Records were transferred from the Local Studies Collection in February 2001.
Administrative / biographical background:
The firm was established by Mr Myles Birkett Foster in 1829. At the request of Mr Michael Thomas Bass as an experiment he undertook the bottling of a barrel of Bass's India Pale Ale. This was the start of a long association with the brewery, which was on such a large scale that by 1874 Foster's were ordering 38,600 barrels from Bass at a cost of £115,800. As well as Bass beer the firm also bottled Guiness, Devonshire Cider, "Thatched Barn", and Scottish Whiskey. The firm rapidly expanded under the control of Foster's sons, Dodshon Foster and John Harrison Foster. The firm's business was initially conducted from property in Lisson Grove until 1874 when the firms' main premises at 242-244 Marylebone Road were opened (with a further large extension in 1892). By 1929 these premises had the capacity to store 3,750 barrels and 8 million bottles and had an annual turnover of 41.5 million bottles. An additional store was opened in Woolwich in 1873 where all the cider was bottled and through which bottles were exported. In 1832 offices were opened at the Queen's Bazaar, Oxford Street and in 1851 were expanded to 27 Brook Street, where they remained until 1894 (when they moved to the Marylebone Road site). In 1890 the firm became a limited company and in 1894 a branch was opened in Brighton. It seems that serious financial losses suffered by the firm between 1952 and 1955 forced the merger of the firm with A Probyn & Co Limited to form Foster and Probyn Limited in 1958.