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Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 CLC/B/208
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Date(s): 1872-1974
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 26 production units.
Name of creator(s): Steel Brothers and Co Ltd | general merchants


Administrative/Biographical history:

In 1870 William Strang Steel launched W. Strang Steel and Company in Burma and the company's first rice mill was established in 1871. A London office - Steel Brothers and Company - was opened in partnership with James Alison Steel in 1873. In 1890 the assets of both companies were transferred to the newly incorporated Steel Brothers and Company Limited. The company was involved in the milling and shipping of rice; teak and hard wood extraction; oil; cotton; and cement. Historically much of Steel Brothers and Company Limited's trade was with Burma and India, but the Japanese invasion during World War II and the Burmese government's nationalisation policies of the late 1940s and 1950s led to expansion into other markets.

In 1970 Steel Brothers and Company became Steel Brothers Holdings and in 1987 became a subsidiary of British and Commonwealth Shipping plc.

The company had offices at 6 East India Avenue 1873-87; 6 Fenchurch Street 1887-1941; 61 Threadneedle Street 1941-2; 24 Lombard Street 1942-57; Chesterfield House, 26/28 Fenchurch Street 1957-69; and Sondes Place, Dorking, Surrey from 1969.


Scope and content/abstract:

The records of general merchants Steel Brothers and Company Limited mainly comprise annual reports and accounts, photographs and unpublished histories.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Records arranged by MS number, assigned during cataloguing at the Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

The archives of Steel Brothers and Company were mostly lost during the Second World War; through bombing in London and occupation in Rangoon.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The remaining material was presented to the Manuscripts Section of Guildhall Library in February and April 1994 by Securum Industrial Holdings and was catalogued by a member of Guildhall Library staff. The Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section merged with the London Metropolitan Archives in 2009.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
January to May 2011.

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