History of Corry's Slug & Snail Death
By John C. Corry, 2005
John, a communications manager, lives in Vancouver, BC with his wife and two sons. He is the great-grandson of the Corry's Slug & Snail Death inventor.
City Farmer staff use organic methods of pest control and therefore do not use this product. The editor has chosen to print this short history because he found the story interesting.
My Great-Grandfather, William Longman Corry Born 1846
The following was taken and abridged from an abstract in "The Leading Men of London", published in 1895, A Biographical Sketch of William Longman Corry (my great-grandfather)
Mr. Corry, the head of Corry & Co., Limited, the largest manufacturers of seedsdmen and florists' sundries and tobacco preparations for agricultural and horticultural purposes in the United Kingdom, was born on July 9th, 1846, in Somersetshire, in which county both his father and grandfather were well known manufacturers of gloves from kid and hand-leather, in the town of Yeovil and its vicinity.
His father's patents both for an improved system and more rapid process of dressing or preparing the pelt or skins, as well as his method of sewing the glove by a lock stitch, is still practiced in the trade; the excellence of his productions in leather for gloves, in a great variety of shades, having gained for him distinguished awards in the great National Exhibition of 1851.
Mr. Corry was educated at Bath, and on acquiring a thoroughly good commercial education he left Somersetshire for the metropolis at the early age of sixteen and a-half, and entered the business of which he is now principal.
From the year 1856, Mr. Corry devoted himself to the business, and obtained a thorough knowledge of the various departments which, even at that date, the house was noted for; when, in 1865, he purchased and succeeded to it, having for his partner Mr. Soper, the title of the firm being Corry & Soper, at their bonded warehouse, Shad Thames, S.E., which they still retain, but are now being rebuilt on a considerably enlarged scale. Under the new management the business grew considerably. Mr. Corry being a thoroughly energetic man, he saw the large field that lay open to the firm in the matter of their specialties, and he accordingly pushed the business with great success. In 1880 they took over the large horticultural sundries business of Fowler & Co. Limited, and conducted the concern under the title of Corry, Soper, Fowler and Co., Limited. Mr. Soper died in 1888, and since that date the whole of the shares have remained in Mr. Corry's hands.
He married, in the year 1871, Anne, daughter of Mr. William Hayward Longman, late of Mudford, Somerset, and has twelve children, seven sons and five daughters, his eldest son being actively engaged with him in the business.
My Grandfather, Frederick Donald Corry, Born 1887
William Longman Corry's son Frederick Donald Corry, my grandfather (born 1887), was the only child to leave England, feeling constrained by a life in a warehouse. He made his way in 1907 to Saskatchewan, where he homesteaded and built a small house near Eastend, Saskatchewan. In 1914 he returned to England, where he met his wife, Gladys Hewes Keddel. She returned with him to start a new life on the Prairies. Frederick and Gladys built up a ranch and clay-mining business, and had two daughters and a son, my father, Geoffrey Donald Corry. By 1933, Frederick and Gladys decided to move to the coast for health reasons, selling everything and driving to Victoria, where they settled on Durrance Road in the Saanich Peninsula.
Frederick soon returned to England after exhausting his savings attempting (unsuccessfully) various employment schemes. He returned to Victoria with the Corry's Slug & Snail Death formula, developed many years earlier by his father, and proceeded to successfully produce and distribute Slug Death around the Saanich peninsula. My father recalls working in the Durrance Road basement, helping his elder sister package the formula.
In 1942, World War II and the threat of Japanese invasion sent Frederick and family to Penticton. Frederick decided to sell his interest in Slug & Snail Death to the Matheson family out of Seattle, who continue to successfully produce and market Corry's Slug & Snail Death. Frederick and Gladys stayed in Penticton until they passed away. Corry Way is a testament to the impact they had upon the community.
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