The Dividing Machine: An Invention by William Stanley
Not much is known about what this invention is but it was something created by Thomas Pascall’s South Norwood Pottery and Building Material Depot in South Norwood.
According to the advertisements, Pascall’s Brickworks was founded in 1798 on the junction of the bottom of South Norwood Hill and Penge Road by Henry Pascall, Senior. This would have been before the arrival of the Croydon Canal. The brickworks can be dated as far back at 1804 when Henry puts an advertisement in The Times to sell or let land at Biggin Hill.
From that date the family made bricks which could be moved across south London initially on the Croydon Canal and then on the London to Croydon Railway. There was a pathway that took the bricks straight down to the canal and when that had gone, the bricks were moved on the railway. The Pascall family also made other products such as tiles and plant pots. By 1890s, they were advertising a patent propagating pan for greenhouses.
As a business that was in South Norwood for at least 100 years, they needed to compete with the surrounding brickfields and offer new products which is probably why they created the patent expanding ridge.
Henry Pascall Snr created the brickwork business at the bottom of South Norwood Hill. He had three sons, Thomas, Henry and Joseph who were all involved in the South Norwood brickfield at some point in their lives. Their sons and grandsons were also involved in the business.
This brickmaking family also set up other brickfields, including several in Kent and one in Australia. The Pascall confectionary company was created by James Pascall, the great grandson of Henry Snr which suggests that excellent business skills were passed down in the family.