This trade was introduced in the reign of William III, at the suggestion of Sir Richard Newdegate, in 1689. About 10,000 persons are employed in this trade. All barrels are proved at the Proof House in Banbury Street (which is worth a visit), and in sixteen years more than 8,000,000 barrels were proved. There are a very large number of gunmakers, but a visit to the works of the Small Arms Company, Small Heath, will afford a good idea of the methods of manufacture. In the centre of town are the works of Cooper & Goodman, Woodcock Street; Webley & Son, Weaman Street; Westley Richards & Co., High Street; and W. Greener, Loveday Street.
Source: The Foresters’ Guide to Birmingham and Its Neighbourhood. Presented by the Demonstration Committee to the Delegates In High Court Meeting, Assembled in Birmingham, August, 1883.Specially Prepared For the Occasion by John Alfred Langford, LL.D; F.R.H.S. Birmingham: James Upton, Baskerville Printing Works, Great Charles Street. 1883