Bryant and May
Overview
 
For the Bryant and May series of crime mystery books, see the author Christopher Fowler
Christopher Fowler
Christopher Fowler is an English thriller writer. In addition to his numerous horror, satire and crime novels, he has also written a Sherlock Holmes audio drama for BBC 7 entitled The Lady Downstairs...

.

Bryant and May was a United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (UK) company created in the mid-nineteenth century specifically to make match
Match
A match is a tool for starting a fire under controlled conditions. A typical modern match is made of a small wooden stick or stiff paper. One end is coated with a material that can be ignited by frictional heat generated by striking the match against a suitable surface...

es. Their original Bryant and May Factory was located in Bow
Bow, London
Bow is an area of London, England, United Kingdom in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is a built-up, mostly residential district located east of Charing Cross, and is a part of the East End.-Bridges at Bowe:...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. They later opened other match factories in the United Kingdom and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, such as the Bryant and May Factory
Bryant and May Factory, Melbourne
The Bryant and May Factory is located in the suburb of Cremorne in Melbourne, Australia. It was constructed in 1909 as the Empire Works to a design by prolific Melbourne architect William Pitt...

, Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

; and owned match factories in other parts of the world.
Bryant and May survived as an independent company for over seventy years, but went through a series of mergers with other match companies and later with consumer products companies; and were taken over.

The registered trade name
Trade name
A trade name, also known as a trading name or a business name, is the name which a business trades under for commercial purposes, although its registered, legal name, used for contracts and other formal situations, may be another....

 Bryant and May still exists and it is owned by Swedish Match
Swedish Match
Swedish Match is a Swedish company based in Stockholm that makes snus, tobacco, cigars , Red Man Chewing Tobacco, dipping tobacco, matches and lighters. It was founded as Svenska Tändsticksaktiebolaget by Ivar Kreuger in 1917 in Jönköping...

, as are many of the other registered trade names of the other, formerly independent, companies within the Bryant and May group.
A partnership was formed in 1843 between two Quakers
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

, Francis May and William Bryant, to establish a Provisions Merchants business in Tooley Street
Tooley Street
Tooley Street is a road in South London connecting London Bridge to St Saviour's Dock; it runs past Tower Bridge on the Southwark side of the River Thames, and forms part of the A200 road. - St Olave :...

, London.
Encyclopedia
For the Bryant and May series of crime mystery books, see the author Christopher Fowler
Christopher Fowler
Christopher Fowler is an English thriller writer. In addition to his numerous horror, satire and crime novels, he has also written a Sherlock Holmes audio drama for BBC 7 entitled The Lady Downstairs...

.

Bryant and May was a United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 (UK) company created in the mid-nineteenth century specifically to make match
Match
A match is a tool for starting a fire under controlled conditions. A typical modern match is made of a small wooden stick or stiff paper. One end is coated with a material that can be ignited by frictional heat generated by striking the match against a suitable surface...

es. Their original Bryant and May Factory was located in Bow
Bow, London
Bow is an area of London, England, United Kingdom in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. It is a built-up, mostly residential district located east of Charing Cross, and is a part of the East End.-Bridges at Bowe:...

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. They later opened other match factories in the United Kingdom and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, such as the Bryant and May Factory
Bryant and May Factory, Melbourne
The Bryant and May Factory is located in the suburb of Cremorne in Melbourne, Australia. It was constructed in 1909 as the Empire Works to a design by prolific Melbourne architect William Pitt...

, Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

; and owned match factories in other parts of the world.
Bryant and May survived as an independent company for over seventy years, but went through a series of mergers with other match companies and later with consumer products companies; and were taken over.

The registered trade name
Trade name
A trade name, also known as a trading name or a business name, is the name which a business trades under for commercial purposes, although its registered, legal name, used for contracts and other formal situations, may be another....

 Bryant and May still exists and it is owned by Swedish Match
Swedish Match
Swedish Match is a Swedish company based in Stockholm that makes snus, tobacco, cigars , Red Man Chewing Tobacco, dipping tobacco, matches and lighters. It was founded as Svenska Tändsticksaktiebolaget by Ivar Kreuger in 1917 in Jönköping...

, as are many of the other registered trade names of the other, formerly independent, companies within the Bryant and May group.

Formation of Bryant and May

A partnership was formed in 1843 between two Quakers
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

, Francis May and William Bryant, to establish a Provisions Merchants business in Tooley Street
Tooley Street
Tooley Street is a road in South London connecting London Bridge to St Saviour's Dock; it runs past Tower Bridge on the Southwark side of the River Thames, and forms part of the A200 road. - St Olave :...

