Pinder Bros. was established by John and Charles Pinder in 1877. Then, as now, a family company, 2017 marks the 140th anniversary of a business that has stood the test of time. Today, we look back, highlighting the obstacles that were overcome in its small beginnings to take its centre place in the mainstream of a highly specialised industry.
Paving the Way
John Thomas Griffith and Charles Edward, the Pinder Brothers, set up a small silversmith’s business in 1877, aged 23 and 20. Rooted in Sheffield Steel Industry history, they moved into Court 4, Garden Street, were they spent a large portion of their careers, staying for 44 years, with a 10-person workforce made up of silversmiths, buffer girls, and management.
Church ornaments and vessels, including crucifixes and candelabra, were a specialty. Alongside general items like cutlery, glassware and holloware. Much of which the company still produces to this day. 1920 saw the brothers take the plunge, turning the private firm into a Limited Liability Company, with John Thomas Pinder as chairman, his brother Charles Edward as managing director, and his son John William as secretary.
Passing on the Mantle
The company survived the depression of the 1930s, but the transition of ownership had taken place following the death of the original Pinder Bros., John Thomas dying in 1930 aged 76 and Charles Edward in 1937 aged 81. John William took over his father’s mantle, along with his son, Alan.
1939 saw the opening of the new factory on Arundel Street, alongside World War Two. Many of the staff were called up, and the company began to produce cutlery for the Allied Forces, copper bands for shells, high speed steel tools and parts for Baily Bridges. Miraculously, the premises avoided the worst of the Sheffield Blitz, and was in a good position when the war finally ended.
The early 1950s saw trade reach the global stage, along with the importing of specialist goods; cut glass from Czechoslovakia, tarnish resistant silver-plates from West Germany, clocks and watches from Switzerland and stainless steel from Denmark. Pinder Bros, was now a global player.
This international trading relationship can be tracked back to World War Two, when, despite the obvious difficulties, John William boasted that no customers who had visited the Sheffield showrooms searching for any saleable items left empty handed. This will to please and build customer relations, gave Pinder Bros. a loyal customer base that would follow the company throughout its history.
The 60s saw advertising boom. With the motor car now readily available, and armed with fully illustrated catalogues, the sales force was doubled as this pioneering work proved a huge success. Alan Pinder died in 1969, handing the torch down to his sons, David and John who became joint Managing Directors. The current Head of Sales and Production, Michael Pinder was born in 1969 and continues his families’ historic work.
In the 1970s, Pinder Bros. now boasted eight selling areas, with demand for silverware at a high, business was booming. Salesmen carried the spirit of enterprise and a desire to maintain a bond with customers that is now embedded in the Pinder Bros. brand.
Little did John Thomas and Charles Edward Pinder know, that their small business venture in 1877 would become a global manufacturers, distributor, importer and exporter of goods, working with a great number companies.
140 years of history; still rooted in Sheffield, still producing the highest quality cutlery, silverplated hollowware, and pewterware, now including engravable Giftware, Tankards and Flasks, Jewellery Boxes, Christmas Decoration and Photo Frames. The future is equally as bright as the past, with new export opportunities looming post Brexit along with new and innovative giftware – here’s to the next 140 years.