History of Berberry - History

History of Berberry - History

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( ScStr: T. 160, 1. 99'6"; b. 20'6", dr. 8'6", s. 5 k.;
cpl. 31; a. 2 24-pdr. S. B., 2 12pdr. B.)

Berberry was built in 1864 at Philadelphia, Pa., as Columbia; purchased there 13 August 1864; and commissioned 12 September 1864, Acting Ensign M. Griffith in command.

Berberry reported to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron and served as a blockader off: North Carolina (October 1864-May 1865). Returning to New York, she was sold there 12 July 1865.

The History of the Iconic Fashion House Burberry

Burberry is one of the iconic brands that have stood the test of time thanks to its distinctive trademark, making it easily recognizable. Although the brand’s history goes back quite further, it still defines class and elegance for decades.

Burberry’s history made it a mainstay in global fashion and contributed to its evolution over the decades to transform into a staple in the industry. Here, you will find nothing but the truth about Burberry’s humble beginnings to its current powerhouse status.


In turbulent, pandemic times, we can take great comfort in the familiar. Go ahead, throw open the closet door and observe your perfectly Konmari’d collection of clothing sparking serious amounts of True Fashionista joy. And there they are, next to your fave Prada skirt, hanging above your prized Jimmy Choos, those Burberry pieces rocking that trademark check pattern. We’re going to assume there’s a high probability of a Burberry trench coat hanging with your outerwear in a closet near the front door as well. Cue warm ‘n fuzzies…

Distinctly British, Burberry has been evoking cozy feelings of functionality and style since 1856 when 21-year-old Thomas Burberry established his namesake company in Basingstoke, England. Upon initial launch it was more about clothing functionality. Shares Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon for The List, Burberry’s (original name) was founded on the principle that clothing should be designed simply to protect people from the mostly nasty British weather. To that accord, 20 years later Mr. Burberry proceeded to invent gabardine, a breathable, weatherproof, sturdy fabric that revolutionized rainwear, which up until then had been typically heavy and uncomfortable. His True Fashionista gabardine coats made the brand a household name, and in 1891, Burberry opened his first shop in London’s West End.


Burberry hit the proverbial nail on the head once again with the design of the Tielocken coat, as the trench coat was initially called. Invented in 1895 and patented in 1912, it was renamed “trench coat” in honor of its military purpose for British soldiers in WWI. The Tielocken was devoid of buttons for closure, featuring only a belt to keep it closed. As a 1916 ad claimed, its gabardine, double-breasted construction provided protection “from throat to knees”. Noted world explorers would don Burberry gabardine to do things like visit the Arctic Circle and make transatlantic journeys in hot air balloons and airplanes, further cementing Burberry’s place in history. Over the years, Hollywood had a part in Burberry’s trench coat success, with screen icons like Humphrey Bogart wearing one in 1942’s Casablanca and Audrey Hepburn donning one for Breakfast at Tiffany’s in 1961.

Not being one to rest quietly on his laurels, Burberry continued to build his brand, introducing the signature iconic check pattern lining in the 1920s, according to luxury lifestyle site Departures. The True Fashionista Scottish tartan design with a beige base, accented by black, red, and white was originally sewn into the company’s coats as a lining. It would, in fact, take more than forty years for the design to become enough of a fashion statement to be featured on the outside of Burberry clothing. These days, the cloth is carefully placed so the checks align at a 45-degree angle. We’re sure you’ve noticed, and now you can confirm.


When you think about the check, the Burberry scarf also comes to mind. Created in 1967 as a sort of happy accident, shares The List, the manager of Burberry’s Paris store wanted to add a splash of color to a display of trench coats. He placed some of the coats with the hem facing out to show off the “house check” pattern. Customers loved the look, and soon enough they were demanding merchandise featuring the check. The store made several hundred umbrellas that sold out immediately, and soon decided to start making cashmere scarves as well. The scarf quickly became a status symbol of its own.

