Booth Group Time Line
The main events in 150 years – time line, people, brands and companies. Updated January 2011. Will contain some errors and many omissions, so please accept my apologies and send any corrections to firstname.lastname@example.org
Most of the Books referenced will be detailed in the bibliography to be found in the leather section, as its seems better to have one list rather than two since there is quite a bit of overlapping. The list is being steadily brought up to date and enlarged.
19th century Booth family moved to Liverpool from Warrington. Liverpool was a fast growing city with lots of overseas trade.
1812-1815 Napoleonic War of 1812. After the war Commodity prices fell and stayed low for a long time
1820-1940 Unitarian Society became very important in the UK
1837 Grand Junction Railway completed London, Birmingham, Manchester and Liverpool linked together by train
1846 Corn Laws repealed
1847 Factory Act passed
1847 Friedrich Knapp first published his ideas on chromium in the Textbook of Chemical Technology
1850 Alfred apprenticed to Lamport and Holt, a well known Liverpool merchant house
1850s Liverpool merchants began to replace sailing ships with small steam ones
1857 Alfred Booth went to New York Worked for Liverpool merchants Rathbone & Co
1858 Friedrich Knapp published details of the tanning effect of chromium The German Chemist published his treatise On the Nature and Essential Character of the Tanning Process and of Leather
1859 Origin of the Species Darwin’s quietly spoken but influential book was published. Charles interpreted this to mean that man must accept responsibility for the mess made of the world (Norman-Butler)
1859-1862 Bad harvests in UK lead to food imports from US through to 65
1860 Elder Mr Booth died
1860 Partnership set up with Mr Walden: Walden and Booth 57 Broad Street, New York
1860-62 Charles Booth travels in Turkey and Europe Had finished his apprenticeship. After this trip he joined his brother in New York at time Walden became ill
1861-1865 US Civil War
1863 Walden becomes unwell and enters mental hospital In January New Booth partnership formed, shipping light leather to US. Two products: Sumac tanned sheep from Bermondsey for shoe uppers, and pickled grains and fleshes from Turneys of Trent Bridge, Boots of Leicester, and Johnston at Bootle. The Turney family had three tanneries, all separate businesses. Brother Edward left a partnership with John in 1871 and then owned Whitemoor leather in Nottingham (which burned down in 1888 and then went bankrupt in late 1990: it was restarted a year or two later as Wade & Co as a JV between Wade and Booth, after being purchased at auction in 1901). Two other brothers William and Henry set up a very successful plant in Stourbridge and their father added a glue factory nearby.
1863 Issue of confederate loan. The Booths did not subscribe, although most Liverpool merchants appear to have done so.
1863 Open office in Liverpool 5 India Buildings
1864 Decided to enter the steamship business Plan to sail to North Brazil ports, Ceara, Maranham, Para (now called Fortaleza, Sao Luiz, and Belem): return cargoes would be cotton, sugar and coffee
1865 Booth US trade had a good year
1865 Turneys agreed to ship to US on consignment
1865 Contracts placed for first 2 Booth ships, Augustine launched
1865 Charles Booth campaigned unsuccessfully for the Liberal parliamentary candidate in the election of 1865
1866 Feb 15th first Augustine voyage to Brazil Voyage lost GBP3 but obtained 10k annual contract for mail from the Brazilians
1867 Brazil/Paraguay War ends
1867 Alfred Booth married Lydia Butler After his marriage he returned to the UK
1867 Thomas Fletcher joined as partner Appears to have worked in New York. Cousin and close friend of the brothers. Trained as an engineer before joining Booth & Co
1860-1890 US population doubled
1869-1871 Alfred Booth stayed in the US Last prolonged stay
1869 In 1869 R. Singlehurst & Co. Ltd., of Liverpool who had traded sailing ships for many years to northern Brazil, founded the Red Cross Line. This was in direct competition to Alfred Booth & Co., but in 1870 agreement was reached to share the trade. A fortnightly service being instigated
1869 Charles Herbert Wade joins Shaw’s Tannery in Grantham, UK (predecessor of Bjorlows) He was 13 years old but soon moved to Edward Turney & Co at Whitemoor Leather Works, which in 1901 was to become Wades.
1870 Franco-Prussian war breaks out
1870 The Honourable Henry Romilly joined as partner Son of first Lord Romilly and grandson of Sir Samuel Romilly. His sister married Henry, second son of Mr Justice Crompton and first cousin of Alfred and Charles Booth. Spent the 70s in the USA, financial side of business, who was unwell much of the time and not hugely active.
