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blank tray maker

jmadone

master brummie
Purely a suggestion but there was a lot of papier mache goods made here in Birmingham including trays. Maybe he made the trays prior to being lacquered or decorated. Again maybe he punched out metal blanks for trays before being decorated or even, if he worked in the jewellery quarter, he made plain silver tea trays before they were engraved and decorated.
 

Spargone

master brummie
Another suggestion: A 'blank tray' can refer to the small metal pressings that accept stones etc. to form broach or pendant jewelry.
 

Johnbell

master brummie
I think a blank tray is a perforated sheet which accepts rifle cartridges held in position for loading with primer powder wad etc, but witjhout the lead bullet, which would be loaded and crimpedin place last.
A distant memory from an old description of Eley works.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
Possibly off topic, but Birmingham, on the past, did have a couple of potteries in the Digbeth area I believe.
The descriptions of the blank tray manufacture reminded me of the saggar makers bottom knocker.
To make the bottom of a saggar was an unskilled job; the sides, however, were a skilled job. This video shows the bottomed being 'knocked' into shape.
 

Spargone

master brummie
Purely a suggestion but there was a lot of papier mache goods made here in Birmingham including trays. Maybe he made the trays prior to being lacquered or decorated. Again maybe he punched out metal blanks for trays before being decorated or even, if he worked in the jewellery quarter, he made plain silver tea trays before they were engraved and decorated.
Some evidence backing up this suggestion:
"Joseph Sankey, born in Bilston in 1827, is described as having many of the qualities of a classic Victorian entrepreneur. Orphaned in 1836 Joseph was adopted and after leaving school at 14 he was apprenticed to a blank tray maker in Bilston. His first employers fashioned tin plate trays which were then japanned. Joseph then joined a firm set up by Samuel Jackson and Charles Harthill as leading hand but the business failed. In 1854 Joseph went into partnership with Samuel Jackson producing blank trays which they then sold to japanners. In 1861 Sankey paid 500 for his share of the partnership. In 1867 he purchased land in Albert Street, Bilston and in the new factory produced hollow ware domestic items as well as blank trays. " [GKN Sankey - Shropshireshistory.org.uk]
tmak1.jpg[James Fellows & Sons. Bilston - London Gazette]
 
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