What on Earth was Plummer Brothers and Company Pvt. Ltd?

Updated: Apr 2, 2019

by Tathagata Neogi

The run-down house on Fancy Lane once occupied by Plummer Brothers and Company Pvt. Ltd.

We have probably walked past this run down house on Fancy Lane a thousand times. Today, we wanted to dig up some information about it. Street Directory of 1935 tells us that №5 (& 6) Fancy Lane belonged to a certain Plummer Brothers and Company. Getting this information was the easy part.



Plummer Brothers contributed 500 Rupees to a private relief fund of Viceroy Lord Willingdon in 1935

But what did this company do?


Notice of dissolution of Plummer Brothers

That needed some more in-depth farming of archival information. The first thing we found was a short list of contributors published in an internal gazette of the Government in 1935. Here we found that along with Calcutta Tramways, Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation and some other businesses, Plummer Brothers and Company contributed 500 Rupees for a private relief fund of the Viceroy of India (Lord Willingdon). Then we kept on finding passing mentions of Plummer Brothers in the documents of the Royal Exchange, of which its proprietor R W Plummer, was a representative. We even found that on 1st of July 1959, Registrar of Companies declare Plummer Brother’s “dissolved” and delisted from the register.


...but none of this explained what the company ACTUALLY did!


That needed some more in-depth farming of archival information. The first thing we found was a short list of contributors published in an internal gazette of the Government in 1935. Here we found that along with Calcutta Tramways, Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation and some other businesses, Plummer Brothers and Company contributed 500 Rupees for a private relief fund of the Viceroy of India (Lord Willingdon). Then we kept on finding passing mentions of Plummer Brothers in the documents of the Royal Exchange, of which its proprietor R W Plummer, was a representative. We even found that on 1st of July 1959, Registrar of Companies declare Plummer Brother’s “dissolved” and delisted from the register.



The name of Plummer Brothers and Company appears on the minutes of a Government Debate in 1927 as zinc-based paint supplier to Eastern Bengal Railways in 1927.

Then, in a final stroke of luck, we were able to find a copy of the Minutes of the Council of State Debates of 1927. Turns out on 30th of August 1927, the name of Plummer Brothers crops up. The debate was about allegedly illegal purchase of zinc based paint for the Eastern Bengal Railway earlier that year. Plummer Brothers and Company was one of the five companies who the Railways had allegedly “illegally” favoured to supply 1680 cwts (85.34 tons) of paint and 485 gallons of enamel of a total value of Rs 78,000.


Court Order on 10th October 1936 of a Civil Suit between Plummer Brothers