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Henry Squire and Sons Limited
A brief history
William Squire began making locks on their present site in the mid 18th century and by the time his son, Thomas, joined him his locks were well known enough for the company to be recognised as such and the date 1780 marks the recognition of this fact. The late 18th century saw the Industrial Revolution growing rapidly and the advent of the Napoleonic Wars added to this growth, in which Williams's company benefited from the increased demand for locks.
Wealth was spreading throughout the population and with it came a higher standard of living, the ownership of property and furniture, all of which required locks on a previously unknown scale. By the end of the 19th century the company, which had used all its available land to build new factory space, bought an adjacent three-acre field on which it built a new factory to supply the increasing demand for its products. Its main products were door locks, padlocks and furniture locks, the latter providing most of its income.
The First World War (1914-1918) saw it manufacturing munitions. After the War great changes took place in the furniture industry. Plywood began to replace solid timber in furniture, which reduced demand for mortise furniture locks because they could not be mortised into plywood. Germany began to subsidise its industries, including lock making, and could land locks in England at the same prices as the raw material cost of the company's products.
The search for new markets led the company to develop its long established padlock range, as well as adding new hardware products to replace the rapidly declining furniture lock production. A new factory was built in 1937. The Second World War required the company to make precision gauges, machine gun links and torpedo parts, as well as some padlocks. After the war, the company expanded its padlock range and added bicycle and motorcycle locks and accessories, as well as hardware products.
If you would like to know more about this long standing British company, please check out www.squirelocks.co.uk