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British Industrial History

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R. and W. H. Symington and Co

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1947. Liberty

of 'Libertyland', Market Harborough, Leicestershire. Branches Peterborough, Rugby, Manchester and Kirby.

Possible predecessor:

1846 Dissolution of the Partnership between William Symington and James Symington, of Market Harborough, in the county of Leicester, lately carrying on business there in copartnership, as Drapers and Clothiers, on the 25th day of March 1846[1]

1856 Company established, presumably as auctioneers and appraisers.

1850s The company began to make corsets as well. Corsets were a very important garment in the 19th century. Their corsets were for fashionable Victorian ladies who wanted a narrow waist. They were also a support garment for holding up stockings.

1864 Dissolution of the Partnership between James Symington, Robert Symington, and William Henry Symington, of Market Harborough, in the county of Leicester, in the trades or businesses of Auctioneers and Appraisers, and Stay and Corset Manufacturers, and carried on under the firm of James Symington and Sons, was this day dissolved by mutual consent. The said business of Auctioneer and Appraiser will in future be carried on by the said James Symington only; the said business of Stay and Corset Manufacturers, will in future be carried on by the said Robert Symington and William Henry Symington only[2]

1898 Registered on 30 September, to take over the business of corset manufacturers of the firm of the same name. [3]

The company was quite successful and even sold overseas. One of its most noticeable products was the Liberty Bodice, produced for about 70 years. They were designed as support garments, but some were advertised as being beneficial for posture.

As corsets began to be worn less in the 20th century, the company turned to swimwear.

1947 Advert as makers of fine corsetry. 'Liberty' brand. Other registered Trade Marks include 'Avro', 'Jenysn', 'Peter Pan' and the Children's Liberty Bodice. [4]

1964 Shares quoted on the Stock Exchange[5]

1967 Acquired by Courtaulds[6]

See Also

  • [1] Wikipedia on the Liberty Bodice
  • [2] Leicestershire Museum Collection
  • [3] Underwear Manufacturers

Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 8 Feb 1848
  2. London Gazette 7 June 1864.
  3. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  4. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 486
  5. The Times July 31, 1964
  6. The Times July 14, 1967