, London. In 1850 they started importing Swedish
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 matches, produced by Carl and Johan Lündström
John Edvard Lundström
Johan Edvard Lundström was a Swedish industrialist and inventor who pioneered the production of safety matches. Johan is spelt John outside Scandinavia.- Biography :...

. Their first order was for 10 or 15 cases of 720,000 matches (each case held 50 gross
Gross (unit)
A gross is equal to a dozen dozen, i.e. 12 × 12 = 144.It can be used in duodecimal counting. The use of gross likely originated from the fact that 144 can be counted on the fingers using the fingertips and first two joints of each finger when marked by the thumb of one hand. The other hand...

 boxes, with a box holding 100 matches). The next order was for 50 cases; and later orders for 500 cases. This partnership was successful, so Francis May and William Bryant decided to merge the partnership with Bryant's company, Bryant and James, which was based in Plymouth
Plymouth
Plymouth is a city and unitary authority area on the coast of Devon, England, about south-west of London. It is built between the mouths of the rivers Plym to the east and Tamar to the west, where they join Plymouth Sound...

. By 1853 Bryant and May were selling over 8 million boxes of matches per year; which was approximately 50% of the output of the Lundström brothers.

The company, Bryant and May, was founded with the specific aim of making only Safety Matches. They were influential in fighting against the dreadful disease known as Phossy jaw
Phossy jaw
Phossy jaw, formally phosphorus necrosis of the jaw, is an occupational disease of those who work with white phosphorus, also known as yellow phosphorus, without proper safeguards. It was most commonly seen in workers in the match industry in the 19th and early 20th century...

 which was caused by white phosphorus
Phosphorus
Phosphorus is the chemical element that has the symbol P and atomic number 15. A multivalent nonmetal of the nitrogen group, phosphorus as a mineral is almost always present in its maximally oxidized state, as inorganic phosphate rocks...

 used in the manufacture of the early matches.

They started in 1861, on a dilapidated site in Bow which had once been used for the manufacture of candle
Candle
A candle is a solid block or cylinder of wax with an embedded wick, which is lit to provide light, and sometimes heat.Today, most candles are made from paraffin. Candles can also be made from beeswax, soy, other plant waxes, and tallow...

s, crinoline
Crinoline
Crinoline was originally a stiff fabric with a weft of horse-hair and a warp of cotton or linen thread. The fabric first appeared around 1830, but by 1850 the word had come to mean a stiffened petticoat or rigid skirt-shaped structure of steel designed to support the skirts of a woman’s dress into...

 and rope
Rope
A rope is a length of fibres, twisted or braided together to improve strength for pulling and connecting. It has tensile strength but is too flexible to provide compressive strength...

. This site was gradually expanded as a model factory.

However the public were initially unwilling to buy the more expensive safety matches so they also had to make the traditional Lucifer Matches.

They were the target of the London matchgirls strike of 1888
London matchgirls strike of 1888
The London match-girls’ strike of 1888 was a strike of the women and teenage girls working at the Bryant and May Factory in Bow, London.-The strike:...

, which won important improvements in working conditions and pay for the mostly female workforce.

Survival by merger with other match makers

To protect its position Bryant and May merged with or took over its rivals. These were:

Diamond Match
In 1901 the American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 match maker The Diamond Match Company
Diamond Match Company
The Diamond Match Company was the largest manufacturer of matches in the United States in the late nineteenth century. Jarden is the current owner of the Diamond brand.-History:...

 bought an existing match factory in the United Kingdom, at Litherland
Litherland
Litherland is a suburban village in the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton, Merseyside, England. It was formerly an urban district, which included Seaforth and Ford...

, near Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

, and installed a continuous match making machine that could produce 600,000 matches per hour. Their matches were sold under the Captain Webb, Puck and Swan Vesta
Swan Vesta
Swan Vesta is a brand name for the most popular brand of 'strike-anywhere' matches currently available in the UK, shorter than regular pocket matches they are particularly popular with smokers and have long used the tagline "the smoker's match" although this has been replaced by the prefix "the...

brand
Brand
The American Marketing Association defines a brand as a "Name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller's good or service as distinct from those of other sellers."...

 names.

Bryant and May could not compete, so in 1905 they bought the asset
Asset
In financial accounting, assets are economic resources. Anything tangible or intangible that is capable of being owned or controlled to produce value and that is held to have positive economic value is considered an asset...

s and goodwill
Goodwill (accounting)
Goodwill is an accounting concept meaning the value of an entity over and above the value of its assets. The term was originally used in accounting to express the intangible but quantifiable "prudent value" of an ongoing business beyond its assets, resulting perhaps because the reputation the firm...

 of the British Diamond Match Company; and the (American) Diamond Match Company acquired 54.5 percent of the share capital of Bryant and May.

