MASON PEARSON, founder-engineer-inventor, went from Yorkshire, Northern England to London in the mid 1860's to work at the British Steam Brush Works, in London’s East End, in a partnership later known as Raper Pearson and Gill. The business was in general small-brushmaking. The brushes were made by hand. Mason Pearson invented an automatic brush-boring machine to speed up the whole process of brushmaking in 1885, for which he won a Silver Medal at the International Inventions Exhibition in London in that year. In the same year he invented the "pneumatic" rubber-cushion hairbrush. It took until 1905 to improve his technique, much of which was still required to be done by hand. His widow continued the business on her own for a further 20 years, when the next generation was ready to take its part.

During this period, the decision was made to concentrate on Mason Pearson's rubber-cushion hairbrush. The product design used nowadays is similar to the original 1885 model with the improvements of the fully developed models of the early 1920s. The basic product has not changed since then and some of the model names are still with us : Large Extra, Small Extra, Popular and Junior.