Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Bedford and Sons

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Bedford spanner.
03 January 1956.
April 1969.

of Lion Works, Mowbray Street, Sheffield. Telephone: Sheffield 23281. Telegraphic Address: "Bedfords, Sheffield"

1792 John Bedford I (landowner and yeoman) founded a business as steel tilters in the village of Oughtibridge (7 miles NW of Sheffield). He rented a forge (powered by a water wheel) to set up his son John II in business. His son, i.e. the grandson of the founder, also named John was able to have a Continental education[1].

1864 John Bedford took his capital out of the business to invest in the Bramall and Bedford partnership in Mowbray Street, which later grew into a major commercial enterprise in Sheffield[2]

1871 The Bramall and Bedford partnership was dissolved when Bramall retired and the business became John Bedford and Sons. By this time the company was the maker of crucible cast steel, files, edge tools, engineers' and blacksmiths' tools, saws, knives, shovels, spades, forks.

John Bedford's second son Henry H. Bedford took over the business from him; Henry was JP, Master Cutler, director of the National Provincial Bank, etc. Together with his brothers and their sons, there was continued family connection with the business. 2 of the sons survived WWI - John and Reginald.

A significant development by the company was of hollow rolled bars (as distinct from tubes) which was patented.

1897 Became a public company to take over the business of Henry H. Bedford, John G. H. Bedford, and William J. Bedford[3]

1905 See 1905 Industries of Sheffield and District

1927 - April. Began to erect rolling mills on a site in Effingham-road. The necessity for this additional plant was brought about by the development of the firm's new patented "copper core" process of making hollow rolled drill steel, large quantities of which were being exported to the mining fields of South Africa and elsewhere.[4]

1935 John Bedford stepped down as MD; Reginald Asline Bedford was chairman and MD.

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Crucible Alloyed Aircraft and Miners' Drill Steels, Files and Rasps. Precision Files. Manicure Files and Tweezers, Hammers, Blacksmiths' Tools, Joiners' woodworking Tools, Shovels, Spades, Forks and Picks, Garden Tools, etc. (Stand Nos. A.531 and A.430) [5]

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Tools. [6]

1972 Acquired by Spear and Jackson[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 29 April 1942
  2. The Times, 29 April 1942
  3. Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Saturday 11 September 1897
  4. The Engineer 1927/04/08
  5. 1937 British Industries Fair Page 333
  6. 1963 Motor Show
  7. The Times, Jun 30, 1972
  • The Times, 29 April 1942.