S.J.Moreland and Sons
In 1913 Bryant and May also took over the Gloucester
Gloucester
Gloucester is a city, district and county town of Gloucestershire in the South West region of England. Gloucester lies close to the Welsh border, and on the River Severn, approximately north-east of Bristol, and south-southwest of Birmingham....

 match maker S.J.Moreland and Sons, who made and sold matches under the trade name England's Glory
England's Glory
England's Glory is a brand of matches, available in the United Kingdom, using an iconic image of a Victorian battleship, HMS Devastation.-History:The product was originally made in Gloucester by S.J...

.

Swedish Match

In 1926 Bryant and May combined with a British match importer and the Swedish Match Company to become the British Match Corporation.

Joint company formed with Albright and Wilson

In 1929 the British Match Corporation set up a jointly-owned company with another Quaker company Albright and Wilson
Albright and Wilson
Albright and Wilson was founded in 1856 as a United Kingdom manufacturer of potassium chlorate and white phosphorus for the match industry. For much of its first 100 years of existence, phosphorus-derived chemicals formed the majority of its products....

: The A & W Match Phosphorus Company. It took over the part of Albright and Wilson's Oldbury
Oldbury, West Midlands
Oldbury is a town in the West Midlands in England. It is a part of the Black Country and the administrative centre of the borough of Sandwell.-Local government:...

 site, that was manufacturing amorphous phosphorus and phosphorus sesquisulfide
Phosphorus sesquisulfide
Phosphorus sesquisulfide is the inorganic compound with the formula 43. This yellow solid is one of two commercially produced phosphorus sulfides. It is a component of "strike anywhere" matches....

; as these two chemicals were used in safety matches and strike anywhere matches, respectively.

Merger with Wilkinson Sword

In 1973 the British Match Corporation merged with Wilkinson Sword
Wilkinson Sword
Wilkinson Sword is a brand name for companies that make gardening tools and razors. Wilkinson Sword's origins are in the manufacture of swords. The company was founded in London in 1772. The brand is currently owned by Energizer Holdings. Past product lines have included guns, bayonets, and other...

 to form the new company Wilkinson Match.

Wilkinson Match's shares were acquired by US company Allegheny International between 1978 and 1980 with the company taking full ownership in 1980. In 1987, Swedish Match re-acquired the company. It later sold on the Wilkinson Sword business retaining the match business.

Closure

In 1971 the Northern Ireland factory, Maguire & Patterson closed down following a terrorist attack. The original Bow match factory was closed in 1979, when it still employed 275 people; unlike some of the other match factories little recent investment had taken place. The Bow factory premises is a listed building and was subsequently converted into flats.

In the 1980s, factories in Gloucester and Glasgow closed too leaving Liverpool as the last match factory in the UK. This continued until December 1994. The premises survive today as The Matchworks office complex.

The former Australian match factory, in Melbourne, closed in the mid-1980s. This was converted into offices in 1989.

The British match brands continue to survive as brands of Swedish Match and are made outside the UK. Other parts of the merged company involved in shaving products survive, and still use the trade name Wilkinson Sword in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

; and the Snick trade name elsewhere. However,the shaving products are made in Germany.

Vitafruit

Vitafruit was a confectionery manufactured by the Bryant & May group in 1988. There were three varieties including tropical fruit flavour (Vitafruit), mint (Vitamint) and a throat soother (Vitasooth).

When Swedish Match acquired Bryant & May the confectionery arm of the business was sold and eventually the new owners stopped production of Vitafruit.

See also

  • Bryant and May Factory, Bow
  • Bryant and May Factory, Melbourne
    Bryant and May Factory, Melbourne
    The Bryant and May Factory is located in the suburb of Cremorne in Melbourne, Australia. It was constructed in 1909 as the Empire Works to a design by prolific Melbourne architect William Pitt...

  • Redheads (matches)
    Redheads (matches)
    Redheads is an iconic Australian brand of matches originally manufactured in Richmond, Victoria by Bryant and May but now manufactured in Sweden by Swedish Match. It is the top-selling brand in the country....


Sources

  • Beaver, Patrick, (1985). The Match Makers: The Story of Bryant & May. London: Henry Melland Limited. ISBN 0-907929-11-7.
  • Emsley, John (2000). The shocking history of Phosphorus: a biography of the Devil's element. London: Macmillian. ISBN 0-333-76638-5.
  • Threlfall, Richard E. (1951). The Story of 100 years of Phosphorus Making 1851 - 1951, Oldbury: Albright & Wilson Limited.
  • Competition Commission (1987). Bryant & May and Wilkinson Sword

External links

  • http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/rep_pub/reports/1987/fulltext/217c02.pdf
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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