The company that was to become Armitage Shanks was founded in 1817 by Thomas Bond. In 1819 he went bankrupt and sold out to John Haynes, after which it passed through various owners.
Up to 1850 the products were entirely domestic ware, but another change of ownership in 1851 was followed by a major change in product. The business was acquired by Salt & Swan who commenced the manufacture of sanitary ware, and by 1855 had gained such confidence that they exhibited at the 1855 Paris Exhibition.
Rev. Edward Johns became its owner in 1867 and traded as Edward Johns. Business boomed once the provision of railway sidings and a railway station were introduced in 1876, and they exhibited once again, this time in the Philadelphia Exhibition 1876. After Edward Johns’ death, his son, E.L.W. Johns took over. The company was sold once again and on 28th September 1900 Edmund R Corn and his brother Alfred took over the business and continued to increase its size.
Mr Alan Stott and his brother Kenneth became joint managing directors in the early 1920′s and were instrumental in pioneering the first ever coloured ware. After 1945 came boom time to satisfy the needs of new housing to replace that destroyed by the war.
The company went public in 1963 and although, the John’s influence ceased in 1900, the company continued to trade as Edward Johns until as recently as 1960 when the name changed to Armitage Ware Limited. In 1965 it merged with Shanks in Scotland and became Armitage Shanks Limited. By December 1980, Armitage Shanks had become a wholly owned subsidiary of Blue Circle Industries, and in February 1999 American Standard became the new owners.