A 1953 advert is entitled “During nine reigns”. It states “George III was on the throne when the makers of Meltonian Creams and Dressings began to establish their business. The year was 1815 and the only Meltonian product they manufactured was blacking. But today, in the Coronation year of Elizabeth II, there are Meltonian Dressings for every type of shoe, dressings which have been perfected during nine reigns to take care of fine footwear.”
In September 1893 they registered their trade marks for Meltonian Cream and Royal Lutetian Cream and was registered to Edward Henry Brown t/a E. Brown & Son, manufacturer of blacking, polish and kid reviver. Applicant claims use of the Trade Mark in respect of a Preparation for use on Boots, Shoes, Leather, and other Goods, for one year prior to the year 1876. Class 50. 3616, 3617. A preparation for use on Boots, Shoes, Leather and other Goods. Edward Henry Brown, trading as “E. Brown & Son,” of 7 Garrick-street, Covent Garden, London, England and 26 Rue bergere, Paris, France, manufacturer of blacking, polish, and kid reviver. 18th September 1893. (As a distinctive label.)
In 1908 they are advertising four products:
Meltonian Blacking (as used in the Royal Household) renders the boot soft, durable and equalling patent leather.
Meltonian Cream (White or Black) Cannot be equalled for renovating and polishing all kinds of glace kid boots and shoes.
Royal Lutetian Cream
The best for cleaning and polishing Russian brown leather, polo & tennis shoes etc
Nonpareil de Guiche, Parisian Polish
For varnishing dress & ordinary calf boots & shoes. is more elastic and easier to use than any other.
This 1908 advert in the Crufts show catalogue has dropped the blacking product in favour of the creams and paste.
This 1910 advert for Meltonian paste gives their addresses as 7 Garrick Street, London and 26 Rue Bergere, Paris – addresses that have appeared since at least 1906. 7 Garrick Street is still extant.
A 1912 advert in Pall Mall magazine clearly gives the company name as E. BROWN & SON, LTD. so they became a limited company at some time between 1910 and 1912.
E. BROWN & SON’S BOOT POLISHES are THE Best.
ROYAL LUTETIAN CREAM.
The best for cleaning and polishing Russian and Brown Leather Boots, Tennis Shoes, &c.
MELTONIAN CREAM. (White or Black.)
Cannot be equalled for renovating all kinds of Glace Kid Boots and Shoes.
The best Paste Polish.
Made by E. BROWN & SON, LTD.,
Manufacturers of the Celebrated MELTONIAN BOOT POLISHES.
This 1925 advert presents Meltonian cream in dumpy jar and tube versions, available in white, black, and three shades of brown. The advert shows the limited company status as well as their new works in Cricklewood.
Photo: Martin Clewlow
Photo: David Pratt
This 1928 advert from the Evening Post, Wellington, New Zealand, shows E. Brown now has a white block cleaner as well as a sunburn colour liquid cleaner and Meltonian cream available in handitubes as well as travel tubes.
At some point between 1928 and 1942 the company changes name from E. Brown & Son, Ltd. to Meltonian (E. Brown & Son) Ltd. This company was bought by Chiswick Products Ltd in 1928 bringing not only the Meltonian brand name and market share but also Fred Brown himself.
The company continued to trade and manufacture at the Oxgate Lane works in Cricklewood as Meltonian (E. Brown & Son) Ltd until at least 1957 (referenced in London Gazette’s from 1942 to 1957). Confusingly, the company name often appears as Meltonian Ltd but this is believed to be just a contraction of Meltonian (E. Brown & Son) Ltd. In 1954 Chiswick Products Ltd merged into the newly-formed Reckitt & Colman Holdings Ltd and became integrated into the Reckitt empire, thereafter with production and offices moving from factory to factory as the company reorganised and consolidated production.
At some time between 1957 and 1964 a merger was made with the 1938 Chiswick acquisition of William Wren Ltd to form a new company Meltonian Wren Ltd and moving the production to the old Cobra works at Bushey, Watford, of erstwhile Blyth & Platt who were wound up in 1953.
Wrens were trading as William Wren Ltd in 1951 and the joint business was still trading as Meltonian Wren from the Bushey works in 1964. The Kenya Gazette of 1962 registers the Cobra name and device (logo), the Wren’s name and device, Meltonian name and ‘man’ device, the Lavendo name and device, and the Puwite name to Meltonian Wren Limited of (rather oddly as the Cricklewood factory must have closed by 1962) Oxgate Lane, Cricklewood, London NW2 England, and the registered user as Reckitt, Colman, Chiswick (Overseas) Limited of Hull and Nairobi. When the Watford works was shut down the manufacture of Meltonian products was transferred to Reckitt’s site at Hull. In 1991 the Meltonian brand name was bought by Sara Lee along with Reckitt’s entire UK shoe care product portfolio.
Photo: David Pratt
This 75ml liquid Meltonian white cleaner comes complete with a regulator valve and sponge applicator and certainly saved mess. The label on the back carries a very small Meltonian logo of the toff with top hat along with an EAN-8 early barcode and a post-1985 ‘e’ weights and measures mark. It was made by Reckitt Shoecare Products, Hull and declares that ‘Meltonian’ and ‘Superwhite’ are trademarks. By appointment to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, manufacturers of antiseptics, air fresheners, polishes, cleaners and laundry products. Reckitt & Colman Products Limited, London.
The product’s date lies between 1985 and 1991, the E. Brown connection long lost.
Photo: David Pratt
This is the Meltonian trade mark, registered to Reckitt & Colman Pty Ltd accepted in 1937, registered in 1938 and renewed in 1965 and 1978: Goods & services class 3, Preparations for cleaning, dressing, preserving, and polishing boots, shoes, leather and other goods (but not including furniture cream and plate polish). Design Codes: MAN, IN EVENING DRESS, & MONOCLE.
More about Meltonian products:
The Meltonian brand name is now licensed by Italian company Iexi Srl for bulk shoe trade leather treatment creams (who also make and sell trade products under the Wren’s and Propert’s brand names of old).