A photograph of the Stannah founders

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Keeping people and goods moving since 1867

2017 is a year of celebration for Stannah. This year will mark 150 years since Joseph Stannah founded the business back in 1867, providing cranes and hoists to make things easier in the docks of London. A lot has happened since then – wars, financial crises, the invention of the car, the telephone, space travel – yet some things, like the need to get goods and people from one floor to another and the Stannah family commitment to Joseph’s values of quality and integrity, have not changed.

It’s not always been a smooth ride for the company though, Leslie Stannah had to rebuild the company from scratch after the Second World War and the early 60s saw the business in a precarious position but it was ably rescued by the young Brian and Alan Stannah, who have since built the business in to the household name it is today.

Scroll down to take a tour through our history.

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1867

Joseph Stannah established the company in London, making hoists and cranes for the dockyards before embarking on passenger lifts.

Stannah Facts…

1881
Stannah was regularly advertising and submitting articles and comments to the press on subjects as diverse as craneslifts, locomotive stuffing boxes and engines.
1897
Joseph Stannah wrote his Rules of Life. The Rules of Life are twelve motto’s for running a happy life and a successful business and still inform the way we operate the business today.

Meanwhile…

Britain was in the midst of an industrial revolution, with pioneers such as Brunel pushing forward a radical change in transportation and the development of a new railway network across Britain. The landscape of Victorian Britain was changing and it was time for new ideas to emerge.

1871
The Royal Albert Hall was opened by Queen Victoria.
1876
The first telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson.
1879
The lightbulb was invented by Thomas Edison.
1888
The Eiffel Tower was built.
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1900

Joseph’s son Albert Stannah developed the company’s designs and marketing operation and moved the business from 20 Southwark Bridge Road to nearby Skin Market Place, Bankside.

Stannah Facts…

1904
The Builder publication indicated that competition was fierce with at least 10 other competitors in the Lifts industry.
1915-16
There were no products delivered. Production started again in 1917.
1911
Albert Stannah (son of Joseph Stannah), built a small factory in Boreham Essex. It was believed to have been engaged in war production later on.
1925
Albert’s son Leslie Stannah developed his technical knowledge in America before returning to work with other lift manufacturers.

Meanwhile…

1905
Einstein wrote the Theory of Relativity.
1914-18
First World War.
1922
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was established.
1926
Queen Elizabeth II is born on April 21st.
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1938

During the war the family factory received a direct hit from a German bomber, putting operations on hold. There was no factory, machinery, designs, components or staff left.

Stannah Facts…

1944
Leslie is awarded the King’s Commendation for courage in the face of the enemy and became a Lt Commander L Stannah in the Royal Navy Supplementary Volunteer Reserve (RNSVR) by the end of the War. He also helped to train new recruits at HMS Duke in Malvern.
1945
Leslie returns from the war to rebuild the factory . They set up in a Nissen Hut, manufacturing Stannahs post-war lifts, exporting to Palestine and Ceylon.
1950
There were around 20 people working in the business, today there are over 1800.

Meanwhile…

1939-45
Second World War.
1943
Alan Turing develops the code-breaking machine Colossus.
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1955

Leslie’s sons Alan and Brian Stannah joined the business in 1958. They begin the process of streamlining production and introducing new products such as dumbwaiters and maxilifts to the product portfolio.

Stannah Facts…

1960
Stannah undertook a contract to install a lift in the ten-deck 80,000 oil tanker (the Marquina).
1965
Alan and Brian open the first service branch in Eastbourne.
1968
The first maxilift passenger lifts were introduced standardising the lift range whilst still allowing for bespoke production.
1974
Stannah moved their main manufacturing unit to Andover from London.
1974
Stannah Microlifts was started - marketing dumbwaiter lifts, they were advertised with the slogan ‘Straight Up Sir’.

Meanwhile…

1957
Sptunik I and II launched by the Russians.
1969
Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon.
1973-74
An economic crisis across the globe involving oil shortages and miners strikes, meant the introduction of a 3 day working week.

1975

Stannah manufactured its first stairlift and began exporting the range in 1979. This was followed by a flurry of new innovations – some successful and some not.

