In 1854 Mr Edward Cole a highly skilled leather case, portmanteau and trunk maker had the foresight to register his invention for the improvement to the closure of leather travelling bags, his new air and water tight seal was registered and patented to create what is known today as the Gladstone Bag.
First registered on 4th February 1854 and sealed as a patent on 14th July 1854, Edward worked out of a leather workshop on Hemmings Row, St Martin in the Fields – London.
With neighbours as diverse as wine merchants and tobacconists, shell fishmongers and ivory turners, the end of the row housed a girl’s school and opposite was a Victorian work house for the poor.
On the death of Edward in 1872 two of his sons took over the running of the business. With the planned demolition of Hemmings Row in 1888 to make way for the extension to the National Gallery, the brothers moved the business to 24a Floral Street, Covent Garden. Edward and James continued their late fathers work making leather goods and luggage for their own brand and other prestigious names such as Rolls Royce and Asprey.
In 1907 they changed the name from Edwards Cole to Cole Brothers and the process began in creating
the brand we know today.
During the 20th Century with the changing of fashions and modernisation of travelling the brothers and their families recognised they had to change with the times.
Diversifying into the manufacturing of small leather goods such as wallets, small cases, along with belts and braces completed with their Original Gladstone bag gives us the brand we know and love today.
Emulated and copied by many,
there is only one Original Cole Brothers Gladstone Bag.