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a brief history

Cannons to the left of us! Edward Sheldon Cannons to the right of us!
The Cannon Foundry was established in 1826 by Edward (see above) and Stephen Sheldon. Located at Havacre Lane in Deepfields, Coseley. The Foundry specialised in the manufacture of household and general ironmongery. Cooking utensils became the business' main product, it was a proud boast that the Cannon brand of cast iron holloware was known and in use worldwide. The Cannon holloware range included saucepans, stewpans, kettles, oval pots, preserving kettles and other similar household products.

This expertise extended to the manufacture of products for export throughout the growing British Empire. These included Danish, Marmont, French African, St.Lucia and many other pots; together with Dutch and Havana stoves, camp ovens, bake pots, cooking and cassada plates, rice bowls, rice plates or comales, African rice pans and many other items.


One of the largest pots produced at the Foundry was a huge three legged pot of some 14 gallons (63.5 litres) capacity. This was mostly used for palm oil boiling in the West African markets.

In 1884 the title of the company was changed from E.Sheldon & Co Ltd, to the Cannon Holloware Co Ltd, which became registered with a capital of £50,000. The conversion of the concern into a private limited cmpany was to simplify the interests of the partners; and reflect the company brand name.

The demand of cast iron cooking utensils declined towards the end of the 19th century, as competitors introduce enamelled steel and aluminium alternatives.


Cannon introduced its first gas cooker in 1895; the cookers achieved distribution through leading provincial and London gas companies who hired them to customers. An example of one of the first Cannon gas cookers is the 'Hercules'. (Pictured left and right) The Hercules was one of the most popular and earliest (pre1900) of the Cannon products and met with exceptional success. Its distinct advantage was the 'Porceliron' lining which considerably increased the durability of the cooker and enhanced the utility of the stove. The 'Hercules' was a combination of best materials and thorough workmanship; it was perfectly clean and could be taken apart very rapidly to maintain this condition. Beside being the leading gas cooker for cleanliness, it also led the field for convenience and economy in gas. Its efficiency in roasting, baking and grilling had been testified by practically all the leading authorities of the day.


Other Cannon innovations in gas cooking from the last century were the Cannon series of 'Chef Cookers' which were made out of a dark-green enamelled iron, giving the cooker a very handsome appearance and a world first for Cannon by introducing colour into a domestic cooker finish! 'Penny Slot cookers' followed in 1898, an innovation particularly suited to the growing gas cooker rental market. In fact an old penny would purchase 25 cubic feet of gas! reported at the time to be sufficient to cook a dinner for several people!

By the turn of the century, Cannon's reputation for quality and innovation was established. Cannon's advertising slogan of the time claimed:-

The Peaceful Cannon - Peace hath her victories no less renowned than war,

The Beneficent Cannon - Ever increasing the sum of human comfort,

The Ubiquitous Cannon - Scattering good(s) the wide World o'er,

The Progressive Cannon - Always to the front with modern improvements.

The growing supply of domestic gas supply saw Cannon introduce its first gas fires shortly after the turn of the century. Cannon introduced an assortment of varied gas fires which included many artistic designs calculated to meet all possible requirements. The rapid expansion of the company business in this direction was little short of phenomenal. The gas fires quickly achieved popularity, for their excellence was recognised in official tests, and among many awards, were placed first for hygienic efficiency and first for radiant efficiency in smoke abatement trials.

The company introduced a distinctly new process of enamelling their fires known as "Vitro Lustre" which was registered as a trade mark to describe the patent process. It had a remarkable durability and was unaffected by the heat.


Cannon were consistently updating their fires to meet modern design, construction requirements and regulations. Innovation in gas fires included the introduction of air/gas regulators to control heat output and the Cannon "Radio" pattern cast in one piece. Gas fires continued to outstrip the most optimistic hopes of the company and demand for the fires was tremendous.

So the foundations were built for Cannon to be a leading manufacturer of gas cookers and fires throughout the 20th century. Cannon's reputation for the manufacture of quality gas cookers and gas fires has continued throughout this century. Leading the Industry in innovation and quality has been the hallmark of Cannon's success.

Cannon was purchased by GEC in 1963 and became part of General Domestic Appliances(joint venture company owned by GEC and GE of America) in 1987. In 1993, Cannon's manufacturing facility and offices moved to Blythe Bridge, Stoke-on-Trent.

To this day Cannon continue to be a leading gas cooker and gas fire brand, continuing the principles of quality and innovation established over 170 Years ago.

Advert circa 1865


Cannon Factory 1926
Cannon Factory 1926
Fitting Shop
Fitting Shop
Cannon Foundry
Cannon Foundry
Foundry Workshop
Foundry Workshop
Dispatch Department
Dispatch Department
Photographs by kind permission of Denise Hurst

The Centenary Celebrations - 1926

Two special trains took 850 people for a visit to Blackpool. They had free admission to the Winter Gardens, Pleasure Beach, Big Wheel, The Tower and The Baths.

