Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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S. Fitton and Sons

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of Macclesfield.

Producers of Hovis

1887 The process for making what would later be known as Hovis was patented on 6 October 1887 by Richard "Stoney" Smith (1836-1900) and Thomas Fitton. S. Fitton and Sons were large millers in Macclesfield. Smith's invention was a method of producing bread that was rich in wheat germ. Fittons developed the brand, milled the flour and sold it to other bakers.

1890 The name Smith's Patent Process Germ Flour was too cumbersome so a national competition was arranged by S. Fitton and Sons to find a trading name for their bread. A London student Herbert Grimes coined the word Hovis from the Latin phrase hominis vis – "the strength of man".

1892 National advertising in the press began.

1894 The Hovis brand was protected by offering rewards about people selling bread that claimed to be Hovis. Hovis branded baking tins were supplied by Fittons so that each Hovis loaf carried the Hovis name.

1898 The Hovis-Bread Flour Co was registered on 2 February, to acquire the milling and flour business of S. Fitton and Sons[1].


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908