Posted by Josanne Peet at 11/12/2014 09:12:24
With rationing finally at an end, customers were once again free to restock their houses with a whole range of labour-saving devices, furniture and ornaments previously in short supply due to lack of raw materials. The 1950s then saw an increase in consumer activity with more colourful catalogues advertising a wider range of products, all designed to lure potential customers back to the big town stores.
Pearson’s department store was situated at premises on Long Row in Nottingham for the whole of its near one hundred year existence. It began as the ironmongery Wigglesworth before Frederick Pearson bought it and changed its name in 1889. Under the guidance of its founder and later his sons, Tom and William, the business expanded, buying up adjacent shops and stocking a wider range of household products. In 1903 they became the first retailers of electrical equipment in the city and a later family member, Laurie, invented and patented voice activated home appliances. Another innovation was the 'Masterback' fireplace, designed by an employee, Bert Masterman, and manufactured at the company's workshop at Egerton Street in St Ann’s.
The store closed just before its centenary in 1988 with an open auction that gave members of the public a chance to purchase everything from unused carrier bags to the store’s fitments.
Nottinghamshire Archives holds the whole of the Pearson's written archive comprising a variety of records covering all aspects of invention, production and sale. In addition there are personal and family papers and staffing records showing the social history and changing fortunes of an independent retailer throughout an entire century.
The main part of the catalogue of the Pearson’s archives can be viewed under the reference DD/PN on our on-line catalogue.