Distributorships were successfully set up in Holland, Germany and Japan.

Stannah Facts…

1977
The new straight rail stairlifts were launched at the NAIDEX exhibition.
1980
A new logo, the first to use the famous Stannah bird of freedom was introduced.

Meanwhile…

1975
Steven Sasson invented the digital camera.
1976
The Concorde had its first commercial flight, from London to Bahrain.
1979
Sony introduced the Walkman.

1985

Stannah Stairlifts became a global market leader and achieved the first of many prestigious Queen’s Awards.

Her majesty makes the awards on the advice of the prime minister and they are announced annually on the Queen’s birthday in April.

Stannah Facts…

1986
Brian’s eldest son Jon, joined the family business.
1988
Stannah introduced goods lifts into the product portfolio supplying them as back of house lifts for hotels, factories, supermarkets and convenience stores.

Meanwhile…

1986
The disposable camera was invented.
1987
DNA first used to convict criminals.
1990
The World Wide Web invented by Tim Berners-Lee.

1990

Stannah Stairlifts opened subsidiaries in the USA and Holland and produced its 100,000th stairlift. The division also won a further two Queen’s Awards for Export Achievement.

Stannah Facts…

1993
Stannah started selling their first platform lifts in line with the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) coming into force in 1995.
1993
Brian’s son Patrick joined the business.
1994
The inclined wheelchair platform lift was introduced to the Lifts range.
1996
Stannah Lifts started manufacturing their own Midilift range in Andover and have sold more than 5000 since its introduction.
1997
Alan’s son Alastair joined the business.

Meanwhile…

1994
The Channel Tunnel opened.
1998
Titanic becomes the most successful movie ever.
1999
The Blackberry phone was released

2000

The company unveiled its groundbreaking MRC passenger lift, one of the world’s first hydraulic machine-room-less lifts and purchased stairlift distributors in France and Belgium.

The company opened a new £5m Stannah Stairlift factory in Tyneside.

Stannah Facts…

2005
Brian’s son Nick joined the business.

Meanwhile…

2000
The world’s first mass produced hybrid electric vehicle – The Toyota Prius was manufactured.
2003
The Mars Exploration Rover was launched.
2004
Facebook launched.
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2010

Brian's son Jon Stannah introduces escalators and moving walkways to their product portfolio and their lift service division wins the contract to maintain all Network Rail lifts in the UK.

In 2011 Stannah welcomed HRH the Prince of Wales to Stannah on the occasion of the manufacture of their 500,000th stairlift production.

Stannah Facts…

2009
The Xtralift passenger lift range was introduced, increasing Stannah’s expertise to cover lifts for up to 33 people and enabling them to work on more complex projects.
2010
Stairlifts secured the Queens award for the 4th time.

Meanwhile…

2009
Water is discovered on the moon.
2010
Apple launches the iPad tablet
2012
London hosts the 20th Olympic Games.

2015

The company installed lifts and escalators into some major infrastructure projects: King’s Cross, Paddington, London Bridge, Reading, Nottingham and many more station upgrades. Moving walkways were installed in many major supermarkets nationwide.

2015 was a year of milestones for Stannah as we celebrated 20,000 passenger and platform lifts being sold and 40 years of stairlifts.

Stannah Facts…

2014
20,000 microlifts are sold by Stannah.
2015
Stannah partnered with The Silverline to mark the 40th anniversary of the introduction of its stairlifts.
2016
Stannah introduced Loading Systems into the product range.
2016
Stannah acquired Global Upholstery Solutions.
2016
Alan’s daughter Helen, joined the business.

Meanwhile…

2013
Prince George was born on 22nd July, making him third in line to the British throne.
2015
Queen Elizabeth became the longest reigning monarch in British history.
2016
Mother Theresa was recognised by Pope Francis as a Saint.

2017

The company celebrates its 150th anniversary

Stannah has 11 branches nationwide

Stannah has operations across the globe

Stannah has installed over 45,000 commercial lift products

Stannah now has lifts in major train stations across the UK

Stannah has installed over 600,000 stairlifts

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