It wasn’t until a 1999 rebranding campaign that Burberry’s officially became just Burberry, according to the company’s website. This came with a fresh logo designed by Art Director Fabien Baron.

Among the many, musician Billie Eilish is a fan, sporting head-to-toe Burberry to both the 2019 American Music Awards and 2020 Brit Awards. Always on the cutting edge, Burberry launched their first “Tweetwalk”, an online premier of its spring/summer 2012 womenswear collection on Twitter, posting each look live before it appeared on the runway.

Burberry started out selling clothing for the outdoors

Far from selling luxury goods, Burberry founder Thomas Burberry focused on outfitting people for the outdoors when he first opened his shop. According to GQ, his outdoor-ready attire was reportedly favored by historical figures like Lord Kitchener, who served as secretary of state for war in the early years of World War I, and Lord Baden Powell, a British army officer who became a national hero during the South African War.

The business model served the young Burberry well. According to History House, by the 1871 census, he had greatly increased his number of employees. The census described him as a "draper and manufacturer employing 70 hands." Burberry was doing so well that he was able to move to a home in Basingstoke with 160 acres of land, as well as hire a staff of servants to look after the estate. By the 1881 census, he had six children who were cared for by a governess. Clearly, Thomas Burberry was coming up in the business world.

The Demise of Burberry

Burberry were hit with a double whammy which nearly cost the brand everything.

Their first problem was imitation. The Burberry check became one of the most widely copied designs in fashion during the '80s and '90s.

In an effort to keep sales up, Burberry went on an extensive licensing program but this only threw more fuel on the fire.

That fire is called ubiquity and it's the enemy of luxury fashion brands.

Ubiquity can dilute a brand because it's seen to be widely available and this goes against the convention of what a luxury item is.

Burberry realised their ubiquity would lose them their regard of being known as a luxury fashion label because upper-class customers were moving elsewhere.

To maintain their reputation, they went on a campaign which rescued the brand.

The Decline of Burberry

Burberry suffered a double whammy, nearly losing everything in the process. First, there was the problem of imitation. During the 1980s and 1990s, the Burberry check was one of the most copied designs in the world of fashion.

In a bid to raise the sales, Burberry embarked on a large-scale licensing campaign, but this only stoked the fire even more. That fire is known as ubiquity, and it can bring down luxury fashion houses. Ubiquity can weaken a brand since it’s considered to be commonplace, which goes against the norm of what luxury items are about.

Burberry realized that its ubiquity would make the brand lose its status as a luxury fashion house because upper-class consumers were looking elsewhere. To maintain the brand’s reputation, Burberry launched a campaign that ultimately ended up saving the brand.


The genus Berberis has dimorphic shoots: long shoots which form the structure of the plant, and short shoots only 1–2 mm (0.039–0.079 in) long. The leaves on long shoots are non-photosynthetic, developed into one to three or more spines [5] : 96 3–30 mm (0.12–1.18 in) long. The bud in the axil of each thorn-leaf then develops a short shoot with several normal, photosynthetic leaves. These leaves are 1–10 cm (0.39–3.94 in) long, simple, and either entire, or with spiny margins. Only on young seedlings do leaves develop on the long shoots, with the adult foliage style developing after the young plant is 1–2 years old. [ citation needed ]

Many deciduous species, such as Berberis thunbergii and B. vulgaris, are noted for their attractive pink or red autumn color. In some evergreen species from China, such as B. candidula and B. verruculosa, the leaves are brilliant white beneath, a feature valued horticulturally. Some horticultural variants of B. thunbergii have dark red to violet foliage. [ citation needed ]

The flowers are produced singly or in racemes of up to 20 on a single flower-head. They are yellow or orange, 3–6 mm (0.12–0.24 in) long, sepals are usually six, rarely three or nine and there are six petals in alternating whorls of three, the sepals usually colored like the petals. The fruit is a small berry 5–15 mm (0.20–0.59 in) long, ripening red or dark blue, often with a pink or violet waxy surface bloom in some species, they may be long and narrow, but are spherical in other species. [ citation needed ]

