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proper brummie kid
I just discovered that my 3xGreatgrandfather was William Vale (b1821 d1887) of Birmingham-based silversmithing company William Vale & Sons: his design for a propelling mechanical pencil was registered in 1868. I can find very little information about the company - or the man himself - and wonder if anyone on here might be able to help?


Ex-pat Brummie

I'm afraid that the new London Gazette site, like the new FindMyPast site, is a complete mess, so even if there are any appropriate entries, this ghastly new search engine is unlikely to find them.



Super Moderator
Staff member
Around that time there seem to be two William Vales, both dying in the late 1880s, one (William H. Vale) a jewellers stamper in Vyse St, who seems to have also run the White Hart pub in Warston Lane, and the other one (your one I believe) at 83 Unett St, described as a pencil case & watch key maker. He also had an office(?) in Milton St london, according to the advert below, and , although I could not find mention of the patent you mention in the Birmingham Post, it did mention a patent for a watch key, also below. It later became William Vale & Sons, as shown in the advert below (identical from both 1884 & 1888 Kellys).
The firm William Vale & Co first appears in directories between 1868 & 1872 at 83 Unett St, though previously and in 1872 and 1873 there was a Henry Vale , jeweller at 85 Unett St. The firm there remains till 1921, though the factory had expanded by then to be 82 & 83 Unett St, but had gone by 1932, when the factory was owned by Dawson (Birmingham) Ltd, electroplated ware manufacturers.
Hope that is useful