Research and Thanks to Sheridan. contact http://www.teasmade.com
It seems quite likely that young Frank would have followed his father and eldest brother into the gun making trade. Chris Upton, Senior Lecturer in History at Newman College of Higher Education in Birmingham, confirms that Frank Clarke's gun manufacturing business appears in several Birmingham trade directories. He was based in Snow Hill during 1902 and for some years afterwards, and he turns up at various other addresses until the late 1930's.The Automatic Water Boiler Company enjoyed London offices at 31 George Street, Hanover Square, and also at 26a Corporation Street, Birmingham (this site has since been redeveloped and the new property is to be occupied by Beatties department stores). Maria Twist from Birmingham Local Studies Library tells me that there is no mention of the Automatic Water BoilerCompany or number 26a in Kelly's directories for 1903 or 1910. Number 26 is referred to as Midland Chambers. There was an outfitters called Thomas Donne Ltd. at street level, and several different firms in the floors above, including The Wholesale Traders' Association for the Hardware, Furnishing & Metal Industries Limited, and George A. Heyes & Co., business agents. It is therefore unlikely that the teasmades were actually made in Corporation Street which was, after all, in the middle of the shopping and businessdistrict.
The Clarke family of 130 Victoria Road, Aston, Warwick, consisted of:
James Clarke, a Rifle Sight Maker, age 48, born in London, Middlesex
His wife, Caroline Clarke, age 41. Caroline was born in Birmingham, and married James in London.
Their children, all unmarried in 1886, and all born in Birmingham:
Frederick James Clarke, age 20, Gunfinisher Apprentice
Caroline S. Clarke, age 18
Charles A. Clarke, age 16, Jewellers Apprentice
William Henry Clarke, age 14, Scholar
Gertrude M. Clarke, age 12, Scholar
Frank R. Clarke, age 10, Scholar (likely birth date 1871)