At the same time cars were beginning to enter into the way of life of many people. Ashtons could not resist making inroads into the industry and began producing washers and gaskets cut from leather and other materials.
Along came the first world war and Ashtons carved their own niche in history by making many thousands of bayonet scabbards and other leather military accoutrements such as straps, belts and pouches. These were moulded from leather and the experience gained was used in establishing a new peaceful line when the war ended.
They began making the well-known “Ashtona” attaché cases, which are still widely used because of their stout construction, although today air travel has diminished the demand of the heavier, solid cases.
More wartime experience in this instance, the press cutting of leather, led Ashtons to become one of the first in the field producing cut-leather soles for the shoe repairing trade.
In the 1920s broadcasting made its appearance on the entertainment scene and Ashton’s linked up with such names as Pye, Murphy, Ekco, Philips and Cossor in pioneering cats whiskers crystal wireless sets.