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of 7 Goodge Place, Fitzrovia, London, W1T 4SF. The showroom had for along time been at 128 Piccadilly, London
Famous for their locks, also a hydraulic press, a type of flush toilet, and other inventions including some which were eventually handled by subsidiary and spin-out companies.
1784 Company established by Joseph Bramah at Denmark Street, St Giles, London, soon afterwards moved to 124 Piccadilly.
Partly due to the precision requirements of his locks, Joseph Bramah developed many tools to improve various manufacturing processes. He relied heavily on the expertise of Henry Maudslay whom he employed in his workshop from the age of 18. Just before Bramah died, his workshops also employed Joseph Clement who among other things made several contributions in the field of lathe design.
1790 the company famously had a "Challenge Lock" which was displayed in the window of their London shop from 1790 mounted on a board containing the inscription: The artist who can make an instrument that will pick or open this lock shall receive 200 guineas the moment it is produced. The "Challenge" withstood attempts to open it for over 60 years.
1793 Supplied water closets to the Anson family (later Viscount Lichfield).
1798 Henry Maudslay left Bramah's and set up business in Wells Road as Henry Maudslay and Co.
1808 J. Braham and Son, of West End, Piccadilly and Pimlico, patent engine, lock, etc manufacturers
1813 Eldest son Timothy joined the business; name changed to J. Bramah and Son.
1815 Wharves, warehouse and manufactory, leased by Joseph Bramah on the banks of the Thames near Vauxhall Bridge, were advertised for sale in part or as whole by order of the executors of his estate. As well as buildings, a 8 h.p. engine and a 12 h.p. engine, and machinery for sawing deals and stone, cutting wood, grinding mill for glazing bars, with connecting machinery invented by Mr Braham were included in the sale . Similar advert in March 1816. The business had a counting house in Pimlico.
1817 The works in Belgrave Place, Pimlico were described as 'the manufactory of the ingenious Bramah, whose locks baffle knavery, and whose condensing engines promise such important results to philosophy and the mechanic arts'. These works were 180 feet in length and were destroyed by a fire in 1843.
Joseph's sons Francis and Edward joined the business.
1825 Receipted bill from J. Bramah and Sons, Piccadilly to Mr Martin (for Lord Willoughby de Broke) for new and replacement locks for furniture, doors and windows.
1824-27 Letters from Joseph Bramah and Sons of London, concerning the treadmill, well and pumping engine for Norfolk County Gaol.
1828 A letter to the Times referred to the large amount of cast iron Bramah and Co had manufactured for the roof of London University. As this letter was from a third party, it does not necessarily indicate the legal name of the company, rather the familiar name of the business.
1830 Dissolution of the Partnership carried on under the firm of Joseph Bramah and Sons, at Pimlico and Piccadilly, in so far as regards Timothy Bramah; the business would be conducted in future under the same firm by Francis, Edward, and John Joseph Bramah
1832 Court of Chancery: Bramah v Bramah .
1835 Advertisement for Vaucher's Swiss Portable Fire Engine, manufactured by Joseph Bramah and Sons, Pimlico .
1836 Lease from F. Bramah to F. Bramah junior and John T. Prestage . Around this time there seems to have been a separation of the business into various separate enterprises; presumably this marked the beginning of Bramah and Prestage.
1837 Charles Robinson joined the business as partner; Bramah and Robinson established.
c.1838 Death of Timothy Bramah of Chelsea; date of will 27 November 1838.
1840 Death of Francis Bramah, age 56 .
At some point John Joseph Bramah is reported to have taken over his deceased uncle's business. He was said to possess his uncle's business skills and love of mechanisms if not his inventiveness. He gathered together a huge business in railway plant at Pimlico, with the help of George and Robert Stephenson, and subsequently transferred it to Smethwick as the London Works, joining himself with Charles Fox and John Henderson as partners.
1848 Tipton. Horseley Ironworks, belonging to Messrs. Bramah and Co, are also extensive (not sure of the source of this).
1851 The "Challenge Lock" stood for over 60 years until, at the 1851 Great Exhibition an American by the name of Alfred Charles Hobbs was able to open the lock and, following some argument about the circumstances under which he had opened it (which continued for several years), he was awarded the prize. Hobbs attempt still took him some 45 hours, spread over 16 days. The Challenge Lock (or at least a version of it, as it was probably updated over time) still resides in the Bramah shop in London.
1870 J. T. Needs described as “late 'Bramah” in connection with a case involving locks in the police court; the address of the business was 124 Piccadilly
1874 The lock company was owned by J. T. Needs and Co
c1901 Whitfields Safe and Door Co acquired J T Needs and Co
1910 Name changed to Bramah and Co. Engineering works moved to Oldbury Place.
1914 of 100, New Bond Street, London, W. Manufacturers of the genuine Bramah Patent Locks, Steel Safes, Steel Doors for Strong Rooms, Deed and Despatch Boxes, Jewel and Writing Cases, Bags, Trunks, and Travelling Requisites of all kinds
1926 Company took over premises at 2 Nottingham St.
1934 Company incorporated as Bramah Manufacturing Co Ltd; name changed to Bramah's Ltd.
1936 Moved to 11 Old Bond St.
1966 Purchased by J. R. Bramah and Co Ltd; renamed Bramah Security Equipment Ltd, 31 Oldbury Place.
1986 Purchased by Jeremy Bramah.
1987 Assembly moved from 31,Oldbury Place W1 to Hornchurch, Essex.
2016 Company website