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British Industrial History

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Perkins, Bacon and Petch

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Perkins, Bacon and Petch, engravers

c.1820 Perkins and Heath took on the business based on Jacob Perkins' invention of printing on steel plates at 29 Austin Friars, London.

1821 Charles Heath was made bankrupt.

1823 Henry P. Petch, an engraver, was employed by the company.

Jacob Perkins took so much money out of the business to fund his development of the high pressure steam engine that it put the business in peril. It was rescued by Jacob's second son Angier.

1829 Joshua Butters Bacon, who had married Perkins' second daughter, joined the partnership; the business became Perkins and Bacon.

George Thomas was a principal of the company.

Angier, having taught all the intricate stereotype processes at 69, Fleet-street, was no longer required on the staff of Perkins and Bacon.

1834 Petch was taken into partnership as Perkins, Bacon and Petch.

The Government gave the stamp business to Perkins and Heath (sic) but Perkins gained little profit from his system.

1839 The firm gained the contract to print the "Penny Black" postage stamp; the process was described by Charles Dickens after a visit to the works in 1852 in Household Words.

1840 Stamp production started for the British government with the Penny Black and the Twopenny blue postage stamps.

1849 Jacob Perkins died.

1887 Following the death of Petch, the firm became Perkins, Bacon and Co Ltd

1904 Moved to Southwark Bridge Road.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • History of Perkins, Bacon and Petch [1]
  • The Engineer 1931/06/19