Peter Brusey Cow (1815–1890), rubber manufacturer, was born at Deptford on 25 September 1815, the younger son of John Cow, a master boat builder at Woolwich Dockyard. In 1830, at the age of fifteen, he was apprenticed to Charles Gower Collins, a linen draper of Lower Sloane Street, Chelsea.
After completing his apprenticeship in 1835 he stayed with Collins until 1837, when he worked for Gainsford and Goods for a year. In 1838 he went to Swan and Edgar at Waterloo House, where he lived in, but was meantime in touch with Samuel Matthews, superintendent of the three London branches of Charles Macintosh & Co., rubber manufacturers, at 46 Cheapside, 66 Broad Street, and 58 Charing Cross. The firm's main activity was the manufacture of waterproof garments made of double-texture cloth. In 1842 Cow opened his own shop in Bishopsgate, selling lace and baby linen.
In 1852, with William G. Forster, Cow founded the Lonestone Chemical Works at Streatham, and in 1857 moved the manufacturing activity from the Deptford factory, which had become too small, to a former crêpe factory at Streatham. The firm still traded as P. B. Cow.
He died of heart failure at his home, Streatham Common on 27 March 1890. Cow was actively involved in church work throughout his life, and was on the building committee of St James's, Hatcham. While at Streatham he was churchwarden of Immanuel Church, Streatham Common, and he donated generously to the building of St Andrew's Church, Lower Streatham.
His estate was £96,536 18s. 9d at probate
(extracts Adrian Room)