A Brief History of Mattersons 1900-1990

A Matterson loom brochure
A Matterson 8 space heavy duty shuttle loom 1950s

Samuel Paget Matterson, born 21st April 1858 in Coventry, was apprenticed in the art of loom building, carpentry and joinery with an existing company Messrs Wilkinson and Son.

Coventry. About 1884 he moved to Belvoir Road, Coalville and worked for T and J Jones (later to become Joseph Burgess and Sons Ltd ). In the mid-1890s he moved to the corner of Berrisford Street and Bridge Road to run a general store and commenced working on his own in a small building in the garden behind the shop, repairing and making components for looms. By 1900 he was expanding and moved to what was to become the main Matterson factory opposite his shop.

S. P. Matterson became a well-known Liberal councillor in Coalville active in public affairs being particularly interested in Poor Law work, eventually being elected to the board of governors. Following his death in 1914, William Matterson, Samuel’s son, took over together with his existing partner Mr George William Newberry Choyce.

The business progressed and was formed into a limited company in 1926. The workforce increased from four to five men to about twenty-five during this time and in the early 1920s complete looms were being built and supplied to many manufacturers throughout world. The Second World War came and that meant that most of the loom construction ceased and the all-important Burton and District War Products Group took priority. Although some looms were built these were strictly for military fabrics. All other work was for war products. The total number of employees increased to about 50. There was tremendous knowledge and skills within the company needing a wide variety of trades. Facilities included a foundry producing iron, brass and aluminium castings and an engineering workshop with the adjacent fitting, erecting and fabricating workshops. There was a fully equipped woodworking machine shop, wood bench shop with shuttle making and pattern-making areas and timber drying sheds for the special timbers used for shuttle and pattern-making. A drawing office and experimental room also existed.

Following are the war, full loom production recommenced, busier than before, replacing worn out and destroyed looms in England and throughout the world. This phase of continued demand lasted through to the late 1970s, now with the workforce in excess of 80, some having been with the company over 50 years. Unfortunately, in 1983 the company ceased to manufacture looms. Instead the company started a manufacturing process, pioneered in the U. S. A, on the Matterson looms to produce artificial arteries for the medical field.

In 1986 the company, now American owned, moved to Florida in the U. S. A. To enable the whole organisation to work under one roof. Mr Samuel A Matterson, son of William, who had been with the firm since 1946 moved to Florida to oversee the move and manage the operation until retiring in 1990. Mr P R Matterson Son of S. A. M. joined the newly-formed American company and was employed as consultant and sales manager, covering the U. K. and Europe. He is still working in this field, although the company has changed hands.

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.