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British Industrial History

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Smith and Starley

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William Borthwick Smith and James Starley formerly Smith, Starley and Co

1873 Patent. 'To William Borthwick Smith and James Starley, both of St. Agnes Works, Coventry, in the county of Warwick, for the invention of "improvements in sewing machinery."[1]

Moved from St. Agnes Lane to Ariel Works, Spon Street, Coventry, where, in 1874, Starley patented his tangent wheel.

1875 Haynes and Jefferis were also at Ariel Works, Spon Street, Coventry where they made the Smith and Starley patent bicycles and lever tension wheels[2].

1876 Patent. 'improvements in wheel or roller skates.'[3]

1877 January. Voluntary liquidation of Starley and Smith. 'William Borthwick Smith, residing at lodgings at No. 23, Warwick-row, in the city of Coventry, and James Starley, residing at No. 18, Upper Well-street, in the said city of Coventry. Copartners in Trade, carrying on business at the Trafalgar Works, Crow-lane, in the city of Coventry, and at No. 11, Bridge-end, Leeds, in the county of York, as Machinists and Mechanical Engineers, under the style or firm of Smith and Starley.' [4]

Smith, Starley and Co and Smith and Starley produced around 20,000 sewing machines of various types. These included the Little Europa, Little Dorrit and the Queen of Hearts. The company was awarded prize medals at International Exhibitions at Lyons 1872, Vienna 1873, London 1874 and Manchester 1875.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Gazette Issue 23941 published on the 24 January 1873. Page 29 of 60
  2. White and Co.'s Commercial and Trades Directory of Birmingham, Vol. II, 1875
  3. [2] Gazette Issue 24295 published on the 18 February 1876. Page 21 of 58
  4. [3] Gazette Issue 24422 published on the 20 February 1877. Page 84 of 94