In 1888 George Tucker founded a small business in Bordersley, Birmingham, to manufacture eyelets for leather boots. In 1903 the George Tucker Eyelet Company was taken over by United Shoe Manufacturing Co. (U. S. M.) of Boston in the United States.
By 1914 U. S. M. Birmingham had become the market leader in the metal eyelet and lace hook business.
In 1934 the company developed a new kind of fixing for aircraft which became known as the POP rivet. During the Second World War, production of POP rivets reached 3,000 million and the company moved to larger premises in Perry Barr, Birmingham. After the War new markets were established for POP rivets in automotive, domestic appliance and metal furniture applications and new, more efficient rivet manufacturing machinery was developed and installed in the Birmingham factory.
In the 1970s the company’s product range increased to include stud welding systems, construction products and fuse caps.
In 2012 the factory in Birmingham was closed down and U. S. M. transferred manufacturing operations to Giessen in Germany.