b) The following account of Forder's business is taken from "Wolverhampton and South Staffordshire, Illustrated Biographical and Commercial Sketches", published in 1898:
FORDER AND COMPANY, LIMITED,
For many years past this important and admirably-conducted business has occupied a position of great distinction in the cab and coach-building trades, and it may be questioned whether any other firm has ever been entrusted with so many valuable commissions from those in high places as have Messrs. Forder. Founded in 1864 by the late Mr. Frederick Forder and Mr. Traves, the concern has progressed steadily and surely, until now its reputation is of the highest. Mr. Traves retired from the business in 1866, which then became known as Forder and Company. The first distinct success the firm achieved was in connection with a prize offered by the Society of Arts, for a hansom cab which would remedy the defects of those then in use in regard to " want of room, the difficulty of getting in and out, by reason of the interference of large wheels, and the want of ventilation when the windows are closed." For this there were no less than sixteen competing firms, including many of the most famous carriage builders in the United Kingdom. After an exhaustive examination of the various cabs submitted, however, the prize was awarded to Messrs. Forder, whose vehicle was and is a distinct advance on those generally in use. Their success in the competition was followed by an order from the Prince of Wales, who had taken a warm interest in the matter, and some little time later they received a warrant of appointment to H.R.H. The cab has since been known as the PATENT ROYAL HANSOM, and it has been the only cab awarded first-class prizes for three successive years in open competition with the principal cab builders of the United Kingdom, these being awarded Messrs. Forder at the London International Exhibition of 1873, when they received a medal ; at Manchester, in 1874, when they received the special and only gold medal; and again at Manchester, in 1875, when they received the first prize in the Manchester Cab Competition. The same year saw another and even more important competition in Alexandra Park, and here again two first-class prizes and one special prize were awarded to Messrs. Forder, for the Royal Hansom. The cab is roomy, well ventilated, and has an easy draught for the horse, and the success it has achieved is undoubtedly well deserved [note: at this point in the original document the end of the page occurs; the next page continues - somewhat inexplicably:]subscribed. Three years later, however, it was decided to further extend the business by the issue of fresh capital open to public subscription. and this was done successfully; the same year being marked by the receipt of a warrant of appointment to the Queen. Mr. Frederick Forder, the founder of the business, died in 1896, and the present directorate consists of Mr. Charles Forder, the chairman of the company, who manages the Wolverhampton works; Mr. Alfred Forder, the London manager, and Mr. Robert Muras, the secretary. The late Mr. R. Forder and the present members of the family may fairly claim to be considered experts in the matter of cab manufacture, and leave taken out several valuable patents, affecting important improvements.
Messrs. Forder, it may be said, are largely responsible for the rubber-tyred cabs, which have proved such an unqualified success, and which they induced Lord Shrewsbury to try- experimentally on his first hundred hansoms. They have now a special plant for tyre manufacturing purposes, and do an enormous business in supplying coach builders with them.
Amongst the hundred of distinguished and prominent people who have from time to time patronized Messrs. Forder, we man name H.M. the Queen. H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, the Princess Malakoff (of Paris), Prince Belorselsky (of St.Petersburg), Prince Orloff, County Henry de Portes (Paris), W. K. Vanderbilt, Esq., G. A. Vanderbilt, Esq., Andrew Carnegie Esq., of the U.S.A. of A) and Sir James Sivewright, the President of the Cage Parliament. These, it should be said, have come to Messrs. Forder, not only for cabs, but carriages also, which have of late years been made in every description and with great success.
Messrs. Forder make all their own wheels, springs, and iron work generally, and at their works opposite the General Hospital, in Cleveland Road, over a hundred employees are kept busily engaged. The Company have recently taken some fine showrooms in Lichfield Street, one of the most important thoroughfares in Wolverhampton.