Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,459 pages of information and 233,880 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1836 Thomas R. Harding started a business in Lille, France, making cast steel pins, combs and other mechanical parts in the production of textiles.
1858 he moved to Leeds to start a business in England. Originally at works in Great Wilson Street, Holbeck.
1861 Employing 110 hands 
1864 His trade expanded so over the next 2 years he was able to build Tower Works in Globe Road, Holbeck.
1879 Described as 'hackle pin and gill makers' 
c.1880 Two other firms began making textile pins - William Rhodes and Co of Barrack Street, Leeds and Richardson, Child, Christy and Co of Horsforth.
Shortly after T W Harding took over at Tower Works, he suggested an amalgamation of the three firms.
1892 The Harding business became a limited liability company. The boards of the three firms from 1892 to 1895 were identical and it is clear from the record-keeping, which was done by the same individual, that the amalgamation had taken place "de facto" before Harding, Richardson, Rhodes and Co Ltd came into being in 1895 and the business of Richardson, Child, Christy and Co and James Rhodes and Co were transferred to the new company.
The factory sustained damage in World War II when neighbouring buildings were bombed during the air raids on the nearby Leeds City railway station.
It closed in 1981 after 117 years of operating on the site.