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Collection name:  Orlik
Collector: Simon Orlik
Accession number: LIVNP 2011.01

The Orlik family originated in Vienna with two brothers – Alfred and Louis. Alfred went to the US but Louis set up business in London, initially in Great Arthur Street, EC1, making pipes and cigarette holders. In 1923 workers from St Claude came to London when Orliks added bowl making to their repertoire.

The firm moved to Ashbrook Road, EC1, in around 1926/27 and shortly afterwards they started to produce pipe cases and leather pouches and by 1933 they were also making some lighters.

In 1937/38 the firm moved again, this time to Chiswell Street, EC1.

During the war years abbreviated catalogues were issued and with limited printing was still in force until 1949, it was not until 1950 that the first full post-war catalogue was produced.

Until 1950 Louis Orlik had been in charge but around this date his son’s Herbert and Dennis took over. In 1954 a new office and showroom was opened in Old Bond Street and Orliks took over Nutt Products Limited (the makers of the Hurricane windproof pipe). There followed a number of other take overs including Roy Tallent in 1956, Bennett Limited, a small leather goods firm, in 1959 and Colin Byford’s, a pipe manufacturer in 1961.

Simon joined the family business in 1970 having initially trained as an accountant and having spent 3 months working in a French pipe factory. Despite his professional training Simon started in the sales department and travelled widely visiting agents, customers and suppliers worldwide. His language skills in French, German and some Italian stood him in good stead.

In 1974 Orliks moved into a new factory in Essex and Simon took over the running of this premises whilst his father, Herbert, and uncle, Dennis, remained in their London offices. In 1979 a takeover of the business by Oppenheimers was agreed allowing Simon's father and uncle to retire. After a year Simon was made redundant by the new owners but he kept his links with the trade through the Worshipful Company of Tobacco Pipe Makers and Tobacco Blenders; being elected Master for the year 1998/9. He was also involved with the Tobacco Trade Benevolent Association which eventually merged with the benevolent fund of the Livery Company.


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