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J.Wix&Sons

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J. Wix & Sons Limited - Kensitas

J. Wix & Sons Ltd.

Mr. Julius Wix was born in Russia in 1860 and started his career in a tobacco factory at the age of 10. In 1889 he came to London where he worked for various firms including Messrs. Melinsky, Messrs. John Scholey, and Messrs. Bateman as a tobacco cutter and blender for the first few years.

He then joined Messrs. Drapkin & Milhoff and was the original blender of such brands as ‘Pick-me-ups’ and ‘De Reszke Tenor’.

In 1897 he became one of the original founders and partners of Major Drapkin & Co, but sold his interest in 1901 and began business on his own account in:-

  • 1901 - 1909 at 25 Buckle Street, Whitechapel
  • 1909 - 1912 ?
  • 1913 - 1915 at 30a Commercial Road East
  • 1914 - 1915 at 175 / 176 Piccadilly
  • 1916 - 1921 ?
  • 1922 - 1924 at 24 / 26 Shepherdess Walk
  • 1925 - 1968 at 210 / 216 Old Street
  • 1930 - 1932 at 238 / 248 Old Street
  • 1933 / 1963 at 234 / 248 Old Street

Factories were situated at Livingstone Road, E15, and also at Hurst Green.

Julius Wix retired from active business in September 1927 after selling his interests in J.Wix & Sons Limited to the American Tobacco Company. He died on November 10, 1933. The Kensitas brand was acquired by Gallaher Limited in 1962 and still flourishes.

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The origin of the word Kensitas?

Some say its a corruption of Kensington, for it was at Barker’s store in Kensington that Wix first sold what were to become Kensitas. Another source has it that Julius Wix spoke only German and would wander around muttering "Kenen sie das?" (Do you know that?) and that this became Kensitas.

 

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