Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Stern Brothers

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December 1889.
1900. Sternol Automotor Oil.
July 1900.
February 1901.
January 1902. Tic-A-Toc Lubricator.
November 1902.
September 1902.
January 1903.
February 1903.
February 1903.
May 1903.

Stern Bros. of 57 Gracechurch Street, London EC, were merchant banks and manufacturers of lubricating oils (suppliers of Sternoline).

1840s Brothers David and Herman Stern started in merchant banking in London

1863 The firm of Stern Brothers undertook its first public bond issue for the kingdom of Portugal. The Sterns went on to make their name in Portuguese finance, but their clients also included the kingdoms of Italy and Spain, the Argentine and Peruvian republics, and the Danubian principalities. Essential to the Sterns' success was their ability to distribute bonds in continental markets; of the £2.5 million issued for Portugal in 1863, for example, only half was sold in London.

The founders of the firm were succeeded by three of their sons and a nephew.

  • Sydney James Stern, Baron Wandsworth (1844–1912), was the elder son of David Stern, but soon retired from the business
  • Herbert Stern, son of Herman,(1851–1919), withdrew from the partnership about 1910. He became first Baron Michelham.
  • James Julius Stern (1835–1901), born on 30 June 1835, the son of Julius Stern of Frankfurt
  • Edward David Stern (1854–1933), younger son of David Stern, became a partner probably in the 1870s; he became senior partner in 1910 on Herman's withdrawl.

1887 A business supplying lubricating oils was established[1]

1903 The oil business was renamed Stern-Sonneborn Oil Co Ltd[2]

1903 Albert Gerald Stern, son of James Julius, became a partner

WWI The war must have severely damaged the firm's foundations. Links with Frankfurt and Paris were left in disarray, and its European client network and security distribution channels destroyed. At the same time English-based members of the family publicly distanced themselves from their German cousins.

1920 The Stern Brothers merchant bank was part of a consortium that acquired the British interests in the Roumanian oil fields[3]

1964 Stern Brothers, which was by then only a shell, discontinued business.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jun 11, 1928
  2. The Times Aug 08, 1903
  3. The Times, Sep 04, 1920
  • Biography of the Stern Family, ODNB