Hill Paul 20th Century Factory & Home Work

The manufacture of clothing was a major source of employment in Stroud from the mid 1800s to the 1980s.

The major companies making clothing were Holloway Brothers, William Tratt & Co., Hound Brand Works and Hill Paul & Co. Ltd.

The brothers George and Henry Holloway began by setting up a small dressmaking business in Stroud High Street in 1849. The Holloway Brothers were quick to see that sewing machines could help in the mass-production of clothing.

In 1853, they purchased 13 sewing machines patented by C.T. Judkins of Manchester. In 1854, they claimed to be the first company in the country to use a steam engine to power sewing machines.

'Each machine is attended by a young woman, who has both hands to guide the cloth, whilst the foot starts or stops the machine with the simplest ease, by means of a lever connected with the shafting that runs underneath . . .
It is marvellous with what rapidity garments are thus produced'.

The Illustrated London News, 16 December 1854

From January 2016, this website is managed by Stroud Local History Society

SM Holloway Workroom 1853
SM Hill Paul/Williamson & Tratt workforce 001
SM Holloway Factory 1931