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ironwork of great variety. This firm competed to some extent with
Hayward Brothers and although in the main they pursued contrasting
types of business, similar methods and materials of manufacture made
a merger sound and logical.|
By a deed of 1891, J. A. Willmore entered into
partnership with William Eckstein, and Cottam and Willmore ceased to
exist as a separate entity. The name, to which considerable goodwill
was attached, was retained and applied to that part of the
manufacture originating in that firm. J. G. Willmore, son of J. A.
Willmore, and other members of the staff of Cottam and Willmore also
joined Hayward Brothers and Eckstein at the same time. The principals
of the two businesses had been at some pains to ensure a smooth welding
together of their respective interests. To assist these arrangements,
J. A. Willmore devoted his time mainly to the works, sharing the office
organisation and management with Eckstein as required, and particularly
in the absence of Eckstein who travelled extensively in the firm's
interest. The amalgamation resulted in yet another site being acquired
in Orange Street. Before the year was out, the complete block from
Union Street to Orange Street had been re-built and adapted for the
occupation of the enlarged concern.
Just as Haywards had passed through many stages,
long past, such as the Union Bath and "bell-hanging," so had
Cottam and Willmore indulged in the fancies of the moment. The
Patent Spring Bed, which they advertised widely before abandoning
it, does not from its illustration suggest the perfect cure for insomnia.
Ingeniously constructed, it could serve as a settee, as a couch permitting
the legs to stretch at will while the head was arrested as in a dentist's
chair, as a bed for sleeping, or for the convenience of surgeons, masseurs
and other professional persons, or folded for light week-end travel.
However one may smile, it represents the beginning of an idea which has
been successfully exploited since by other firms to great advantage.
Once J. A. Willmore had been installed and had
picked up the threads of the business sufficiently to conduct it