Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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I. and D. Smallwood

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Spirit Level.
Spirit Level (detail).

I. and D. Smallwood of Leopold Street, Birmingham. Telephone: Victoria 2661. Telegraphic Address: "Rules, Birmingham"

Manufacturers of Rules, Squares, Spirit Levels, Straight Edges and Gauges.

The 'I' is for Josiah Smallwood and the 'D' for Daniel Smallwood, his brother.

1810 Business established

1815-28 At 42 Barford Street, listed first as a Heavy Steel Toy Maker in 1825 and Toy and Tool Maker by 1826.

c1829 John Smallwood had been making coach brasses in Fordrough Street, Birmingham.

1829 At 31 High Street, as Steel Toy Maker, and in 1831 at 35 Barford Street as Steel Toy Tool and Iron Square Maker

1833 Listed as Iron Square Maker at 135 Ravenhurst Road

1839 In Moseley Road, Iron Square Maker.

By 1841 the business had moved to New John Street and was incorporated as Iron Square and Skates Co.

1860 In Ryland Street and Darwin Street.

1862 Josiah Smallwood is listed as bankrupt. 'Josiah Smallwood, now and for two years and six months or thereabouts last past residing in William-Edward Street, Birmingham, Warwick, iron square manufacturer.'[1]

1890 Josiah died and the business was continued by the descendants of Daniel

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Rules in Boxwood, Ivory, Steel, Brass. Steel Squares for Engineers, Carpenters, Masons. Spirit Levels, Plumb Bobs, Mitre Templets, Bevels, Gauges, Combination Squares, Straight Edges, Feeler Gauges, etc., etc. (Stand No. B.341)

1951 Registered as I & D Smallwood to take over the partnership of Frederick William Smallwood and Oliver Daniel Smallwood, who had been trading as I and D Smallwood.

1961 Patent - Improvements in spirit levels.

1997 turnover was £130,974, with a modest profit

1999 Company bought by G. Gibson and Co

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Sources of Information