1870 Office opened in Boston to build on success of Roan business (pickled foreign sheepskins) 141 Purchase Street, Boston. Mr Gaenslen went to be manager
1871 Charles married Mary Macaulay On 29 April 1871 Booth married Mary Macaulay, daughter of Charles Zachary Macaulay and Mary Potter, and niece of the historian Thomas Babington Macaulay.
1872 Free hides in the US Tariff on imported raw material into the US removed
1873 Charles goes with family to Bex in Switzerland Due to ill health he takes a break from work. Decided to live on 5% of his savings per annum until able to work
James Kuttner starts work in New York for Booths on a temporary job
1875 Charles returns to UK in the summer, although not yet in full health
1876 Charles takes his wife on 3 month trip to Brazil to test new pressurised engine One of few trips he makes with his wife; his health recovers considerably during this trip
1875/76 Break with Liverpool for Charles. He was unhappy about the family’s traditional Unitarianism and their contentment with Liverpool Decides to set up home and office in London to manage Booth trading. Causes major family rift and break with Philip Holt
1877 Office opened in London to deal with French and Belgian sheep suppliers Fenchurch Street: or perhaps 84 King William Street
1875-80 Without fail he wrote a weekly letter to Alfred on the state of the business
1877 Kent and Stevens tannery in Gloversville hit by Stevens fraud. Booths were owed $70,000. Booths pay off creditors and back James Kent. A mortgage on the building was held by James Kuttner and his wife on behalf of Booth and Co James Kent is the leather scientist who developed fatliquoring and the Dongola tannage. Worked with his assistant Joe Hunt (who later became superintendent)
James Kent described as one of the “outstanding pioneers of the American Leather Industry: both innovations forming part of a long search for a method of producing cheap kid leather to replace the expensive products imported from France and used in the Gloversville glove trade” John, 1959 p 50
1878 Charles again in the USA Reorganised the business with Kent tannery now included. Spent three months a year in the US for many years
1879 Problem of unsold stocks of roans lead to opening of separate showroom in New York Frankfort Street
1879 Dongola tannage successful and Booths began buying dried goat and kangaroo skins for it Did not work for gloves but excellent for footwear
Booths took a share in the Kent business and James Kuttner moved to Gloversville to supervise the commercial side
1879 Liverpool offices moved From 5 India Buildings to 14 Castle Street
1879 Charles Booth bought two sailing ships the Bessie Dodd and the Carrie Dodd to take gunpowder and other bulk cargo to Pará and return direct to London with rubber and nuts
1880 New-York to Pará direct service introduced by Booth Line
1880 Booths picnic in Gloversville begin in Sacandaga Park, sometimes leasing several railroad cars for its employees and families In the Park they quickly became the highlight of the summer season. Open to all citizens of Johnstown, Gloversville and surrounding communities they drew exceptionally large crowds. (1891 over 5000 people) from Larner, Paul, Our Railroad: The History of the Fonda, Johnstown & Gloversville Railroad 2009
1880 Launch of Daisy Kid Ceara goat tanned with Dongola Tannage to make an imitation kid
1880 Booths buy Dodge factory next to Booth and Kent. Paid $30,000 to be able to expand the Gloversville tannery and use Dongola on dried raw including kangaroo
1880 Charles becomes senior partner Charles becomes senior partner at the request of Alfred. Tom Fletcher’s letters say “Alfred is a silent indecisive person”
1880-1884 Augustus Schultz worked with Julius Kuttner in Booth Gloversville on perfecting chrome tanning. There famous meeting took place in Racky’s restaurant on Frankfort St, New York in late 1870s
1881 Booth Steamship Co Ltd formally incorporated, Capital of £200,000 in £10 shares. £81500 issued in first instance largely to existing partners in original four ships and to friends.
1881 Charles trip to Bordeaux Looking for quality sheepskins
1882 Nuneaton Leather Co founded Booths needed to make something out of the roans. Charles Wade left Whitemoor and set up the small tannery at Nuneaton for Charles Booth. A Mr Johnson owned 50% and Booths 50%. Mr Johnson supplies sheepskins and Nuneaton Leather split them sending the grains, salted to the US and splits were sold for chamois production in the UK. The plan was to make heavy grains better suited for the New York market sold as ABC.
