Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Heath, Machin and Co

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of Teddesley Works, Teddesley Street, Walsall, Staffs, (now West Midlands).

  • 1870 Established by Thomas Heath.
  • c1897 Loose papers found at the back of a 'dog collar costs book' include two invoices and two price lists from c1897, from the firm of 'Elizabeth Heath' of 11 and 12 Teddesley Street, Walsall. The documents identify the firm as wholesale bridle cutters and manufacturers of gig and carriage driving reins and plain and fancy dog collars.
  • Elizabeth Heath took the firm over from the late Thomas Heath. It is unclear whether Elizabeth and Thomas were husband and wife or brother and sister.
  • 1900 The Heath and Machin families became partners and producers of high class leather goods by at least 1900, when an entry for the firm first appears in a Walsall Trades Directory.
  • The firm went from bridle cutters to fancy leather goods manufacturers at the Teddesley Works in Teddesley Street in Walsall. It would seem that both families were experienced in the production of leather goods prior to the forming of the partnership, as some records exist within the collection prior to 1900.
  • By 1917, Heath Machin had officially registered as Heath Machin and Co. The 1916 Walsall Commercial Year Book lists 'Heath Machin and Co', a year prior to its official registration, as 'bridle cutters, dog collar manufacturers, razor strop makers, and makers of purses and watch alberts etc.'
  • 1922 British Industries Fair Advert for Fancy Leather Goods. All descriptions. Dog Collars, Purses, Letter Cases, Bill Cases, Watch Straps, Watch Alberts, etc. Also: Treasury Cases, Manicure Sets. (Stand No. J.48) [1]
  • 1944 In November, Edward James Machin sold his share of the leather manufacturing company back to Heath Machin and Co, including the goodwill, the tenancy of any premises, any subsisting contracts, stock, trade marks, patents and licenses for £1535 worth of shares in the company. The shares were issued to Ellen Annie Machin (wife of Edward James Machin) and Major Alan Machin (son of Edward James Machin). The company was incorporated on 12 December, as a Private Company with a nominal capital of £3000 divided into three thousand shares of one pound each. Throughout this period the development of the business continued and the trades directories reflect the developments within production.
  • By 1962, The firm's main products were medium- and high-priced flat leather goods, leather dog equipment, leather watchstraps and key fobs as well as specialised items including wallets and notecases in sealskin and kangaroo leather and leather dog equipment made from selected bridle leather and real morocco. At about this time, in order to attain maximum durability from their products, Heath Machin and Co pioneered the use of synthetic threads. A small number of items within the collection refer to Heath Machin and Co formerly Lavender and Overton. Lavender and Overton, formerly Fairbanks, Lavender and Son, was a leather manufacturers operating from 'Eldon Saddlery Works in Walsall, probably from around 1908.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1922 British Industries Fair Advert xcviii; and p36
  • [1] National Archives Website