Hayward Brothers has the oldest story in prism glass.
The Hayward family had been living in London ("the square mile") for
200 years before Samuel, son of the Rev. Samuel, opened his glass-cutting
and glaziers shop at No. 26,
Bread Street, off Cheapside, in 1783.
Of Samuel's 26 children (by two wives), four sons survived and have a
part in this story: John and Samuel by the first, and James and George
by the second. John, the eldest, stayed in the business for some years,
then went into paint and house decorating; James took up ironmongery;
George became a wholesale stationer. It was son Samuel who followed
his father's trade and was the direct line to Hayward Brothers.
Noble vacated the corner shop (renumbered 117 Blackfriars Road) in 1807
and was replaced by William Browne, also an ironmonger. Another ironmonger
in this story was George Glover of 117 Union Street (specializing in iron
fences). In 1830, Robert Henly appeared on the scene, in business with both
Browne and Glover. When Glover retired in 1838, Henly took over entirely.
He prospered for another 20 years, eventually expanding 117 Union Street,
acquiring 118 and rebuilding them both.
The sign of The Dog's Head in the Pot, which stood above the corner
shop at Number 23, St. George's Place, was the Hayward Brothers trademark:
it appeared on bill-headings and advertisements and was embossed on ironwork
(see coal plate, left). Said to date from the 16th century and to have once
stood over an inn, the sign first appeared over Number 25, Antony Walker's
ironmongery shop: ironmongers make both "dogs" and pots.
When Walker retired, Thomas Noble (or his successor) bought the sign and
moved it to Number 23, which remained an ironmonger's works for the next
160 years until being destroyed in World War II.
The sign survived, and lives today in the Cuming Museum.
Before then, lighting basements had been problematic. Open gratings
let in light, but were open to the weather as well, and hard to stand
and walk on;
slab glass in iron frames was better, but admitted only a small amount
of useful light; triangular glasses had been tried, but were not
well designed, and threw most of the incident light back out again.
Edward's idea was to split the triangular light in half: now the rays
of light entering the top were throw horizontally into the space below,
lighting areas deep inside (see diagram bottom right).
"Unlike any ordinary reflectors (which become tarnished or covered
with dust)", says one catalog, "these retain their brightness, as the
reflection comes from inside the body of the glass. Every other
description of Pavement Light allows the rays on entering to disperse
equally in all directions, so that not quite half of them can possibly
radiate inwards." Common sense, a good design, and priced favorably
with the older type: business took off.
In 1848, Henly, in ill health, sold the business. John, head of the
Hayward family, had just died, and brothers Edward and William now
chose to depart from their previous line of work and bought Henly's company,
forming Hayward Brothers ("late R. Henly & Co"). Their main
products were ironwork: ranges, stoves, coal plates, circular and spiral
staircases, and ventilators. In 1857, the corner premises on Blackfriars
Road were abandoned in favor of Union Street. Shortly after, a new product,
iron pavement lights glazed with rough cast glass, were added to the company's
line. The lights were popular, and the company successful, but in 1871
Edward's Patent No. 2,014,
"Improvements in Pavement Lighting", changed everything.
Edward died only five years after his greatest patent, and the company
fell to William. Being the younger brother and generally content to
take second place, William looked for a new partner. In 1876, William
Eckstein, trained as an engineer and tried in the Indian Civil Service,
returned to London and fit the bill. He joined Hayward Brothers as
manager, then in 1880 was made partner, the company's style becoming
Hayward Brothers & Eckstein. William, the last Hayward
involved in the company, retired in 1891, but Eckstein continued the
company with the well-known Hayward name, J. A. Willmore joining that
year as the new partner. In 1896, the partnership was turned into a
limited liability company called Haywards Limited, under which
name it continued until the 1970s.
Read the full history of Haywards for yourself in
Years of Reflection 1783-1953.