Newman Brothers began making coffin fittings in an age when the funeral was big business. This no doubt promoted their move from making cabinet fittings to coffin ‘furniture’ in 1894. After all, the methods of production and the materials required for making a cabinet and a coffin handle were identical, but the money you could make in the Victorian ‘death’ trade was significantly greater.
Unfortunately, the Victorian business archive is non-existent at Newman Brothers. In fact, the business history before 1933 is completely missing. This date seems to correspond with the stage at which the company became a Limited Company, but we’re still unsure as to why much of the early business history is missing.