1884 Augustus Schultz had two chrome tanning patents issued He sold these for $25000 and they were eventually sold to Patent Tanning Co of Philadelphia. Schultz went on to develop patents for central heating. See technical timeline
1885 Charles began The Inquiry. He wrote the Life and Labour of the People of London between 1886 and 1903 Had one clerk put into the Mansion House but otherwise this work was done in Adelphi Street offices until moving into its own premises in 1888. In 1888 Adelphi Street converted into offices for the Manáos Harbour Company and in the 1990s the passenger booking side of Booth Shipping joined it. Hide and Skin Shipping has an office near London Bridge.
1886 James C Kent died on June 6th aged about 55 leaving a widow and two children Of malaria contracted during a visit to St Augustine in Florida. He died at his summer home in Ocean Grove, New Jersey said in his NYT obituary to be worth about $1m. He was named as a member of
– Booth & Kent of London
– Kent & Booth of Gloversville
– Kent & Co of New York
Booth & Co became outright owners of the Gloversville tannery
1886 Henry Romilly, a partner, dies He had become unwell in about 1883 and returned to the UK
1887 Alfred Booth retired Although he remained in touch for many years
1887 Mr Miller employed in Sydney to buy kangaroo In conjunction with Richard Young and Co
1889 Schultz’ two chrome patents passed to Franco-American company Messrs Blumenthal Blumenthal then passed patents to Marcus Beebe and R.Foederer & Co in Philadelphia apparently via the Patent Tanning Co. of Philadelphia. The sum of $25000 is mentioned
1889 Robert H. Foerderer began making “Vici” kid with chrome tannage Backed financially by Abe Steen of New York and Marcus Beebe of Boston
Getting the fatliquor right appears to have been key
1890 Booths opened office in Australia to source kangaroos as well as sheep Run by Frank Millar and later helped by William Cunningham
1891 Richard Patswosky of New York produced “Bonafide” Kid for Booths Thought to be a chrome product used by Booth to replace Dongola glazed kid
1892-1894 Booth started to market their Brazilian goatskins chrome tanned and finished in Philadelphia by tanner J.P.Mathieu in his Surpass tannery: it was a chrome tanned black glazed kid.
In 1894 Booths gave up Bonafide kid
1892 J.P.Mathieu bought land in Allegheny Avenue, Philadelphia for a new tannery
1893 Martin Dennis patented single bath chrome tanning An attempt to circumvent the Booth patents
1894 Julius Kuttner signed contract with John P. Mathieu to manufacture 250 dozen kid skins daily (Surpass full capacity) into black glazed kid by the newly developed Schultz process (updated, adapted a little and with better fatliquoring) and call it “Surpass Kid”
Booth Gloversville tannery started chrome tanning for goat and kangaroo. Charles Wade made first trip to US to understand selling arrangements
1896 Daily output at J.P.Mathieu rose to 600-700 doz
1896 Partner Thomas Fletcher dies George went to USA (New York and Boston) shared cabin with Cecil Baring of Baring Bank
1896 Professor Procter tours US Observed the new chrome tanning
1897 New partnership agreement for Alfred Booth and Co Charles makes new partnership agreement with his nephew
1898 Daily output at J.P.Mathieu rose to 1000-1200 dozen
1898 Introduction of enamel process by George S Wolff to copy patent leather Sold by Booths as “Ideal”
1898 George goes to US with his father Charles, after giving up at Trinity, Cambridge and in 1899 starts a Clerk in London Office
1899 Office in Christchurch, New Zealand George makes round the world trip during which he opens office in New Zealand and catches dysentery in India
1900 Surpass tannery, built in 1892, burnt down. Allegheny Avenue site was rebuilt as a modern factory for large production of chrome tanned kid
1901/1902 Julius Kuttner died on 8th October. George sailed out on 30th October and took charge of US for two years The younger Booths began to take over: George Macaulay Booth (24), Alfred Allen Booth, Enfield Fletcher.
No Booth partner lived in New York from 1883 to 1901.
1901 Charles Booth starts work on Harbour concept for Manáos
Charles Booth portrait painted by G.F.Watts (now in National Portrait Gallery)
1901 In 1901 the Singlehurst family decided to withdraw from operating their own fleet. The two companies amalgamated under the name of The Booth Steamship Co. (1901) Ltd. From the amalgamation of the the Booth Iquitos Steamship Co, Ltd. and the Red Cross Iquitos Steamship Co, Ltd. was born The Iquitos Steamship Co. Ltd. In 1911 The Iquitos Steamship Company was absorbed into the main Booth fleet.
