October 13

The Newman Brothers

Make a date…Newman Brothers – make a date ……In 1882 brothers Edwin & Alfred Newman went into business as brass founders making handles for furniture.

They started to specialise by making handles for coffins – coffin furniture. By 1894 they had their own factory built on the site of back to back houses in Fleet Street on the edge of the Jewellery Quarter.


A year later Edwin left and Alfred went on to run the business until 1933 when he died and his sons, along with a board of directors, took over. By 1953 the last of the Newman family had died and a Miss Green ended up running the company.


As with all businesses, Newman Brothers had its ups and downs. Cut-price imports from abroad and a change from burials to cremation demanding the use of plastic handles finally precipitated the death of the company itself.


Newman Brothers ceased production in the 1990s. Miss Green carried on, selling off stock and she eventually closed the doors in 1999.
During the last fifteen years the building has been refurbished, stock and machinery has been returned and the factory is opening as a heritage attraction on the 28th of October.


Find out more about how Newman Brothers, over a period of 100 years, led the world in the production of coffin furniture and shrouds by joining a guided tour.

Call 0121 233 4790 or you can email newmanbrothers@coffinworks.org

Newman

The Coffin Works building and Newman Brothers Heritage attraction are owned & run by Birmingham Conservation Trust.

Written by David Humphries – Volunteer Tour Guide at Newman Brothers