The earliest date to which this firm has been
traced is 1865 when an entry in Jones's Mercantile Directory for that
year reads: "Fellows, Jas & Son, tray mfrs (blank), Pool Street
works". But there is also an entry: "Fellows, Jas & Edgar.
hollow ware mfrs & iron braziers, Vulcan Works".
In the next available directory, White's Directory for
1869, the entry under Pool Street, in the part of that street which lies
between Ablow Street and Jeddo Street, reads: "100: Fellows,
Edgar, iron brazier 100: Fellows, James, blank tray maker."
The entry in the trades section also has: "Fellows, James, blank
tray maker, 100 Pool Street" and "Fellows, Samuel, James & Edgar, Vulcan
Works, Graiseley Row".
Crocker's Directory of 1884 shows "Fellows, James and
Son, blank tray manufacturer, Poole Street" and another entry gives the
same information but with 100 & 101 Poole Street".
This suggests that James Fellows and Son made tray
blanks at 100 Pool Street. And that the same James Fellows, along
with Edgar Fellows (probably a brother) made holloware in Vulcan Works,
Graiseley Row. By 1869 Edgar is operating as an iron
brazier, sharing the Pool Street works with James, who continued to make
tray blanks there. But the two of them, joined by Samuel (possibly
another brother or, maybe a son) also operated a general holloware
business in Graiseley Row.
The firm of Samuel, James and Edgar Fellows, is clearly
the firm which became S. J. & E. Fellows.
James's tray blanks would
have been sold to many firms who would have engraved or japanned them before