Thursday, 31 March 2011

Star Washers, generally known as Starlocks

Star Washers, generally known as Starlock® Push On Fasteners. Supplied in spring steel and stainless steel, Starlocks® are manufactured in the United Kingdom by Baker & Finnemore Limited located in the heart of England (Birmingham), next to the Jewellery Quarter, in a variety of designs and finishes, both capped and uncapped.
Starlocks® eliminate costly threading and grooving operations, facilitate rapid assembly, and once fixed in position, are so secure that they cannot be removed without destruction.
Starlock® Push On Fasteners are also known as:


Push Nuts

Push On Fixes

Push Ons

Speed Nuts

Push Nuts

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Baker & Finnemore Limited

West Midlands based manufacturing company Baker & Finnemore Limited, home of the Starlock® Push On Fasteners have introduced an additional Bruderer press to compliment the range of power presses.
 It should be noted that the majority of precision pressings that we manufacture are generally made to strict specifications or via liaison with the customer.

Baker & Finnemore Ltd Website

Starlock® Push Ons

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Starlock® Fastener Exhibition 12th May 2011

Starlock® Fastener Exhibition 12th May 2011

Visit Baker & Finnemore Ltd to see our ranges of Starlocks®, Bolt Retainers and Precision Pressings at the Fastener Exhibition 12th May 2011

Or Visit to see our full range of Starlocks®, Bolt Retainers and Precision Pressings
Starlock® Push On Fasteners, Washers and Precision Pressings manufactured by Baker and Finnemore and exported World Wide

Starlock® Push On Fasteners

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Bakfin new updates

New updates to

Typical everyday uses of Starlock® fasteners include:

  • Automotive Starlocks® are used in many automotive applications with our customers recognizing that Baker & Finnemore being TS16949 approved ensures high quality products.
  • Medical Applications for Starlocks® in this field can be as varied as a disposal bin for sharps through to complicated diagnostic equipment.
  • Household Many household appliances that simply need to retain components within an assembly are easily satisfied with the use of the Starlock® push on fastener.
  • Toys Kiddies trikes through to hand held puppets benefit from the cost effective and easy to assemble Starlock®.
  • Construction Insulation retention is a good example where a Starlock® with a small inside and large outside diameter is used.
  • Electrical The electrical / electronics industries use the Starlock® push on fix principle designed into a component to enable swift and permanent assembly.
  • Photographic Starlock® Push On Fasteners are used in many photographic appliances.
  • Stationary Starlocks® are used to create applications for the Stationary industry.
  • Garden Starlock® push on fasteners are such an easy product to use that they are welcomed by the likes of lawn mower manufacturers to retain wheels on their machines.
  • Furniture Our inlock washers are used successfully in the manufacture of tubular office furniture.
  • Computer Starlocks® are used in computer cases and assembly.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Bolt Retainers

Bolt Retainers

 Baker & Finnemore Ltd have launched a new product range of Bolt Retainers

These bolt retainers are designed to push on to a screw or bolt in order to simply retain it whilst in transit prior to final assembly operations.
The teeth on the Bolt Retaining Washer fold flat when the mating panel is presented and screwed down with minimal thickness added to the assembly.
Recent regulations regarding movable guards and the retention of their retaining bolts, is a good example of an application where this product can be used.
This product in some regions is known as a "bolt retaining washer", but we prefer it to be known as a "bolt retaining push on fastener", a much better term for a precision produced component.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Baker & Finnemore Ltd & The Birth of Starlocks