A scanned copy of the Centenary Booklet (very kindly supplied by Jill LOACH) that was given to each employee can be seen here

Cannon's Blackpool trip 1926
Cannon employees at Blackpool Station 1926

Cannon Centenary Medallion

Indian Lounge

A meal was served in the beautiful Indian Lounge at the Winter Gardens. Twelve members of staff with service of over 40 years received a gold watch each

Edward B. CRUMP 51 years
John MASON 44 years
William HAWKINS 44 years
George D. LLOYD 42 years
Walter R. HAWKINS 42 years
William CADDICK 42 years
James W. WRIGHT 40 years
John HINCKS 40 years
James A. HANCOCK 40 years
Ernest FLAVELL 40 years
Isaac GRAINGER 40 years
John CHESHIRE 40 years

Benjamin WORTON

The record service belonged to Benjamin WORTON a loyal and
faithful servant to the Company and now a honoured pensioner

In addition 35 employees with service over 40 years received wallets containing treasury notes.
Those having served 50 years had £10 those having 40-50 years had £5.
William BRADLEY 56 years
James COPE 55 years
William CADDICK 54 years
Samuel TURLEY 54 years
Thomas ASTON 52 years
Joseph RICHARDS 50 years
Edward BRADLEY 50 years
Thomas RICHARDS 48 years
William TAYLOR 48 years
Samuel THOMPSON 47 years
William BARRETT 46 years
John HAND 46 years
Thomas SOUTHALL 46 years
Thomas TAYLOR 45 years
Charles FLETCHER 45 years
Harry RUSSELL 45 years
Charles TURNER 44 years
Alfred BYWATER 44 years
John DAVIES 44 years
Arthur CRESWELL 43 years
Joseph NOCK 43 years
David LANE 43 years
Tom PENN snr 43 years
Jonah SMALLMAN 43 years
Albert LAW 43 years
William COOPER snr 42 years
William HOWELL 42 years
Thomas WEAVER 42 years
Thomas KING 41 years
William NOCK 41 years
James A. STEWARD 40 years
Benjamin CRESWELL 40 years
James CHALLENGER 40 years
Harry HAND 40 years

As they left the hall each man was presented with cigarettes and the ladies with boxes of chocolates.

Twenty years earlier 1906 Cannon had celebrated their 80th anniversary with a Dinner party for 800 plus workforce. It was served in a new building that was to house the gas-stove department at Deepfields. The caterers were Messrs H.C.REYNOLDS of Wolverhampton.

Each man was presented with a briar pipe and a packet of tobacco. Youths and girls were given boxes of chocolates.

Cannon Foundry's Fire Brigade

Cannon Foundry Coseley had its own Fire Brigade It was formed in 1894 for the protection of the works. They had horse drawn vehicles and steam operated appliance.

The Officers circa 1906 were listed as:

Captain : R. D.B. CLAYTON
Lieutenant : E. HAWTHORNE
Secretary : E.B. CRUMP 45,Tunnel St, Coseley.
Inspector : F. DAVIS 17A Bissell St, Wallbrook, Coseley.
Foreman : A TURLEY, 58 Tunnel St, Coseley.
Engineer : D PEPLOW, 78 Broad St. Wallbrook, Coseley.

10 firemen were:

J. PICKERILL 44 Hampton St. Roseville, Coseley.
B. BOWATER 18 Old Meeting Rd, Coseley.
J. CLARK, 29 Chapel St. Wallbrook, Coseley.
M. WILSON. 58 Ward St. Coseley.
W. HOWELL, 13 Havacre Lane, Deepfields.
J. SMITH. 3 Rookery Lane, Lanesfield.
W. BRADLEY, 22 Bank St. Roseville, Coseley.
J. JONES, 60 Tunnel St. Roseville, Coseley.
E. SMALLMAN, 56 Hollywell St. Hurst Hill.

Cannon's Football Team

Cannon Football 1931

Cannon Iron Foundries Football Team 1931-32

Back row L to R

Front row L to R

The photograph above was probably taken by George BEACH (my Great Uncle - marked with an 'X" in the photo below) who was Secretary of the Club and a long time employee of the company.

Canon Iron Foundries Football Team 1931
Runners-up in the final of the J. W. Hunt Cup

Cannon's Transport

The lorry on the left (Reg E 7859) was the first heavy lorry bought by the Cannon and was driven by my Great Uncle George BEACH, it had solid tyres and carbide lamps. A trip to London and return took approximately one week. A youth named Dickie Norton was "drivers mate"

This photo is of E7859 with Great Uncle George (drving), dressed as a pirate in the Coseley Carnival Mid 1920s, they went as "The Froth Blowers."



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