The Fellows family are believed to have had an ironworks and a japanning factory in Bilston in the 1730s. Around 1800 the business moved to Pool Street, Wolverhampton. The earliest reference to the firm, so far found, is the entry below, which is from F. R. Melville & Company's Wolverhampton Directory from September 1851:

The firm is also listed in Jones's Mercantile Directory for 1865, giving the address as Pool Street Works. White's Directory for 1869 states that the factory is at 100 Pool Street and that Edgar Fellows is an iron brazier at the same address and James Fellows is a blank tray maker, also at that address.

The location of Pool Street Works.

There are two references to the company in Crocker's 1884 Directory. The first states that James Fellows and Son are blank tray manufacturers, in Poole Street and the second gives the address as 100 & 101 Poole Street, so maybe the factory was extended.

White's Directory for 1869 also lists another company which was also run by the Fellows family. This was S. J. and E. Fellows (Samuel James & Edgar Fellows), general holloware manufacturers, based at Vulcan Works, Graiseley Row. The firm was founded in 1860 by two brothers, Samuel James and Edgar Fellows.

Both businesses are listed in Jones's Mercantile Directory for 1865 as follows:

Vulcan Works in Graiseley Row. Courtesy of Dave Burk.

The location of Vulcan Works. As it was in 1885.

The brass tray illustrated here has a mark on the back consisting simply of the words "James Fellows & Son" and "Wolverhampton" around a kite registration mark. The year is 1878. 

This tray is the only example of James Fellows work which has ever been identified.  Of course, his blank trays would not have been marked, but his brass and copper wares would have been.  The suggestion is that his production was very limited and, perhaps, did not last for long.

It seems likely that James Fellows was finding demand for blank trays to be falling off, as japanned wares became generally less popular.  He had therefore decided to try something else and had embarked on making the increasingly popular brass and copper wares.

Presumably James Fellows would have expected to use his contacts gained through S. J. & E. Fellows to sell them direct to wholesalers and retailers.

Courtesy of Dave Burk.

James's tray blanks would have been sold to many firms who would have engraved or japanned them before resale. 
Two views of a token dated 1826 which may have been issued by the firm in its early years.

Courtesy of Dave Burk.

The Wolverhampton County Borough Directory of 1954 includes the following entries:

Fellows, James & Son, Enamelled Holloware, Pool Street Stamping Works.
Fellows, S. J. & E. Limited, Stampers, Vulcan Works.

Both businesses are listed in Kelly's Directory of Wolverhampton for 1962. S. J. & E. Fellows Limited is described as a holloware manufacturer, elevator bucket manufacturer, and producer of steel metal pressings in mild stainless steel, and aluminium.

Pool Street Works in the 1960s.

James Fellows & Son Limited became an associate company of S. J. & E. (Holdings) Limited. As can be seen from the image above, which is from the September 1977 catalogue.

From a compliments slip, dated 1977.

In November 2018 Pool Street Works carried the name C & W Electronics Limited. Some of the front windows were broken and the building appeared to be derelict.

View a 1965 catalogue


View a 1977 catalogue

Return to the
previous page