Baker & Finnemore Ltd & The Birth of Starlocks
From 1849 to the Present Day
In The Beginning:
One of the oldest & most successful companies in Birmingham is the Company of Baker & Finnemore Ltd.
It was one of the "Big Thirteen" pen manufacturers of the nineteenth century alongside Companies like Wiley's owned by Millionaire Josiah Mason. Mitchell's, Gillotts & Hinks Wells Co that produced around 75% of entire pen nib manufacturing through out the entire world at that time. From its relative size Baker & Finnemore Ltd would have accounted for around 1-2% of that base.
Baker & Finnemore has its roots in Wagner Steel pens Co which in 1849 operated from No. 1 James Street in St Pauls Birmingham. Charles Wagner, the owner of the company & its founder, had in the early 1840's formed a company WAGNER & COTTERILL that made steel cabinets around Great Hampton Street. Wagner was a serial entrepreneur like many of his kind in the Britain of the industrial revolution. Born 1815 in Frankfurt Germany. He had by this time settled in George Street, Hockley in Birmingham & made cabinets for approximately 10 years until, for reasons unknown, the partnership with Cotterill was dissolved. At that time there was an explosion in Pen Manufacturing in Birmingham. This was due to new developments in the making of Pen Nibs firstly by the Mitchell Bros & latterly by Josiah Mason. Many small manufacturers began producing & sub contracting the making of Pen Nibs to larger companies. This highly profitable industry attracted the attention of Charles Wagner. He involved himself firstly in the manufacture of Pen nibs with Daniel Baker in Icknield Street in a Company called DANIEL BAKER (CHARLES WAGNER STEEL PEN NIBS) LTD in 1847 & later in 1848 started his own manufactory at 1 James Street known as Wagner Steel Pens at around the time of his marriage.
The factory at 1 James Street was run by Joseph Finnemore who along with his brother Michael were skilled toolmakers who had learned their skills from George Wells. In 1846 Joseph Finnemore had attempted to start up a pen manufactory of his own in EVANS & FINNEMORE situated on the site currently occupied by Bentley Jennison in Legge Street. Once again the reason for the failure of the partnership with Evans is lost in the mists of time, but, Joseph Finnemore re-surfaced at 1 James Street in 1850 living on the site of Wagner's pen factory.
In 1850/1 there was a significant change, Daniel Baker closed the Icknield Street site & transferred to 1 James Street, taking over the responsibility from Charles Wagner. For approximately 2 years Charles Wagner steel pens traded on the same site as Daniel Baker's however Baker in 1850 took on a new partner in Joseph Finnemore & formed Baker & Finnemore. Wagner finally moved premises to Cambridge Street where he briefly continued to make pens, ultimately opting, firstly, to move away from pen nib making to concentrate on hardware & then move into the import/export trade as a merchant .In the mid 1850's his business career was interrupted by a life threatening illness that would incapacitate him for 5 years. The exact illness is unknown but records show he needed constant care of a nurse during this period & thanked her by leaving a legacy for her in his will. He returned to business and became a founder & director of the Joint Stock Bank, chaired by Liberal Radical MP G.F.Muntz which for a time was the most successful Bank in Birmingham & eventually merged with Lloyd's Bank in 1888.The prestigious building that housed the business is now a much renowned Hostelry & theatre in Temple Street West in Birmingham City Centre. He lived his final years independently from his own means having achieved a measure of wealth although not being in the front rank of Birmingham industrialists like Joseph Chamberlain. He died at his home 132 Hagley Road in 1891.He left estate to the value of £159645.6s 3d (£11,907,462 in 2007).His estate for England was administered by Egerton Allcock a nut & bolt manufacturer employing 116 people (57 men 25 women 34 boys) & also Edward Owen an American Merchant Agent.
The last company Wagner was involved in was Parkes & Westwood of 46 Warstone Lane, It isn't clear if he owned the company or the building in which they were housed. The surviving company of Baker & Finnemore continued at 1 James Street eventually also expanding to No 2 James Street as well. Daniel Baker, who had traded as an accountant bookkeeper while with Charles Wagner, pursued a number of different business ventures ranging from property, insurance & being a Trustee of the St Phillips Beneficial Building Society. Although undoubtedly Baker & Finnemore was his main source of income, the day to day running of the business was left to Joseph Finnemore who concentrated solely on the James Street business. The census of 1851 & 1861 indicates that 108 people worked at the premises, 90 women 10 toolmakers & 5 boys & 3 management. The lack of greater expansion would indicate that Baker & Finnemore were only interested keeping the company a manageable size. Gilliotts had 500 people employed rising to 750 while Mason's Wiley Company rose from 650 to 1000 employees over the same period of time. Despite the static nature of the business Baker & Finnemore became one of the top 13 (big 13) pen nib manufacturers as others like Wagner himself left the industry & competion from the U.S.A in particular forced smaller companies out of business.
