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British Industrial History

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J. S. Fry and Sons

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Fry's Cocoa Advertising Sign.
Fry's Chocolate Cream.
From the 1862 London Exhibition Catalogue
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1955 - Fry's Chocolate Cream
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of 25 Union Street, Bristol.

J. S. Fry and Sons, Ltd was a chocolate company.

1761 Joseph Fry and John Vaughan purchased the chocolate business of Walter Churchman. Company renamed Fry, Vaughan and Co.

1777 Chocolate works moved from Newgate Street to Union Street, Bristol.

1787 Joseph Fry died. Firm was renamed Anna Fry and Son.

1795 Joseph Storrs Fry assumed control. He patented a method of grinding cocoa beans using a Watt steam engine. As a result factory techniques were introduced into the cocoa business.

1803 Anna Fry died and Joseph Storrs Fry went into partnership with a Dr. Hunt. The business was renamed Fry and Hunt.

1822 Dr. Hunt retired, Joseph Storrs Fry took his sons on as partners and the firm was renamed J. S. Fry and Sons. The company became the largest commercial producer of chocolate in Britain.

1835 Joseph Storrs Fry died and his sons took full control of the company.

In 1847, the Fry's chocolate factory, located in Keynsham, near Bristol, moulded the first ever chocolate bar suitable for widespread consumption.

1851 Listed at 12 Union Street, Bristol as 'Fry, J. S. and sons, chocolate and cocoa manufacturers' [1]

1855 Exhibited chocolate and cocoa at the 1855 Paris Exhibition

1866 The firm began producing the Fry's Chocolate Cream bar

Over 220 products were introduced in the following decades, including production of the first chocolate Easter egg in UK in 1873.

But the company gradually lost its dominant share of the market to the more aggressively marketed products of the rival Quaker establishments of Rowntree and of Cadbury.

1885 The company registered a trademark for Fry's Pure Concentrated Soluble Cocoa.

1886 Joseph Storrs Fry (1826-1913) took over as head of the firm

1896 The company was registered on 1 January, to acquire the business of chocolate and cocoa manufacturers of the firm of the same name. [2] The firm became a registered private company. It was run by the Fry family, with Joseph Storrs Fry, grandson of the first Joseph Storrs Fry, as the chairman.

Near the start of World War I the company was the largest employer in Bristol.

1913 Joseph Storrs Fry (1826-1913), grandson of the first J. S. Fry, died

1914 Fry's Turkish Delight (or Fry's Turkish bar) introduced.

By 1919 the company merged with Cadbury's chocolate and the joint company named British Cocoa and Chocolate Company.

1923 The Fry's division was moved to Somerdale.

Introduced the Crunchie bar to the UK.

After 1981 the name Fry's was no longer in use at Somerdale, but the factory is still a major producer of Cadbury's products.

2008 Chocolate produced at the factory leaves there at the rate of 50,000 tonnes per year. [3]


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1856 Post Office Directory of Gloucestershire, Bath and Bristol
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  3. Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5