Some authors regard the compound-leaved species as belonging to a different genus, Mahonia. There are no consistent differences between the two groups other than the leaf pinnation (Berberis sensu stricto appear to have simple leaves, but these are in reality compound with a single leaflet they are termed "unifoliolate" [6] ), and many botanists prefer to classify all these plants in the single genus Berberis. [3] [7] [8] [9] However, a recent DNA-based phylogenetic study retains the two separate genera, by clarifying that unifoliolate-leaved Berberis s.s. is derived from within a paraphyletic group of shrubs bearing imparipinnate evergreen leaves, which the paper then divides into three genera: Mahonia, Alloberberis (formerly Mahonia section Horridae), and Moranothamnus (formerly Berberis claireae) it confirms that a broadly-circumscribed Berberis (that is, including Mahonia, Alloberberis, and Moranothamnus) is monophyletic. [10]

Berberis species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species, including the moths barberry carpet moth (Pareulype berberata), and mottled pug (Eupithecia exiguata). [ citation needed ]

Berberis species can infect wheat with stem rust, a serious fungal disease of wheat and related grains. [11] Berberis vulgaris (European barberry) and Berberis canadensis (American barberry) serve as alternate host species of the rust fungus responsible, the wheat rust fungus (Puccinia graminis). For this reason, cultivation of B. vulgaris is prohibited in many areas, and imports to the United States are forbidden. The North American B. canadensis, native to Appalachia and the Midwest United States, was nearly eradicated for this reason, and is now rarely seen extant, with the most remaining occurrences in the Virginia mountains. [ citation needed ]

Some Berberis species have become invasive when planted outside of their native ranges, including B. glaucocarpa and B. darwinii in New Zealand (where it is now banned from sale and propagation), and B. vulgaris and green-leaved B. thunbergii in much of the eastern United States. [ citation needed ]

Japanese barberry is an invasive plant in 32 US states. It is deer resistant because of its taste and is favored as a shelter for ticks that can carry lyme disease. [12]

Several species of Berberis are popular garden shrubs, grown for such features as ornamental leaves, yellow flowers, or red or blue-black berries. Numerous cultivars and hybrids have been selected for garden use. Low-growing Berberis plants are also commonly planted as pedestrian barriers. Taller-growing species are valued for crime prevention being dense and viciously spiny, they are effective barriers to burglars. Thus they are often planted below vulnerable windows, and used as hedges. Many species are resistant to predation by deer.

Species in cultivation include:

The following hybrid selections have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:

  • B. 'Georgei' [13]
  • B. × lologensis 'Apricot Queen' [14]
  • B. × media 'Red Jewel' [15]
  • B. × stenophylla 'Corallina Compacta' [16]
  • B. × stenophylla (golden barberry) [17]

Berberis vulgaris grows in the wild in much of Europe and West Asia. It produces large crops of edible berries, rich in vitamin C, but with a sharp acid flavour. In Europe for many centuries the berries were used for culinary purposes much as citrus peel is used. Today in Europe they are very infrequently used. The country in which they are used the most is Iran, where they are referred to as zereshk ( زرشک ) in Persian. The berries are common in Persian cuisine such as in rice pilaf (zereshk polo) and as a flavouring for poultry. Because of their sour flavor, they are sometimes cooked with sugar before being added to Persian rice. Iranian markets sell dried zereshk. In Russia and Eastern Europe it sometimes used in jams (especially with mixed berries), and extract of barberries is a common flavoring for soft drinks, candies, and sweets. [ citation needed ]

Berberis microphylla and B. darwinii (both known as calafate and michay) are two species found in Patagonia in Argentina and Chile. Their edible purple fruits are used for jams and infusions. [ citation needed ]