Life was tough working in the pen trade. The day started at 7am and finished at 8pm. There were 2 hours for meals & fines for poor workmanship, however, in many instances these fines paid for ambulances to take injured employees to hospital & eventual Christmas bonuses. Joseph Finnemore had lived at the works site when first becoming a partner in the business. He soon moved to Lees Terrace in Wheeler Street Hockley & in the 1860,s as he became more affluent, to Rose Hill in Handsworth near the site of Handsworth Grammar School. Daniel Baker also become more affluent but at a far greater pace reflecting that he had more business interests, indicating the he was the finance behind Baker & Finnemore while Joseph's tool making abilities made him the know how. Daniel lived in Sherlock Street Deritend when he married Bessie Rawlings in 1839 moving quickly to 119 Vyse Street in 1845.The home has long gone and is now the site of the post office where strangely Baker & Finnemore purchase stamps & tax their company cars, to think they are most likely standing in Daniel Baker's front room while waiting in line to be served!!!
He moved again in the 1850's to Balsall Heath near Edgbaston where his wife daughter Alice & Servant lived in relative comfort. Joseph Finnemore suffered from a heart defect & on June 24th 1874 died suddenly from a heart attack while visiting a drapers shop on Lozells Road. The shop owner Mary Wood tried to revive him but it was too late he was only 51 years old. His death coincided with what was known as the first recession that Britain had faced since the beginning of the industrial revolution indeed it was the first time that the term unemployment had come into use, if this situation contributed too his untimely demise we can only speculate. 1874 is the only year from 1850-1902 that a pen nib made by Baker & Finnemore is not available, historians to believe that Baker & Finnemore may have closed it's doors that year either for a re-organisation or a re-financing to relaunch the business. What happened to Joseph Finnemore's shareholding in the company is not known.
He had died in-testate & who inherited the holding is not clear. He died owning assets of less than £3,000(£185,000 in 2007) according to probate records. His affairs were handled by his son-in-law Charles Rettallak a Cornish Iron founder who was a director of Harper's Iron foundry in the Black Country & His son Rev Joseph Finnemore Jnr M.A. Ph.D who was a Wesleyan Minister in Doncaster at the time of Joseph's death. Joseph Finnemore Jnr was a very spiritual person who wrote two books that are available in the British Library they are "Power with God" & "Gloria Christi". Both books are in no way autobiographical and give no clues as to what happened. It also indicates that he was very much the junior partner in Baker & Finnemore as Daniel Baker was worth much more at this time. Daniel had to look to someone within his own family to carry the business forward.
The Barnwell Family
Daniel Baker did not have to look further than Joseph Barnwell who already was employed as a clerk in the company to take over. Joseph Barnwell was the great nephew Of Daniel Baker, his father Henry Barnwell having married Daniel's niece Ann Baker-Humphreys. They lived at 112 Rann Street Ladywood, Henry was a Gas Meter inspector while Joseph's brother Harry (sometimes called Harvey) was a Solicitors Clerk & later an estate agent in his own company Barnwell & Malin. Harry family gained some notoriety in later years as his daughter Dora was a noted suffragette & was imprisoned at one time in her efforts to obtain the vote for women. The change in personnel at the top brought about changes in policy regarding the company .Kelly's directory listing names of companies in Birmingham & their niche before 1874 had said Baker & Finnemore were solely makers of Steel Pen Nibs, however, after 1875 they described themselves as makers of Precision Pressings & Steel Pen Nibs. This may have to do with a new outlook from the top or it may be a response to Britain's first Industrial recession that I mentioned earlier, certainly many companies diversified, Hinks Wells made Pots & Pans as a sideline other pen nib manufacturers made furniture, it may be that Baker & Finnemore had made precision pressings before 1874, however, it was only from when the new management came into place that they advertised the new facility.
Joseph also paid great store by family. Although being a relative of Daniel's records only show that previously only Michael Finnemore was the only relation other than Joseph in the factory. Records show that from 1875 whole families began to work at the factory to such a degree that it must have been a deliberate policy. Joseph brought into the company his sister Elizabeth Barnwell who worked as an accounts clerk from 1875- 1890.He also brought into the company his two son's upon reaching working age. First the eldest Arthur who was installed as Assistant Works Manager & Leslie who possibly took over in the accounts from Elizabeth when she retired. Henry Jenkins was a child who lived next door to Charles Wagner in 1860, He began work at Baker & Finnemore in around 1876 & brought his entire family with him, His wife Elizabeth & daughter Ellen operated the Hand presses.
Harry Watson began working there at around the same time his Daughter Adelaide & son Sydney were press operators & warehouseman respectively, John Hopkins ran the warehouse even before Joseph Barnwell arrived, his wife & daughter (both named Mary) also worked at the factory, John's outstanding service of some 45 yrs s was rewarded with £100 legacy in Daniel Baker's will, he seemed to only work for 1 company until he died in 1906 aged 79.Michael Scott was a clerk who lived in Livery Street who's wife & sister were both employed there, it seemed that Joseph wanted to create a true family environment at the factory.
