History > Fac Facts

Fact #1 - Garrod & Lofthouse

Garrod and Lofthouse printed many early Factory albums, singles and other items. They were responsible for the construction of various classic sleeves bearing the inscription G+L. The company went into liquidation in the mid-nineties.

Fact #2 - The Factory Catalogue

The Factory cataloguing system, whilst apparently disorganised and without pattern holds many hidden charms. The last digit of the numbers show many groupings - 1 for major events and buildings, 2 for Happy Mondays, 3 for Joy Division / New Order, 4 for Durutti Column, 5 for selected albums and Christmas cards, 6 for Factory Classical, 7 for selected Kalima releases (but also lots of other stuff)

Also other numbers hold further logic - Fac 289 Advertising / Campaign Technique was in February 1989 (2/89 geddit?), the bucket on the Styal Mill water wheel is Fac 148 - it is 1 of 48 buckets on the wheel; Fac 24 A Factory Quartet featured 2 records and featured 4 artists (it was also 2 x 12" records!).

The video for Fac 123 'The Perfect Kiss' by New Order was assigned Fac 321. FAC 424 which was Tony Wilson's novelisation of the screenplay for 24 Hour Party People was "for 24". Similarly, Jane Stanton's Love Will Tear Us Apart film about FAC 51 The Hacienda was numbered 451 and "for 51".

FAC 511 And You Forgotten: A Memorial Event for Rob Gretton was so numbered because Rob would've been 51 had he lived. There is no Fac 69. The last FAC number chronologically was FAC 501 which Tony Wilson allocated to his own coffin.

Fact #3 - Factory Boxed Cassettes

Always keen to offer something new and different for the record-buying public, Factory launched a series of boxed cassettes for a limited section of its roster. These came in attractive rainbow colour-themed, 'hessian' feel, extra-large sized boxes containing miniature replicas of the original artwork and became instantaneously an essential items for collectors; the rarest boxes are Substance by New Order (which strangely seemed to be mainly available through Woolworths), Educes Me by Wim Mertens and both Section 25 issues; the full listing of cassettes in colour-coded order goes as follows:

Red Red - The Durutti Column
[Fact 14c - The Return of the Durutti Column]
[Fact 44c - LC]
[Fact 74c - Another Setting]
[Fact 84c - Without Mercy]
[Fact 164c - Valuable Passages]

Orange Orange - Happy Mondays
[Fact 170c - Squirrel and G-Man 24 Hour Party People Plastic Face Carn't Smile (White Out)]

Yellow Yellow - Wim Mertens
[Fact 190c - Educes Me]

Light Green Light Green - The Railway Children
[Fact 185c - Reunion Wilderness]

Dark Green Dark Green - Section 25
[Fact 45c - Always Now]
[Fact 90c - From The Hip]

Blue Light Blue - A Certain Ratio
[Fact 135c The Old and The New]
[Fact 16c - The Graveyard and the Ballroom]
[Fact 166c - Force]

Turquoise Turquoise - Quando Quango
[Fact 110c - Pigs and Battleships]

Purple Purple - Joy Division
[Fact 10c - Unknown Pleasures]
[Fact 25c - Closer]
[Fact 40c - Still]

White White - New Order
[Fact 50c - Movement
[Fact 75c - Power, Corruption and Lies]
[Fact 100c - Low-life]
[Fact 150c - Brotherhood]
[Fact 200c - Substance]


All boxes are covered in a "hessian/linen cloth", and contain re-workings of the original album release artwork. An edition of Fact 130 The Wake 'Here Comes Everybody') was scheduled for release but was not issued in a light brown/gold box. An Of Factory New York mail-order leaflet lists a (light green) boxed cassette release for Fact 24 'A Factory Quartet' but this too was not issued, although prototypes were made. This was also trailed in a Factory/Ikon advertisement from 1986. According to Phill Pennington, who worked at Peter Saville Associates at the time, Peter Saville and Martha Ladly chose the colours from a selection of cloth swatches. There is no real reason behind any of the colours except that they liked them.

Cleaning tips if your Factory boxed cassettes should have dirty marks on them (via our resident expert):

If it's the white (New Order) box, we don't have to really worry about colour removal from the fabric. I'd suggest an art gum eraser, a magic rub (for ink) eraser, a kneaded rubber eraser, or perhaps even a dry cleaning pad. Make sure it's SOFT in texture/firmness. Try to avoid the type area.

If it's one of the other boxes (most probably only the lighter ones are ever going to get that dirty - unless you're really mistreating them!), it's still probably best to use a soft artist's eraser (or the dry cleaning pad) BUT I'd highly recommended testing it on an inside (lesser seen) flap to make sure no colour is being removed first.

Most of these types of erasers can be found at any good art supply store. Examples may be seen at dickblick.com.

I'd avoid fluids of any type (even spot removers) as they may (will probably) soak through to the paperboard and deform the box itself. (Also the fluid will spread the stain, meaning you'd have to cover the entire box with remover to stop there being a faint "edge" mark after cleaning.)

And, hey, I'm not responsible for any damage from any of these suggestions. ;-)