On the label

William Wren & Co – Northampton
Keep the lid closed
First Award – Leather Trades Exhibition 1892
Regd Trade Mark No 355413
W. Wren & Co’s Boot & Shoe Polish
For Cleaning and Polishing all kinds of Leather
Warranted Waterproof
Directions for use. After the Boots or Shoes have been dusted apply the polish, brush to a slight polish, then finish with a soft cloth, pad or rubber.
Manufactory, 31 Greyfriars St, Northampton

Wren's boot polish
This illustration comes from a Wren’s advertising tin c.1908 along with the advertising strap line of “Such a shine in just a minute” along with the declaration of “As used by all branches of His Majesty’s Service”.
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

Wren’s Dark tan Polish
Wm Wren & Co Ltd – Northampton
Registered Trade Mark
To open – twist key to vertical position. Pro. Pat. & Regd.
Keep tin closed when not in use.

This small tin with lid printed in brown and black on green carries a unique version of the butterfly twist – a rather complex two piece wire handle and plate riveted to the tin base.
Wren's dark tan polish
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

By appointment to H. M. King George VI
Wren’s
Made in England since 1889
Black
Super wax shoe polish
Wren’s super wax shoe polish – Black – Mfrs. Wm Wren Ltd, Watford, England – Wren’s super wax shoe polish – Black – Net weight 25 grammes

Manufactured sometime between 1936 and 1952. This 6m diameter, full and unopened, tin with an plain edged lid is simply printed in black on a green ground.
Wren's black super wax shoe polish
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

By appointment to H. M. King George VI
Wren’s
Made in England since 1889
Dark tan stain
Super wax shoe polish

Wren's super wax shoe polishManufactured sometime between 1936 and 1952. This 6cm diameter tin with an plain edged lid is simply printed in black on a red ground. The contents, although slightly shrunken is still soft and usable thanks to the foil seal.
The tin design is somewhat different to the black polish tin above, having a cruder black print with the warrant arms filling in as well as the addition of key-lining. The key-lining appears on 1942 advertisements. The wren is slightly different too (it changes quite a bit over time anyway).
Wren's dark tan stain super wax shoe polish
Photos: David Pratt

On the label

By appointment to H. M. King George VI
Wren’s
Made in England since 1889
Light Brown
Super wax shoe polish
Wren’s Super Wax Shoe Polish – Light Brown – Wren’s Super Wax Shoe Polish – Light Brown – Mfrs Wm Wren Ltd, Watford, England

The base of the tin is embossed with a wren and the legend “Wren’s – the first shoe polish – made in England”


Manufactured sometime between 1936 and 1952. This 6cm diameter tin with an plain edged lid is printed in white and black on an orange ground. The tin design is somewhat different to the Dark Tan Stain polish tin above, having the addition of white giving a much less gloomy effect and it sports the butterfly twist opener. The wren is changed again too to the style used post-1952. The WW2 adverts of 1942 show a tin without a butterfly opener so it might be supposed that this tin dates post-war and shows the start of modernising the packaging.
Wren's super wax shoe polish
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

By appointment to H. M. King George VI
Wren’s
Made in England since 1889
Dark tan stain
Super wax shoe polish
Wren’s Super Wax Shoe Polish – Dark tan stain – Net weight 25 grammes – Wren’s Super Wax Shoe Polish – Dark tan stain – Mfrs Wm Wren Ltd, Watford, England

Manufactured sometime between 1936 and 1952. This 6cm diameter tin with an plain edged lid is printed in white and black on a red ground. The tin design is somewhat different to the Light Brown polish tin above, having the addition of a net weight declaration.
Wren's Super Wax Shoe Polish
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

By appointment to H. M. The Queen, Shoe polish mfrs.
Wren’s Super-Wax shoe polish
Made in England since 1889
Black
Wm Wren Ltd – Black – Wren’s shines best – Wren’s black – Apply sparingly to each shoe. Then brush up briskly. Always finish with a soft cloth.
Wren’s -best for shine – best for shoes – patent no 711014

The contents of the 6cm tin are shrunken but still retain the imprint from the tin base embossing. The polish has a turps/maripan smell and is still soft, no doubt helped by the foil seal and the well made tin with rolled edge lid and butterfly opener. Made post-1952 at the ‘Solar’ Cobra works in Bushey, Watford.
Wren's super wax black shoe polish

Wren's super wax black shoe polish

Wren's super wax black shoe polish
Photos: David Pratt


On the label

By appointment to H. M. The Queen, Mfrs. of shoe polish
Meltonian Wren Ltd
Wren’s Super-Wax shoe polish
Made in England since 1889
Transparent
Apply sparingly. Brush up briskly and finish with a soft cloth.Average net contents 25cc
Manufacturers Meltonian Wren Ltd, Watford, England
Transparent (Neutral)
Wren’s Shine Best

There are no contents in the well made 6cm tin with rolled edge lid and butterfly opener, printed in yellow and dark blue on a white ground. This was manufactured in the last phase of the Wren brand, that of Meltonian Wren Ltd and would have been made at the ‘Solar’ Cobra works in Bushey, Watford.
Wren's transparent shoe polish
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

By appointment to H. M. The Queen, Mfrs. of shoe polish
Meltonian Wren Ltd
Wren’s Super-Wax shoe polish
Made in England since 1889
Middle Brown (Mid Tan)
Apply sparingly. Brush up briskly and finish with a soft cloth.Average net contents 25cc
Manufacturers Meltonian Wren Ltd, Watford, England
Middle Brown (Mid Tan)
Wren’s Shine Best

There are no contents in the well made 6cm tin with rolled edge lid and butterfly opener. Printed in mid-brown, dark brown and black on a white ground. This was manufactured in the last phase of the Wren brand, that of Meltonian Wren Ltd and would have been made at the ‘Solar’ Cobra works in Bushey, Watford.
Wren's super-wax shoe polish
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

Best for shoes – Best for shine
Wren’s Super-Wax shoe polish
Made in England since 1889
Light Brown (Tan)
Apply sparingly to each shoe. Then brush up briskly. Always finish with a soft cloth.
Manufacturers Meltonian Wren Ltd
Light Brown (Tan)
Wren’s Shine Best

The familiar well made 6cm tin with rolled edge lid and butterfly opener. Printed in orange, brown and black on a white ground. This was manufactured in the last phase of Meltonian Wren Ltd. The Watford address has vanished and the royal warrant has been replaced by a “W” symbol so it is assumed this was in the transitory phase when the Bushey works was closed down and manufacturing transferred to Reckitts.
Wren's super-wax shoe polish
Photo: David Pratt

On the label

Wren’s super-wax shoe polish
Made in England since 1889
Dark Tan
Wren’s shines best – Dark Tan Stain – Apply sparingly. Brush up briskly and finish with a soft cloth. – 1.55 fl.oz. 44ml. – Dark Tan Stain
On reverse:
Made in Britain
Reckitt Household Products
Reckitt House, Hull
Export distributors:- Reckitt & Colman (Overseas) Ltd.
R.C.B397 H.R.B.

Wren's super-wax shoe polish
Photo: David Pratt
The Royal warrant now gone and this 7cm tin must be dated after 1972 when manufacturing transferred to Hull. There is no barcode so the product is likely to be no later than 1985 and in any case no later than 1991 when Reckitt’s stopped making shoe polish when Sara Lee bought the company.

More information on the company can be found here: William Wren



This page was last updated: 20th March 2012