How much Daniel did in his later years at the factory is hard to tell up until the 1890 census he continued to describe himself as a pen manufacturer. In 1891 he described himself as living by his own means, which meant he had effectively retired an educated guess at when the company changed hands to Joseph Barnwell would be 1885 on his 70th birthday. Upon his death in 1897 he left a legacy of £275 (£21,447 in 2007 money) to be shared amongst the workforce of Baker & Finnemore. Daniel was also a strong Unitarian & left £50 (£3800) to the Unitarian Church at Newhall Hill as well as money for the homeopathic Hospital, The Hurst Street mission. The blind asylum, Queens Hospital, Middlemore's Emigration Home for Boys The eye Hospital & the deaf, dumb & blind associations. He also left £5 to Graham Street School.
Daniel left his Properties in Balsall heath & Kent Street to his spinster daughter Alice with the proviso that his wife Bessie could live at Balsall Heath until she dies. All in All Daniel left £7900 (£580,000 in 2007).Bessie eventually died in 1906. Alice disappears from records after this time; however, as far as Baker & Finnemore were concerned he had already transferred assets to Joseph Barnwell.
After the sharp recession of the 1870's Baker & Finnemore prospered and expanded under Joseph Barnwell's direction. The number of people employed at the factory rose to over 150 & further premises were acquired at no 4 Brook Street to add to numbers, 1 & 2 James Street. The Education acts of 1870 & 1902 improved adult literacy levels & created a larger market for pen manufacturing, this disguised the fact that foreign competition from Germany & USA were eating into Britain's industrial market share.
Joseph Barnwell became a relatively wealthy man. He left behind Ladywood for the leafy suburb of Edgbaston employing a maid & a cook. The family home in St Augustine's Road was a stone throw away from the homes of many of Birmingham's top industrialists & civic leaders such as Neville Chamberlain. He died in 1910 leaving behind a legacy of £22,000(£1,200,000 2007) The value of Baker & Finnemore at that time was roughly £7,000 (£475,000 2007) which he left to be evenly split between his sons Arthur & Leslie. His daughter Florence received property in Dawlish Road Selly Oak. Leslie & Florence had by this time married into the Green family, Florence married Howard Green & Leslie married Howard's sister Lillian. The Green's father was Managing Director of Plant, Green & Manton a button manufacturer in Gt Hampton Street which was to merge with two other smaller manufacturers to become Buttons Ltd and go on to become the biggest linen button maker in the world during the 1920's & 30's. Arthur & Leslie upon receiving the legacy started putting the company on a more modern footing. In 1911 they incorporated the company officially so that for the first time in its 60 year existence it became a Public Limited Company.
The War Years
The intervention of the First World War saw production altered to suit war requirements. Kelly's directory of services states that Baker & Finnemore were approved by the War Office, many companies in the Pen trade were allied with the nearby gun trade in the production of armourments, most in the industry found their machinery for pen nib production made a an easy changeover for the making of rifle clips, many people writing in historical terms said the World War 1 came down to a straight fight between the mighty German company Krupps v Birmingham for production of frontline weapons.
The next significant change for Baker & Finnemore Ltd was to move in 1922 to larger premises in Newhall Street. The old site of 1 & 2 James Street & 4 Brook Street changed hands a number of times in the ensuing years but now houses the Royal Birmingham Society Of Artists opened by Prince Charles in 2000 & backs on to the current Baker & Finnemore Ltd site. It is probably safe to say that the Profits made from World War 1 helped establish the move. The site in 1901 was indeed residential housing & the different room lay outs can still be seen when walking around the factory today.
The period between the wars were times of stability. Although having a half share each in the company it was the eldest of the siblings Arthur who became the dominant partner, there were various fluctuations in the shareholding in this period & in 1939 Leslie finally severed all ties with the company & sold out to his brother on the eve of World War 2. Leslie more or less lived off the proceeds of the money he received from his sale. He lived until 1971 & died at Bucknell Shropshire leaving what was left of his estate to his daughter Heather & son-in-law Geoffrey Lowe who lived at Tanworth-in-Arden.
Arthur continued during the War to run the family business, the bombing raids of the Luftwaffe meant that it was a much more perilous thing to do than in World War 1. Several times Production was stopped due to bombs being dropped in the vicinity. One large bomb in 1940 destroyed factories in nearby Brook Street & it was several days before production could re-start in the area. The conclusion of the war co-insided with the 65th Birthday of Arthur Barnwell & he duly set about re-financing the Company in a way that would ensure it's continuation & reduce his own personal involvement. To this end a management team of Tom Sadler, Wilfred Sharman & George Griffiths joined Edward Barnwell, Arthur's son, & took over the day to day running of the company. Tom Sadler who was an accountant also bought a substantional minority shareholding in the company, the first person from outside of the Barnwell/Baker family to own part of the company since Joseph Finnemore in the 1870's.
