Advert Banner
 
 
Total in basket: £0.00
 
 

Library

Stratton

In 1920 two Birmingham companies merged - Jarrett and Rainsford, makers of haberdashery goods and cheap jewellery, and Stratton Ltd, makers of knitting needles, radio receivers and men's jewellery. Stratton Ltd. was owned by G.A. Laughton and the new company was called Jarrett, Rainsford and Laughton Ltd, with the Stratton name retained for the company's Fancy Metal department.

From 1923 part-finished powder boxes were imported from the USA to be assembled and decorated in England until the company set up its own compact and lipstick case manufacturing equipment in the 1930s. This was so successful that by 1939 half these items for the British cosmetic industry were being made by Stratton Ltd., although they did not carry the Stratton name. At the same time a range of "fancy vanity boxes" (compacts) marked Stratton, or the earlier "Stratnoid" name, were produced for the jewellery trade, competing successfully against imports from the USA, Germany and Japan.

An employee of a German competitor was forced to flee the Nazis in 1938. He joined the company, adding his experience and expertise gained with Rowenta to Stratton's Fancy Metal Department, which was located in the Alexandra Works, one of the company's five factories in Birmingham.

In November 1940 four of these factories were destroyed by Luftwaffe bombing raids on Birmingham, with 500 foot-high flames engulfing the Alexandra works and the adjacent Globe Works. The company found new premises at scattered locations around Birmingham and turned production to the war effort, adapting salvaged machinery where possible - for example, machines designed to make lipstick cases were modified to produce shell cases.

The manufacture of powder compacts was resumed in 1946 at the rebuilt Leominster Works, using new and adapted machinery, so that many post-war Stratton compacts are unlike their pre-war counterparts. A new factory was built at Warstock Road, Birmingham, for the Twinco Moulding Division of the company and in the mid-1950s, in response to an export drive, the Fancy Metal Department was able to move to the same Warstock Road site, where the company operated until it changed hands in the late 1990s.

In 1997 the company (then known as Laughton and Sons Ltd) sold the Stratton name to Cork International; in 2000 it became the property of Firmin and Sons PLC, a company with a long involvement in the fancy metal business. The Stratton name has recently (in 2006) changed hands again and the new owners, Faze Two Manufacturing Ltd, plan to reinstate the Stratton name with the prestige it formerly held.    
 
 
 
 
 

By continuing to use this site you agree to the use of cookies. Find out more about cookies and how to change your settings here.