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 148,478 pages of information and 233,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

H. Williamson

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of 77-81 Farringdon Road, London, EC1. Factories: Birmingham, Coventry. Branches: Manchester (also Auckland, Calcutta, Johannesburg and Sydney). (1922)

of 81 Farringdon Road, London, EC1. Telephone: Holborn 3712. Cables: "Pendulum, London." Factories: Birmingham, Coventry. Branches: Manchester (also Auckland, Montreal, Sydney and Durban). (1929)

1871 The firm of H. Williamson Ltd was founded by Henry Williamson in Coventry. Clocks produced were - grandfather clocks, bracket clocks, lantern clocks, turret clocks, jeweller's drum clocks and chime clocks. In an advertisement they offered estimates and drawings of the clocks they would make for the customer.

Main office and show room between years 1877-1879, at 81 Farrington Rd. Coventry and Buren.

1898 The company was registered on 18 May, to take over the business of wholesale watch and clock manufacturers of a private company of the same name. [1]

By 1903 Williamson had branch factories in Coventry, Salisbury and Buren. Also branch factory operated in La Chau-de-Fonds, Switzerland.

Speedometer production was undertaken at the Buren plant until fire destroyed the complex. With assistance from the Hambury American Clock Company (HAU), Schramberg (Black Forest), Germany, changed to European style mass production of clocks.

After rebuilding the Buren plant expanded manufacturing to clocks movements, with lever escapements platforms, possibly obtained from the Swiss. Based on license agreements, foreign clocks movements were imported and mounted in English cases.

World War I brought the end of imports.

1920 Merged with Grimshaw and Baxter.

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Chronometers, Hand and Machine-made Watches and Clocks; Gem Jewellery; Silver and Electro-plated Ware; Optical Goods. (Stand No. D.61) [2]

In 1928 produced clocks under the name Astral and Empire.

1929 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Chronometers, Hand and Machine-made Watches and Clocks, Gem Jewellery, Silver and Electro-plated Ware, Optical Goods. (Stand No. J.75)

1930s Due to the world-wide depression, the company was forced into receivership and became then part of the English Clock and Watch Manufacturers which was taken over by Smiths English Clocks. [3]

They continued producing clocks with the name of Astral up to 1955.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. 1922 British Industries Fair Page 86
  3. 1929 British Industries Fair Page 182
  • Jerusalem-Time Antique Fine Watches