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William Farrar (1854-1921)
1854 William Farrar was born in Bramley.
During the mid 1850s the old established woollen and worsted industries were starting to give way to the manufacture of boots and shoes. Production of footwear in Bramley was closely linked to the major tanning and currying industries located four miles away in Leeds, where weekly markets and eight annual leather fairs were held.
Whilst working for Messrs Haley, Wiliam Farrar gained invaluable experience. He helped introduce the American designed band knife splitting machine - perhaps one of the most important innovations ever made in the leather industry, enabling the tanner to obtain as many as six or even more splits from one hide or skin.
In 1892, after 23 years with Thomas Haley & Co., William Farrar, with the financial backing of a local businessman, John Whitley, occupied the former premises of Henry Sugden & Sons in Bath Lane, Bramley. Under the style of Farrar, Whitley & Co, the firm was established a few hundred metres from the Haley factory situated along Stanningley Road.
1899 William Farrar joins Smithson Young to form a new company and after taking temporary premises in Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, Farrar and Young moved to their new purpose-built factory in Elder Road, Bramley in May 1900.
1911 Wrote and published a descriptive booklet in April of this year, giving instructions for erecting and working bandknife leather splitting machines.
1921 William Farrar died on 9th September 1921 at the age of 67.