Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Smith's Potato Crisps

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March 1960.
December 1960.

of Cricklewood (1929), producer of crisps and packaged dried fruits and nuts

of Great West Road, Brentford.

of Caister Road, Great Yarmouth.(1962)

of Stockport Road, Cheadle Heath.

1920 Frank Smith (b.1875)[1] launched his eponymous crisps business; it was a spin-off from a small grocery wholesaling business, initially in Cricklewood[2]

Acquired Carter's Crisps

1929 Public company Smith's Potato Crisps (1929) Ltd was incorporated. The company had 13 factories in England and Scotland[3]

1935 AGM told that much of the machinery used by the company had been designed and created by one of the directors, B. W. Brook and much of the repairs were done under his supervision. The other managing director was Frank Smith. The principal subsidiary, Smith's Corn Flakes, was developing its product which would chiefly be consumed in the summer, thus balancing the seasonal nature of the core business[4].

1936 Created a new public company, Smith's Potato Estates Ltd, as subsidiary to take over an estate in Lincolnshire[5]

1939 Sold the Cricklewood factory to the government, as it adjoined one run by Handley Page who wanted it for extension, and bought another on the North Circular Road[6]

1945 The AGM was told that Mr Frank Smith celebrated his 25 years with the company and his 70th birthday[7]

by 1949 the number of factories had grown to 11 (from 7 in 1929) plus 2 in Australia, and there were 12 depots[8]

1955 Frank Smith retired[9]

1963 Acquired G. and T. Bridgewater, biscuit makers[10]

1966 Became an associate of General Mills

1967 Name changed to Smiths Food Group reflecting the intention of broadening the company's range of products; the famous crisps would continue to be known as Smith's Crispsthe company had Dutch and Tudor Crisp subsidiary companies and was an associate of General Mills which was helping with product development; Snakpak was a subsidiary; opened an extension to the crisping factory at Peterlee[11]

By 1982 was part of Standard Brands of USA.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1939 register
  2. The Times Sept. 8, 1967
  3. The Times Feb. 19, 1929
  4. The Times May 15, 1935
  5. The Times Apr. 4, 1936
  6. The Times May 18, 1939
  7. The Times Jun 20, 1945
  8. The Times July 9, 1949
  9. The Times Sept. 30, 1955
  10. The Times June 27, 1963
  11. The Times Sept. 8, 1967
  • Companies house filings