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The Hidersine History

f-hider-squareUntil recently, the earliest history of The Hidersine Company was based upon anecdotal evidence handed down from various sources, the evidence for which was assumed to have been lost during World War II.

The accepted usage of 1876 as the founding date for The Hidersine Company can be dated back to the 1940s, when under the ownership of the Hirt family, this date was added to letterheads and other stationery. This founding date was therefore assumed to be correct and has subsequently been used for many decades in various locations, with various products in the current Hidersine catalogue still displaying that date. However, as you will see from the information below, it seems more likely that the first Hidersine product was actually manufactured in1890. 

During 2013 we were delighted to make contact with one of Francis Hider's sons who was able to provide us with a copy of a biography of The Hidersine Company’s founder, Mr Francis Hider (M.P.S), 1863 – 1943. The biography was recollected and written by Francis' wife, Winifred Hider (Bard) in 1969. 

What follows is an abridged version of Mr Francis Hider’s biography including only information relevant to the Hidersine Company’s founding.

Abridged by Alex Mew 2014. (Barnes & Mullins Ltd)

Born in 1863, Francis Hider was the second of four sons born to George William Hider who also had four daughters. Francis’ father, George was a customs officer based in Kent and was a member of the 3rd Sussex Artillery Volunteers where he formed and taught a drum and fife band, as well as being Choirmaster in the parish church. His father’s musical activities influenced Francis and his brothers as they too joined the drum…
Throughout the turn of the 20th century and into the pre-war period, Francis continued with musical engagements far and wide, but with an increased emphasis on rosin manufacture, with assistance from his younger brother, James. The Hidersine Company relocated to Hart’s Lane, Barking where Crow’s Tar Distillery allowed Francis to turn one of their buildings into a specialised rosin manufacturing base. It was whilst in this location during 1912 that two more famous products were…
Earlier in 1926, Great Britain had seen the beginning of the General Strike, during which Miners, Railwaymen, Transport Workers, Iron and Steel workers, Newspapers and many more trades ceased to function effectively. Plunging the whole country into chaos, unsurprisingly the strike had a very negative impact on business of all kinds. Things got even worse in October 1929 with the collapse of Wall Street in the USA, which affected every industrialised nation in the world,…
The Hidersine Company was owned by Robert Hirt from 1932 and set about building the Hidersine family of rosins into a global success story, with trademarks and patents registered in places such as Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. The company stayed in the Hirt family’s ownership until 1987, when it was bought by Barnes & Mullins Ltd – the musical instrument manufacturer and distributor founded in 1895 in London by Banjo playing, music…

The Hidersine Company, United Kingdom
C/o Barnes & Mullins Ltd, Grays Inn House, Unit 14, Mile Oak Industrial Estate, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 8GA