Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,446 pages of information and 233,880 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Charles Letts and Co

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

of 13 Royal Exchange (1885)

Letts of London of Southwark Bridge Buildings, London, SE1. T.A. Diarists, London. Code: A. B. C. (5th Edition). Telephone: Hop 1250. (1929)

Ditto Address: Telephone: Hop 1250-51. (1929)

1796 The founder, John Letts, established a stationery business in the arcades of London's Royal Exchange.

1812 The merchants and traders who frequently purchased stationery items from this shop needed a means of recording the movements of stock and controlling their finances - John Letts responded by creating the world's first Commercial Diary.

Rapid refinement of the product, with the introduction of detailed information sections, meant that by the 1820s the first modern style diary ranges were being published.

1835 Thomas Letts took over the business on John's retirement

1840s-50s Letts, Son and Steer, of Cornhill, were publishers

By 1861 The company was well known for publishing diaries: Letts, Son and Co.[1]

1870 The diary business was established as a limited company: Letts, Son and Co.

1880 Charles Letts resigned from Letts, Son and Co to set up Charles Letts & Co.[2]

1885 The public company Letts, Son and Co lost direction and went into liquidation.

1921 Moved to Southwark

1922 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Diaries, Notebooks, Looseleaf Books, Fancy Leather Goods, Calendars, Advertising Novelties. (Stand Nos. L.33 and L.43) [3]

1929 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Diaries, Note Books, Loose Leaf Books, Calendars of Distinction, Fancy Leather Goods. (Stand No. R.113) [4]

1944 Charles Letts and Co was registered as a private company to take over the business of the same name.[5]

1945 Hazell, Watson and Viney sold Letts Quickref Diaries to Charles Letts and Co and at the same time took a financial interest in that business; all Letts diaries would henceforth be produced by the Charles Letts Co.[6]

1980 Production moved to Dalkeith near Edinburgh.[7]

1992 The company was acquired from the Letts family and measures were put in place to return it to profitability.[8]

1996 Acquired by Bemrose, printers.[9]

2000 Management buyout of Bemrose's printing division[10]; Charles Letts was acquired by a group of investors including members of the Letts family[11] becoming part of Letts (Holdings)

2001 Letts acquired the Filofax Group, to become the Letts Filofax Group Ltd which now consists principally of two UK operations and eight overseas subsidiaries.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times (London, England), Tuesday, Nov 19, 1861
  2. The Times, Sep 02, 1880
  3. 1922 British Industries Fair Page 48
  4. 1929 British Industries Fair Page 101
  5. The Times, Apr 22, 1944
  6. The Times Aug 01, 1945
  7. The Times, Jul 14, 1980
  8. The Times, May 01, 1995
  9. The Times, August 12, 2000
  10. The Times July 7, 2000
  11. The Times Aug. 12, 2000
  • [1] Letts Diaries
  • Biography of Thomas Letts ODNB