Introduction of the Starlock Push On Fastener
The re-financing took place in 1947 & Arthur was to live a further six years as Chairman of the company before passing away in Jan 1953. It was under the new management team that Baker & Finnemore developed a new product that retained a form of fastener around a spindle. This was called the Starlock Push on Fastener which its developer Sales Director Wilfred Sharman offered as a solution to many other applications. In the late 1950's & early 1960's a range of imperial inch sizes were produced to cover the large manufacturing base in Britain. The product soon came to the attention of European Manufacturers & an exclusive agreement in 1962 with Dutch businessman Ferdinand Voss saw his company B.V.Pressmetaal distribute a range of metric sizes to continental Europe. Further innovations in the Starlock took place with a decorative cap being placed over the fastener doubling the range available.
The Starlock product finally overtook the production of spring steel pressings as the main manufacturing process in the early 1970's. Due to this development production requirements increased so the company upgraded the tooling facilities to meet demand. Special purpose machines were designed by the company for its own use & can still be seen in operation today.
The 1970's was a demanding decade for British manufacturing. Baker & Finnemore rose to the challenge by developing many non-standard parts tailor made to customer's requirements & these soon out numbered standard everyday parts by the Mid-70's. There were also changes in the boardroom during the 70's Edward Barnwell died suddenly in 1971 only months after his uncle Leslie. This brought into the company his son John Barnwell who had worked at Fort Dunlop. George Griffith's retired in 1976 & Tom Sadler assumed the Chairmanship & Managing Directorship. Wilfred Sharman also retired & was replaced by Stanley George. They were also joined by John Chambers who ran the production within the factory. In 1976 the company bought new premises attached to the Newhall Street site in Graham Street, this eased the problems caused by the greater need for Production area.
In 1984 Tom Sadler retired at the age of 70. John Barnwell joined his predecessors Joseph & Arthur in becoming Managing Director of the company as well as Chairman. Stanley George & John Chambers also both became Joint Managing Directors alongside John Barnwell & they took the company through to the 90,s, Stanley George retired in 1989 secuming to Cancer only just over a year later. His place on the board in 1991was taken by Derek Sharp who had previously been Works Manager & served mostly as John Chambers's deputy. A year later in 1992 John Duckworth assumed a full place on the board as Finance Director. He was the company accountant & had been the company secretatary while working also as a director for his father's manufacturing company of W.K.Duckworth which went into voluntary liquidation upon his father's death in 1989. John Chambers retired in 1994 leaving John Barnwell in total control as Chairman & Managing director. Kenneth Cox the Works Manager then joined them on the board in 1996.
New Millennium
In the year 2000 John Barnwell began working only on a part-time basis upon reaching his 65th Birthday. First Derek Sharp & a year later John Duckworth Became Joint Managing Directors while John remained Chairman. Kenneth Cox left the company in 2003 & it was announced that John Barnwell wished to take his full retirement, being as there were no suitable candidate to continue from the Barnwell family, Derek Sharp announced he was going to put together a plan for a management buy out of the company from the various members of the Barnwell family and other minority shareholders such as the surviving widow of Tom Sadler, indeed, by this time John Barnwell was the only major shareholder who was male & have had experience working for the company.
During the negotiating period John Barnwell supplemented the Board with the other major shareholder, his adopted sister Elizabeth Barnwell, his solicitor & accountant. The negotiations were long & protracted during which time John Duckworth left the company in 2005 after 30yrs service. He was replaced by Ian Packer who had been previously a London director of the South African Investec Bank.
The Barnwell links with Baker & Finnemore were finally severed when the management team of Derek Sharp, Ian Packer, Paul Yates & John Clark finally purchased the company in August 2006. It was the first time since 1869 that a member of the Barnwell family had no interest in the firm. The new set of directors has set about modernising the company bringing new equipment & modernising Production Practises in line with other manufacturers.
Today over 500 million fasteners leave Birmingham for destinations of over 50 countries all over the World. We can only wonder what historians will make of Baker & Finnemore's Place in the history over the next 160 years.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Starlock Fastener Exhibition

Visit Baker & Finnemore Ltd to see our ranges of Starlocks, Bolt Retainers and Precision Pressings at the

Fastener Exhibition 12th May 2011

Or Visit to see our full range of Starlocks, Bolt Retainers and Precision Pressings

Starlock Push On Fasteners

Starlock Push On Fasteners, Washers and Precision Pressings manufactured by Baker and Finnemore and exported World Wide