Joseph Westby started his career as a cutler with an apprenticeship at Brookes and Crookes, where his father was a manager. From 1876 he was listed under his own name as a maker of knives at the Atlantic Works. In 1888 he went into partnership with Charles Levick which lasted until 1894, when he set up as Joseph Westby & Co. Ltd at the Congo Works in Trippet Lane, Sheffield.
This didn't go particularly well and the company was declared insolvent 2 years later. However, Westby continued to trade under his own name. His later work address was the Times Building in Bow Street. The trade directories of 1913 listed Westby as a manufacturer of pen and pocket knives but he also made scissors and a pen knife with a ruler marked to the scales. After the intervention of the First World War, Westby moved to Central Works, West Street.
Westby died in 1929 but the company continued after his death and from the Second World War were based at Furnival Street. The business continued until 1965.