James Pain Firework manufacturer lived at 56 Moyser Road, Streatham. as a boarder He died 20 October 1923 leaving an estate of £13,492
James Charles Pain (bap. 1836, d. 1923), fireworks manufacturer, the son of William Pain, pyrotechnist, and his wife Eliza, who were then living at Walnut Tree Walk, Lambeth. Although James Pain was the founder of the business named after him, he was seventh in descent from a Pain mentioned in the London Gazette in 1670 as a gunpowder seller.
Pain was probably apprenticed to his father, who would have trained him in the increasingly sophisticated science of pyrotechnics. Although fireworks themselves are of ancient Chinese origin, and were used in crude form in medieval times in Europe to celebrate military victories, more specialized kinds of fireworks, such as the Catherine wheel, are first recorded only in the eighteenth century, and it was not until the nineteenth century that new ingredients, such as magnesium and aluminium, could be added to the staple gunpowder base to achieve a colourful and brilliant display.
By the early 1920s Pain had seen his firm grow into manufacturers of, and contractors for, illuminations and decorations at several towns and sites, while the chief company works at Mitcham covered over 200 acres, with branches at Manchester, Liverpool, and Gravesend. He died of cystitis and acute orchitis on 12 October 1923 at 56 Moyser Road, Streatham.
( Adrian Room)
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