In the early days of the industrial revolution, William Newman established a factory in Wolverhampton making locks, hinges, steel buckles, steel toys and door springs. The company continued to manufacture throughout the 19th century and in 1907 William Newman & Sons launched the Briton door closer.
Meanwhile, Joseph Legge founded J.Legge and Co. in Willenhall in 1881 also manufacturing locks. Both companies became well known for their high manufacturing standards. In 1970 William Newman and Sons merged with the William Tonks company, a manufacturer of brass door fittings, to become Newman Tonks. In 1988 Newman Tonks, by then one of the largest manufacturers of architectural hardware in the world, acquired J.Legge & Co.
In 1997, Ingersoll-Rand Architectural Hardware, acquired the Newman Tonks Group, so continuing the long history of the Legge and Briton brands.
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