From 1894 to 1957 the firm of Roberts Brothers made and sold a range of games, toys and children’s furniture. They became the largest makers in the British Empire but are today largely forgotten, even in Gloucester, where the firm operated.
The firm was founded by two brothers, Harry Owen Roberts and John Owen Roberts. Piladex, their first game, was created to amuse youngsters at a church youth club. It was simple, silly and energetic, but it appealed to Victorian families. Piladex became a household name, was endorsed by the royal family, and crossed the Atlantic to be franchised as Pillow Dex, one of Parkers’ earliest products.
Glevum Games was taken over by Chad Valley in 1954, but remained in business until 1956 when the factory was closed.