1901 Charles Wade and Co founded in Nottingham 50:50 joint ventures – buys Whitemoor Leather Works in Nottingham
1902 Booth & Co Gloversville stopped making glove leather and transferred to shoe leather only. From McMartin book on Gloversville
1902 George hires CWJ (Sir Clement Jones) Sailed to London in July “I wanted to get one or two Englishmen out to join me”
1903 Manáos Harbour Limited established Charles travels to Manáos to see the new harbour on the Obidense
1903 Daily output at J.P.Mathieu rose to 1500 doz Thought to be the largest kid skin tannery in the world at that time
1903 August Charles and Mary made 3 week visit to New York September Cousin Alfred came to New York, and asked to stay a year. So in January 1904 George returned to UK
1904 Charles Booth made a Privy Councillor
Charles Booth given honorary D.Sc. at Oxford By Prime Minister Balfour on June 24th
1904 Booths buy into Surpass forming Surpass Leather Company as a JV with Mathieu from Jan 1 2005 Charles Booth went to US for extended trip with many trips from NY to Philadelphia; took John Crompton who had been working on raw material in China and other places since 1902
1904 Booths supported building Wolff Process Leather Company In Summerdale near Philadelphia. The process was not too successful and subsequently discontinued.
“When the Surpass tannery was running kangaroo, they regularly consumed about 150 to 200 dozen per day- everything that was available from Booth Australia, which was centered in Sydney, with agents in Brisbane, Rockingham, Adelaide and Freemantle. I believe that for many years, starting at the very beginning of the 20th century, Booth was the dominant collector of kangaroo skins and therefore had a very large influence on prices.” KC elder
1905-6 Charles Booth had major breakdown in health This was his second breakdown and now required him to spend much of his time at his home in Leicestershire, Gracedieu Manor, and hand more of the business to the second generation
George spent most of 1905 in the USA but returned finally to UK in January 1906 leaving US to be managed by Paul Crompton, Clement Jones and Franklyn Kirkbride
1906 George marries Margaret (Margy) Meinertzhagen Sets up home at 48 Great Cumberland Street (near family home (Cumbersome) at 24). Marries Margy 6th October and goes on 5 months honeymoon to Italy, Egypt, Jerusalem and other places in the Middle East.
1907 Booths buy out the Mathieus’ share in Surpass From Jan 1. Paul Crompton took over from Mathieu as VP and GM or Surpass.
1907 Over supply in kid market led Booths to off load Surpass stock caused upset in Philadelphia with other tanners but seems to have worked well – defined as “healthy readjustment” with all tanners back on full production shortly after.
1908 George and Margy sail to Brazil to understand the shipping business Looked at Pacific route from Iquitos and implications of the booming rubber trade from Manáos
Got caught up in a revolution in Peru. Declined offer to manage all harbours on Peruvian coast. Sailed back via Panama, Jamaica and New York (on Lusitania). Margy’s diary Ian Amazon Andes Tour by Margaret Booth) is available on line free of charge and worth reading.
Material from Margy’s diaries and George’s lecture used by Virginia Woolf in The Voyage Out (Crow, p55)
1908 Will Rothenstein paints portraits of both Charles and Mary Booth
1909 Alfred Booth made Chairman of Cunard, October 1909 Alfred’s brother Charles was Chairman of the Booth Steamship but also went on to the Board of Midland Railway where he became Chairman.
So from 1908/9 George was effectively left to run the whole business
1910 By this time Booths offices in London were the Headquarters in 11 Adelphi Terrace and with an office in Railway Approach, London Bridge that looked after export of hides and skins Up to 1910 they had used No 8 Adelphi Terrace which had been Head office of the Manáos Harbour Limited. In 1903 a passenger office was opened for the Booth Line
1912 Early in 1912 Charles Booth handed over the chairmanship of Alfred Booth and Company to his nephew Charles but still sailed to Brazil that year with his son George. In 1915 returned work full time. George had been asked to help the Government with the logistics of supplying military equipment and he worked in the Ministry of Munitions.