The dried fruit of Berberis vulgaris is used in herbal medicine. [18] The chemical constituents include isoquinolone alkaloids, especially berberine. A full list of phytochemicals was compiled and published in 2014. [19] The safety of using berberine for any condition is not adequately defined by high-quality clinical research. [20] Its potential for causing adverse effects is high, including untoward interactions with prescription drugs, reducing the intended effect of established therapies. [20] It is particularly unsafe for use in children. [20]

Historically, yellow dye was extracted from the stem, root, and bark. [21]

The thorns of the barberry shrub have been used to clean ancient gold coins, as they are soft enough that they won't damage the surface but will remove corrosion and debris. [22]

A History Of The Trench Coat – A Military Garment With Origins Far Older Than WWI

Few items of 20th century military apparel are more iconic than the trench coat. Associated in pop culture with everything from tough private detectives, rugged outdoorsmen, intrepid adventurers, iconic sci-fi characters from movies such as Bladerunner and The Matrix, to vampire hunters and, of course, military men, the trench coat is one of the few items of fashion to have changed little in form or style over the past hundred years.

While it is true that the garment as we know it originated in the trenches of the First World War (hence the name “trench coat”), where it was initially worn by British officers, the item of clothing that would become a trench coat was developed around a hundred years before WWI.

The origins of the modern day trench coat (and the style of the trench coat used in WWI) can be traced back to the early 19th century. In 1820, an English inventor, Thomas Hancock, and a Scottish chemist, Charles Macintosh, created a type of waterproof garment by coating long jackets with rubber. The resulting garment was called a mack, and was marketed in Britain to men of the upper classes.

Charles Macintosh (left) and Thomas Burberry (right).

The mack worked well when it came to keeping rain out, but it also kept sweat in, and macks soon developed a reputation for getting rather smelly, pretty quickly. The fabric was improved as technology advanced throughout the nineteenth century, and marked improvements were made by John Emary in 1853 and by Thomas Burberry in 1856.

Both Emary’s and Burberry’s coats were more breathable than the earlier macks, and repelled water just as effectively. Emary named his company Aquascutum (Latin for “water shield), while Burberry simply gave his company his own name.

Burberry invented a fabric (gabardine) in 1879 of which the individual fibers of material were waterproofed prior to the construction of the garment. This resulted in the best “trench coat” yet – although the name “trench coat” had yet to be invented.

Burberry advertisement for waterproof gabardine suit, 1908

In what had formerly been a neck and neck race, Burberry began to take the lead late in the 19th century. Burberry coats were worn by British officers in the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), and at this time Burberry patented a coat design called the Tielocken.

The Tielocken’s features were essentially those of what we would recognize as a trench coat: it was knee-length, double breasted, and had a broad collar and a belt.

Thus, the garment that was later christened the “trench coat” was actually invented over a decade before the First World War broke out. Burberry’s company again came into the spotlight in the first decade of the 20th century when Roald Amundsen used his coats in his expedition to the South Pole, and then when Sir Ernest Shackleton led an expedition across Antarctica.

British Army officer in the First World War.

As Burberry’s company had become one of the official suppliers of clothing to Britain’s armed forces during the Boer War, it came as no surprise that his Tielocken coat was used by British troops. The WWI Burberry Tielocken had evolved for war use, featuring D-rings on the belt to attach equipment, a pistol flap in the breast, epaulets to display rank, and a storm shield.

An important point to note about these specific coats is that they were reserved for officers only. Enlisted men were not allowed to wear them, although they did have their own coats. Most soldiers, up to this point, had worn greatcoats.

While they appeared similar in design to Burberry’s trench coat, the old-style greatcoats, from a 19th century design, were nowhere near as practical. Greatcoats had generally been made of wool, or cheaper materials – often of poor quality – and were usually not waterproof, and were uncomfortable and poorly cut.

