‘Clewco’ Products (1836) – 111/113 Vyse Street

A shrewd anticipation of public taste, the production of well-made and inexpensive articles, and consistent advertising, made the productions of E J Clewley & Co., familiar to nearly every retailer, wholesaler and shipper in the jewellery trade in the first half of the 20th Century.

This old established firm, having been in existence, partly, for nearly a century. E J Clewley & Co. was actually founded in 1890, but John Carter & Son, which was incorporated in 1906, dated from 1837. The proprietors of the business in 1936 were Herbert Davis, A H Bishton, and Carl Bishton, the latter’s son was works manager.

The firm occupied premises in Vyse Street, the main factory being at No.111, the press works at 112 and the chromium plating department at 113. Here, all the goods they marketed under the well-known ‘Clewco’ trade mark) passed through every process of manufacture and finishing. Press and machine tools were used extensively, the factory being extremely well equipped in this direction.

Inexpensive rings of all descriptions were among the most important productions. The extensive range they manufactured included silver set paste rings, white sapphire rings in 9ct and 18ct, coloured stone and diamond rings. Wedding rings in all qualities of gold and platinum, diamond set necklet snaps and 9ct gold stone neckletws were other of their better known products.

‘Clewco’ watch bracelets enjoyed a wide popularity and for some years found a ready market both in this country and abroad. They were made in 9ct. rolled gold, stainless steel, goldine and chrome in a comprehensive range of patterns. In 1936 the latest addition embodied an ingenious expanding device which consisted of two long springs, making it more than ordinarily supple and durable, and ensuring a close and comfortable fit.

The production of ticketing machines was an activity which at first appears to bear little relationship to the business of manufacturing jewellery but Clewleys, hitting upon a novel device, produced and marketed the ‘Clewco’ machine, which became used universally by the trade for ticketing all types of jewellery, watches and optical goods. Neatness and absolute security in ticketing was its main advantages.

The business in all departments was confined solely to the wholesale and shipping branches of the trade.

The Company moved to 67/70 Vyse Street in 1929. and later registered in Staffordshire.

The Company exhibited at both the 1929 and 1947 British Industries Fairs.

E J Clewley (Jewellery) Ltd was ‘dissolved and filed’ in 1954.

It is easy to imagine that the brand name ‘Clewco’ appears on many items in people’s jewellery boxes!

Source: Researched by Colin Giles/JQ Heritage

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