Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Unicorn Products

From Graces Guide
1947.

of Unicorn Works, Elmcourt Road, London, SE27. Telephone: Gipsy Hill 1688

By 1944 & still in 1950: Unicorn Works, Elmcourt Road, West Norwood, London, SE27.

By 1955: 119-121, Stanstead Road, Forest Hill, London S.E.23.

Also: South Barn, Crockham Park, Crockham Hill, Edenbridge, Kent TN8 6UP.

Unicorn Products Ltd was founded in Forest Hill, London, by Frank Lowy (1901-1969), a native of Budapest, Hungary. He began his career with a £6 investment and an idea for improving and marketing darts.

1937 With a background as an apprentice engineer, and having worked in an international patent office, Lowy applied his knowledge and his newly found interest in the game of darts to design and patent the "Silver Comet" dart in 1937. Lowy took the darts, which were sold loose on market stalls or hardware stores, and packaged them in sets of three and marketed them through sporting goods stores.

1938 Trade Mark 600250, first registered 9th August 1938.

Post WWII. Lowy's dart manufacturing and marketing was only part-time until after WWII, when the business developed rapidly, becoming the world's largest and leading manufacturer of darts, equipment and accessories. He was the first to market plastic dart flights and to export darts in substantial quantities.

Manufactured & sold ludo, snakes & ladders, lotto, et al, in 1940s.

1942 Patent for 'FOUR CROWN LUDO' - PAT. PENDING No. 2394/41. The patent also covered ‘SIX CROWN LUDO’, and was published on 28th September 1942.

1943 On 8th February 1943 a patent application was submitted by UNICORN PRODUCTS LTD for a game of Snakes and Ladders. This patent was published on 22nd June 1944. In both applications the co-applicant was Ferenc Lowy.

1945 The company was the first to introduce a successful plastic dart flight on a commercial scale.

1947 British Industries Fair Advert as Manufacturers of Darts, Superplume Feather Flights, Uniplume Plastic Flights, Dart Cases, Dartboards, all Darts Accessories, Table Tennis, Chess, Draughts, Dominoes, Backgammon, Dice, Dice-cups, Table Games and Indoor Games of all kinds. (Sports Goods Section - Olympia, 1st Floor, Stand No. 1842) [1]

1948 The plastic dart case became an integral component of a set of darts.

In 1949, Unicorn became the first company to sell darts classified by weight, an obvious benefit for all players. Unicorn now guarantees weight accuracy to within 0.33% on most tungsten darts. There was also the introduction of the improved 'Plus-Two' plastic dart case and of the revolutionary Patent 'Adaptor' dart flights, which ousted the old wooden-shafted feather dart flight.

1950 Darts, Plastic and Feather Dart Flights, Plastic Dart Cases, Dartboards, Dartboard Cabinets and all accessories for darts, Table Tennis, Chess, Draughts, Dominoes, Dice and other indoor games of all kinds. [2]

1955 From feather flights, they developed and introduced the first one-piece plastic flight, the modern polyester flight and in 1955, launched the first flight with impressions on the wing.

1958 Trade Mark 777454 registered 9th May 1958 for UNICORN-SCOREMASTER.

1972 Taken over by Gunn and Moore [3]

1972 Unicorn introduced the first commercial tungsten alloy darts which allowed the player the great advantage of slimmer darts for closer grouping.

1977 Slikstik, Unicorn's patented side loading dart shaft, is a world beater and in 1977 the world's first steel shaft with replaceable top was introduced.

1987 The company introduced the first titanium tungsten darts and the unique range of Golden Unicorn darts.

1995 Patent application filed on 24th March 1995 by Unicorn Products Ltd for ‘Dart shafts and a method of manufacture thereof.’ Address on patent: 119-121 Stanstead Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 1HJ.

Stanley Robert Lowy, for Unicorn Products Ltd, had patents EP0838016(A1) and EP0838016(B1) published on 29th April 1998 and 6th March 2002, respectively.

Now part of the Unicorn Group.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 419; and p281
  2. 1950 British Industries Fair
  3. The Times, Saturday, Jan 29, 1972