Image shows a young boy modelling a light-coloured suit with metal buttons and a waistcoat beneath, made by the clothing manufacturing firm of John Barran & Sons. The young boy is Walter Giles, born in 1880 at number 4 Waverley Street in Holbeck. He is the son of an employee of Barran's, a Machine Smith by the name of Arthur Giles. There was, at this time, a successful export trade in young boys' tailored clothing and a demand for miniature soldier's and sailor's uniforms and fancy dress. By 1891 John Barran's had a warehouse in an innovative building in St. Paul's Street, designed by Thomas Ambler and completed in 1877, now known as St. Paul's House. The firm also had a recently opened factory in Hanover Lane (1888). Later, in 1904, a further warehouse was built in Chorley Lane adjoining the Hanover Lane premises. By this time Barran's was employing 3,000 people, many of them women and young girls. The rapid growth of ready -to-wear tailoring business was due to the advancement in technology of such proccesses as pattern-cutting and sewing by machine, including blind stitching, button holing and buttoning.
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