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( Somerset )
Fox Bros & Co
Established 1772 - Woollen and Worsted Cloth Manufacturers.
The early woollen industry was developed in areas were
sheep where farmed.
1745 Edward Fox married into the Were family.
His Thomas Fox, took over the family weaving business and it
is claimed that he employed up to 450 people, these people
worked initially as part of a cottage industry in and around
1799 Thomas Fox built Coldharbour Mill, at Uffculme in Devon.
The mill was fed by a leat from the River Culm and
manufactured fine worsted fabric until its closure in 1981.
1800s. The early 19th century brought together the wool sorting, spinning, dying, and weaving processes under one roof. Total production was housed on the one site, and ancillary crafts also took place there. This included basket weaving to produce the baskets used for holding wool and yarns, book binding to produce the documents, record and accounts books, metal forges and workshops to produce and maintain the machinery, and joineries for the wooden requirements of the site.
1896 The company was registered on 1 October, to take over the business of woolen manufacturers and spinners of the firm of the same name.
The Fox family even printed their own banknotes from 1787 until 1921. At times the whole site employed over 4,500 people.
Fox Brothers exported their woollen fabrics around the world shipping from the River Exe port of Topsham, south of Exeter, in Devon.
1899 Large woollen mills at Wellington, Somerset, and of branch mills at Uffculme and Culmstock and a wool warehouse in Taunton. Mentions S. H. Sparkes.
1900 The serge drape mixture was developed by Fox Brothers, which was then approved by the Prince of Wales and is now known worldwide as khaki. This was used to make the puttee**. The spiral leg puttees were used by the military as a part of the regular soldiers uniform, but they were also widely used for sporting pursuits such as hunting, shooting, fishing and cycling. Other fashion accessories were also produced at the Tonedale Mills such as scarfs and garters.
More info on the Fox family here ......
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