Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Harrison and Sons

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of St. Martins Lane.[1], printers

of Hayes, Middlesex

The origins of the Company origins can be traced back to Richard Harrison who, in 1557, was recorded as a freeman of "the mystery and art of printing".

1738 Thomas Harrison was apprenticed to the Confidential Government Printer

1743 Thomas's younger brother James joined him in the business.

1750 The company was founded: by James Harrison in London. It gained and held Government contracts from then on.

The firm started printing "The London Gazette" from 1765.

1790 James Harrison, printer, book seller, book/paper/printing trades, of 18, Paternoster row[2]

Another branch of the business was the booksellers, publishers, and exporters of 45, Pall Mall, London, S.W.

1839 Harrison and Co printers. Thomas Richard Harrison entered into partnership with John William Parker. Their main premises were at 45-46 St Martin's Lane, but they also maintained private presses at the Foreign Office and the War Office.

Thomas Richard Harrison and Thomas Harrison, of 45 St Martins Lane, were Printers of The London Gazette

1849 Harrison and Son, printers

1853 Another of their famous publications, "Burke's Peerage", was printed at the old Royal Library building in Pall Mall from 1853 to 1905.

1854 Harrison and Sons, printers

1910 End of the firm's printing of The London Gazette

1911 Started printing postage stamps, this was at Hayes, Middlesex

1914 Specialities: Postage Stamps; Mathematical and Scientific Work; Printing in Oriental languages. Royal Warrant: By Special Appointment Printers-in-Ordinary to H.M. the King.

1918 Cecil Reeves Harrison was knighted

1920 Became a limited liability private company: Harrison and Sons Ltd

1922 Listed Exhibitor. Manufacturers of Calf Finish, Embossed, and Printed Embossed Leather Papers; Surface, Chromo, Bright Enamel and Gummed Papers; Fancy Printed and Gold Embosssed Papers; Lining Papers. (Stand No. K.130)

1923 Harrisons acquired the controlling interest in J. G. Hammond Ltd of Birmingham. 1933 Started printing postage stamps at High Wycombe. The Hayes branch was turned into a paper-coating mill.

Harrisons produced stamps for over 100 countries, including all British postage stamps from 1934 until the 1980s.

1948 Became a public limited liability company

1951 Guy Harrison was knighted

1964 Left the St Martin's Lane premises.

1979 Richard Harrison retired; the firm was taken over by Lonrho.[3]

Until 1997, the business traded under the name of Harrison. The company logo changed over the years, but it invariably retained the hare, rye and sun play on words.

1997 De La Rue group purchased Harrison's and, almost overnight, centuries of tradition were washed away as the company changed its name to De La Rue Security Print.


Subsidiary companies:


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Brooklands Official Race Card. April 17th 1911
  2. Wakefield's Merchant and Tradesman's General Directory for London, 1790
  3. The Times, September 26, 1979