Swan's History

 

With over 170 years of history behind it, Swan and its sister brands are synonymous with the finest matches and smoking accessories.

 
  • 1844

    1844

    William Bryant and Francis May went into partnership, supplying general provisions from London.
  • 1850

    1850

    Bryant & May placed first order for matches from Swedish match manufacturers, Lundstrom of Jankoping.
  • 1861

    1861

    Bryant & May set up manufacturing site at Fairfield Works, Bow in London to cope with demand for newly invented safety matches.
  • 1864

    Between 1864 & 1868

    New 'strike anywhere' match was launched by Bryant & May.
  • 1883

    1883

    'Swan wax matches' were launched.
  • 1884

    1884

    Bryant & May was incorporated as a public company.
  • 1906

    1906

    'Swan Vestas’ were launched - following the Bryant and May merger with the Diamond Match Company.
  • 1917

    1917

    Swedish Match Company was formed.
  • 1921

    1921

    Bryant & May acquired state of the art factory at Garston, Liverpool and another site in Leeds. At their peak, they also had sites in Glasgow and, via subsidiaries, in Gloucester and Belfast.
  • 1927

    1927

    British Match Corporation (BMC) was formed - a collaboration between Bryant & May and Swedish Match.
  • 1973

    1973

    BMC acquired Wilkinson Sword Ltd and changed its name to Wilkinson Match Ltd. It retained Bryant & May as a separate, named business.
  • 1981

    1981

    Bryant & May started selling lighters.

    Cricket (owners of Swan) was the first disposable lighter brand in the world.

  • 1984

    1984

    Bryant & May started selling other tobacco accessories (lighter fluid, lighter gas etc) under the Swan brand name.
  • 1985

    1985

    Swan cigarette papers were launched.
  • 1994

    1994

    Liverpool factory closed and match manufacturing was transferred to the Swedish Match factory in Tidaholm.
  • 1997

    1997

    On 1 January Bryant & May Ltd changed its name to Swedish Match Ltd.
  • 2008

    2008

    In December Swedish Match AB sold the UK business to Republic Technologies International.
  • 2009

    2009

    In February Swedish Match UK Ltd changed its name to Republic Technologies (UK) Ltd.
  • 2012

    2012

    Major rebranding of Swan Papers and Filters. Major rebranding of Swan Papers and Filters