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T for Tibbenhams

Frederick Tibbenham Ltd was an Ipswich based company which specialised in the manufacture of high-grade furniture and joinery, especially of period reproductions, including panelling in old oak and the restoration of old furniture and interiors. It exported its products to America, Canada and Australia.

During both World Wars the factory, in Turret Lane, swapped from the production of furniture to that of wooden airplane propellers. Ipswich Record Office (IRO) has a wonderful album of sepia images (ref HC403) taken in the factory during WW1 showing many women active in the production process. The women are dwarfed by the large propellers and wings being constructed. Ipswich also has a set of thirty photographs recording production during WW2. Again large propellers are being constructed. The fashions may have changed but there are still women doing the hard manual work.