Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,134 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.

I. Frankenburg and Sons

From Graces Guide
1909. From Flight magazine of 9th October.

of Greengate Leather and Rubber Works, Salford, Manchester

1867 Isidor Frankenburg and Sons was established as rubber proofing business

1892 'The extensive and important rubber and leather industry with which the name of Mr. Isidor Frankenburg is so creditably associated was founded by that gentleman in the year 1867, and furnishes a very notable example of steady and continuous progress. Operations were commenced on the second floor of a building in Hanging Ditch, and when the start was made Mr. Frankenburg had no more than a dozen hands in his service. Three years later the business had increased to such an extent that he was obliged to take larger premises in Dantzic Street, where a further impetus was given to the trade by the receipt of an order from the French Government (during the progress of the Franco-Prussian war) for a large quantity of waterproof army knapsacks. Mr. Frankenburg had manufactured his goods from material which he purchased ready waterproofed, but his operations increased to such an extent that the proofing of the cloth for his own use became alone a large business, and he therefore undertook this himself. This necessitated much greater space, and in due course he removed to his present site into premises which were formerly in the occupation of Messrs. Eveleigh & Sons, hat manufacturers. Mr. Frankenburg’s establishment, situated in Greengate, in the most historical part of old Salford, is now very extensive, and under his able and enterprising administration it has become one of the busiest and most perfectly equipped rubber and waterproofing works in Lancashire.

'Of course great changes and improvements have been made here by the present proprietor (Mr. Frankenburg having purchased the place and added very considerably to the buildings), and these improvements are noticeable in everything associated with the property. Since Mr. Frankenburg became owner he has done away with two of the lowest public-houses or drinking-shops in Salford, and allowed their licences to drop entirely, preferring to sweep them away altogether. Much of the adjoining property also came into his ownership, and this he converted into a commodious warehouse in connection with his works. Pursuing this energetic policy throughout, Mr. Frankenburg purchased nearly the whole site of Birtle Square, which was once known to be the haunt of many of the most daring and incorrigible members of the light-fingered fraternity that have ever troubled the local police; and upon the ground, thus reclaimed from a purpose that was worse than useless, he has erected large chemical works for the purification of the materials and liquids used in the waterproofing of cloth. This purification, we may add, has the very laudable object of doing away entirely with the disagreeable odour that has long characterised waterproof garments, and Mr. Frankenburg is be commended for striking at the root of this difficulty. He does not, some other manufacturers seem to do, merely “kill the smell,” but destroys the cause of the smell, and thus prevents it coming into existence at all. Perfectly odourless waterproof garments are an inestimable boon to all dwellers in this singularly moist climate of ours, and the long-looked-for desideratum will now be found in the manufactures of the house under notice.

'Mr. Isidor Frankenburg’s works are now in a state of very advanced organisation, and are capable of dealing with every process of the rubber and waterproof industry. They are splendidly equipped and carefully supervised by the experienced and energetic head of the house, and are turning out great quantities of goods which are produced under the most favourable conditions that skill, capital, and plenty of progressive enterprise cam create. These goods have already won a most creditable reputation at home and abroad, and an increased recognition of their genuine merit, which is the strongest characteristic, will bring them before long into universal demand, for the truism that really good articles will always find their market is not, and cannot be, affected by any amount of competition.

'The specialities, of this house comprise all kinds of waterproof cloths, ladies’ and gentlemen’s waterproof garments, imperial mantles, tennis shoes, leggings, and ladies’ and. gentlemen’s gaiters. No house in the trade is in position to offer better value in these lines than Mr. Frankenburg, who, be it noted, confines himself entirely to wholesale and export operations, and regards the whole world as his market. Indeed, his goods are quite as well and favourably known abroad as in this country, and are exported in ever-increasing quantity. The trade mark of the firm is “THE DISTINGUE,” with which all their goods are stamped.

'Mr. Frankenburg has now in his employ at the Greengate Works upwards of eight hundred hands, and all the operations of the industry are carried out in a capable and systematic manner which excited the highest admiration on the occasion of our visit to this very interesting establishment. The Irwell Rubber Works, situate in Ordsall Lane, on the opposite side of the town, are also the property of Mr. Frankenburg, and are almost entirely devoted to the production of rubber for mechanical and other purposes, garden hose, rubber tubing, rubber balls, &c., &c. These works, which possess a very complete equipment of all plant and machinery essential to their purpose, are nearly as large as the Greengate Works, but the nature of the industry does not call for so much manual labour, and, consequently, the staff is not so numerous as at Greengate, though it is none the less a large one in itself, and fully adequate for the performance of the immense amount of work done. Altogether, this is one of the most notable businesses of Manchester, conducted with all the spirited enterprise that seems inseparable from the undertakings of this great city, and standing well to the front as a thoroughly representative, influential, and prosperous concern in its particular line. The house stands deservedly high in the esteem and confidence of its connections, and owes all its success to the industry and application of its sole proprietor.

'Mr. Frankenburg is a distinctly popular and much respected gentleman, and has for some time been a prominent and useful member of the Council of the busy borough in which he has for nearly a quarter of a century conducted his constantly growing industry. .....'[1]

1901 Supplied the arc circuit cables for the Glasgow International Exhibition

1914 India rubber, leather and cable manufacturers. Specialities: waterproof and rainproof clothing and leather. Employees 1,900 to 2,000. [2]

1919 or 1921 Irwell and Eastern merged with I. Frankenburg and Sons of Salford, Lancashire, to form the Greengate and Irwell Rubber Co.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] The Century's Progress - Lancashire. The London Printing and Engraving Co., 1892. Hosted by MESSYBEAST.COM
  2. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  • The Times, Jul 12, 1971