Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Alaska Factory, Grange Road SE1

The Alaska Factory was the place where seal skins from Antarctica, Canada and Alaska were unhaired, dressed and dyed for making into waterproof coats, mittens, hats and trousers for explorers, soldiers and the fashionably dressed alike.
The gateway with its charming capstone carved with a seal was built as part of the original factory in 1869. By the 20th century, however, the seal population declined due to overhunting and the company, C.W. Martin, moved into other furs. For a time they made the bearskins for the Guards and in WWII they produced thousands of the iconic sheepskin pilot's jackets.
The factory building behind was rebuilt in 1927 by Wallis, Gilbert and Partners, masters of Art Deco. It is now converted into flats.

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