinery that could be rescued was transferred to Bescot Crescent. The Summer Lane factory was re-built.

1950 E. Elliott Ltd became a public limited company.

1961 Plastic moulders handling optical and industrial lenses and appliances. [3]

1966 Edwin Elliott retired, aged 88. He had 6 factories making plastic and optical items.

1968 Listed as "Moulders in Plastics" at 315 Summer Lane, Birmingham.[4]

1982 Receivers were appointed

1982 E. Elliott, of Bescot Crescent, Walsall

1983 Acquired by the Reed International Group. The company name was changed to Elliott Moulders (Electronics) Ltd

1986 Name changed again to Caradon Elliott Ltd when the Reed Building Products Division was subject to a management buyout and became Caradon plc.

1987 Elliotts was part of Caradon Plastics. Manufactured mouldings by compression and thermoplastic injection at the Walsall factory; main customers were in the electronics industry, especially IBM UK[5]

1997 Caradon Elliott Ltd became Elliott Plastic Components Ltd

2000 Elliott Plastic Components Ltd put in the hands of an administrative receiver.

Elliott Plastic Components became part of the Otford Plastics Group which, in the name of Otford Specialist Mouldings was dissolved in 28 January 2003, and Otford Plastics Limited was dissolved on 10th July 2001 (both companies at the same address: 2650 Kings Court The Crescent Birmingham Business Park, Birmingham B37 7YE)

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1922 British Industries Fair Advert lxxiv; and p26
  2. 1937 British Industries Fair p359
  3. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  4. Kelly's Street and Trade Directories from 1933 until 1968
  5. The Times June 22, 1987
  • [1] The Plastiquarian
  • Camerapedia [2]
  • GB Cameras [3]