Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,136 pages of information and 245,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Fisher and Ludlow

From Graces Guide
Dec 1921.
November 1926.
October 1936.
May 1939.
February 1943.
April 1943.
May 1943
November 1943
November 1944
August 1945.
October 1945.
February 1954.


December 1955
December 1956
July 1959.
May 1960.
August 1962. Fisholow.
November 1963.

of Albion Works, Rea Street, Birmingham (1897)

'Fisholow' of Rolfe Street, Smethwick, Birmingham. Telephone: Smethwick 0607/8. Telegraphic Address: "Tinmen, Birmingham". (1937)

of Albion Works, Kingsbury Road, Birmingham

1852 Company founded. Mr. Fisher started selling tinmen's furniture at 238 Sherlock Street

The business of Edward Fisher was carried on at Albion Works, Sherlock St.

1866 E. Fisher, of 176 Sherlock St., was a maker of Tinmen's Furniture and Tools. Edward Fisher of 176 Sherlock St., was a Tinner For The Trade, And Manufacturer Of Tinmen's Furniture[1].

c.1882 Fisher was joined, in partnership, by Henry Walton Ludlow.

c.1884 Acquired the business of Mr. Lomas, a clever and resourceful toolmaker, who had a shop in Moor Street - Lomas and Co

The partners began to extend and export their metal wares - kettle necks, lids and spouts, blacksmith forged buckets, heel protectors, and an assortment of stampings and piercings.

Their first government contract was for producing mess tins and camp kettles for the Boer War army.

1897 Dissolution of the Partnership between Henry Walton Ludlow and Charles Showell as Manufacturers of Tinmen's Furniture and other articles at Rea-street Birmingham under the several names of Fisher and Ludlow and Lomas and Co.[2].

1913 Fisher and Ludlow, makers of tinman's furniture, began to turn out motor body work.[3]

1919 Henry Walton Ludlow died

1920 Formed as a public company Fisher and Ludlow (1920) Ltd, manufacturer of metal pressings and stampings. Reginald Hugh Roberts was chairman; other directors were Neville Broughton Ludlow, the managing director, Walter Fred Dormer AMIAE, engineer, and Arthur Keats, general manager[4]

1931 Name changed.

1934 Production of car bodies had increased considerably. It was estimated that 3 in 10 of cars on the road in Britain had Fisher and Ludlow bodies. Gridway Manufacturing Co was a subsidiary[5]

1937 Was successful in building car bodies for Standard Motor Co, so much so that it was decided to build a body plant at Canley, with contribution to the cost from Standard[6]

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Exhibit comprises an installation of Storage Racks and Bins of Steel construction, surrounded by a platform of Treadway Flooring and Handrails, with examples of Storage Boxes for general works purposes. (Stand No. D.320) [7]

By 1938 the company was making bodies for 8 types of motor car.

1939 The company was tooling up for or making 12 different types of car body. Had introduced the first car bodies painted with synthetic paint. Were developing chassis-less car bodies based on the rights licensed from Motor Patents Ltd. Exploring several other opportunities based on use of fabricated steel sheet[8]

1938 The Castle Bromwich factory was specially constructed for wartime production.

1940 During the Battle of Britain, the factory was damaged by HE and incendiary bombs at 2341 hours on 15 October.

Post-WWII. Fisher and Ludlow purchased the Castle Bromwich factory. They made car bodies for Rover and Jaguar there.

1946 Took a substantial interest in Bendix Home Appliances of the USA and was planning to manufacture the Bendix Home Laundry (washing machine), making use of the company's experience in mass production and pressed steel; this would be the first fully automatic machine on the British market and it would be marketed by Bendix Home Appliances Ltd[9]

1950 See Fisher and Ludlow: 1950

1951 Acquired the remaining shares in Bendix Home Appliances Ltd[10]

1953 They were taken over by the British Motor Corporation.

A correspondant writes:- 'I worked at Fisher and Ludlow, Birmingham from 1956 to 1965. At that time we were building car bodies for the Wolesley and Riley 1500, the Nash Metropolitan and the Austin Mini. The painted and trimmed bodies were transported to Longbridge and Oxford to add the mechanical parts. There were no Jaguars built there while I worked there.' [11]

1961 Subsidiary of British Motor Corporation. Employing 14,000 persons. Works at Birmingham, Goseley and Bordesley. [12]

1961 Moved the domestic appliance division to purpose made factory at Kirkby, Lancs [13], making Bendix washing machines, Fisholow stainless steel sinks and pressed steel radiators.

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. [14]

1966 Link-up with Parkinson Cowan who were seeking new products and capacity; Fisher-Bendix formed to bring together the manufacturing and marketing operations; Hugh Barker, chairman of Parkinsons, became chairman of Fisher-Bendix too [15].

1968 Under BLMC the business of the old British Motor Corporation body-making subsidiary Fisher and Ludlow was merged with the Pressed Steel Co to form the Pressed Steel Fisher.

1968 Parkinson Cowan purchased Fisher-Bendix.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1866 Morris's Commercial Directory of Warwickshire with Birmingham
  2. London Gazette 16 April1897
  3. The British Iron & Steel Sheet Industry Since 1840: An Economic Geography by Kenneth Warren, 1970
  4. The Times Aug 17, 1920
  5. The Times, Jun 27, 1934
  6. The Times, Nov 11, 1937
  7. 1937 British Industries Fair
  8. The Times (London, England), Wednesday, Jun 14, 1939
  9. The Times, Sep 18, 1946
  10. The Times, Nov 03, 1951
  11. FC. 10 Jul 2010
  12. 1961 Guide to Key British Enterprises
  13. The Times, 24 February 1971
  14. 1963 Motor Show
  15. The Times, 24 February 1971
  • [1] The Battle of Britain
  • [2] Birmingham Stories