History of Jordans
Jordans has always been located in Hull, from small beginnings by the river in Quay Street, to our current location on York Street. Focusing on the manufacture of Sails and allied products for the Whaling industry sailing out of Hull at this time.
The company has stood the test of time, passing through 8 father to son generations throughout out a period of time which has seen 2 world wars, 9 monarchs and 56 different prime ministers!
A lot of people try copy us, follow us, even steal our identity but no one can steal our history of over 200 years!
Henry Jordan (circa. 1775 – 1840)
In 1817, just two years after the Battle of Waterloo, Henry Jordan established the business, ‘Henry Jordan’. The original premises of the business were in Quay Street, Hull. In these days, Hull was a thriving sea port, and the company concentrated on sail making. There were no commercial sewing machines in those days, so all work was done by hand. Sails were made with knives, palms and needles.
Richard Jordan (1798-1873)
Richard Jordan followed the work of his father before him, concentrating on the production of handmade sails for sailing and whaling ships plying out of Hull. Hull being the centre of the Whaling Industry.
George Jordan (1822-1889)
When the advent of steam reduced the demand for traditional ship sails, George Jordan led the diversification of the company. He kickstarted the production of tarpaulins and sunblinds, while continuing to manufacture the many canvas items still required on ships.
Henry George Jordan (1848-1927)
Henry George Jordan took a number of steps to try to modernise the business, though it continued to make sails for traditional ships alongside newer products. In around 1870 he sailed to America in order to study new processes for speeding up manufacture, in particular the production of the sewing machine, bringing this exciting new knowledge back to Hull and installing Singer Double Needle machines.
George Richard Jordan (1877-1943)
George Richard Jordan followed in his father’s footsteps by continuing to modernise the company, looking at newer, more technical production methods and developing different types of canvas work such as stack sheets, lorry covers and, most importantly, awnings! Following the First World War, he moved the company to larger premises on Salthouse Lane, which could more comfortably house the new production equipment used to make tarpaulins. He widened Jordan’s Horizon by extending the company into Yorkshire.
George Eric Jordan (1909-1959)
When George Eric Jordan joined the business, the Second World War was looming, presenting a number of challenges and some important opportunities.
While bombing raids necessitated two moves to alternative premises, Jordans took on a number of Ministry of Defence contracts such as the production or cargo covers for The Russian convoys.
Before his sudden death in 1959, George Eric oversaw the continued production of tarpaulins, awnings and sunblinds, helping to shape Jordans into the company it is today, with nationwide coverage of all types of Industrial Textiles.
His favourite saying was “If a customer walks into the showroom for a pound of steak, go to the nearest butcher, buy a pound of steak and sell it to him for a profit!”
David Jordan (1937-)
David Jordan joined the company in 1956 shortly after finishing his National Service in the Royal Navy. In 1966, David oversaw the move of the company to its current premises on York Street, Hull, following a compulsory purchase order on Salthouse Lane. This move was also an ideal opportunity for David to implement a substantial modernisation programme, which involved the installation of a range of high tech machinery including high frequency welders for the emerging synthetics fabric market. He also introduced the Company to the age of IT with the introduction of computers. In 2002 David stepped down as Managing Director, passing the baton onto his son, Stephen. He still remains an active and enthusiastic member of the business.
Stephen Henry Jordan (1967-)
The current Managing Director, Stephen Jordan, joined the business on leaving school in 1983. Stephen has made a number of significant changes to the company, such as expanding the side of the business focused on the production of security shutters. The business was flourishing until the late 1990’s when the inevitable happened. Despite all effort, cheap imported materials were allowed entry to the UK which decimated the manufacture of Taurpalins, made prices unsustainable and as result put so many people out of a job.
For this reason, Stephen took the decision to end Jordans involvement in Industrial Textiles, and concentrate his focus on the sunblinds, Awning and Security Shutters area of the business.
His foresight is testament to the continued success of the business today.