The business was started by William Rippon who was later joined by his sons, Alfred and Harry trading as 'W. Rippon & Sons' and 'Alfred Rippon'.
William Rippon was born in Ridgeway, on 6 December 1833, the son of John Rippon and his wife Ann. John was a sickle smith and came from a family associated with scythe and sickle making in the Ridgeway/Eckington area of Derbyshire. By 1851 William, aged 18, was serving an apprenticeship with Peter Jones, a table knife forger, and living with his family in Gleadless Common. Four years later William had finished his apprenticeship, married Sara Ann Jones, moved to Solly Street and was working as a table knife forger
William's eldest son, Alfred was born in 1856, in the Upperthorpe district of Sheffield in an area known as Deep Pits (A name derived from the coal pit shafts sunk in the area, since developed for council housing).
By 1881 Alfred had married Annie Hibbert and lived at 6 Courtyard, 9 Martin Street, Alfred's occupation was recorded as a table blade striker. Ten years later the family had moved to 47 Martin Street and by the early 1900s moved again this time to 121 Fawcett Street, Netherthorpe. Alfred's job was unchanged but his wife, Annie, was listed in the census as 'a confectioner/baker working on own account, at home', their eldest son, John William, was also working as a baker.
Harry, William's youngest son was born in 1871 when the family lived in Suffolk Street and followed the family trade by becoming a table knife forger. The 1901 census was the first record of William and Harry at 49 Martin Street.
William Rippon died in 1907, aged 73. Cutlery continued to be manufactured in Martin Street under both Wm Rippon and A Rippon names (see photos). The only 'trade' listings found were in the 1905 and 1925/26 Sheffield directory's, i.e. Alfred Rippon, a blade forger and smith, Martin Works, Martin Street, h. 121 Fawcett Street (1905), later 45 Martin Street (1925/26).
When the 1939 Register was taken, i.e. prior to the onset of WWII, Alfred had retired and lived at 1 Cross Chantrey Road, Woodseats. He died on 26th January 1943 at Fir Vale Institution (now part of the Northern General Hospital) and was cremated at City Road cemetery leaving a will (estate £250). Alfred's widow, Annie continued to live at Cross Chantrey Road and died in 1952, aged 91.
No trace of the business was found beyond the death of the two brothers, Harry may not have married and none of Alfred and Annie's children appear to have worked in the cutlery trade.