Down Bros.

The company of Down Brothers was formed by Arthur Down in 1879 with Hubert V. Down joining in 1885. We are presuming that Arthur and Hubert were brothers and it was at this point their name Down Bros. came into being. They were manufactures and providers of all the items necessary to the medical world and their showrooms at 21 and 23 St Thomas Street, London were well situated opposite Guys Hospital. In 1890 a catalogue gives their address as 3 & 4 St. Thomas Street, whilst and 1892 catalogue gives the numbers as 5 & 7 and it is possible that owned all the properties simultaneously. Their factory was not far away at King's Head Yard, Borough High Street. It had five large floors and just over 100 workers. This was also expanded to encompass the neighbouring property. A further 95 people were employed as clerks and travellers (presumably salesmen). In 1902 they became a limited company and Sydney J.A. Down was also noted as a director. By 1921 another manufactory was recorded at Tabard Street.

The business supplied a wide range of items from surgical tools such as scalpels to furniture for operating rooms. The won several medals at international exhibitions for the quality of their items and supplied hospitals both in Britain and its colonies. They also had contracts with the Army and Navy.

Of interest to campaign furniture collectors will be the folding tables that they made as well as their version of Robinson's Ilkley Couch.