Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Dixon and Sons

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of Cornish Place, Sheffield. London Office: 14 St. Andrew Street, Holborn, EC4

1806 The business was founded by James Dixon making Britannia Metal goods

1811 Became a partnership Dixon and Smith, making Britannia Metal goods. They soon branched into different materials and markets and established international trade links, eventually becoming one of the largest and most prolific manufacturers in Sheffield.

1822 the company moved to Cornish Place and became Dixon & Son

1835 became James Dixon and Sons.

1855 J. Dixon and Sons, maker of Britannia Goods of Cornish Place, Sheffield

1879 The famous trumpet and banner trade mark was granted.

1893 Partnership change. '...the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Henry Isaac Dixon, James Willis Dixon, James Dixon Fawcett, James Dixon, Lennox Burton Dixon, and Ernest Dixon Fawcett, carrying on business as Merchants. and Manufacturers of Silver Electro-Plate and Britannia Metal Goods, at Cornish-place, in the city of Sheffield, and at Cornish House, 14 St. Andrew's-street, Holborn-circus, in the city of London, under the style or firm of James Dixon and Sons, has been dissolved, by mutual consent, as and from, the 81st day of December, 1892, so far as relates to the said Henry Isaac Dixon....'[1]

During the 1900s Dixon's continued to produce diverse and successful lines of pewter, silver and silver plated goods. Some of their most celebrated achievements were a series of trophies for Grand National winners and the Augusta Golf Tournament trophy.

1919 Partnership change. '...the Partnership heretofore subsisting between us, the undersigned James Dixon, Lennox Burton Dixon, Ernest Dixon Fawcett and James Kenneth Dixon, carrying on business as Merchants and Manufacturers of Silver Electro Plate and Britannia Metal Goods, at Cornish Place, in the city of Sheffield, and at Cornish House, 14, St. Andrew's-street, Holborn Circus, in the city of London, Tinder the style or firm of "JAMES DIXON & SONS," has been dissolved by mutual consent as and from the 31st day of December, 1918, so far as relates to the said James Kenneth Dixon...'[2]

1920 Private company.

1920s the firm began to use stainless steel to make both flatware and hollowware and the production of silver and silver plated goods declined. Stainless steel spoons and forks manufactured by James Dixon & Son carried the name "Staybrite" and "Firth", as Firth Brown was the firm where "Staybrite" steel was invented in the 1910s.

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Silver, Electro-Plate, Britannia Metal and Nickel Silver Ware, Table Cutlery, Spoons and Forks, Flasks of every description. (Stand No E.5) [3]

1930 Absorbed the firm of William Hutton and Sons Ltd of Sheffield.

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Britannia Metal Ware, Canteens and Cabinets, Electro-Plate Flatware, Nickel Silver Flatware, Pewterware, Electro-Plate Table Ware, Silver Table Ware, Silver Flatware, Table Cutlery, Stainless Cutlery, Stainless Ware, Silver Toilet Ware. (Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. D.1614) [4]

1961 Manufacturers of pewter holloware, spoons and forks, cutlery, spirit flasks and metal and glass soap dispensers. 230 employees. [5]

The reputation achieved by Dixon's adds to the poignancy of their steadily declining fortunes. The company twice went into receivership during the 1970s and ceased to trade around 1992.

The firm continued to be a family run enterprise until 1976.

In the 1980s the firm collapsed financially; production in Cornish Place closed in 1992.


    • British Silverware Limited continues to produce goods under the Dixon brand name and Cornish Place has been redeveloped into luxury housing and offices.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Thursday 04 December 1919 for a detailed history]
  • [1] Sheffield Forum
  • [2] Silver Collection