THIS LOVELY old advert for a local firm comes from a rare old book which historian Ian Bott has loaned to us; Steen & Blacket's Original Illustrated Wolverhampton Guide and Visitor's Handbook of 1871.
Ready & Son were based in the town's Bilston Street, and manufactured a range of precision-engineered metal fittings for gas supplies, steam engines, beer pumps and water pumps of almost every kind. As was often the way in adverts of that vintage, it includes some excellent line drawings of their products: all of which look fascinating, even if it is difficult to tell what they are.
The book also gives an interesting overview of Wolverhampton's many and varied industries of the time, beginning thus ...
"The coal and iron trades of the black and busy district of which Wolverhampton is the recognized metropolis, and the various staples of finished manufacture carried on in the town itself, cannot fail to excite some interest among the many thousands of visitors who will be attracted here by the agricultural jubilee of 1871.
“To trace in anything like detail the many points of interest associated with the early history and development of these industries would require a bulky volume.
The briefest glance at them is all we can now attempt, and indeed all that for our present purpose seems to be requisite."
Moving onto specific industries, the guide brings together several of the local firms who are in the same line of work as Ready & Son: "BRASS FOUNDRY, of every description, including chandeliers, gas and steam engine fittings, force pumps &c., is made at Messrs Ready & Son, Messrs John Fell & Co., Messrs Meynell & Son, and at various other foundries.
"Refined spring and other steel, steam engines, boilers, gas holders and tanks, agricultural implements, washers, files, steel and tin toys, gas retorts, carriages, ropes and twines, naphtha, creosote, machine-made boots and shoes, and traps of every description are also produced to a great extent."