Hindley, Charles & Sons
Berners Street & Oxford Street, London; cabinet makers, upholsterers and retailers (fl.c.1820-1892)
Charles Hugh Hindley (b.1792- d.1871) was the son of Christopher, a merchant in Mere, Wiltshire. He moved to London with an elder brother to live with his uncle, who was possibly running the London branch of the Wiltshire business.
In 1817 Charles joined the upholstery firm of Benjamin Merriman Nias at 32 Berners Street. Within a few years he bought the Nias business with a £1,000 investment from his family. Despite his business being described as a 'carpet warehouse' in London directories from 1820-1841, by the mid-1830s upholstery and cabinet work had joined his repertoire and he had taken on more showroom space next door at 31 Berners Street. Family records of the 1840s showed that individual custom-order business expanded to also ‘supplying established furnishing houses with goods on wholesale terms’. Jobs ranged from supplying Pentonville Prison with 100 hair mattresses and pillows, to altering spring roller blinds, to fulfilling private commissions with suites of parlour furniture.
Hindley was the father of eleven children with three involved in the business: Charles Hugh (b. 1818), Frederick (b. 1820), and Albert Daniel (b.1822). Charles Hugh and Frederick joined the family firm about 1832, thus establishing the family partnership, Charles Hindley & Sons. Albert Daniel learned the carpet manufactory and trade in Kidderminster and eventually established a carpet manufactory in Liversedge, Yorkshire, supplying the family’s London store and others. In 1845 he patented an early tufted carpeting technique.
Charles Hindley & Sons acquired the firm, Miles & Edwards in September 1844, including their premises at 134 Oxford Street. Both companies operated from this address until 1845 when Miles & Edwards was closed.
The purchase of Miles & Edwards enabled Hindley & Co. to compete with other West End firms by offering everything from cabinet making and upholstery to painted decoration and interior design for the middle and upper class market. In a sample of 737 orders from October 1842-June 1845, six per cent of the clientele were upper and lower aristocracy with approximately seventy per cent gentry or middle class. The aristocratic clientele included the surnames of Hoare, Kirland, Drummond, Montefiore, Ashburton and Rothschild, and the Oriental Club at 18 Hanover Square (1824).
is London's oldest security company. Established at 124 Piccadilly, London in 1784, and today based in Marylebone, London and Romford, Essex.
Bramah made their first lock in 1784 and the patent was awarded in 1787. The designer was Joseph Bramah. Joseph Bramah was a leading inventor of the industrial revolution, patenting over 18 new ideas, including a new valve for the water closet (toilet), the hydraulic pump, a fountain pen, and a fire engine.
Bramah also introduced a beer hand pump for use at the bar, to prevent fluid loss when barmen went downstairs to pour a new jug! Due to the quality of his manufacturing, his name became a by-word amongst British Engineers for engineering excellence and many of his inventions are on display in the Science Museum in London. You can find one of his original toilets still working in Osborne House, Queen Victoria's home on the Isle of Wight.
The Bramah lock was unique and advanced property and valuables protection enormously. Indeed it was 50 years ahead of any Chubb lock and 70 years ahead of Yale. Original Bramah locks are most often found on the highest quality homes and furniture.