General Metal and Holloware

J. H. Butler

Bell Works, Bell Street

J. H. Butler seems to have been a sole trader.  He is known through some adverts which appeared in 1888; and from a coach lantern bearing his plate.  An entry in the 1914 Red Book, under "Ironmongers", gives his address as both Bell Street and Victoria Street.  In the Red Books for 1920 and 1922 he is in Bell Street only, as he is in 1930 when there is another advertisement, this time for J. H. Butler Ltd.. This firm continues to appear in Red Books until about 1970, after which there is no sign of it.

In the 1880s Butler is clearly both a manufacturer and a retailer.  The good in his advertisements include a range made in Birmingham and a thief proof shop till from the USA.  And these advertisements were placed in a consumer publication, not a trade magazine.  In the 1930 advertisement the company are still calling themselves "manufacturing ironmongers" but are now also "mill furnishers" and "builders merchants".  But once can see a logical development from a man who makes tin trunks to a firm of builders' merchants, the route progressing through the grates and fires and general ironmongery.

The four advertisements above all appeared in the 1888 Parish Almanack for Tettenhall and Tettenhall Wood.  Perhaps Butler lived in Tettenhall or thought he was aiming at a richer clientele.

This advert appeared in the 1930 Red Book.

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