Dating antiques by patent number
The companys’ soft toy production was relocated in 1920 to a new factory, the Wrekin Toy Works, at Wellington, Shropshire, where a new range of fabric dolls were introduced and all three factories were merged to become The Chad Valley Co. In that same year both the Wellington and Harborne works were extended as business continued to increase. In 1922 Chad Valley was a Listed Exhibitor at the British Industries Fair (Stand F.35) Indoor Games, Puzzles, Christmas Crackers and Stockings, Toys of all Description including Playing Balls, Teddy Bears, Fabric Dolls and other Soft Toys, Rattles, Mascots etc.The soft toy range they produced all carried a sew-in label, well known by collectors of today, with most reading ‘Hygienic Toys / Made in England / Chad Valley Co. Interestingly enough they also featured (Stand Nos.They later took the name of Chad Valley as their registered trademark and the building was to remain as the company headquarters for over seventy years.
This long established British toy company has its roots set in a stationery business set up by Joseph and Alfred Johnson (Johnson Bros.) in 1860 on George Street, in Birminghams’ city centre although its origins date back even further to a printing and book binding business set up by their father Anthony Bunn Johnson sometime around 1820.In 1950 it stopped being a family business and became a public limited company. ( Chiltern Toys ) was the final company to be taken over in 1967 despite Chad Valley beginning to feel the onset of stiff foreign competition and recession.Over the next ten years or so they go on to expand by acquiring several companies including in 1951 the metal toy manufacturers of Hall and Lane, in 1954 the family business of Robert Brothers (Gloucester) Ltd., trading as ‘Glevum’ Toys and in 1958 the metal toy makers Acme Stopper and Box Co. 1971 saw the company sold to John Bentley of Barclay Securities for £600,000 who came with the reputation of streamlining and rationalising companies under his control.Some patent numbers, as displayed in the table, are 7 characters with the numeric portion padded with leading zeroes. Therefore, the number of patents granted during a year cannot be determined by simply subtracting the number of the first patent issued in one year from the number of the first patent issued in the next year.The user should note that while the data in this table have been checked, it still is possible that inadvertent errors remain.