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HOWLETT, John.

The Guv’nor.

The Autobiography of John Howlett O.B.E., as told to Iris Woodford.

Published: London: [for the author,] 1973

Stock code: 107315

Price: £50

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This item is on show at 100 Fulham Road (map)

First edition. Howlett (1883-1976) was born in Grantham, the child of a carpenter and wheelwright. He apprenticed as a lathe operator, and found work on shaping machines in a car factory and repair shop. Later dabbled as a model aero-engine maker and trainee balloon pilot before, on the eve of the First World War, becoming the general manager of a garage workshop, diversifying into munitions during the war. At the end of the war he bought into the business, helping to found Wellworthy Ltd, a major manufacturer of piston rings. “A story of dramatic upward mobility, commencing with descriptions of domestic arrangements and responsibilities, family discipline and anecdotes of childhood. The narrative then charts the rise of the author’s career in engineering, taking in observations on lodgings, gambling, war work and contracts, and so provides a full record of a successful and highly profitable business life” (BV & M).

Octavo. Original red boards, title gilt to the spine. with the dust jacket. 8 plates. Very good in slightly rubbed jacket, a little chipped at the head of the spine and with a short split to the lower panel.

Bibliography: Burnett, Vincent & Mayall III, 84

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