William Thomas & Co.

Mineral Water Manufacturer



Joshua William George Thomas was born in Bristol in 1853, baptised at St. Philip & Jacob church on 14th August, son of George Thomas and his wife Emma Nutt. It seems that judging by the birthplace of several of Joshua's siblings, his parents lived in Constantinople, Turkey, between 1861 and 1871. His father George was an journeyman engineer in the 1851 census, he had married Emma Nutt on 18 May 1846 at St. Paul's, Bristol. By 1880 George is listed as a grocer in Warwick Street, Stapleton Road.

Joshua William George Thomas referred to himself as William when he started the Mineral Water business about 1880, he married Jane Gallop on 26 May 1874 at St. Augustine the Less, Bristol. Jane appears as Janet in the 1881 census, she was born at Blagdon, Somerset and was a year older than William.

In 1886 (Wright's directory) Joshua W. G. Thomas held the license for the Warwick Arms, Warwick Road-Stapleton Road. The mineral water business is not listed. The license was then transferred to Joseph Adams at the 23 Nov. 1887 sessions.

By the time of the 1901 census, William's (Joshua's) father George, aged 75 at the time, had taken over the business and had employed his son. George and wife Emma were at 1 Waverley Street, the Fox Lane end, and William was at number 2. So their combined property had expanded the premises. Emma was a grocer in her own right. William at this time had reverted to his full name. William's son George, aged 17 was a carter in the mineral water business. In Kelly's 1894 directory, George is listed as Grocer & Mineral Water Manufacturer, his son is not listed. It seems grocery was always part of the family business, George also seems to have been a property agent on the side too.

In the "Gazette" of 23 March 1906 a partnership between Joshua William George Thomas and Alfred Orchard, trading as Thomas & Co. Mineral Water Manufacturers, was announced dissolved.

The National Probate Calendar has Thomas, Joshua William George, of 1 Waverley-street Warwick Road Bristol mineral water manufacturer died 15 July 1910 Administration Bristol 30 August to Janet Thomas widow. Effects 336 12s.

From the Western Daily Press - 12 Feb. 1914, p.9:

"MINERAL WATER MANUFACTURER'S AFFAIRS.

The statement of affairs in the case of George Thomas, of 8, Warwick Road, Stapleton Road, carrying on the business as W. Thomas & Co. mineral water manufacturers, showed gross liabilities 561 2s 9d, and the deficiency 424 8s 6d. The alleged causes of failure were: "Waste caused by defective machinery and losses through mineral waters being turned out faulty, cost of repairs, bad trade, and want of capital." The Official Receiver in the observations stated: The debtor, who is 30 years of age, states that on the death of his father, in July 1910, he commenced business as a mineral water manufacturer at Waverley Terrace, Warwick Road, Bristol, with a capital of 25, and traded under the name of W. Thomas & Co. The business for some years had been carried on by his father, and the horses, trollies, carts, plant, machinery, fixtures, bottles, utensils, &c. were subject to a bill of sale dated 8th March, 1910, for 300, and the debtor agreed with the administratrix of his father's estate, and the bill of sale holder, who was also landlord of the business premises, to take over the business and the effects, subject to the bill of sale for 300, and to pay 37 10s for arrears of rent to the business premises owing by his late father. The debtor states that he became aware of his insolvency twelve months ago, and that he has since contracted debts with his creditors generally in the expectation that trade would improve and that the landlord would carry out his promise to improve the business premises which would have enabled him to do better business. The unsecured liabilities are principally for trade debts. Five of the liabilities, amounting to 84 12s 2d, are for sums over 10. The claim of the debtor's wife to part of the household effects is being investigated. in each case the Official Receiver remains trustee."

George Thomas senior died on 17 June 1911 at "Knock Holt", 126 Robertson Road, Eastville. Probate states he was "retired mineral water manufacturer". His executors were Emma Thomas, his widow; Francis Miles Tucker, sales manager, and William sage, plumber. His estate was valued 2907 8s 10d.

Stone Ginger Beer Bottle W.Thomas2.jpg
Embossed:  *W. THOMAS & Co.* / BRISTOL (in circle) / HOME BREWED GINGER BEER /  TRADE MARK (next circle) / WT monogram (inner circle). ANYONE DAMAGING OR ILLEGALLY USING THIS BOTTLE / WILL BE PROSECUTED (around periphery of outer circle).

Potter: Price, Bristol (White glaze, also in honey glaze.)

10oz Beavis Codd's Bottle W.Thomas3.jpg
Embossed:  W. THOMAS & Co. / TRADE (WT monogram in circle) MARK / BRISTOL

BEAVIS'S PATENT (pre-1899)
Monogram on base.
Glassworks:Powell & Ricketts, makers, Bristol.

10oz Codd's Bottle W.Thomas4.jpg
Embossed:  W. THOMAS & Co. / TRADE (WT monogram in circle) MARK / BRISTOL

W. T. on base.

Glassworks: Powell & Ricketts, Bristol

6oz Codd's Bottle W.Thomas1.jpg
Embossed:  W. THOMAS & Co. / TRADE (WT monogram) MARK / BRISTOL

4 lugs in marble chamber.
W. T. on base.
Glassworks: Not marked.

6oz Codd's Bottle W.Thomas5.jpg
Embossed:  W. THOMAS & Co. / TRADE (WT monogram) MARK / BRISTOL


W. T. on base.
Glassworks: Powell, Bristol.


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