The seamstresses at Burberry’s of Basingstoke pose at their machines right at the end of the war (1918). Photo: Hampshire and Solent Museums / CC BY-SA 2.0

They were also generally quite heavy, and hindered soldiers’ mobility. While many troops of the First World War were issued with greatcoats, the greatcoats were often so long that the soldiers cut the bottoms off to prevent them dragging in the mud and soaking up trench water, which made them even heavier and more cumbersome.

When it came to stacking up Burberry’s Tielocken coat against a standard-issue greatcoat for an enlisted man, there really was no contest. Burberry’s waterproof, comfortable, stylish coat was both extremely well-made and immensely practical for life in the trenches – and thus his coats, worn only by British officers in the first stages of the war, became known as trench coats.

John G. Diefenbaker (future Prime Minister of Canada), John Einarsson, and Michael A. McMillan as Canadian soldiers in France 1916-17 wearing trench coats.

Of course, the fact that the trench coat was only worn by officers was not lost on enemy snipers. For German sharpshooters, identifying officers – who were important targets – in British trenches at a distance became quite easy, and thus the trench coat began to become more of a curse than a blessing to many a British officer who was picked off by a sniper’s bullet.

When America entered WWI in 1917, American officers took a few cues from their British counterparts, and soon enough they too were wearing trench coats.

Recognizing a great business opportunity, marketers soon began selling trench coats to the public, advertising them as items to be worn in solidarity with those fighting in France. Thus, the first civilian use of the trench coat was more of an expression of patriotism than a pure fashion statement.

Belgian machinegunner in 1918 guarding trench

After the war was over, many British officers kept their trench coats and wore them in civilian life. Trench coats thus attained an air of upper class association, seeing as most British officers came from the landed class.

However, the popularity of the trench coat began to spread on both sides of the Atlantic. While they often remained high price garments, cheaper versions began to be made.

Both WWII and the Golden Age of Hollywood went on to popularize trench coats further. Aquascutum, despite having earlier been less popular than Burberry, got back into the race in a big way during WWII, when it became one of the official manufacturers and suppliers of Allied military clothing.

HRH Crown Prince Olaf of Norway and the Commander in Chief Home Forces, at large scale exercises in England – wearing trench coats.

In the decades following the Second World War the trench coat went on to achieve worldwide popularity, becoming a classic icon with the sartorial staying power of blue jeans and tee shirts.

Today, you can find trench coats in any city on the planet – but most people you ask probably won’t know where the “trench” in trench coat comes from, or that this iconic garment was actually first developed for war.

Burberry: a history

Last week Burberry opened its new flagship store in Beijing, China. Here, we take a look back at key moments in the fashion house's history.

Thomas Burberry, a 21-year-old draper’s apprentice, opens a small outfitter’s shop in Basingstoke, Hampshire

A commitment to quality and innovation in fabric and outwear design earns Burberry a loyal following. By 1870, the shop has grown to an "emporium"

Gabardine – the breathable, weatherproof and tearproof fabric developed by Burberry – is introduced

Now trading as Thomas Burberry & Sons, the business opens a shop in the West End of London at 30 Haymarket

Burberry develops the Tielocken, the predecessor of the trench coat, which is adopted by British officers during the Boer War

The Equestrian Knight trademark appears for the first time accompanied by the Latin word "Prorsum", meaning forwards

Equipped by Burberry, the Norwegian explorer Captain Roald Amundsen becomes the first man to reach the South Pole

Commissioned by the War Office to adapt its earlier officer’s coat for new combat requirements, Burberry adds epaulettes and "D" rings, and the "trench coat" is born

The Burberry Check, registered as a trademark, is introduced as a lining to the trench coat in the 1920s

Burberry is awarded a Royal Warrant by Queen Elizabeth II

A second Royal Warrant is granted to Burberry by The Prince of Wales

Burberry launches its exclusive Art of the Trench made to order trench coat service.