1912 George Booth commissions new house in Campden Hill. “The New House” was built in Airlie Gardens at the top of Campden Hill. Architect was his cousin Harry Fletcher. The house opened in June 1914 and they sold it to South Africa in 1928 as a residence for their Ambassador. The New House was frequently used to entertain Cabinet Ministers, Prime Ministers and Hoover before he became President of the USA along with a multitude of literary and musical figures
1914 The partnership moves into a private limited company June 1914, Alfred Booth and Company Limited was formed with a share capital of £1m in ordinary shares of £1
1914 Alfred Booth dies November 2nd at age of 80. Son Charles was Chairman of the Booth Steamship Company and the other Alfred Allen Booth was Chairman of the Cunard Steamship Company. One of his four daughters married Prof Godfrey Lloyd of Toronto.
1915 George Booth spent five months working unpaid at the foreign office trying to sort out military supply situation
1915 Booth and Company becomes a legal entity under US law Held interests in Gardiner-Lucas Candy and Glue Company and the Densten Felt and Hair Company
1915 In May Lusitania is sunk by tornadoes from a German submarine off the coast of Ireland.
Mr and Mrs Paul Crompton and their 6 children plus their nurse, travelling first class all perished. The ship was supposedly carrying accoutrements for army, put on manifest by Booths as sheepskins. Carried armaments classed in the manifest as sheepskin. Mr. Paul Crompton was an Englishman returning home to England. He was the Vice President of Surpass Leather Company at St. Martin’s and Hartwell Lanes. Mr. Crompton was described in the New York Tines as a partner in the firm of Alfred Booth and Company and a director of the Booth Steamship Company. The bodies of Stephen, John and Peter were recovered later. All 6 children, their parents and nurse died as reported in the NY Times Getting to the truth of what actually happened with regards to real or supposed cargoes looks like an impossible task. There was apparently a second explosion which some say was the boiler and others say was ordinance being carried, and there were three German passengers who are classed as “suspicious”. Given the family involvement in the war military supply effort on the one hand and as Chairman of Cunard on the other conspiracy theory is inevitable. David Crompton, Paul’s brother took over Surpass and retired from the business in 1935.
1915 Despite heart problems Charles Booth returned to work “under war exigencies” From LSE on line archives
1915 George Booth invited to be a Director of the Bank of England
1916 Charles Booth died on 23rd November, 1916 On 23 November 1916 following a stroke, at his country home of Gracedieu in Thringstone, Leicestershire. He was buried at Gracedieu.
1919 The US holdings were put into a trust The Battery Company
1919 In January letter from Winston Churchill to George ended War work for George Booth and thanked him “personally for the service you have rendered especially in the connection with the organisation of the original Supply Departments of the Ministry, when you were Deputy Director General of Munitions Supply and subsequently as Adviser to the Ministry on Allies Requirements.” (Crow p 161)
1920 Jasper Bentley helped open up the big goatskin market in Nigeria
1920 Walter Kidde and Company engineers Erected a $1.5m plant in Gloversville for Surpass Leather Company.
1921 Booths buy Pavlova Leather, Abingdon Having bought a share in 1917
1924 Gloversville shuts temporarily, and closed in 1925
1925 international Shoe Company signed a long term contract with Surpass for 100 dozen Black Glazed Kid from Mexican Skins. This turned into a long association. They had previously bought exclusively from William Amer Co.
1925 Officers at Surpass were George M Booth, President; David H Compton, Vice President; William C Burton, Treasurer; Hollister Sturgis, Secretary (head of raw stock department; Harold Connett, Assistant Secretary & Treasurer; Charles Skinner factory manager Philadelphia
1926 U.S. government paid windfall tax repayment to Alfred Booth & Co of 1919 tax refund with interest of $3m
1927 US head office moves to Philadelphia
1929 strike by stakers and cellar boys in Philadelphia. The stakers strike lasted several weeks but it was reported that they returned to work with no concessions. In 1930 Surpass Philadelphia produced 544,000 dozen, of which 420,000 were for its own account and 120000 dozen for International Shoe Company
1929 Gloversville reopens
Booths sell part of Abingdon site for the building of the MG car factory. Felmongering stops in Abingdon as they concentrate on gloving and and chamois/skiver production
1931 George Booth uses M&G to launch Unit Trusts in the UK. He remained Chairman until 1943, and then on the Board until 1965. M&G was the financial side of White Drummond in which he and Mr Ian Fairbairn held 90%.
From The Origins of Asset Management from 1700 to 1960 Towering Investors, Nigel Morecroft, 2017 A well researched book with a chapter on the start of unit trusts in the UK. Probably because the Booths never sought fame, honours or publicity GMB’s is rarely recognised.
