Made In Sheffield
Sheffield has a long and proud history as a producer city. It became famous for products with a cutting edge, which have been made in the areas surrounding Sheffield for a long time.The first official reference is a tax return of Robert the Cutler, which was filed in 1297.
The area was ideally suited to the production of items with a cutting edge. The valleys with rivers supplied the waterpower, the crags overlooking the Hope Valley provided the grit stone for producing grinding wheels and the availability of iron ore, a source for the basic raw materials.
By 1624, the date of the original Act establishing the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire, there was a thriving industry producing cutlery (knives), edge tools (items such as wood chisels) and agricultural implements (scythes and sickles). Most of these were produced for markets outside the immediate vicinity. Thus began Sheffield's reputation for quality products supplied to worldwide markets.
Moving on through the centuries, Benjamin Huntsman invented the crucible process for making greater quantities of better quality steel. This was followed by developments such as the Bessemer Converter, which enabled Sheffield to keep pace with the burgeoning demand for steel during the mid-19th century and the expansion of international trade during the Victorian era.
As the city entered the 20th century, the city leaders recognised the value of the words "Made in Sheffield", and the likelihood that other parts of the world would seek to emulate Sheffield's success by misusing the word Sheffield. Therefore, in the early 1900's, the Sheffield Defence Committee was formed. This committee was charged with defending the good name of Sheffield throughout the world. In many countries the word Sheffield was registered as a trademark, to ensure that it could not be usurped.
To bring us up to the present time, a great deal has changed since Robert the Cutler filed his tax return, but Sheffield remains at the forefront, internationally, in metals and metal products and in materials related technology. It is home to many companies which are probably better known internationally than they are in Sheffield or the UK, being world class in their own fields. It is also home to a number of new industries in the medical and bioscience fields, creative and digital industries and much more besides.
So was born in 2005 the Sheffield Mark; a device intended for use by the "producer" sector of the Sheffield City economic region which can be placed on product, on packaging and on literature. Its use is not confined to the traditional industries of the area but is available to any company which genuinely makes items of quality.
It is a mark of Sheffield, a mark of quality and we together with many other companies manufacturing or creating products in the Sheffield City region – the old Hallamshire – are using it to our advantage, recognising the strength of the brand "Made in Sheffield" and making sure it continues well into the future.