Curtis´s & Harvey´s powder can


#1

Hi,
I’m looking for information about Curtis´s & Harvey´s.
I get an almost mint, complete Curtis´s & Harvey´s can.
Doing a search I find that Curtis´s & Harvey´s closed at 1932. Is it right?
What about the trade mark?
Most of the pictures I found on Internet show a different can. Is my can only for exporting?
How old is my can?



Thanks
Martin


#2

Martin your tin was made for the South American market by Curtis’s & Harvey. The company started in 1820/21 and marketed powder under their name until about 1938/39 when most of their production was switched to military production. Based on the label’s on the back which states ‘Sporting Gunpowder’, it is in the later period, probably the 1920/1930 period. You should be able to determine what country it was sold in by the small rectangular label on the back at the bottom. Nice tin, nice condition, nice labels, nice find. I am envious…

Cheers,
Will (powdertin)


#3

The factory , based at Hounslow but actually nearer Twickenham closed (I think ) in 1927 presumably because of urban encroachment. The location was to the West of London in an area best described today as in the vicinity of Heathrow airport.
The need to establish an independant supply of gunpowder dates back to the time of Henry VIII and the mills at Houslow were a private venture but supplied the Government.
They were reliant for their nitrates on urine bought in bulk from the population of London and rendered down to provide the nitrates that were so vital to the production. There was no other source.
There is an expression , still used in the English vernacular, to describe extreme povert as being “piss poor”. People who sold their urine for money. They also sold it to the leather tanning industry based in East London

Of course all that changed over the years and supplies of nitrates were found in Chile and imported.
However, in those days the supply of gunpowder was so tenuous that a single naval or land engagement would render a second engagement impossible for a year or so until supplies were replenished. Part of the reason why archers remained the mainstay of British forces for as long as they did.

Sir Francis Drake’s defeat of the Spanish Armada used up all their supplies of gunpowder and effectively ended when it did because they ran out of powder. Had the weather not intervened, blowing the Spanish fleet out into the English Channel Drake would have been unable to fight on. The Spanish ships were not provisioned for a long sea journey and the crews starved trying to get back to Spain.

oldindustry.org

skip to the bottom of the page and select “shot towers”

then skip to the bottom again and select “crane park shot tower”

After 1927 the name Curtis & Harvey passed into the ownership of ICI (Nobel industries) best known as Eley Kynoch but the fact that your tin says Hounslow predates it to before 1927

The importance of being on the river Crane was also that the powder, once made, could be transported by boat down to the Thames. A distance of about 5 miles without being shaken about on a road journey.

See also the Royal Powder Mills in North London.

royalpowdermills.com

Powder from there was transported to the Thames by the river Lea


#4

Thank you very much for helping.
It is incredible how well preserved is this flask!
More than 86 years!

It have a little label:
son falsificados los frascos que
alteran las razón social. Los legitimos
dicen CURTIS´S & HARVEY´S
rechacense las imitaciones.

A loose translation is:
Those flasks that have alteration of the society name, are fake. The ones that says CURTIS’S and HARVEY’S are legitimate. Reject imitations.

This flask was made for the South American market.
There were many fakes I have a flask of “La Poderosa” that is almost identical in shape and color.

Thanks for the info.
Martin


#5

In 1925 Curtis and Harvey, like Eley and Kynoch, was already in the ownership of Nobel Industries limited.
JP


#6

[quote=“jeanpierre”][quote=“VinceGreen”]
After 1927 the name Curtis & Harvey passed into the ownership of ICI (Nobel industries) best known as Eley Kynoch but the fact that your tin says Hounslow predates it to before 1927

[/quote]

In 1925 Curtis and Harvey, like Eley and Kynoch, was already in the ownership of Nobel Industries limited.
JP[/quote]
Yes you are right. What I should have said is that following the closure of the Hounslow factory the name C&H just became another one of the many trademarks owned by Nobel Industries. Probably still owned by them in fact.

It would be nice to see some of these old names brought back to life.