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Company History

50 years in Europe

History of Brother in Europe 

Originally founded 100 years ago in Nagoya, Japan, Brother has a rich history in Europe that stretches back 50 years. The company's first European base was established in Ireland in 1958, back when Brother made everything from sewing machines to motorbikes.

Since then, Brother has expanded into 21 European countries and focused its product range on office technology whilst continuing to expand its sewing machine range.

Over those 50 years, the company has been responsible for several important innovations, from the world's first high speed dot matrix printer in 1971 to the world's smallest self-contained mobile printer in 2004.

Manchester has been the home of Brother UK for 40 years, after taking over the Jones sewing machine factory in 1968. The factory was soon adapted to manufacture knitting machines and typewriters, starting and exciting story of UK production that continues today at our factory in Ruabon, Wales, where our typewriters were in production until 2012. 

Brother_company_history

Brother In Europe Timeline

  • Brother first established in Europe

    The European Economic Community had only come into being the year before when France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg signed the Treaty of Rome. Recognizing and responding to this was an extremely important step for Brother's development and growth

    1958
  • Brother takes over Jones sewing machine factory in Audenshaw, Manchester

    Jones Sewing Machines was well established as Britain's premier brand, but was suffering from lack of investment and development. This acquisition allowed Brother to rapidly establish itself within the UK.

    1968
  • Brother produces the world's first high speed dot-matrix printer.

    This product, designed by CDCC and built in Brother factories, led to Brother's decision to diversify its product offering into office technology. This proved instrumental in Brother becoming the company it is today.

    1971
  • First Brother electronic typewriter

    Following the decision to diversify, Brother's electronic typewriters rapidly gained world-wide acceptance and fuelled major growth and recognition of Brother as a serious contender in office technology.

    1985
  • First Brother Fax machine

    The fax machine was recognized as the fundamental communication device in the office of the time. Brother developed products that were small, efficient and most of all very competitive. Fax contributed greatly to the company's ever expanding product range.

    1987a
  • First Brother laser printer

    Laser printing was establishing as the printing technology of the moment and Brother was able to develop its own high speed products for the office market. Today, Brother is a world class producer of these products.

    1987b
  • First Brother labelling machine

    Proving that Brother has the capability for true innovation, it released new labelling technology based on an original Brother concept. This initial innovation resulted in a whole system of labelling products that produce some of the most durable labels in the world today.

    1988
  • First Brother laser multifunction machine

    Continuing its line of world first technologies, the company made a significant breakthrough in integrating multiple functions into one machine with its first laser multifunction printer. Based on an existing laser printer, Brother added scanning, faxing, phone and many others functions too. This became the new benchmark for Brother's competitors and spawned an entirely new product category.

    1995
  • First Brother inkjet multifunction machine

    Brother emulated it success with laser multifunction to inkjet technology. This resulted in many products that were smaller, quieter, more colourful, but just as functional as the laser machines.

    1997
  • First Brother self-contained mobile printer

    This miniaturized product was (and still is) the only one of its kind in the world to be so small yet so capable. It now forms the printing resource for many large organizations for whom mobility is essential, from the British Transport Police to Hilarys Blinds.

    2002
  • First Brother RFID label printer

    A true 21st century breakthrough, based on Brother's existing labeling experience, the RL-700S adds Radio Frequency Identification tags to the company's label range. This technology, normally costing thousands of pounds to implement can be realized for a fraction of the cost with Brother's latest technological development.

    2007
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