William Dangerfield was one of the first local stick manufacturers. In 1840, he started a business at Bliss's Mill, Chalford, making umbrella and parasol sticks, bone mounts, buttons and steel pen-handles. The company expanded and by 1867, had acquired four more mills.
By the end of the century, it had become one of the largest and most successful stick manufacturers in the country. At one stage it employed as many as 1,000 people.
During the last century, many similar or related businesses were set up locally:
W. Walker & Sons, at Dunkirk Mill, near Nailsworth included ornate parasol handles among their products.
Wright, Brindley and Gell, also based at Dunkirk Mill, made umbrella fittings.