News & Updates

146 Years in the Making

2016 marks 146 years since the establishment of Edward Clay & Son Ltd in 1870, this time period has witnessed 6 Monarchs, 24 different Prime Ministers (including the first female Prime Minister) and a UK population doubling in size from around 30million to over 64million in 2013.

The technological advancements from 1870-2016 are some of the quickest and most influential in history and greatly affect the ways in which we do Business today. Looking back at the differences between the early days of Edward Clay & Son Ltd and comparing them to the present we can see how the company has changed over the years.

In the early years orders had to be placed either in person or by way of letters or telegrams, until in 1876 Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone which greatly increased the distance in which companies could do business. It took some time for the telephones to be introduced to the majority of businesses but they quickly became an essential piece of equipment and although the number has changed over the years from ‘Ossett 64’ to the current 11 digit number, it is still the most common way of placing an order today.


An early motorised Edward Clay wagon from 1912

One of our modern delivery vehicles

In 1870 the main method of promoting business was by word of mouth or local printed advert, this meant that only a small proportion of the country could be reached so expansion was limited. In 2016 with the presence of the internet, the World Wide Web, the smart phone, the tablet and many more, millions of people can be reached at just the click of a button.

Edward Clay & Son has always provided a delivery service for its products; the earliest methods were through the use of horse and carriage which would have been limited in terms of capacity, distance and speed, through to the use of today’s huge articulated Lorries with tons of capacity. The picture below shows the changes in Edward Clay & Son delivery vehicles over the years.

This 146 year time period has witnessed some of the greatest developments in history, from the invention of the car, through to a self-driving car and placing a man on the moon, the creation of motion picture through to satellite TV, web streaming and social media, what will the next 146 bring?