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 132,835 pages of information and 210,602 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Oak Tanning Co

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1916.

of 201 Victoria Street, London, SW1. Telephone: Victoria 3514. Cables: "Soles, London". Tannery / Factory in Walsall, Staffs

Prior to 1900 most leather produced in the UK was `vegetable tanned`, using a variety of plant substances, of which the most important was the bark of oak trees. The bark would be harvested in the spring and carefully stored to prevent the tannins being leached from the bark by rain. It would then be ground up or crushed by the tanner and added to water held in pits to create a `liquor` or `ooze` of varying strength. Hides were generally immersed in a weak solution of oak bark to start with. Tanning could take 18 months to two years using this technique.

1900 Listed as Oak Bark Tanners of Hatherton Street, Walsall.

1947 As Oak Soles Ltd - British Industries Fair Advert as Manufacturers of "Oak" Brand Guaranteed Unadulterated Cut Soles for All kinds of High Class Shoe Manufacturing and Repairing. (Leather Goods Section - Earls Court 1st Floor, Stand No. 403)

1947 As Oak Tanning Co Ltd - British Industries Fair Advert as Manufacturers of "The Oak Brand" Guaranteed Unadulterated High Grade Sole Leather Bends for Repairers and Special Flexible Bends for Manufacturers. Bellies and Shoulders for Insoles and Rough Dried Offal for Dressing. (Leather Goods Section - Earls Court 1st Floor, Stand No. 403) [1]


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Sources of Information

  1. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 74; and p203