Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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W. T. French and Son

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Bread maker. Exhibit at Somerset Rural Life Museum
Bread maker. Exhibit at Somerset Rural Life Museum
Nov 1919.
Dec 1921.
September 1947.
August 1962. Mysto.

W. T. French and Son Ltd. of 23 and 25 St. Mary Street, Ladywood, Birmingham.

of Mysto Works, Browning Street, Ladywood, Birmingham. Telephone: Edgbaston 29941/5/6/7. Telegraphic Address: "Syringes, Birmingham". (1937)

William French was born in Lighthorne, Warwickshire, his father was born in Norfolk.

W. T. French and Sons manufactured Pneumatic and Knapsack garden syringes and sprayers.

1865 Company established.

1881 William employing 3 men and making garden syringes [1]

1883 Their address was 59, Tindal Street, Ladywood, according to Kelly's Directory.

1890 Kelly's Directory lists the company trading as W. T. French

1904 Kelly's Directory lists the firm as manufacturing from 23 St Mary Street, Ladywood, Birmingham as W. T. French and Sons

1914 Manufacturers of Cattle and Medical Appliances. Specialities: Brass Garden Engines, Syringes, Hose Fittings of all descriptions, "Champion Vaporisers" and Sprayers of all types. [2]

1916 Listed at 23 St Mary Street, Johnstone Street and at Mysto Works, Browning Street, Ladywood, in Kelly.

1935 In December, Alfred Edward French and Alfred William French, who had been in partnership, decided to sell the business.

1936 In August, the company was registered as W. T. French and Son Ltd, of Mysto Works, Browning Street, Ladywood. W. T. French and Son also traded as Ogilvy and Partridge and Mysto Aluminium Co. In September, Alfred Edward French retired, leaving Alfred William French as Managing Director with two others, who may have given the necessary capital.

1937 British Industries Fair Advert for 'Mysto' Products: Non-Shock Iron; Electric Kettle; 'Chromaglow' Fire. Aluminium Ware, Bathroom Fittings, Castors, Electric Cooking Utensils, Electric Domestic Appliances, Electric Fires, Electric Soldering Irons, Fruit Spraying Machines, Hearth Furniture, Lamp Standards, Lime-washing Machines, Paint Spraying Plant, Soldering Irons, Sprayers, Syringes. (Hardware, Ironmongery and Brassfoundry / Farm and Garden Equipment Section - Stand No. A.623) [3]

1951 In November, a company called Warne, Wright and Rowland purchased ¾ of the company: W. T. French and Sons Ltd therefore became a subsidiary of Warne, Wright and Rowland, which was also involved with Carpenter and Allen, formerly Allen and Freeman, and which eventually became part of the Benjamin Priest Group of Companies.

1963 In August, the company name was changed to Associated Sprayers Ltd. In December, changes were made to Associated Sprayers and a new board of directors was appointed to W. T. French (now Associated Sprayers Ltd); Apex Sprayers and Testar and Swain Ltd. Associated Sprayers took over Testar and Swain Ltd.

The two companies merged and production and administration moved to new premises in Eliot Street, Birmingham, purchased from Linley Engineering Co.

1965 In May, the factory was completely destroyed by fire. The Company operated from temporary rented accommodation while the Eliot Street works were rebuilt and completed in November, when production recommenced.

1969 Warehouse accommodation, used for storage, dispatch and offices, was acquired in Plume Street, Aston, Birmingham.

1982 Became a Public Limited Company in March.

1983 In March, Hozelock bought shares.

1990 In July, the company name reverted to Associated Sprayers Limited. Hozelock had acquired all the shares, so it became a private company.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  3. 1937 British Industries Fair Advert p506; and p365
  • [1] Made in Birmingham