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 128,058 pages of information and 202,478 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search
April 1893.
October 1893.
June 1894.
August 1894.
March 1896.
July 1898.
July 1900.
September 1902.
November 1924.
October 1925.
July 1928.
January 1929.
April 1936.
April 1936.
June 1936.
June 1936.
July 1936.
July 1936.
July 1936.
September 1936.
September 1936.
June 1939.
July 1940.
September 1940.
November 1942.
December 1948.
August 1954.
October 1954.
May 1955.
October 1963.

of 34 Victoria Street, London

Hovis is a UK brand of flour and bread, now owned by Premier Foods.

1886 Richard "Stoney" Smith (1836-1900) developed a method of including the wheatgerm in the bread, something which had traditionally been excluded by bakers. He collaborated with Thomas Fitton, a Macclesfield miller whose company S. Fitton and Sons developed the brand, milled the flour and sold it to other bakers (along with, later, Hovis branded baking tins).

1887 The process was patented on 6 October 1887.

1895 The name "Hovis" was invented by London student Herbert Grimes in a national competition set by S. Fitton and Sons to find a trading name for their bread, which used a patent flour that was rich in wheat germ. Grimes coined the word from the Latin phrase hominis vis – "the strength of man".

1898 The Hovis-Bread Flour Co was registered on 2 February, to acquire the milling and flour business of S. Fitton and Sons[1].

1900 Richard Smith died.

1912 Distribution of flour to thousands of bakers was an important part of the business. In 1912 a Leyland 2-ton petrol-engined van was purchased and more followed, displacing the original horse-drawn delivery vehicles.

1918 The Hovis-Bread Flour Co became Hovis Limited.

Substantial advertising campaigns and other means of attracting public attention were deployed. Partnering with other products was used, starting with Brooke Bond tea in 1901, Bovril in 1926 and Keiller's marmalade in 1932. Hovis was an early user of television advertising from 1955.

In 1957 McDougalls merged with Hovis to form Hovis-McDougall.

1962 Hovis-McDougall was taken over by Ranks Ltd to become part of the new group Ranks Hovis McDougall, later RHM, which also owns the Mothers Pride and Nimble bread brands and subsequently acquired by Premier Foods. The bread making division has been known as British Bakeries since 1955.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908