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British Industrial History

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Liberty and Co

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October 1903.
June 1911.
March 1921.
November 1927.
November 1927.
April 1928.
April 1928. Tilo-Leum.
September 1928. Velveteen.
June 1932.
May 1935.
May 1935.
February 1947.

Liberty's of London

Liberty's is a long-established department store in Regent Street and Great Marlborough Street in Central London, England, in the West End shopping district.

The business was founded by Arthur Lasenby Liberty in 1875 to sell ornaments, fabrics (for which it became especially famous) and miscellaneous objets d'art from Japan and the Far East.

1843 Arthur Liberty was born in Chesham, Bucks.

1862 Arthur worked at Farmer and Rogers in Regent Street.

1875 Arthur Liberty acquired the lease of half a shop at 218a Regent Street, opposite where he used to work, and called it Liberty and Co. William Judd, a former colleague, joined his company and they began to sell ornaments, fabrics and other items from Japan.

1876-7 The other half of the shop was acquired.

1882 Company owned premises at 218-220 Regent Street, London.

1885 Company purchased 142-4 Regent Street, to sell carpets and furniture.

1890s Work was commissioned from leading English designers.

1917 Arthur Liberty died.

1924 The new Tudor building was built using timbers of two ships, HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. The front of the store on Great Marlborough Street is the same length as the Hindustan.

1957 Liberty's celebrated its centenary.

2008 Liberty plc still sells products designed by leading artists.

Merton Print Works

1904 Liberty's purchased the Merton print works. Shortly afterwards a number of the early weatherboarded buildings on the site were demolished. Liberty's gradually replaced the old weatherboarded workshops in brick.

In 1940 Liberty's leased part of the factory, set aside for screen-printing, to Parnall Aircraft Components Ltd, an aircraft manufacturer. Parnall's also leased the 1929 shop. The work included the assembling of gun turrets for the Bristol Blenheim Fighter Bomber.

1945 Liberty's took back the building that had been leased to Parnall's and finally set up their screen-printing shop.

1972 Liberty and Co. ceased production at the Merton Abbey Works but textile production continued at Merton by Vita-Tex Ltd., Riseline Ltd. and finally Merton Fabrics Ltd.

1982 The Merton premises finally closed.

See Also

  • [1] Liberty website

Sources of Information

  • [2] Wikipedia
  • Merton Priory website [3]
  • Trademarked. A History of Well-Known Brands - from Aertex to Wright's Coal Tar by David Newton. Pub: Sutton Publishing 2008 ISBN 978-0-7509-4590-5