Brothers Walter and William Wilson join forces with Edward Barber to form the partnership ‘Barber Wilsons & Company’ making castings from wooden patterns hand made by Walter in the Crawley Road premises that would become the company’s headquarters until the present day.
Born in 1905
Crawley Rd. London
Casting taps & forging friendships
The company becomes ‘incorporated’ and a highly skilled workforce is recruited for the foundry and workshop. Strong friendships are formed that would see many of the original team remaining for half a century or more.
Success in the skies
During the Great War production is diverted to enable the manufacture of shell noses and fuses and a breakthrough device which was to revolutionise aerial combat enabling machine gunners to fire through their aircraft’s rotating propeller blades.
From Turnpike Lane to Park Lane
The company wins a contract to furnish the newly built Dorchester hotel on central London’s Park Lane.
Opening doors across the Atlantic
The company is commissioned to produce bespoke door handles for RMS Queen Mary, the flagship ocean liner of the Cunard White Star Line, offering a weekly service between Southampton, Cherbourg and New York.
The Birth of the 'Mastercraft' range.
The original Capstan head design of the Mastercraft range, was designed by Dame Bridget D’Oyle–Carte and Barber Wilsons for the Savoy Hotel in the 1930s. This pioneering woman personally oversaw the interior design of both The Savoy and Claridge’s. The company went on to design the full range and it is with great pride we continue to produce an Art Deco original. Our product remains in Claridge’s to this day having been involved in every refurbishment of this iconic hotel.
Once more unto the breach
Despite the ravages of bombing raids on London during the Second World War, Barber Wilsons’ factory escapes real damage and is able to support the war effort producing a variety of much needed equipment for both the British and American forces. Over a million components are dispatched for use in aircraft and warships.
Post War Britain.
Barber Wilsons saw the demand for plumbing products grow to staggering proportions, as London property construction and repair became a matter of National priority.
The home of Victorian elegance
The rediscovery of period fittings not made for 40 or 50 years, but still found in Barber Wilson’s old catalogues become fashionable again in refurbished Victorian homes. Old patterns are dusted off and the company’s Wood Green factory begins producing its traditional taps once more.
The company takes a completely new direction and sponsors the Barwil Period One Sidecar Championships with a young Simon Wilson riding sidecar alongside the company’s Barwil branded Triumph 650.
Taps fit for the queen
Queen Elizabeth II is just one of the many who appreciate the style and quality of Barber Wilsons & Co taps and honours the company with a Royal warrant, repeating the honour presented earlier by HM The Queen Mother.
Continuing traditional quality
After a century ‘specialising in specialities’ Barber Wilsons & Co are proud to have involved four generations using traditional skills and the highest quality materials to continue supplying the very best luxury taps and bathroom fittings to our valued customers around the world. We enter 2020 with a proud new identity and a vision to continue our rich heritage of innovation.