John Sutton Nettlefold

John Sutton Nettlefold

John Sutton Nettlefold (1792 – 1866) was a British industrialist and entrepreneur.


In 1823, Nettlefold opened a hardware store at 54 High Holborn, London. This was followed in 1826 by a workshop to make wood-screws based in Sunbury-on-Thames. The Sunbury factory was powered by a waterwheel and Nettlefold saw the importance of motive power when he took advantage of steam power in a new factory in Baskerville Place, off Broad Street, Birmingham.[1]

Nettlefold was a Unitarian and he married a co-religionist Martha Chamberlain (1794–1866), the sister of a Joseph Chamberlain and the aunt of Joseph Chamberlain, his more famous son and namesake. In 1854, Nettlefold acquired the opportunity to purchase a license to manufacture to a U.S. patent for a novel woodscrew. The license, and the establishment of a new factory, demanded an investment of £ 30,000. Nettlefold sought and obtained the involvement of his brother-in-law as equal partner for an investment of £ 10,000 and the two established a factory in Smethwick, leaving its management to their sons, Edward John and Joseph Henry Nettlefold, and the junior Joseph Chamberlain.[1]

In later years, the management of Nettlefold and Chamberlain was passed to Joseph and Frederick Nettlefold, and later was absorbed into Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds[1], now GKN plc is a multinational engineering company headquartered in Redditch.


  1. ^ a b c Smith (2004)