Adolph Frankau & Co
119/121 Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4
In 1847, Adolph Frankau arrived in London and saw opportunities in the tabacco market. He created the company Adolph Frankau and Co and became an importer of meerschaum pipes and other supplies. He also took on a 14 year old boy, Louis Blumfeld.
The business thrived until the death of Adolph Frankau in 1856. His widow prepared to sell the company, but Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), author of "Hero and worship of the heroes" advised her not to sell, but to entrust the future of the company to the the young Louis Blumfeld, then 18 years old. Carlyle had a very high opinion of Louis for his sense of responsibility for the business, his enthusiasm and his inexhaustible energy.
Louis Blumfeld quickly developed an important international trade, with particular success in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and Europe, particularly in Switzerland and Denmark. A branch also opened in New York but the marketing strategy focused mainly on the countries of the British Empire.
Shortly before 1914, the need for manufacturing in London became pressing, and by the turn of the century A. Frankau and Co had a warehouse and offices in Queen Victoria Street and an export department in Upper Thames Street. A factory opened in 1898.
At the time, A. Frankau and Co also produced Calabashs. The gourd water-bottles originated in South Africa but supply became difficult. BBB set up a special department to manufacture the calabashs and this survived the Great War of 1914-1918. However, after the war demand declined.