An interesting overview of the button trade in Birmingham is given in this article, part of the excellent British History Online website. The text is taken from "Economic and Social History: Industry and Trade, 1500-1880', in A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 7, the City of Birmingham, ed. W B Stephens (London, 1964), pp. 81-139"

Showell's Dictionary of Birmingham, A History and Guide, is fascinating and answers all sorts of questions about the city.

This entry is puzzling: Home Hitting.—The Rev. John Home, a Scotch divine, who visited Birmingham in 1802, said, "it seemed here as if God had created man only for making buttons."

And this one is a curious insight: Lambert.—Birmingham had something to do with the fattening of the celebrated Daniel Lambert, the heaviest lump of humanity this country has yet produced, for he was an apprentice to Mr John Taylor, button maker, of Crooked Lane. His indentures were cancelled through his becoming so fat and unwieldy, and he was sent back to his father, the then governor of Leicester gaol. Daniel died June 21st, 1809, at Stamford, where he was buried; his age was 39, and he weighed 52 stone 11 lb. (at 14 lb. the stone), measuring 9 ft. 4 in. round the body, and 3 ft. 1 in. round the thick of each of his legs.

Hammond Turner and Dickinson, Hammond Turner and Sons and Hammond Turner(s) and Bate(s) appear in various trade directories. This list does not contain every directory entry which mentions the various companies - if you know of one I have missed, please let me know!

I am greatly indebted to Keith Winters for introducing me to his fabulous website which includes a fact-filled introduction to the first, 1770 directory.

In November 2018, I was able to add many entries to this list thanks to some industrious research carried out by Robert L. Milburn, a retired military officer and metal detectorist from Massachusetts.
RLM collects militaria and military buttons and he very kindly responded to my plea for information about John Bowen.
In addition to that information, which appears in the Dandy and Dress Gallery, he generously provided very many of the following trade directory entries.

Sketchley & Adams 1770 (reprinted 1886)
There is no mention of Hammond Turner (etc) in 1770 but the following entries in this fascinating little book are of great interest.
SNOW HILL
No. 15 Pemberton and Sons, Jewellers
No. 65 Kempson, James, Button Maker
No. 103 Pemberton, Samuel, Jeweller
COLESHILL STREET
4 Turner, John and William, Proprietors of the Brass Works
GREAT CHARLES STREET
24 Turner, John, Buckle Maker

The Universal British Directory of Trade and Manufacture Vol 2 by John Wilkes probably 1793

There is no date of publication printed in this volume. The Bodleian Library states that the volume containing Birmingham, Vol. 2, was probably published in 1793 with sections being issued between the end of 1791 and the last quarter of 1792.  What this means to me [RLM] is that the directory entries would have been collected mostly in 1791 and no later than 1792. Companies listed would, therefore, have been in business at the latest by 1792. When I [RLM] read and searched this volume for date references, I found that the latest dates mentioned were in 1792, such as the Biggleswade, Bedfordshire section mentions an earthquake which occurred “at the time this article was in the press, namely 25 Feb 1792”, so it appears that the Bodleian is spot on regarding the publication date. Robert L. Milburn

Hammond, Turner and Dickinson, Button-makers, Snow-Hill

Bissett’s Grand Copperplate Directory of Birmingham, 1800 and 1808

While the company is not listed in the 1800 edition, the 1808 edition gives Hammond Turner & Dickinson, Button Makers in General, Snow Hill, and the company name appears on Plate N

Wrightson's New Triennial Directory of Birmingham, 1815

Hammond, Bonham's Executors, Great Hampton Street  (for significance, see 'Wills') 
Hammond, Turner and Dickinson, button makers, Snow-Hill. This is important as it is the last mention of HT&D in a trade directory.

The Commercial directory for 1816-17 printed by Wardle & Pratt and Published by them & James Piggott in Manchester, 1816

Hammond, Turner & Sons. This is the first entry for HT&S in a trade directory.
Hammond Bonham Executors of, (gilt and plated) Great Hampton-street
Hammond, Turner and Sons, Snow hill

Wrightson's New Triennial Directory of Birmingham, 1818

Hammond Bonham, button maker (Executors of), Great Hampton-street
Hammond, Turner & Sons, button makers, Snow hill

The Commercial Directory for 1818-19-20; publisher: James Piggott, Manchester

Hammond, Turner & Sons
Hammond, Bonham's executors

History Directory & Gazetteer of the County of York, Vol 1, West Riding, Printed & Published by Edward Baines, London, 1822

Hammond Bonham (executors of), Great Hampton street
Hammond, Turner and Sons (pearl), Snow hill

An 1823 directory (whose details were lost by LMC, not RLM) lists
Hammond, Samuel, Birmingham Heath (see 'Wills')
Turner John and Son, button manufacturers, 100, Snow Hill
Turner John, Birmingham Heath
Bragg George, maltster and wine merchant, 94, Weaman Street and Birchfield (see 'Wills')

Pigot and Co.'s National Commercial Directory 1828-9

Hammond Turner & Co
and Hammond Turner and Sons

Wrightson's Triennial Directory 1829-30

Hammond, Turner and Sons, gilt, metal, and pearl button, &c. manufacturers, and pearl-shell dealers, 100, Snow Hill
Bragg, George, wine and spirit, merchant and importer, Shakspeare Rooms, New Street
Bragg, George, New Street and Turner, John and William, Snow Hill: all three were listed as Commissioners of the Street Act

West's History, Topography and Directory of Warwickshire 1830

Hammond, Turner, and Sons, gilt, metal, and pearl buttons, &c manufacturers, and pearl-shell dealers, 100, Snow-hill
Also listed under MERCHANTS

