Bladon Family History

Hello, my name is Helena and this Blog has been created for eveyone with an interest in the name BLADON which was my maiden name. I welcome enquieries from anyone and am willing to share my information. My E mail is and I now have a web site at

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bladon's of note - Thomas Edward Bladon - Lamp Manufacturer


When I first started to research my maiden name of Bladon, no one knew anything about the family apart from the family having the marriage certificate of my great grandparents. It didn’t take long to research back to my greatx5 grandparents Edward Bladon and Elizabeth Bushell who married in 1790 at Solihull Warwickshire. They spent their married years at nearby Tanworth in Arden Warwickshire.
Thomas, my greatx4 grandfather was their second child and son and he stayed in the area until 1832 when he moved with 9 children to Court 1, Bath Row Birmingham. Four more children followed. Despite living in cramped conditions, all their children prospered.
William their second child was my greatx3 grandfather and he was a successful dairyman/milkman in nearby Kings Heath and Moseley Worcestershire (a prosperous suburb then).
Edward born in 1821 was their fourth child and whilst young he went to work for Jones and Rooke Ltd rollers and wire drawers of Northwood Street, eventually becoming their managing director. He married Maria Amelia Adams in 1848. Thomas Edward was their first child born in 1849 possibly at 23 Albion Street where the family was on the 1851 census. In 1855 Oliver arrived, Theodore in 1862 and Julia in 1864. The family moved to 61 Northwood Street prior to 1861.
Upon leaving school, Thomas Edward became an apprentice at Mr CT Shaw diamond manufacturer (the family lived in the jewellery quarter of Birmingham), however, this didn’t last long as he formed a partnership with a Mr Stokes ‘Stokes and Bladon’ of 46/61 Northwood street by 1876 but this didn’t last long as he then formed another partnership with a Mark Harry Tongue originally from Wolverhampton, a lamp manufacturer who had a business at 4 James Street employing 4 men and 2 boys. By now Thomas Edward had married Sarah Alice Matthews in 1878 and like his father lived in Kings Heath on Alcester road (was this because my ‘branch’ were there?) The partnership with Tongue was dissolved in 1881 when the business is listed as Ship and railway lamp manufacturers. During 1887 two patents for bicycle lamps and ventilating equipment lapsed through non-payment of fees.
Around this time I feel something must have happened since on the 1891 census the family were living at Balsall Heath - a come down from Kings Heath. However Thomas Edward decided to ‘go alone’ and went back to his roots of Northwood Street, this time number 99/101 and moved his family of four children back to Kings Heath. His siblings were also living in the area, as was his father by now a widower. In 1898 Thomas Edward was elected councillor for Kings Heath and shortly after that his wife died. She was buried at Brandwood End cemetery in Kings Heath after a Baptist ceremony. Two years later Edward died age 82 and like his wife was buried at St Nicolas Kings Norton. Early in 1917 Thomas Edward decided to spend his last days at Stratford Upon Avon (back to his roots!) Why is not clear . It was here that he died 11 years later and was buried next to his wife at Brandwood End, 27 years after her death. The business was carried on by his son William Edward with his son Thomas John then being 18 years old so I would like to think he was involved until his tragic death 2 years after his marriage. Sadly William Edward’s other son by his second marriage died aged 11.

I don’t know too much about the business but it was trading under the name of TE Bladon at 99 Northwood Street from around 1888. On 20th January 1916 it became Thomas Edward Bladon and son Ltd and the description reads ‘Trade or business to be brass founders, stampers, piercers, tinsmiths, lamp makers, oil can manufacturers, motor accessory makers, casters, spinners electrical engineers and munition workers’. In 1921 a mortgage was taken out on 99-105 Northwood Street Birmingham for the business and was paid off in 1966. When Thomas retired, George Raymond Neale came on board, but Thomas was still a director, on the death of Thomas Edward, William Edward became the director. After Williams’s death, the husbands of his daughters were involved, as his son Thomas John had died but by 1974 the business was being run by the Homers and had moved to Lichfield Road Industrial Estate, Tamworth Staffordshire and was still trading under the name of TE Bladon and son Ltd. In October 1990 the company ceased to exist.

A Birmingham Directory of about 1888 lists Thomas.

‘Thomas E. Bladon, Patentee and Manufacturer of all kinds of Lamps, Lanterns, Reflectors, etc., 4, James Street, St. Paul's.
An important and exceedingly flourishing branch of industrial activity in Birmingham, is the manufacture of lamps, lanterns, etc. and in this connection the very old-established house of Mr. Thomas E. Bladon is one of the leading and largest in the town. The premises occupied in James Street, are very extensive front and rear, the front possessing a very business-like, attractive appearance, the rear consisting of the different workshops. The latter are excellently equipped with all the newest and most improved machinery and appliances known to the trade the arrangements throughout affording the greatest facilities for executing orders at the shortest notice and in the best possible manner. Mr. Bladon employs an efficient staff of skilled workmen, to whom he gives constant employment, as his connection is now very widespread and valuable, including a large shipping trade, Mr. Bladon is a patentee and manufacturer of all kinds of lamps, lanterns, reflectors, oil cans, ventilators, etc. He manufactures all kinds of outside lamps for hotels, restaurants, shop windows, etc., and makes special designs to suit any style of architecture. He is also the patentee of the new Patent Save-all Spring Feeder, which has a very large sale. He also paints, glazes, and repairs old lamps on the shortest notice.
Mr. Bladon for all his work and manufactures has received the highest commendation. He is a conscientious manufacturer, and a scrupulous businessman. The increased trade which he has grown around him during the last few years bears testimony to the high repute in which he is held. Mr. Bladon has designed and patented some of the prettiest and most graceful designs in lamps that have been seen. His manufactures have found their way to every part of the country, and the patronage now enjoyed is of that superior order which is fully in consonance with the long and honourable record of this distinguished house.’