A complimentary article on JW & E Sowman is re-printed from ‘Agricultural Engineering’ dated September 1922:

A Century Old Firm of Agricultural Engineers

There must be some secret of success about a firm that has been in existence over one hundred years, and it was this fact that encouraged us to enquire about the business of Messrs. J W & E Sowman, Ltd., at 33, Market Place, Olney, Bucks. These people are wholesale and retail ironmongers, oil colour merchants and seedsmen, their registered and general offices, warehouse and showrooms being at Market Place, while their cycle department is situated at 22, High Street South, and they have also a branch cash stores in Dartmouth Road, Olney. This is an important and very old-established firm of entirely British origin, being founded, as we have before mentioned, over a century ago, by one Joseph Palmer. This gentleman was succeeded by Mr. Thomas Cooper, who conducted the business until the year 1888, and finally the establishment was acquired by Messrs. John William Sowman and Edwin Sowman, and continued under the style of Messrs. J. W. & E. Sowman, being incorporated in May 1912. It is one of the oldest and best known local houses in the trade and their premises are very extensive, covering an area of at least two thousand five hundred square yards, and all their shops are perfectly equipped with all the latest appliances for ensuring highly efficient service to their long list of customers. In normal times they find employment for over thirty employees in the various departments.

Sheep netting and agricultural equipment on the Market Place opposite No. 33 in 1922

 We have always maintained that it is better to deal with a firm, or an individual, with a reputation to lose than one with a reputation to make, and from our own knowledge of the methods of doing business as adopted by Messrs. J. W. & E. Sowman Ltd; we have not the slightest hesitation in thoroughly recommending them to any of our readers who appreciate a square deal. Their connections cover a very wide area, and it speaks very well for their fairness of dealing that complaints are very few and far between. This fairness of dealing is their secret of success; and the result is that customers, once they get to know the firm, remain staunch clients for ever afterwards.Their operations cover a whole range of agricultural implements. They specialise in ‘Victory’ Sheep Netting, and we need not emphasise the fact that good sheep netting is essential to the modern farmer, although this question is too often overlooked and sometimes forgotten altogether. (As shown in the photograph on the left) Another line of theirs is ‘The Comfort’ Cottage Range, which has proved very popular throughout a wide area. Other activities include cycles and motor cycles. They are also electric and hot water engineers, general furnishing and builders’ ironmongers, shoe grindery merchants, house furnishers, gas, tin and coppersmiths, artificial manure merchants, crockery merchants, etc. Their trade mark, ‘Cowper’s Oak Tree’, is, of course, very well known.From quite a humble start this business has worked up a very large clientele, and the development of the business is due to the initiative and enterprise of the management, as well as their straight-forward system of dealing with clients. Messrs. Sowman are always ready and pleased to place their extensive knowledge at the service of the potential buyer, and customers have found from experience that they can invariably rely upon their advice and recommendations with every confidence.

Mr. John William Sowman is chairman and joint managing director; Mr. Edwin Sowman is joint managing director, and Mr. Alfred William Rudkin Sowman is secretary and director. In the small space allotted to us by the Editor it is not possible to do full justice to this establishment, but we are pleased to include this firm in our list of reviews for agricultural implements.

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