Montague Burton’s Sunroom
This treasure, from the West Yorkshire Archive Service, shows workers relaxing in Montague Burton’s company sunroom, Leeds. M Burton was a men’s clothing store, founded by Meshe David Osinsky (1885-1952) a Jewish immigrant from Kovno who changed his name and set up his first shop in Chesterfield by 1904. The company created smart, affordable made-to-measure suits for the working man. It grew to become one of the largest and most efficient tailoring enterprises in the world between the 1920s and 1960s, with shops on many British high streets.
Montague Burton was a major philanthropist who supported many educational and charitable institutions in Britain. He offered excellent working conditions to his staff, who could make use of the company dentist or enjoy perks including this sunroom.
The image is part of a bundle of photographs discovered within the Burton archive in an envelope marked ‘Welfare’. The 61 photographs show various facilities for employees of Burtons including recreation rooms, a medical clinic, sun ray room, optician, dentist and canteens. The photographs were all taken between 1932 and 1936 and were possibly used for marketing purposes, to show the benefits of being a Burton’s employee.
Here is a short video made by West Yorkshire Archive Service about Montague Burton and their collection:
Hidden Treasures: Celebrating the documents, photos and artefacts in British archives that tell the story of Jews in Britain