William Cotton Ltd.

The earliest known business dealings with the firm was in 1875, when William Cotton, then described as a frame-smith working in Pinfold Gate[1], made several purchases of wood shavings[2].

However, by the 1920s, the business was of a completely different nature. Still located in Pinfold Gate, William Cotton Ltd., was a significant hosiery machine manufacturing firm. Presumably despite having their own casting and engineering facilities, they were purchasing large quantities of castings from the firm[3]. In the period between 19th February and 29th October 1923, they placed over 40 orders, with each order having multiple items. For example, on 21st February, the order comprised of more than 400 castings of 10 different types. On 7th March, the order was for over 700 castings of 7 different types. Over the 8½ month period, the value of these orders exceeded £890.

A continuous run of detailed orders exists for an eleven-year period starting at the beginning of 1929 running through to the end of 1939[4]. They exhibit a very similar profile to that in 1923. Whilst there is no evidence to the contrary, it would appear reasonable to assume that this profile was maintained from the end of 1923 up to the beginning of 1929.




  1. Barker & Co.’s Directory for Leicestershire & Rutland, 1875.
  2. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE2121/04.
  3. Leicestershire, Leicester and Rutland Record Office ref: DE2121/32.
  4. Privately held records.