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Kalfred

Debesco and Lewis Rose

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Hello I was recently (and not unusually) in a charity shop looking at some teaspoons in an open cutlery sized cardboard box. I was “umming and ahing” about buying these 6 Victorian electroplated spoons that lacked any “meaningful” maker’s marks. That was until I turned the box lid over. I paid the money and the box (and the spoons) were mine. The image of the box lid is below, and that box had nothing to do with the contents. 1456522110_Debescoworks005.thumb.jpg.ba6b31a8ba6c625763359fe2e82fe837.jpg

I was going to tack my photo on to somebody else’s thread, but I was astounded to not find that neither “Debesco Works” or the “Lewis Rose” concern that was based there, or “Roses” renowned owner are referenced on the forum.

I already knew “stuff” about the “Debesco trademark” and “Lewis Rose Company Ltd” from another forum and the below illustrated spoon (that once might well have been covered by a box lid like that in my photo) is one of my own favoured spoons for making a coffee with.

1770218664_Debescoxteaspoon.jpg.35d6fb4fdd18a1d5169e60a3b8b26dba.jpg

It seems from a Sheffield museums reference that the “Lewis Rose Company Ltd” was set up in 1922 by Isadore Lewis starting in the Mappin Buildings in Norfolk Street. Debesco was their trademark and Debesco Works was the name of a possible expanded workplace on Norfolk St. and Norfolk Lane (a P.S. about this later). There is elsewhere a reference also to a Debesco works on Eyre St. More clarification required please. My interest in Lewis Rose was with spoons and forks but below is some bladed interest.

 

139416233_LewisRoseBlades.jpg.c2eff3f9c3605d727c6af9370ef6280c.jpg

1102212494_Debescozguarantee.jpg.67e88509d420e9197e9ee8e7b9b5f2a8.jpg

It is speculation on my part to suggest that the “Firth’s Stainless” knives in the photo may be pre WW2 while the knives with what appears to be a “Larko” Lewis Rose trademark could be post WW2. By the way who know what "whitening" is? My wife told me 1 option. 

The Spear & Jackson Company acquired Lewis Rose in 1969 but since the post WW2 period Lewis Rose had been using the “Ashberry” name in its production, as it had acquired Sheffield’s “Peter Ashberry&Sons” prior to WW2. 

I have given some ideas about Lewis Rose but any observations that can add to the story or contradict things are definitely required. But now why is there no reference on the forum to “Isadore Lewis, described by Sheffield’s Museums as Sheffield’s first Jewish Lord Mayor.

Reference http://collections.museums-sheffield.org.uk/view/people/asitem/items@null:415/0?t:state:flow=34948cb9-a938-479b-b915-8bf7884dffb2

That was in 1963 and below is my last photo to show some of what his company was doing in the War years.

1910154669_LewisRoseWarDeptcomp42spn44fork.jpg.91705eb4f3a2a7fa27f7786a325e909f.jpg

That’s it fulfilling War Department broad arrow contracts facilitating our Army to march on its stomach. If there are any more “anoraks” like me, the 1942 item was a spoon and the 1944 item was a fork. The L.R.& Co. Ltd. has also been attributed elsewhere to Lewis Rose.

Kalfred

P.s. A little question here about Norfolk Lane. It does not appear on Google maps, but a Norfolk Row is there. Norfolk Lane addresses are to be found in “Sheffield Indexers” but latest address was 1925. Picturesheffield.com photos “shows rear” Howard Street and Norfolk Lane and Norfolk Lane from Howard St. I hope “Edmund” of cartography fame can help again.

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17 hours ago, Kalfred said:

P.s. A little question here about Norfolk Lane. It does not appear on Google maps, but a Norfolk Row is there. Norfolk Lane addresses are to be found in “Sheffield Indexers” but latest address was 1925. Picturesheffield.com photos “shows rear” Howard Street and Norfolk Lane and Norfolk Lane from Howard St. I hope “Edmund” of cartography fame can help again.

Norfolk Lane here, I think there may be some more pictures on Picture Sheffield        ------------       https://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=18&lat=53.3797&lon=-1.4688&layers=168&b=1

norfolk_lane.png

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Isidore Lewis was elected a Socialist councillor for the St Philip's ward in 1946 and in October 1949 was appointed Chairman of the Civil Defence committee.  In 1963 Isidore Lewis J.P. was created Mayor. In 1937 he was joint secretary of the Sheffiled Hebrew Education Board (Mr R.Viner was treasurer). Lewis Rose and Co was registered on 21st April 1922 with capital of £2,000. The company took over the existing business of B.Davison and Co. and their object was to carry on business as manufacturing cutlers, silversmiths, electro-platers, buffers, gold and silver refiners, gilders, engineers etc.  The initial directors were M.Freedman, 64 Broomgrove Road (M.D) and Mrs M.Rose, Belsize Park, NW London.  Their registered office was the Debesco Works, Howard Street Sheffield.

In March 1934 there was an explosion at their Norfolk Lane works, in their dust extraction system, when waste celluloid dust ignited. Two men were injured and the remaining four people in the workshop escaped through broken windows.  About a hundred staff worked at the site.  From the mid 1930s they had offices in Bowling Green Street.

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There are a few pictures inside the Lewis, Rose and Co.Ltd. Debesco Works Bowling Green Street on Picture Sheffield and the outside of what is  probably a later building and appears to be still there.   -------------     http://picturesheffield.com/frontend.php?&searchterms=Debesco+Works&action=search&keywords=all%3BCONTAINS%3B%Debesco%%3BAND%3Ball%3BCONTAINS%3B%Works%%3B&page=1

This one labeled "  Expert at producing carving knives with buffalo horn handles at his work bench, Lewis, Rose and Co.Ltd., cutlery manufacturers, Debesco Works, Bowling Green Street. March 1957 "

debesco.jpg

EDIT : The whitening referred to above I think may be a whitening powder, a cleaning powder,  In the works blade were smoothed and corrected on whitening stone, to remove any deviatons or marks left after rough grinding,

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Thank you Boginspro and Edmund for bulking out my post. That old map web site you have referenced looks a very useful tool. It shows that the “Eyre Street” reference is in fact the road, next along, from Norfolk Lane so there must have been a chunk of buildings around there used over time by Lewis Rose. Am I correct in thinking that the University area is where “Roses” were? That 1957 picture of the chap at the Bowling Green Street works is very interesting as 21 Bowling Green Street was the address of the “Philip Ashberry” concern that “Roses” took over in 1935 (including knocking it down) and then developed post WW11.

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14 hours ago, Kalfred said:

Am I correct in thinking that the University area is where “Roses” were?

Hello Kalfred  . I have not seen Sheffield for a long time so have little idea of what buildings belong to the university but you can check that out by going back to the NLS link and there is blue button on a slider bottom left of the page to bring a modern overlay up on top of that map. You can also find side to side maps and other useful things on that site.

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Thanks Boginspro, I've tried with that map web site again and I think the "Roses" area was nearer to where the Winter Garden and the Mercure Hotel complex stand now.

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