Nursery Today magazine

The first Silver Cross pram returns home

Silver Cross are delighted to have purchased, at auction, one of their own first patented sprung prams.

Originating from 1878, it is truly remarkable that it has survived and returned home in its original, unrestored condition.

The perambulator made by William Wilson (Hunslett, Leeds) was the undoubted star of the show when it was sold at specialist auction house Vectis this week.

The pram will form the centrepiece of a display charting the history of Silver Cross at head office in Skipton, Yorkshire.

Silver Cross are thrilled to have snapped up the original pram. The pram is a rare piece of social and manufacturing history being the only known example from 1878 with the patent still attached.

Produced by William Wilson, later to become Silver Cross, synonymous with the traditional coach building of fine baby carriages from 1877.

Founded at a works in Hunslet Leeds by William Wilson, the Silver Cross works was moved to Guiseley in Yorkshire. Here he developed and then patented a new method of attaching a carriage body to a chassis, by way of a CEE spring (so called because of the shape of the spring).
He had learned his trade as a spring smith at the Old Leeds firm of Simpson and Fawcett, before beginning his own pram factory company in 1877.

This allowed for the spring to be attached by use of a leather strap, which resulted in a much more comfortable and balanced ride for a young child or baby.

When the patent was granted in 1877 it was seen as a radical way forward in comfort for a baby, being pushed on what at the time could be uneven cobbled terrain.

Upon his death in 1913, William Wilson passed the business on to his three sons, who then formed the Silver Cross Company.

“We are absolutely delighted to have had the opportunity to bring the original historical pram back home. It is a reminder of revolutionary British design that changed the face of the pram industry. I have worked with Silver Cross for a large part of my career and it is proud personal moment to have had the opportunity to unite a 138-year-old Silver Cross heirloom with our current product collection.
“When we heard the pram was up for auction it was must have purchase for Silver Cross. We are a close team and our heritage is considered in every product we create. Having a piece of design history on site is dream come true, an everyday reminder of the Silver Cross journey,” said Nick Paxton, the CEO of Silver Cross.

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