Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: September 17, 2019
Webpage updated: September 17, 2019




The Plymouth business house of Messrs Arthur Brand Limited, originally ironmongers but later wireless and refrigeration dealers, were located at 33 Mutley Plain before and after the Second World War.

Abraham Brand was born in Austria in 1884, the eldest son of Mr Tobias Brand and Mrs Maryann (sic) Brand, who were both Austrian.  At the time of the census in 1891 the family were living at 51 Union Street, East Stonehouse, where Tobias was a furniture dealer.  Their daughter, Emily, was born there in 1890.

At the age of 14 he started working for his father in his furniture business.  However, in 1907 he set up in business on his own account, with just 25, as an ironmonger, plumber and gas fitter at 33 Mutley Plain, next door to the Plymouth Co-operative Society's butchery.

On March 4th 1908 Mr Arthur Brand, as he was known by then, married Miss Esther Rose Robins at the Hebrew Synagogue in Plymouth.

In 1932 he organised a scheme for renting out radios at 2s 6d a week, which he regarded as the commencement of the business.  Mr Brand lived nearby at number 8 St Lawrence Road.  His father, Tobias, was still dealing in furniture but had moved his business to 33 Frankfort Street.

Clearly the radio was beginning to have an impact in Plymouth because within just three years Tobias had changed his principal business to that of wholesale wireless supplies.  Arthur, however, was still listed as an ironmonger.

Mr Tobias Brand died on Saturday February 15th 1936 and was buried in the Jewish Cemetery at Mutley.  He was 71 years of age.

His business continued in his name, possibly being run by his widow, until the premises were destroyed during the March air raids of 1941.  His widow, Mrs Miriam Hannah Brand, died on June 22nd 1950 at the age of 87 years.

Mr Arthur Brand was just a bit luckier.  Although his refrigeration showroom in Old Town Street and his radio shop in Drake Circus were both destroyed in the same air raid of March 21st/22nd 1941, Mutley Plain was untouched by the bombing.  He was therefore able to continue as before at number 33 Mutley Plain.  At that shop he dealt in domestic and commercial refrigeration equipment, including dairy and iced cream manufacturing plant, electrical equipment and sold wireless sets.  He also added another shop at numbers 1 and 3 Mutley Plain.  It might be mentioned that he re-employed all the staff who had gone on war service. 

Mr Arthur Brand died on Sunday May 15th 1960.  He was 76 years of age and was survived by his widow and two married daughters.

Mrs Esther Rose Brand died on December 8th 1970 and was also buried at the Jewish Cemetery at Mutley.

It is not known when the business ceased to trade but it is thought to have been in the 1970s.