Old adverts are fun to look at and a wonderful source of information for anyone who is interested in our past. They often include a photograph or drawing of the advertiser's premises and sometimes a whole street scene. I have chosen some of the best examples from the Wolverhampton Red Books of 1902 and 1914 although many more can be found elsewhere.
This advert from 1914 includes a fine view of Daniel Read & Son's premises at 19 Queen Street.

The shop is now occupied by two watch and clock sales and repair businesses. They are Jevon and Stanley, and Watch Craft Repairs.

An enlargement of the photograph above.
Another advert from 1914 gives an early view of Princes Square and Lichfield Street, a view that's hardly changed. The photograph was taken before 1910 when the Lichfield Street branch of the Midland Bank was completed and so Price Lewis must have been one of the first occupants of the Royal London building, which opened in 1902. Their tailor's shop occupied at least three ground floor bays of the building and so must have been one of the largest shops there.

The business was run by Alderman Price Lewis, J.P. of Horseley Fields, Wolverhampton. He took the business over from his father, Mr. Herbert Lewis and also became a director of the Staffordshire Café Company Limited. He joined the Town Council in 1889 and was twice Mayor of the Borough. 

In 1881 Alderman Lewis started the Sunday Adult School and became its superintendent. He was a staunch advocate of the temperance movement and President of the Wolverhampton Peace Society. 

A close-up view of the photograph above.
J. Cavit, Sons and Company had premises in Lichfield Street and Victoria Street. The drawing in the advert is the Lichfield Street branch that stood where the old Co-op used to be. Today the site is occupied by the Moon Under Water pub.

The building was in much the same style as many of the ornately decorated brick and terracotta Victorian buildings that are still found in Lichfield Street today. It had a fine dome with a central flagpole above the main entrance. The dome on the drawing appears to be slightly smaller than the original, as can be seen on surviving photographs.

The company, established in 1861 produced all kinds of house furniture at the Cabinet and Bedding Factory in Darlington Street.

A larger version of the drawing from the above advert shows the lovely ornate shop fronts that were typical of up-market stores of the day.
This advert for Chas W. Harness from 1902 includes a fine view of the junction of Princess Street and Lichfield Street where Rothwells pub can be found today.
The building was occupied by the Westminster Bank, later Nat West, until the mid 1990s when it was vacant for a while before being taken over by Rothwells.

In 1930 the bank refurbished the building and completely changed the look of the ground floor, which stayed much the same until the bank's departure.

Bradley's Toy and Fancy Emporium was located in the same building as Chas W. Harness and at the same time. 

The canopy surrounding the ground floor was called "The Colonade" and the advert provides us with a fine view of Bradley's main entrance.

The shop sold a wide variety of goods including leather bags, dressing bags and cases, travelling trunks, portmanteaus and purses. There were Indian and Japanese novelties, fans, screens, electroplated goods, china and glass. There  was a sports department that stocked tennis and cricketing goods and a ladies department selling perfume, combs and brushes.

The children's department featured toys and games, dolls, rocking horses and bagatelle boards, and the young mother could purchase her child's perambulator.

Bradley's shop was in many ways a forerunner of the modern department store.

Henn's jewellery shop can still be found at the same address today, although in a more modern building. Today's shop is somewhat enlarged occupying numbers 38 to 41. The business opened in 1847 and the advert is from 1914.

The display in the window features much the same product range as can be found at the shop today. 

A close-up view of Henn's shop.

Return to old
and images
Proceed to
the next page