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Born in 1854, John James (JJ) Hardy, joined the engineering firm of Sir William Armstrong & Co at the age of fifteen, then trained as a sea-going engineer, before joining his elder brother William at Hardy Brothers. The company was originally set up as a gunsmiths, but as angling was John James' real passion he strongly influenced the change of direction from guns to fishing tackle and by 1874 the company was well known as a tackle maker. John James was one of the most famous anglers of his day and wrote one of the great classic works on angling, Salmon Fishing, originally published in 1907. He became a champion salmon and trout fly caster and won more championship events than any other man in the British Empire. John James was joint Managing Director with his brother William from 1907 to 1913 (when William retired) and with Laurence Robert (LR) from 1913 to 1920. He retained an advisory role in the company from 1920 to 1932, when he died aged 78.