Skip To Content



Your privacy is important. Our Cookies Statement explains how we use cookies on this site. You can change their use at any time. You accept them by continuing to use this site. Our Privacy Statement explains how we use and protect your data.

SW Silver & Co

Information about Army and Colonial Agents, Outfitters and Clothiers SW Silver & Co

SW Silver & Company of Cornhill and Bond Street in London was established in the 18th Century by Stephen Winkworth Silver as army and colonial agents, clothiers and outfitters who became well-known retailers of campaign and exploration equipment. They also acted as shipping agents.

The company established a factory in Greenwich in London to produce waterproof clothing, which later also produced insulated wires and cabling. The factory was moved to an acre of land between Bow Creek and Barking Creek at Woolwich Reach in 1852, becoming the major employer in the locality to such an extent that the area became known as Silvertown.

Stephen Winkworth Silver was succeeded by his sons Stephen William Silver and Colonel HA Silver, who continued to expand the business.

Charles Hancock, of the West Ham Gutta Percha Co, joined the business in 1860, bringing with him his patents and knowledge of gutta percha. This led the Silver brothers to establish the India Rubber Gutta Percha and Telegraph Works Company to concentrate on the production of waterproofing and insulation materials. In 1864, this new company absorbed Hancock's West Ham Gutta Percha Co to engage in submarine cable manufacture for which it became very well-known.

Related Departments

Related Fine Art Categories