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Crowden & Keeves’ Catalogue

January 23, 2017
by the gentle author

Richard Ince proprietor of James Ince & Sons, Britain’s oldest umbrella manufacturers, showed me this catalogue published by Crowden & Keeves in 1930¬†which had been knocking around his factory for as long as he could remember. Operating from premises in Calvert Avenue and Boundary St, they were one of the last great hardware suppliers in the East End, yet the quality of their products was such that their letterboxes and door knockers may still be recognised in use around the neighbourhood today.

The umbrellas were supplied to Crowden & Keeves by James Ince & Sons

You may like to read about these other favourite hardware shops

At General Woodwork Supplies

At M&G Ironmongery & Hardware

At KTS, The Corner

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Anne Myserian permalink
    January 23, 2017

    There are so many things I wish I could order!

  2. Kate permalink
    January 23, 2017

    I wish that I could attach a photograph to show the aluminium jelly moulds that I own from this very catalogue! Still in use..

  3. jackie jennings permalink
    January 23, 2017

    delighted to find our letterbox on p2, no 11330. we live in an Edwardian house near exeter and I feel sorry for our postman as the aperture is very small and it’s difficult to squeeze the mail through!
    thank you for your fascinating record of life in the east end, past and present.

  4. Leana Pooley permalink
    January 23, 2017

    Boggled by the “cow knobs”……

  5. Richard permalink
    January 23, 2017

    Love the ferret muzzles

  6. Helen Breen permalink
    January 23, 2017

    Greetings from Boston,

    GA, yet another glimpse of the past – gracias. I particularly like the variety of little bells and the dessert moulds. All show fine craftsmanship…

  7. Helen Cockerill permalink
    January 23, 2017

    Thank you for sharing such a wonderful array of useful items for the home, although chosing just one banister brush from such a dazzling selection would be challenging.
    I was particularly interested in the Light Folder Shelter as I have a smaller version, inherited from my Grandparents, probably of a similar vintage but presumably from another supplier as they lived in the North of England. On the occasional hot summer’s day I would eat Sunday lunch in it when visiting them as a child, and it is still in use 50 years later. The stripey canvas is faded and the trim onthe front is rather casually attached, but erecting “Grandad’s tent” is one of the treats of high summer.

  8. January 23, 2017

    Let’s hear it for the expert anonymous engravers who so-ably depicted these various Goods.
    The collection of keys is, in my opinion, downright frame-worthy.
    I collect ephemera and own a similar bulging catalog of weapons and military gear from Bannerman’s – fascinating stuff, and a tribute to the lost art of engraving.
    Many thanks.

  9. Sue M permalink
    January 23, 2017

    Some of the things in this catalogue would be so useful now. I love the banister brushes which I am sure would make a better job of dusting than my duster.

    Sometimes you just can’t beat the old things.

  10. pauline taylor permalink
    January 23, 2017

    Memories galore here for me, and I was very interested to see the word bassinette for the baby’s basket still being used in 1930. My grandmother always used this word, but now of course it has dropped completely out of use and I doubt if many people would know what it means, and the oil lamps; we had oil lamps in my home right up until the late 1940s early 1950s, when, thanks to government policy, electricity was brought to us across several fields. I doubt if many people would believe that now either!! Our lovely well was replaced by mains water at around the same time, and we were forced, as was everyone else in our village, to fill the well in, a very sad day.

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