Burberry is an internationally recognised luxury brand with a worldwide distribution network.

History of Berberry - History

Advertisement in the Farmer and Stockbreeder magazine 1889.
Image courtesy of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign on Flickr. NKCR

The story of Thomas Burberry, founder of the clothing company.

Burberry Group plc is a leading global fashion brand which now sells womenswear, menswear, non-apparel and children's wear. It is famous for its iconic trademarked check design and British heritage branding. In 2009, the company's global luxury goods market estimated retail value was over 150bn Euros. A far cry from its establishment as a Victorian outfitter's shop in Basingstoke, Hampshire.

Thomas Burberry was born in 1835 in Brockham Green, Surrey. His father was a grocer and farmer. After serving his apprenticeship at a local draper's shop, Burberry opened his own small clothing outfitters in Basingstoke in 1857. At that time Basingstoke was a small country town with a population of just over 4,500.

Burberry clearly had good business acumen identifying the needs of the local community and particularly the farmers. By 1861, the census reveals that he was employing in his shop 7 men, 3 boys and 7 females.

Burberry began to researching and experimenting with materials to produce fabrics which were weatherproof and suitable for clothing customers who enjoyed the country pursuits of fishing, hunting and riding.

His business expanded further and clearly he was making money. By the census of 1871 he is described as a "draper and manufacturer employing 70 hands". He moved to a house in Basingstoke which had 160 acres, staffed with a number of servants, and a governess to look after his six children (1881 census).

In 1880 his innovative research and design resulted in a breathable, weatherproof and tear-proof fabric called Gabardine. The material was light and ventilated, but protected the wearer from the extremes of the weather.

The company expanded with a shop opening in Haymarket, London, in 1891, and in Reading, Manchester, Liverpool, and Winchester. Burberry's products were also sold through thousands of agencies. Exports abroad began with wholesale branches being opened in Paris, New York and Buenos Aires.

Endorsements of the rich and famous for his products was always welcomed by Burberry. His products were used by Arctic and Antarctic explorers including Amundsen, Scott and Shackleton. He also marketed his products to the armed forces, and they were famously worn by Lord Kitchener and Lord Baden Powell.

Thomas Burberry retired from the company in 1917, and in 1920 the company went public on the London Stock Exchange and incorporated as Burberrys Limited. His two sons Arthur and Thomas Burberry were joint managing directors.

Soon after, the now famous check design, the Burberry check, was trademarked and used in coat linings.

Thomas Burberry died on 4 April 1926.

More articles on the History of Essex, Researching your Ancestors, and British History

Find your Essex Ancestors in the Parish Registers

The Essex Record Office 'ERO' are custodians of the parish registers of Essex. Ancestry.co.uk have now transcribed the entire collection of Essex parish registers. Search now on Ancestry for your Essex ancestors. Then on the results page click on ‘request image’ and you will be taken to the ERO website where you can purchase an image of the relevant page.

Visit our Parish Registers of Essex page for more information.

Find your Ancestors in the Newspapers

Newspaper archives are now a very important source of information for researching your family tree.

Try our example search to help you discover if your ancestors are in the British Newspaper Archive.

Looking for pictures to add to your family tree album?

Ebay is a good source of old images of Essex towns and villages. If you're looking for pictures to add to your family tree album, then try one of the auctions, or there are several 'Buy It Now' shops offering postcards which have been touched up and improved - so if you're unsure about bidding, try these.

The History of the Iconic Fashion House Burberry

Burberry is one of the iconic brands that have stood the test of time thanks to its distinctive trademark, making it easily recognizable. Although the brand’s history goes back quite further, it still defines class and elegance for decades.

Burberry’s history made it a mainstay in global fashion and contributed to its evolution over the decades to transform into a staple in the industry. Here, you will find nothing but the truth about Burberry’s humble beginnings to its current powerhouse status.

Watch the video: What is Burberry? A Brief History of the Fashion Brand


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