Pinkham Gloves at a glance

No greater romance can be written of a business than that which is woven around W. Pinkham & Son Limited. Two childhood sweethearts joining forces and talents to build a glove making business that gained international recognition despite many setbacks.


Pinkham Gloves from 1871 - 1966

1871 Rebecca Folwer, aged eight starts working part-time for sixpence a week in a glove factory in Great Torrington in Devon
1873 William Pinkham, at the age of twelve starts an apprenticeship in a glove factory in the same town 
1884 William & Rebecca are married
1886 Lilian Pinkham born
1890 Leslie Pinkham born
1899 William & Rebecca start making gloves in the kitchen of their house in Great Torrington
1901 William & Rebecca move to Salisbury and continue making gloves in their home
1901 William becomes Liberal Party agent for Maldon near Witham in Essex
1904 William & Rebecca move to  11, Albert Road Witham & continue making gloves in their home
1904 William & Rebecca form The National Glove Company (The N G C) employing ten girls
1905 William & Rebecca expand the business & start a 'minature manufactory' at 13 & 14 Albert Road Witham
1905 Engecie (N G C) becomes the trade mark of The National Glove Company 
1908 William & Rebecca's daughter Lilian joins the business
1911 William & Rebecca's son Leslie joins the business
1912 New factory built in Witham
1913 Leslie goes to Germany to look at their manuafacturing methods
1916 Leslie forms The National Association of British Fabric Glove Makers
1917 Factories opened in Great Torrington & Barnstaple to support the war effort
1918 New factory opened in Chelmsford managed by Lilian
1920 Lilian marries Wilson Dawson, leaves the company and moves to Glasgow
1920 84 firms in England are employing 12,000 people making gloves
1920 Exports to the US, Australia & New Zealand begin
1921 Exports to Japan reach £8,000 a year
1921 New factory built at Chelmsford 
1922 New factory at Matlock Bath opens
1923 An office in Gresham Street London is opened
1923 Leslie succeeded in in producing a high grade warp fabric with the appearance of suede
1924 An average of 200,000 buttons a week are sewn onto gloves across the company
1925 152 employees working for the company 
1927 8 firms remain in England employing less than 1,000 people making gloves
1931 The company goes bankrupt, 500 job losses and the group of factories & machinery are broken up and sold
1932 Lilian's husband Wilson Dawson lends William & Leslie enough money to buy back the Witham factory
1932 The business becomes a limited company W Pinkham & Son Ltd
1933 The Witham factory re-opens and is soon producing gloves at full capacity again
1933 New factory at Dagenham opens
1938 William dies whilst at work at the Witham factory
1939 Gloves for the UK and US forces including mosquito-proof gloves for the Africa corps 
1948 Second factory built at Witham and glove production starts at South Moor Co. Durham
1948 The company now has 600 employees producing 48,000 pairs of gloves a week
1955 Two new collections of styles are now produced each year with designers in Paris, New York & Vienna
1959 South Moor factory re-located to a new factory at Stanley Co. Durham
1959 The company diversifies into making blouses
1966 The company closes

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