Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Edward Wathen Fyffe

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Edward Wathen Fyffe (1853-1935), a tea dealer and founder of the Fyffe's bananas business

1884 Married Ida Stanton Brown, in London.

1887 Edward took his wife, Ida, to the Canary Islands to recover from tuberculosis. Whilst there, he was impressed by the quality and the taste of the bananas and decided that he would set up an import agency in London for growers looking for new markets. He persuaded his father, a tea merchant, to switch from tea to bananas. Ida made a full recovery.

1888 Edward's first shipment of two bunches of bananas arrived at the offices of E. W. Fyffes and Sons, 148 ½ Fenchurch Street. The business grew so fast that Edward soon had no time for tea.

The business of Fyffe, Hudson and Co was responsible for importing fruit from the Canary Islands.

1901 On the introduction of a refrigerated ship by Elder Dempster and Co, the shipping of bananas from the West Indies became possible. A new company was formed, Elders and Fyffes, for this trade. Bananas became much more widely available in Britain.

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