A Date with History

1st July 1935.


Fountain in Author’s summer garden.



Financial Times 29th December 2010.










The Financial News 30 Share Index was first compiled Today on July 1st 1935.

It is the oldest continuous Financial Index, and started by that paper, founded in 1884. It merged with the Financial Times in 1945.

The Index was devised by Maurice Green and Otto Clarke and included industrial and commercial, but excluded financial and government stocks.

The Financial Times was initially called the London Financial Guide, when it was launched  in January 1888, but renamed next month.

It was founded by James Sheridan, and ironically by the later infamous MP and swindler Horatio Bottomley. On the 2nd of January 1893, it adopted the distinctive pink colour.(1)

Companies in that early 1935 Index reflect names some of which are now forgotten: Dunlop Rubber, Woolworths, Harrods, Coats (J&P), International Tea Stores.

Then the brewers Bass, Ratcliffe and Gretton, Watney, Combe, Reid, and Austin Motors and the London Brick Company.

The FT 30 Index reflects the change in our economy as Textiles disappear, then Bolsover Colliery which went in the 1947 Mines Nationalization. Oils expanded as did the Financial Sector in 1984 when Nat West became the first in the Financial Sector.

Few remain of the original list, though of 2015 we still have the sugar company, Tate & Lyle and Guest Keen and Nettlefolds in metals. Incomers now include Tesco.

Many have been replaced in the list through take-over such as Cadbury, (taken by Krafts), who has yielded to Smith’s Group, whilst Man Group has replaced Alliance Boots (taken by KKR)-once simply Boots the Chemists.

One trend is the replacement of once household names to the anonymity of Private Equity, notably Diageo for Guinness, 3i for Imperial Chemicals Company, once the bell-wether of British industry.

Even though the FT 30 still continues, nowadays it has been succeeded by first the FT Actuaries Index of 1962 and the Footsie (FT 100) from 1984, which continues today.

(1) launched 9.1.1888 and renamed on 13th February.

Ref: ft.com/ft-30-current-members.

Ref: wikipedia.org/financial_times. Also Images above.