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British Industrial History

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Iliffe and Sons

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Printers, engravers and publishers of 12 Smithford Street, Coventry and Fleet Street, London.(1884)

of 20 Tudor St., E.C.

Mr Iliffe founded a stationery business which later expanded into wallpaper and printing.

1868 W. Iliffe of 12 Smithford Street, Coventry advertised as a stationer[1]

This venture's early success ensured that the Iliffes soon became pillars of the local community.

Iliffe's son, William, saw that late Victorian Coventry was at the heart of a revolution in engineering, and thus the ideal place from which to pioneer specialist transport magazines intended for a mass market.

Sometime after 1877 Henry Sturmey established contact with William Iliffe, a meeting which was to be a significant event for both.

1878 Published The Cyclist, which was so successful that it absorbed two rivals and moved to London as Bicycling News.

1879 Relaunched a moribund weekly, the Coventry Times

By 1881 William Iliffe senior had retired from the business

1884 The company was Iliffe and Son (see advert). Iliffe and Dawson, newspaper proprietors, were at a neighbouring address.

1891 Secured control of the Midland Daily Telegraph.

1895 Launched Autocar. Henry Sturmey was first editor of the magazine.

Company Listed as Iliffe and Son prior to 1898.

1900 Exhibitor at Stanley Cycle Show: Iliffe, Sons and Sturmey Ltd., 3, St. Bride Street, E.C. "This firm have the latest issues of The Autocar and other publications of interest to the automobilist, such as Motor Cycles, On an Autocar through the Length and Breadth of the Land, Horseless Vehicles, Petroleum Motor Cars by Louis Lockert, and Lacy Hillier's cycle and motor novel, The Potterers' Club."

1901 Henry Sturmey stood down as editor of The Autocar magazine and left the company[2]. The company became Iliffe and Sons

1903 Exhibitor at Motor Show.

1909 Launched Flight. By this time Iliffe and Sons had diversified beyond printing and periodicals.

1920 Owned British Transfer Printing Co. For list of publications see Iliffe and Sons: 1920

1923 Acquired a majority holding in Kelly's Directories[3]

Sometime in the 1920s the printing business in Stamford Street became Cornwall Press; the monthly publications business became Associated Iliffe Press.[4]

By 1965 Kelly-Iliffe group was part of the International Publishing Corporation[5]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1868 Post Office Directory of Warwickshire
  2. The Times, 10 January 1930
  3. The Times Feb. 22, 1923
  4. The Times, Mar. 27, 1933
  5. The Times June 10, 1965