John Alderman is listed in the London directories from 1860 as a manufacturer of invalid chairs, couches and carriages.
At this date the term invalid had a far wider use and his sedan chairs would equally have been used for carrying the older ladies of the house up and down stairs as for a young officer to be carried in India. Alderman's brass label typically fixed to the seat frame, shows he had premises at 16 Soho Square, London.
He started out working for Thomas Chapman and became his partner in 1855 as Chapman & Alderman. They are known to have had premises at 8 Denmark Street until 1856, which Alderman later held under his own name.
After 1880 he was also located at 50 Tottenham Court Road. In 1890 the company became Alderman, Johnson & Co. and moved to 138 & 140 Charing Cross as well as New Bond Street. In 1903 the company was transferred to John Ward Ltd, one of Alderman's competitors. John Alderman is perhaps best known for his folding sedan chairs which have folding iron carrying bars and they are not uncommon.