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.
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!
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, palm tools and needles.
Richard Jordan (1798-1873)
Richard Jordan continued the work of his father before him, focussing on the production of handmade sails, a product in high demand within the Whaling Industry at this time in Hull.
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.
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 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.
“If a customer walks into the showroom to buy a pound of steak go to the nearest butchers to buy a pound of steak! Don’t turn them away” – George Eric
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 new, cutting edge machinery such as high frequency welders for synthetics, and later computers! In 2002 David stepped down as Managing Director, passing the baton onto his son, Stephen.
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 focussed on the production of security shutters. In the late 1990s and early 2000s, the overseas production of tarpaulins increased to such an extent that for many businesses, national manufacture became economically unsustainable. For this reason, Stephen made the decision to end Jordans’ manufacture of tarpaulins, instead choosing to focus solely on the production and sale of blinds, awnings and shutters.