Wrightson's Triennial Directory 1833

Hammond, Turner and Sons, gilt, metal, and pearl button manufs. and pearl shell
dealers, 100, Snow Hill
Bragg, George, wine and spirit merchant, 96 New Street
Bragg, George and Turner, John were both listed as Commissioners of the Street Act

Pigot & Co.'s National Commercial Directory 1835

PEARL SHELL DEALERS.
(See also Button Makers—Pearl)
Hammond, Turner & Sons, Snowhill

BUTTON MANUFACTURERS—PEARL.
(See also Button Manufacturers—Gilt, Plated, &c.)
Hammond, Turner & Sons (& sewing silks, trimmings, &c.) Snowhill

BUTTON MANUFACTURERS. GILT, PLATED, METAL, &C.
(See also Button Manuftrs—Pearl.)
Hammond, Turner & Sons, Snowhill

Wrightson's Directory of Birmingham 1835

Hammond, Turner, andSons, button manufacturers, Snow-hill

Wrightson's Triennial Directory 1839

Hammond, Turner and Sons, button manufacturers, Snow Hill
Bragg, George, wine and spirit merchant, 96 New Street (see 'Wills')
Titley and Bragg, wine and spirit merchants, 68, New Street
Bragg, George and Turner, John were both listed as Commissioners of the Street Act

F White's History and Directory of Birmingham 1849

Hammond, Turner & Sons, button manufacturers and merchants, 100, Snow hill

 Post Office Directory of Birmingham, Staffordshire and Worcestershire 1850

Hammond Turner & Sons, button manufctrs, 101 Snow hill

Slater's Directory of Manchester and Salford 1850

Hammond Turner & Sons, manufacturers of buttons, silks and smallwares, 17 Bread street & Granby row
Also listed undeR MANUFACTURERS & DEALERS IN COTTON GOODS, GENERAL WAREHOUSEMEN &C.

Slater's General and Classified Directory of Birmingham 1852-3

Hammond, Turner & Sons, button mnftrs. & merchants, 100 Snowhill

Whellan's Directory of Manchester and Salford 1853

Hammond Turner & Sons, mnfrs. of buttons, silks and smallwares, 17 Bread street

Dix's General and Commercial Directory of Birmingham 1858

Hammond, Turner, and Sons & Co., button mnfrs, 99 and 100 Snowhill

Corporation General & Trades Directory of Birmingham, William Cornish, Birmingham 1861

Hammond, Turner, and Sons, button manufacturers and merchants, 99, 100, and 101, Snow hill

Morris's Business Directory of Birmingham 1862

Button makers
Hammond, Turner & Sons, 100 Snow hill

William’s Manufacturer’s Directory for London & the Principle Market Towns-Birmingham Listings 1864

Hammond Turner & Sons, 4 Bread St., Button manufacturers

Post Office Directory of Birmingham 1867

Buckingham st. 91 Hospital street
12, 13 & 14 Hammond, Turner & Sons, jet ornament manufacturers

Street’s Indian & Colonial Mercantile Directory, Published by  G. Street, London, 1870

Hammond, Turner & Son (general button manufacturers) Snow-hill

The Commercial Directory & Shippers Guide, Pub R.E. Fulton & Co., 1871

Hammond, Turners and Bate, 1 Mosley St, Trimming Manufacturers

The Birmingham & District and Sheffield & Rotherham Commercial list, 2nd year, Published by Estell & Co., London, 1874

Hammond Turner & Sons, Button Manufs. & Merchants, 100 Snow-hill

The Commercial Directory and Shipper's Guide 1875

Hammond, Turners and Bate, 1 Mosley st [Manchester]

 Handbook of European Commerce: What to Buy and Where to Buy It - For the use of Purchasers & Merchants, By George Sauer, Published by Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, London, 1876

Hammond, Turner & Sons, Snow hill, Button

The Birmingham & District and Sheffield & Rotherham Commercial list, 4th year, Published by Estell & Co., London, 1876, Birmingham

Hammond Turner & Sons, Button Manufs. & Merchants, 100 Snow-hill

The Commercial Directory and Shippers Guide, Ninth Ed., Liverpool 1877

Hammond, Turners and Bate, 1 Mosley st., [Manchester] Braid Manufacturers and Button Manufacturers

The Post Office Directory of Birmingham for 1879, pg. 333, Published by E. R. Kelly, London, 1879

Hammond Turner & Sons, button manufacturers & merchants, 98-100, Snow-hill

Slater's Directory of Manchester and Salford 1879

Merchants
Hammond, Turner & Bate, 1 Mosley st

 White's Directory of Bradford, Halifax 1879

Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd
Hammond, Turner & Bates, lasting weavers' braid and smallware mfrs. Turvin Mills, and Manchester

Companies House 1903 - 1937

Hammond Turner & Sons Limited was registered 1903 and the company operated under this name until 1937 when it was purchased by Lion Works Ltd

Inventory control record 1, Volume 87, British Parliamentary publication 1904

Alphabetical List of Companies Registered during the Year ended the 31st December 1903, during which HT&S filed a declaration to become a Limited Company

Who's Online

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About us

This web site has been created by Lesley Close as an on-line museum displaying some of the buttons and other artifacts manufactured by Hammond Turner & Sons (and related companies), button makers of Birmingham (and Manchester), England.

Lesley's interest in buttons started when she saw the words 'button maker' in the 'father's occupation' column of her maternal great grandmother's marriage certificate. After rather too many 'ag labs', vicars and sailors, here was a wonderful change of occupation. She thought she might find a picture of a button: instead, she found a picture of the one-time owner of the business and over 200 different buttons made by the company.

What we don't do

The button-making company Hammond Turner no longer exists - we do not make buttons!