For the local historian or researcher, looking through business commercial directories is one route to build up a picture of trade activity in an area.
A selection of contemporary photographs of the factory site at Metsec in 2017.
Thomas William King was a toll collector for Birmingham Canal Navigations and keen photographer of the canals he worked on.
The alkali works of Chance and Hunt were founded originally to make salt cake.
M.C.L. and Repetition Limited produced a range of bolts, screws, screw machine products, rivets, nuts, eye bolts, washers.
By the late 1930s, Midland Tar Distillers’ Organisation had their head office at Oldbury. The tar distillation works closed down in 1972.
Sadler & Sons established a brickworks in 1847, proclaiming they were the ‘manufacturer of every description of Staffordshire brindled, red, blue and brown bricks and tiles.’
In 1868 Edwin Danks established a company making canal boats and boilers.
Langley Maltings (also known as Showell’s Maltings) finally closed in 2006. The buildings alongside Titford Canal date from 1870.
Practical Equipment Ltd (PEL) was formed in 1932, to make steel furniture.
Cuxson and Gerrard was founded in 1878 as a manufacturer of surgical dressings. Pioneers in industrial first aid, the company is still a leader in the field today.
Aerial view of Griffin Foundry, 1960. The factory had then been in operation over 100 years as Hunt Brothers, producing metal castings of any shape and size.
Early 1970s view of the Paddock works. Accles & Pollock celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1949 as the largest manufacturer of cold drawn seamless precision tubes in the world.
Engineers and iron founders, Brookes made tube-making machinery, multiple punching and angle bending machines, lathes, power presses, drawbenches and nail machinery.
Metsec provide specialist cold roll-forming metal fabrications for the construction and manufacturing industries.
William Hunt and Sons, founded in 1782, was the oldest firm of edge tool makers in the area.
Chlorine train approaching Albright and Wilson chemical works in 1990.
Penstock erecting shop, 1930, Ham, Baker & Co Ltd.
British Industrial Plastics is the oldest polymer material manufacturer in the UK, still in operation today.
First established as the Ebenezer Works in the mid-19th century, the London Works was producing 2000 tons of steel a week in 1949, a value of two million pounds a year.
Beetle Products was set up in 1925 to mould resins made by British Cyanides Co Ltd, its sister company.
Founded in 1929 Tube Products made ‘component parts of motor cars, cycles, perambulators, steel furniture and electrical equipment.’ (Aerial view of the factory, 1935, © Historic England)
John Elwell of Rood End produced agricultural buildings, pillars, fencing, netting, gates and animal troughs, hurdles and shelters.