Made in Luton
Our spirited hardworking roots make our town what it is today. Luton’s heritage is an industrial one, which has laid the foundations for a productive economy today.
Luton has always been a town of makers. From hat-making to car-making towards the industries of tomorrow, Luton is a recognised centre of design engineering excellence.
One of a series of 12 images showing felt hat manufacturing processes. The remainder of the collection can be found in the W.H. Cox print in the Museums Luton collection
Hats, cars and planes
Hat factories set up by Luton’s enterprising business men and women in the 1800s, designed and produced top quality straw and felt hats for the world, which brought fame and wealth to the town and shaped fashion globally.
Luton continued to be a centre of design engineering excellence as car manufacturing flourished at Vauxhall in the 20th Century.
Since the 1960s, London Luton Airport has been at the forefront of aviation innovation, from the birth of package holidays to low-cost flights. Today Luton is home to several pioneering aviation businesses with a publicly owned airport that is the most socially impactful in the UK.
Bringing wealth and international recognition to the town.
A proud history of pushing boundaries
Luton is known for its renegade past and underdog spirit. Whether it is being defiant in the face of challenges or constantly challenging norms, Luton demands attention.
Innovation has been at the heart of our town’s industries for decades, from manufacturing to the birth of low cost travel.
Today businesses are coming together to deliver bold plans for inclusive and sustainable growth. This includes innovative plans for green controlled airport growth that puts money back into the local community.
A Proctor 5 and the Percivals' factory during the filming of the novel Mr Denning Drives North
on 6 May 1951. Many employees were used as extras, including crowd shots, scenes inside the
factory and cameo appearances by well known members of the management. (Luton Museum