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Our History Timeline

We’ve been making quality metal products since 1880, and here’s how…

A E Harris history

The birth of the company

Albert Harris, a salesman joined toolmaker Howard Luckock, his brother-in-law to undertake sub-contract manufacturing work and develop their own costume jewellery in all metals. They designed a medal commemorating Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee which caught on, the initial order being 2000 gross (288,000 parts in todays speak!)

A E Harris advert

Adapting to change

The First World War saw a complete change. Costume Jewellery manufacture ceased and their factory was switched to producing components for munitions. The age of the micrometer and blue print had arrived.

A E Harris stampings and labels

Surviving the slump

The great post war slump saw another massive switch. The company shifted to component manufactory for both car and electrical industries which enabled the company to survive the most profound economic depression of the 20th century... just!

A E Harris advert

Support on the home front

Another war brought a move back into munitions and components associated with armaments, mining equipment and vehicles, with Rolls-Royce Motor Car Company developing as a major customer.

A E Harris advert

Heavy investment

A period of rapid growth is seen, as a result of heavy investment in “state-of-the-art” plant and equipment, plus new blood with creative ideas coupled with quick response to customer demands. Larger and heavier components were produced and assembled to customers’ requirements, especially in the field of switchgear.

A E Harris premises

Expansion and relocation

An increased customer base, coupled with yet more capital investment necessitated leaving the premises in Camden St. which had been home for some 85 years into a much larger factory in Northwood St. Expansion continued as other neighbouring premises were acquired ultimately leading to a site area of three acres. Further heavy investment in laser cutting, machine tools and presses resulted in increased demand.

A E Harris laser cutting

A major new chapter

Manufacturers buying in parts from overseas, particularly from the Far East, started to affect turnover. The business base was broadened by acquisition. Chapman Driver Seating, market leader in Driver seats for buses, was merged with A.E. Harris. Now in 2020 a major new chapter has started, after 55 years at Northwood Street, we have bought our new location in Pleasant St. West Bromwich to start another period of development.



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