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Collier & Son

134-142 Clapham Road SW, London, England

Company History

History courtesy of Claire Sherwell

Although Collier's weren't as widespread or as well known as, for example, W J Harris, Collier is a company with a long history. The Collier motto was Swift & Sure.

Here's a write-up from the trade press of the time.

"There are few domestic machinery dealers in the Metropolis so well known or as respected as J Collier and Sons, of 134-142 Clapham Road SW and branches. The business was started by the late Mr J Collier as a draper's, and after a few years the agency for Whight and Mann's Excelsior sewing machines was added, followed by agencies for Howe, Wheeler & Wilson, Willcox & Gibbs and others.

In the course of time the drapery department was given up, and the two sons, Messrs J E and C H Collier, were taken into partnership, and a small branch opened at Putney.

In 1886 the original shop at 136 Clapham Road was pulled down, also three adjoining shops, and all re-built as one large depot. A few years later branches were opened at Merton, Peckham, and Balham, and two shops adjoining the Clapham Road depot were added to the business.

In 1893 Mr J Collier, the founder, died and Mr J B Keevil was taken into partnership in 1905.

In 1902 the firm started to sell household furniture in addition to domestic machinery, and musical instruments, and they built showrooms for this purpose covering an area of 11,500 square feet.

In 1905 a branch was opened at 76 High Street, Hammersmith W, with showrooms of 4,500 square feet."

Any further information about the company gratefully received to add to our knowledge.

Collier Machines

Collier Octagonal

Serial Number 141572 (on body of machine), another number ending 99 on stitchplate, 1875-1883

Courtesy of Daveofsuffolk

The [Dincum] site suggests this machine was produced by a Birmingham manufacturer, perhaps Royal.

The Collier motto, appearing on the face plate, is Swift & Sure.

Alan Quinn decoded this British Victorian 'Registration Diamond', which was used 1842 to 1883.

It tells us that the Collier machine design was registered on 26th January 1875 and is the tenth item registered on that day. With that information it is therefore known that the machine was made between January 1875 and 1883.