The City factory was opened by Mc Intyre, Hogg & Co. in
Queen Street in 1863. It was designed by an architect by the name
of Robert Young from the firm 'Young & Mc Kenzie' of Belfast
and the building was carried out by a local contractor, William
The history of the 'City Factory'
In the middle of the 1800s, shirt making became
an important industry when three pioneers appeared on the scene
- Peter McIntyre, William Tillie and Joseph Welch. Peter McIntyre
was born in Paisley, Scotland in 1819 and in 1844 joined his brother
in law, William Thompson, to found a shirt wholesaling business
with connections in Glasgow and Derry, N.Ireland. Peter McIntyre
came to live permanently in Derry in 1850. He broke with his existing
partner and, in 1855, entered into a lasting association with Adam
Hogg; forming "McIntyre & Hogg".
Adam Hogg was also a Scot who had come to Derry as a manager for
the shirt manufacturers Tillie & Henderson and, for a short
time, he was also with Welch Margetson, another shirt manufacturer.
With two experienced men in control, expansion was swift, and it
became necessary to hold stocks of shirts in London; with a warehouse
opening at 9-10 Addle Street, EC2 - right in the heart of the City
Although, in Derry, the cutting of the shirts and some sewing was
done in a Factory - in Foyle Street - the greatest part of the work
was done in countless homes and collected weekly from the out-stations.
The centralised factory system came with the introduction of sewing
machines, which "McIntyre & Hogg" took up in 1857.
This enabled more people to be employed centrally and soon the original
factory became too small to accommodate the growing firm. In 1861,
the partners embarked on an ambitious project for a new factory
on the corner of Queen Street and Patrick Street, Derry. The plans
were by Robert Young of Belfast and a local contractor, William
McClelland, carried out the building. In 1863, the new factory (known
as "City Factory") was opened. In the 1870s, the firm
was employing 600 workers in the City Factory and more than 2,000
workers in Derry and the surrounding area.
Soon after "McIntyre & Hogg" was founded, the need
was felt for a factory in London. Sometime in the late 1860s, premises
were taken at Copperfield Road, Mile End. In 1868, Henry Powell
(1848-1929) joined the business and moved to Spa Factory (as the
Mile End premises were known) in 1871. A factory was opened in Bristol
in 1872 and transferred to Cheddar in 1873.
With settled conditions at home and abroad, the 1870s and 1880s
were a boom period and the firm's home trade was reinforced by the
extension of export markets (Australia, South Africa and the East
& West Indies). To meet this growing demand, the Cheddar branch
was enlarged - by this time it was known as the "Taunton Manufacturing
Company" - and in 1882 a fine new warehouse was built in Basinghall
Street in the City of London (lasting until it was destroyed in
the blitz during the Second World War).
In 1884, two new partners were admitted - JP McIntyre (Peter McIntyre's
eldest son) and HJ Marsh, joint managers of the London Warehouse.
In 1891, the name of the business was changed to "McIntyre
Hogg Marsh & Co". In 1904, a new London factory was built
at Upton Park, London E13 to replace Spa Factory in Copperfield
Road. The early part of the 20th century was again one of consolidation
and expansion, with mass production centred on the Derry, London
and Taunton factories. In 1901, the factory space of "City
Factory" had been doubled, by completing the block in Patrick
Street and North Edward Street; taking the workforce up to over
800. In 1907, the trade name "Radiac" was introduced.
In 1908, a limited company was formed "McIntyre Hogg Marsh
& Co Ltd" with JP McIntyre as its first Chairman and a
board comprising RL Hogg, HS Marsh, AG Hogg, RH Marsh, LW McIntyre
and Henry Powell (1848-1929).
During and after the First World War, controls were imposed on the
industry; and the shirt trade, like many other businesses, went
through a major recession. But progress was made steadily and the
fashions demanded by the "bright young things" of the
1920s were met just as readily as those of their fathers and grandfathers.
During this period, HF Powell (1876-c1974), Henry Powell's son,
was controlling the Derry and Taunton factories, and it was he who
nursed them through the Second World War years, ensuring that shirts
for the forces were turned out in ever increasing quantities.
In 1931, Robert Henderson (1913-1988), HF Powell's nephew, was apprenticed
to the firm in Derry. After being in the army during the Second
World War, he returned to City Factory, Derry to become manager.
Robert Henderson subsequently became Production Director. The firm
merged with English Sewing Cotton Ltd and subsequently took over
Tootal Ltd, but retained the better-known Tootal name. Robert Henderson
became Director of Tootal Men's Wear.
The above is an abstract from the magazine 'The Outfitter',