J. H. Steward

 James Henry Steward (1817–1896) established J.H. Steward in London in 1852. As “Head Optician”. J.H Steward became incorporated as J.H. Steward Limited on 1st February, 1913. The company produced a large range of items for military use and advertised in their catalogues that they produced instruments for ‘Reconnoitring, Sketching, Night Marching, Signally, Gun Laying’. They were well thought of with their work to such a standard that they were opticians to ‘The British & Foreign Governments, the National Rifle Associations of England, India, Canada & the Colonies and the National Artillery Association.

They traded from the following locations:

1856 - 1971 406, The Strand – London W.C. 2

1866 - +/-1893 54, Cornhill – London E.C. 3

1867 - +/-1930 63, St. Paul’s Churchyard – London E.C. 4

1869 - +/-1930 66, The Strand – London W.C. 2

1886 - 1928 457, West Strand – London W.C. 2

1893 - +/-1905 7, Gracechurch Street – London E.C 3

1971 – 1973 Catherine Street – London W.C. 2 (just around the corner from 406, The Strand)

1973 - 1975 154, Church Road, Hove, Sussex

The family business was passed on solely through the male line. In 1971, after selling the head office they moved all the remaining stock and long serving staff member, George Goble (c. 1916-1975), around the corner to rented premises in Catherine Street. George, a dispensing optician, was now the only member of staff – running the shop but mainly retained to provide a service to long-standing customers and to reduce the stock levels. Then the remaining instrument part of the business finally moved out of London to Hove, Sussex in 1973. In 1975, despite the efforts of the founder’s great-grandson and his wife, the business closed its doors for the last time.