The Spirella Factory

The 'Factory of Beauty'

By Sian Butcher

The Spirella Factory in 1935
Hertfordshire Archives and Local Studies
The Spirella Factory General Office, 1925
Kingsway Real Photo Series

The Spirella building was created between 1912 and 1920 as the UK manufacturing base of the Spirella Corset Company. Its founder, William Wallace Kincaid (1868-1964), came to Letchworth Garden City after hearing about the establishment of a new community.

Kincaid was a man ahead of his time and he commissioned architect Cecil Hignett to design a state-of-the art factory of great beauty. When the factory was completed in 1920 Kincaid had achieved his goal: the Spirella building provided the perfect environment for his workers to be happy, contented and highly productive, and was worthy of being called the ‘Factory of Beauty’.

The processing of thousands of orders from all over the country demanded an enormous administration operation, as can be seen in this view of the general office.

This page was added on 16/06/2010.

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  • My grandmother’s sister May Brown 1883-1933 lived in Letchworth. I have been told by other members of the family that she was in charge of a factory there called Burleigh but could it have been Spirella? Can anyone help me on this. Thankyou.

    By Nicola Whitlock (16/06/2011)