In 1864 William Temlett Snr established a workshop for making banjos at 95 Union Street, London, S.E.
William Ernest Telmett had started work in his father's factory in early boyhood but left at the age of thirty to form his own business. Born in 1865, W. E. Temlett left school at the age of 14 and entered his father's factory and it was not long before he was appointed manager. But as he grew older, disagreements with his father became more frequent and in 1895 he left to form his own business. He set up a workshop at 29 Charlotte Street, Blackfriars, London, S.E., and for some years keen rivalry waged between father and son.
W.E. Temlett prospered and within a year he was advertising that the instruments he made could only be bought through retailers not direct from him. His "Apollo" zither- banjos and the "Hercules" and "Mozart" banjos enjoyed healthy sales all over the country; the latter being said to be good copies of S. S. Stewart's instruments.
In October 1898 he launched his own monthly fretted instrument magazine - "The Banjo, Mandolin & Guitar News" - which enjoyed an existence for some years and this, coupled with the many concerts he organised in and around London, did much to popularise his instruments.
He was an enlightened employer and every year took his entire staff, male and female, to the seaside for the day and gave an annual dinner and dance for their benefit at which the leading fretted instrument soloists would perform.
In addition to his instrument making, he published fretted instrument music but his extensive catalogue was purchased by John Alvey Turner in 1903 and absorbed into the latter's vast catalogue.
Pictures of WE Temlett's "Patent", all metal pot, ivory flush frets, ebony neck courtesy of Skip Sail,
Picture of WE Temlett courtesy of Steve Prior