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British Industrial History

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John Harper and Co

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John Harper and Company, ironfounders and domestic hardware manufacturers, of Birmingham, and/or of Albion Works, Willenhall, Staffs[1]

1790 Company founded by W. Harper.

1879 One of 4 Willenhall lock makers who protested that American-made locks supplied to the Admiralty had mostly been produced in Willenhall and had been supplied at higher prices than would have charged by the makers[2]

1888 Dissolution of the Partnership between John Harper, Frederick William Harper, and William Henry Thompson, carrying on business as Malleable Iron-founders and Hardware Manufacturers and Merchants, and also as Coal Masters, at the Albion Works and the Albion Colliery, in Willenhall, in the county of Stafford, under the style or firm of John Harper and Co.[3]

1896/7 Directory: Advertiser. More detail. [4]

1908 Private company.

1914 General and malleable ironfounders and manufacturers of finished hardware of all kinds. Employees 764. [5]

1930 Company made public.

1931 New Foundry for light castings. Details.[6]

1957 Acquired the remaining shares in John Harper (Meehanite)[7]

1960 The company had two divisions - Finished Goods Division made oil stoves and heaters under the Beatrice brand, and domestic hardware under the Harper Housewares brand. Foundry Division had 3 foundries working in cast iron, Meehanite and ductile iron. Licences from International Meehanite Metal Co, and from Mond Nickel Co to make their special irons. 1400 employees[8]

1961 Iron founders and manufacturers of wide range of domestic hardware including gas, oil and electric appliances. 1,300 employees. [9]

1972 Newman Industries acquired interest in John Harper and Co[10].

1973 Duport took-over John Harper and Co, outbidding Newman Industries[11].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 3 February 1960
  2. The Times, Feb 24, 1879
  3. London Gazette 11 Sept 1888
  4. Peck's Trades Directory of Birmingham, 1896-97: Advertisers
  5. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  6. The Engineer 1931/09/11
  7. The Times Aug. 1, 1957
  8. Peck's Trades Directory of Birmingham, 1896-97: Advertisers
  9. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  10. The Times, 11 April 1972
  11. The Times, 21 November 1973