Owing to George Macaulay Booth’s long association with Municipal and General of over 30 years, he appears to be the primus inter pares of the unit trust world in Britain. Booth changed Municipal and General from being a finance house to a unit trust management company; he was involved in the creation and launch of the first unit trust at the outset, in 1931; he shepherded unit trusts through various changes in the 1930s; he remained involved throughout the 1940s; he saw the unit trust movement achieve credibility and permanence in the 1950s; and continued playing a role even into the early 1960s, when the unit trust movement finally grew rapidly in the UK. So rather like Philip Rose with the Foreign and Colonial Government Trust, Booth was involved right from the beginning and saw the movement firmly established and accepted. Equally importantly, he was one of the key figures who educated and informed savers by establishing equities as an accessible asset class for retail investors. Booth was subsequently quoted in his biography as saying, “That was the idea of the unit trust idea to bring in the small investor so that British industry would depend on the support of the many rather than the few.And if you’ve only a little money to invest, you have no business to run the risk of putting it all into one company’s shares. Whereas if your money is invested in units which are spread over 150 shares you are running a perfectly legitimate and minimal speculative risk to take the burden of inflation”.[i]Booth knew exactly what he was doing.
1932 The Bank of England.
Here is the Board for 1932: Governor, the Rt. Hon. Montagu Collet Norman, D.S.O. Deputy Governor, Sir Ernest Musgrave Harvey. Directors, Sir Charles Stewart Addis, K.C.M.G., Sir Alan Garrett Anderson, Sir Basil P. Blackett, K.C.B., K.C.S.I., George Macaulay Booth, Lord Cullen of Ashbourne, Sir Andrew Rae Duncan, Arthur Charles Gladstone, Kenneth Goschen, Edward Charles Grenfell, M.P., Charles Jocelyn Hambro, Colonel Lionel Henry Hanbury, Lord Hyndley, Sir Robert M. Kindersley, Captain the Hon. Roland Dudley Kitson, D.S.O., M.C., Cecil Lubbock, Robert Lydston Newman, Edward Robert Peacock, the Hon. Alexander Shaw, Sir Josiah Stamp, Frank Cyril Tiarks, Henry Alexander Trotter, Walter Kennedy Whigham, Arthur Whitworth, and Robert Wallace.
1933 George M Booth resigned as President of Surpass
1933 Surpass Gloversville reopened fully plant and soak with George Beck as Superintendent
From 1936 to 1937, George M. Booth was High Sheriff of the County of London, and living at 28 Chester Street, Belgravia. He declined Lloyd George’s offer of a barony.
1937 US Battery Company wound up and US assets put back to direct relation to parent company in UK. Consequence of changes in US tax law
1937 George M Booth visited Philidelphia to deal with stock issues and pending inflationary issues
1938 Gloversville closed, after a bitter strike Wednesday, September 28, 1938, “A decision to close the Gloversville tannery of the Surpass Leather Company permanently was announced today by Harold Connett, President. In revealing that the closing order would be effective Oct. 5, Mr. Connett said the company would transfer its operations to its Philadelphia plant because it could “no longer afford to divide its production between two tanneries.”
1939 Mary Booth died In Gracedieu Cottage of the Booth country home Gracedieu Manor in Thringstone Leicester. The Manor was taken over by the Prep School of Radcliffe College
1940s Booths began to get involved in bovine production – as dealer in East Africa
– via purchase of Melrose
– manufacture of bovine at Wade
– manufacture of bovine at Surpass
– the production at Bulleys of Kip, Side and Sole Leather
1942 Gloversville buildings sold
1945 George Booth retired from the Bank of England. He had been Chairman of the rebuilding Committee for most of the time of its existence, and a member of the Fine Arts Committee. He was noted as Director of White Drummond & Co., Municipal General Securities Co, Director General Ministry of Munition (1914-19) and a Director of the Bank of England from 1915-1947 (although papers indicated he stood down in 1945.)
1946 Charles Tanneries founded. Charles Wade, Charles Booth, Charles Wade jnr. Everyone involved called Charles, hence Charles Tanneries. UK sales had been via Kohnstamm which Charles Tanneries replaced. Max Wade was the nephew of Charles Wade senior.
