Category:Bassett-Lowke manufacturers and suppliers

From The Brighton Toy and Model Index

Bassett-Lowke Ltd. had such close relationships with so many other companies in the toymaking business, and were so well known for importing products from companies such as Märklin, Bing and Georges Carette and either having them commissioned for the UK market or finished in the UK, that, given that their locale in Northamptonshire seemed to be a hotspot for toymaking workshops, some have wondered whether Bassett-Lowke had a factory at all!

Bassett-Lowke's catalogues do show pictures of their repairs department, and pictures do also exist of a Bassett-Lowke factory space, although this seems quite small, and is described as producing railway track. A contemporary (anonymous) account from within B-L seems to suggest that at the time, B-L's output was the low-end and simpler products, with the high-end craftsmanship being done by other companies.

We can imagine how this might have worked: B-L might have been quite happy not to have to invest in plant and factory space (and employees), and some of the real artists who produced the high-end pieces might have preferred to be working alone or in small specialised groups and businesses tailored to the needs and working conditions demanded of artists and craftsmen rather than being employees of a large company, working in a factory.

Bassett-Lowke's catalogues usually didn't go out of their way to identify externally-produced items or to say what company built them, and this has led to a certain amount of conjecture and dispute over who actually built many of the most famous BL pieces.

A quick and very incomplete listing of suppliers (known and suspected):

  • Bing - locomotives
  • Georges Carette - locomotives and carriages. BL later took in Carette's tooling and started building their own versions of Carette pieces (or had them built)
  • Marklin - locomotives
  • Exley - rolling stock
  • Stuart Turner does get credited for some of the steam engines in the BL catalogues, but it's not clear whether this was because of S-T's friendly relationship with B-L and Henry Greenly, or whether it was because of S-T's canny habit of putting their name on their products in large letters that were obvious in the company's product illustrations.
  • Henry Greenly gets credited for the plans sold by B-L as do most of the authors of other sets of drawings and plans in the B-L engineering catalogues.
  • The Trix model railway range (TTR) do get named and promoted, but with an emphasis on the pieces as having been "designed by B-L". Where Trix publicity materials promoted TTR as "Trix Twin Railway", Bassett-Lowke preferred to leave out the mention of Trix, and refer to TTR as standing for "Twin Table Railway" (or variations thereof). The B-L catalogues also promoted "Trix Exacto" craft knives.

Bassett-Lowke's catalogues also listed a very limited number of imported brands, including Structo motorcar construction sets and the Anchor Blocks company's metal construction system.

On top of all of this, Bassett-Lowke's retail outlets were able to sell items that weren't necessarily in the catalogues.

External links

Subcategories

This category has the following 13 subcategories, out of 13 total.

B

  • Bing(13 C, 80 P, 86 F)

E

G

H

J

M

S

T

W

Media in category ‘Bassett-Lowke manufacturers and suppliers’

This category contains only the following file.