Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd is who?

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Essexboy Fisher
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Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd is who?

Postby Essexboy Fisher » Mon Dec 10, 2018 7:48 pm

Hello, I am researching a cutlery item stamped with the electroplate mark shown below, and as you will notice it is a broad arrow, War Department, item.

Image

We have Dawson , BHAM, Ltd and 1944 and as the “BHAM” is an abbreviation for “Birmingham” my original thought was that it must have been made in that city. However I found one of “Dognose’s adverts” in our section “Some Sheffield Ads & Information” and that information somewhat muddied that water. The reference is below.

http://www.925-1000.com/td/f/Sheffield/Dawson-1962.jpg

Here we see a “Dawson” company with 2 addresses one in Birmingham and one in Sheffield. There is also with the ad a description of a silver hallmark, “D (B) Ltd contained within a horizontal lozenge shaped punch” but entered with the Sheffield Assay Office dated from 1944. I have an image of that silver mark taken from ”silvermakersmarks.com” web site and it is below.

Image

The Electroplate mark and silver mark do seem to have a similar “theme”, so could be from the same company.
The question is now, who is this “Dawson” and what is there in the way of first names for him or her or them? What is the “BHAM” bit about?
On the inter net there are plenty of references to a Jeweller/Silversmith “ Stewart Dawson Co. Ltd” and ”silvermakersmarks.com” indicates they had marks, but very different from that shown above, and registered at the Silver Assay centres in London, Glasgow, Chester, Birmingham and Sheffield. These were all at an earlier period than the Dawson electroplate mark. Are we definitely looking at 2 distinct concerns or was this just an evolving company? In “Dognose’s” thread the advert states “Dawson Birmingham Ltd” was “Established 1884” and ”silvermakersmarks.com” indicates “Stewart Dawson’s” early marks were registered in 1881 & 1882. Is there enlightenment out there? I just want to fully label this WW2 fork image. Incidently I saw on line that "Dawson" is the fifth most common UK surname starting with the letter "D" so possibly it may be difficult to sort these "Dawson''s" out.
Fishless

Essexboy Fisher
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Re: Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd is who?

Postby Essexboy Fisher » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:02 pm

Forgive me Phil, Please. I do know it is "silvermakersmarks.co.uk" and not as I typed.
Fishless

dognose
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Re: Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd is who?

Postby dognose » Tue Dec 11, 2018 4:26 am

Hi Fishless,

The subject will, of course, need a lot more research, but just to get the ball rolling, one thought does stand out straight away. During WWII flatware production was limited, by government order, to Sheffield only, with the Birmingham factories being converted to producing goods for the war effort. If Dawson (B'ham) Ltd. were flatware manufacturers and Birmingham based pre-war, and wanted to continue with that line of production, then they would have had to move their operation to Sheffield, and perhaps post-war, following the lifting of restrictions, they remained there.

As said, a lot more research needs to be done.

Trev.

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Re: Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd is who?

Postby silvermakersmarks » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:28 am

No apologies necessary.

In the 1926 telephone directory Dawsons were listed as: Dawson Birmingham Ltd, Electro Plate Manufacturers, 252 New John st W, Birmingham, phone number Northern 1842. By 1935 the listing reads: Dawson Birmingham Ltd, Electro Plate, 82 Unett st, Birmingham 19. This entry continues through to at least 1955 but there is no trace of them in 1959. This probably coincides with their move to Sheffield.

Phil

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Re: Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd is who?

Postby dognose » Tue Dec 11, 2018 6:56 am

Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd., 82/83 Unett Street, Birmingham, registered a "Dn BIRM" word mark with the Canadian Patent Office for use on silver and silver-plated tea sets, trays, waiters, comports, flower vases, cruets, bonbon dishes, candlesticks, candelabras, and spoons, knives and forks on the 23rd October 1941. Date of first use was claimed as 1925.

Trev.

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Re: Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd is who?

Postby silvermakersmarks » Tue Dec 11, 2018 7:11 am

Telephone directory update: The first Sheffield entry for Dawsons is for 1940: Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd, Cutlery Mfrs, 136 West st, Sheffield 1. They are still at this address in 1970; I didn't look any farther forward. The 1940 first entry may back up Trev's suggestion that war exigiencies forced the move to Sheffield. If so it must have made economic sense to shut the Birmingham factory down in the 1950s and move everything to Sheffield.

Phil

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Re: Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd is who?

Postby silvermakersmarks » Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:41 am

The London Gazette notes the dissolution of Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd and the removal of its name from the Companies Register in March 1980.

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Re: Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd is who?

Postby dognose » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:36 am

Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd. appear to have taken over the Birmingham works formerly occupied by William Vale & Sons:

See: viewtopic.php?f=38&t=14729&p=72586&hilit=vale#p72586

William Vale & Sons were struck of the Companies Register in 1935, but as is usual with these removals the company is likely to have been dormant for some years.

Trev.

Essexboy Fisher
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Re: Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd is who?

Postby Essexboy Fisher » Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:00 pm

Thank you Trev and Phil for hunting out these extra fragments of information. We definitely know Dawsons were in Sheffield to make War Dept. cutlery during WW2. I am particularly happy get the information that there was the Government directive centralising cutlery production in Sheffield. This actually explains why the companies, I have done “mini researches” on, as makers of War Dept “broad arrow” cutlery seemed all from Sheffield. I had one other apparent exception, but that, I am already on the point of sorting out.
We know the “Dawson” company in this post was "Established 1884" and they were in the Birmingham telephone directory in 1926 and went out of business around 1980. The sad thing is that there is nothing from the first 42 years of their history.
I have a final picture to post now as we have made our way into the “silver plate marks” section.

Image

It comes with a question because I have seen “Unett Plate” images that proclaimed “Made in England” with no mention of “Sheffield”. Would it be “Dawson”, or could it be "William Vale & Sons” that made those items?
Fishless


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