Object in Focus - Kent's Brushes

This large enamelled metal letter 'K' once graced the chimney of Kent's brush factory in Apsley.

Kent's was established by William Kent in 1777 in London and moved to the Apsley site in 1904 from where it still operates. The company became very successful and have held a Royal Warrant since George III. Towards the end of the 19th century 600 staff were employed, with more than a quarter of them making toothbrushes.

During the First World War, Kent's supplied the War Office with all sorts of brushes for soldiers' kits, including shaving, shoe polishing and button brushes. The business was taken over by the Cosby family in 1932 when the last of the Kent brothers passed away. Today many of the original brushes are still handmade. Perhaps you own a Kent brush.

©Dacorum Heritage Trust

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