MEMORIES of THE BLACK COUNTRY
Ralph and Jordan
(J. A. Jordan & Sons Ltd)
Beehive Works, Earl Street, Bilston
It seems that Jordans could and would enamel anything, though
there is no indication that they ever went in for the small
scale decorative enamels that Bilston is famous for. But
they enamelled Bilston Knights and other hearth furniture and these,
and doubtless much else, they enamelled for other people.
One of their surviving catalogues shows, in addition to
advertising plates, other products of Jordan's own. They
are all made out of sheet steel and are very similar in
materials and production methods to the advertising signs.
||These decorative sheets might have had many
uses. The catalogue refers to them as Hearth Plates and
Wall Linings. The hearth plate would have been fitted in
front of the fire to catch sparks and ashes. The wall
linings could have been used in place of tiles.
||These are two examples of reflectors - that is,
reflectors for electric (and possibly gas) lights.
Advertisements and Miscellaneous enamelled products
||Street name plates were commonly made out of cast
iron or ceramic tiles. This sort of enamelled iron plate
might have been a cheaper alternative.
||Local authority and private transport undertakings
very commonly used enamelled signs for bus stops and many other
purposes. We have already seen, on the front page, how
British Rail used enamelled signs, made by Jordans, very
|Municipal authorities had many uses for enamelled
signs. This one, and variations of it, used to be a
favourite - but you don't see them often these days. Is that
because local councils eventually realised that no one took any
notice of them anyway. ||
|In addition to the famous wall mounted advertising signs Jordans
also made projecting, swinging signs. These would have been
decorated on both sides, usually with the same design on both
sides. The signs which projected but were fixed to the wall
through a flange also had a design on both sides. The wall
mounted signs would have plain backs with counterenamel on them -
that is enamel fired on to the back to even up the stresses on the
two sides and stop the whole thing buckling.|
The examples above show that The signs did not have to be for advertising. They could
be for almost any purpose:
Foreign scripts were no barrier - Arabic to the
left, Cyrillic to the right.
||(Right)This is a very technical advertisement for Thompson boilers. Why
this Bilston form decided that this advert needed the permanence of enamel
is not known - or even guessed at.
Jordans advertising signs were fixed to any sort of wall
where they would be visible and there was space. On the following
pages there are examples of the signs shown on brick walls.
Go back to Jordans
Go to the first brick