Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Smith and Sons of Saltley

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July 1898. Saltley cycles.
Nov 1919.
Dec 1921.
October 1953.
September 1954.
Component parts of a bench (1). Possibly from the Durban High Court. Benches like these were made by various firms in forged steel and cast iron. They were particularly popular in railway station platforms.
Component parts of a bench (2).
Component parts of a bench (3).

Snail Brand tools of Saltley Mill, Birmingham, 8. Telephone: East 0173/4. Telegraphic Address: "Hammers, 'Phone, Birmingham". (1937)

1843 Business established, presumably by Thomas Smith, making harness

1880 '...Joseph Horlock Gann, of 63, Holborn Viaduct, in the city of London, Manager to Messrs. Thomas Smith and Son, of Adderley-road, Birmingham, Bicycle Manufacturers, has been appointed Trustee of the property of the debtor.....William John Boden, of 163, Waterloo-road, in the county of Surrey, Ironmonger.[1]

By 1871 the busines was engaged in edge tool manufacturer

By 1881 the business was also engaged in bicycle manufacturing

1882 One of the largest manufacturers of bicycle stampings and fittings; “Viaduct" bicycles and tricycles

1886 Partnership dissolved. Thomas Smith of Hill Top House, Ward End, near Birmingham, William Smith of 21, Whittall-street, Birmingham, Thomas Smith the younger of The Laurels, Gravelly Hill, Birmingham, trading as Thomas Smith and Sons of Saltley Mill, Adderley-road, Saltley, near Birmingham, Warwickshire, and 21, Holborn Viaduct, Middlesex. Manufacturers of Tools, Bicycles, and Bicycle Fittings.[2]

1889 Produce castings and finished parts for cycles [3]

1896/7 Directory: Listed under cycles. More details [4]

1897 Smiths of Saltley Ltd was incorporated as a public company to acquire the iron and steel working business of Thomas Smith and Sons of Saltley. Claimed to be one of the largest stampers in the country; made parts for agricultural implement makers and other engineering firms; had supplied the cycle trade for many years and recently equipped works for manufacture of cycles[5]. Mr William Smith was to be managing director; no other members of the Smith family were on the board.

By 1901 the business was edge tool manufacture

1911 William Smith was managing director of a drop forging business.

1922 Drop forgers and cycle component manufacturers; death of William Smith, chairman and managing director[6]

1937 British Industries Fair Advert for Snail Brand Tools. Manufacturers of Drop forgings, in Carbon and alloy Steel, and Duralumin, for all purposes. Heat-treatment by modern plant. Spanners, Adjustable Wrenches, Hammers, and Hatchets of all descriptions. (Engineering/Metals/Quarry, Roads and Mining/Transport Section - Stand No. A.621) [7]

1957 Exhibited a range of hand tools

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Gazette Issue 24818 published on the 27 February 1880. Page 75 of 84
  2. [2] [3] Gazette Issue 25628 published on the 24 September 1886. Page 21 of 48
  3. Cycling. The Badminton Library. Viscount Bury and G. Lacy Hillier. 1889.
  4. Peck's Trades Directory of Birmingham, 1896-97: Cycles
  5. The Times, Apr 29, 1897
  6. The Times, Sep 14, 1922
  7. 1937 British Industries Fair Advert p657; and p415