Reference numberDDX 438
TitleW and J Foster Limited, knitting-machine manufacturers, Preston
Description1. Accounts
2. Stock
3. Publicity Material
4. Centenary
5. James Foster's Personal Papers
6. Miscellaneous

Accession 11017 (uncatalogued):

Directors' minute books 1925-1930 and 1930-1985, shareholders' minute book 1930-1991, register of members and share ledger (etc) 1925-1931, share counterfoil certificate book 1926-1985, accounts ledger including trading accounts and balance sheets 1926-1958, press books (containing newscuttings, photographs, advertising materials and printed ephemera) 1978-1985, 1985-1988 and 1990-1992, and various legal papers, price lists, photographs and printed ephemera 1913-1978
Background InformationFounded in Preston in 1861 by James Foster when he opened a drapery shop in partnership with his father, the early success of 'W & J Foster' was largely based on its role as an agent for sale of domestic knitting machines. The first effective design was patented in England in 1866 by its inventor Isaac W. Lamb, an American Baptist minister. From the early 1870's until his death in 1896 James Foster not only sold knitting machinery (and associated goods: yarns, needles etc), but also was involved in the invention of numerous technological developments. His personal papers reveal his love of walking in the countryside and a desire to push himself intellectually. His strong religious beliefs (Foster became a Wesleyan teacher) were inseparable from his approach to business: 'By untiring perseverance and the help of God I will succeed'. The company was successful and continued to grow after his death, continuing to focus on its core textile supply business, passing first to James' son William and then William's brother Joseph. In 1961 'The Foster Group', then comprising seven separate companies, celebrated its centenary. The company still exists today as www.fostertachographs.co.uk/fostergroup.php and retain one of the original knitting machines

See also DDX 1888 Instruction book for the Victoria Automatic Improved Knitting Machine
Related materialDDX 1888
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