From this simple beginning in 1923, the present-day company
E. & S.W Knowles was born.

Throughout the generations of the Knowles family, we have continuously developed to suit the needs of the construction industry. We now offer products that are FSC certified, this non-profit organisation works to promote the sustainable management of the world’s forests.  Sustainable materials are important to us as ever growing concerns over sustainability shape the world of British and European manufacturing.

Did you know?

The story behind the name of E. & S.W Knowles, is actually a very simple one. The E stands for Elizabeth who is the mother of (S) Stanley & wife of  (W) William Knowles.

The story is of William (Bill) Knowles who was a miner in the Lozells district of Birmingham in the early 1920’s. Bill would observe piles of sawdust at his father’s place of work, Dossett’s who made cases for the local jewellery and cigar trades. He saw in this an opportunity to get out of the mines by investing £4 in a cart so that he could haul sawdust around the many engineering companies in the neighbourhood.
Unfortunately, William Knowles died in 1942, and the company tended to stagnate for some years: that is until his stepson Horace Wright, tired of working in the electrical industry, joined the business in 1946.
The entrepreneurial spirit rose again to the surface with Horace Wright exploring every opportunity that gave a glimmer of prospect, the most significant of which entailed the collection of timber offcuts from the Morris Motors bodyshop and their conversion into skittle boxes, pram handles, mirror back, fire surrounds.
Business prospered, leading to the occupation of a new factory in 1967 and the formation of a Limited Company in 1969. “To put it on a sound footing”, quoted Horace Wright, “for the future of succeeding generations”. The company traded primarily in Birmingham. Horace quickly acquired the name of ‘Dusty.
With the craze of the 70’s skateboards. With this line, they claim to have made the largest boards on the market. In 1975, Horace's son Martin Wright was appointed for the Managing Director position. The company was run by Martin and Richard Wright (brother of Martin). They had built the company to 20 people, with a turnover of £1m and taken the next step towards further recognition as specialist wood machinists.
Martin Wright continued to invest in the company, making key decisions when it came to quality machinery. In the late 80’s, Knowles completed the acquisition of JR Partitioning Supplies. This acquisition opened up another area of diversification by way of custom-made doors (complete with glazed vision panels if required), Paramount Partition, Extruded Aluminium Hardwood Door Frames, Plasterboard.
The company continued to prosper, with the expansion of the premises to increase floor space to 10,000 square feet. This was done to cope with further expansion of the business.
In 2004 Knowles moved into a purpose-built factory of almost 50,000 square feet, allowing further expansion of the business.
2021 - present day
The company continues to deliver the entrepreneurial spirit with sales over £10m. With continued investment in it's people and industry leading machinery, the Knowles legacy will continue on for generations to come. Steve Horner is now the Managing Director with the family connection being maintained by Martin Wright as Chairman.