1948 Melrose Tanners Ltd bought “A heavy leather tannery at Beverley which has enlarged its sole leather production and plans to make motor-car upholstery hides” Company Newsletter 1956
1946 Vestey buys shipping The Booth Steamship Line consisted of a fleet of steamers plying between Liverpool and Manáos (1,000 miles up the Amazon river). A number of these vessels were lost during World War II, and rather than try to rebuild with the reparations, Booth sold to Vestey. The story is that George Booth (Chairman) met Lord Vestey for lunch. The latter asked what George felt the Line was worth. The reply was “oh, a million pounds”. “Alright” said Vestey, they shook hands, and that was that. Source KC senior
1946 Surpass tanning 1800 doz skins per day When I joined the Booth Group in 1946, Surpass was regularly tanning a total of 1,800 dozen skins a day, employing about 1,000 men. Skin supplies came from their own exclusive agents in Brazil, Argentina, China, India (which included today’s Pakistan) and Nigeria KC senior.
The Surpass tannery was closed in the 1950s and contract tanning at other peoples’ facilities was tried for a time, until operations were ceased in the mid 1960s.
In the 1950’s, Booth established an extensive skin gathering organization in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanganyika; they took over a tannery in Thika, Kenya, and managed one in Kano, Nigeria, and one in New Zealand in the 50’s and 60’s. KC senior
1950 raw supply issues blew up with both the Argentine and Brazil. Booth and Co.Inc which had been subsumed under Surpass was revamped in Philadelphia with Ken Chapman (JC senior) in charge. A big business was built selling New Zealand pickled sheep and lambskins from Booth & Co. (England) Ltd
1950s OFRO (Booths African Rawstock procurement arm) formed) Paddy O’Flynn & John Rozemulder (Dutch) combined in East Africa
1954 Last input at Surpass Watched by some of the original employees from 1900, when the new factory had been rebuilt after a fire
1956 Charles Wade retires as Chairman of Wades (Nottingham) Ltd. Replaced by John S.M. Booth. Booth’s buy 100% of the business. Charles Wade died shortly after and Booths then bought the Wade share of the Wade business.
Late 50’s Tombooth formed? Booths & Dutch Twentsche Overzee Handel Maatshappij . (Hide & skin sector of Phillips?)
Late 40s’ Bulleys Tanneries Ltd (Thika & Kahawa factories) Thika Built during1944/5 with Italian POW labour .TomBooth bought?
Mr Poulson Snr was Manager from Sept 1948 until 1962
New Zealand Light Leather
Great Northern Tannery
1962 Appears to have been family struggle over control of business John Sebastian Booth was briefly replaced by John Wales Booth
1963 About this year the leather and building side split Booth International formed with JSM Booth in charge and Alfred Booth separated as a building business
1964 Ken Chapman Snr moved from Philadelphia to Boston With the close of the Surpass business the main Booth activity was importing NZ sheep to the Boston area
1964 Booth Family Split John SM Booth forms Booth International and his cousins stay with the construction business Alfred Booth and Co
1967-68 Jim Jackman takes over as technical director from Mr Simon Booth Intenational Directors were JSM Booth, Mr Simon/Mr Jackman and David Donald who later had a period at K Shoes
1971 Booths acquire Turney Bros. Date for this is unclear and more likely late 1960s. Reasons appear to be some years of declining profit and a lack of family members to maintain succession.
Later in the 1970s Booths moved their HQ from Golden Square in London to Turneys at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Reduced cost and was close to John Booth’s country home at Southwell.
1973? Ulster Leather & Atlantic Tanning bought from UCT ltd Joseph Dub de Dubski, ex UCT joins Bulleys in 73/4 for short contract.
1972/3 ET Holden ltd (Jedburgh) Sheepskin & latterly Pigskin tannery, then w/blue for Pavlova
1974 Booth International becomes a public company During the 1970s the HQ is moved to Turney Bros Trent Bridge Leather Works
1980 Wades closed
1981 Garnar-Scotblair buys Booths Became Garnar-Booth, to the disgust of the newly acquired Scotblair units.
1981 Turney Bros closed
1986 Melrose closed
1987 Hitchin closed
1987 Pittards bought Garnar-Booth Became Pittard-Garnar (for a short while), thus Booths title in trade lost
Booth Overseas closed
1988 Atlantic Tanning closed
1993 Pavlova Leather closed
1995 Ken Chapman goes independent with Booth Inc in Boston Main St, Peabody, Mass
2002 Kinghorn closes