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British Industrial History

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John Lewis Ricardo

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John Lewis Ricardo (1812–1862), entrepreneur, was the son of Jacob Ricardo, financier, and nephew of David Ricardo, economist.

On the death of his father, John abandoned plans for a career in the Army and took over the financial business of his father.

1841 MP for Stoke upon Trent.

1845 John Lewis Ricardo recognised the value of Charles Wheatstone and William Fothergill Cooke's invention of the single needle telegraph and bought the patent [1].

1846 Ricardo took a leading part in the promotion of the electric telegraph. He established the Electric Telegraph Co, and was its chairman for ten years (four of the eight shareholders were Ricardos).

1858 The company introduced franked message papers and the employment of female clerks.

1861 Left the Electric Telegraph Company and proposed to the Treasury the nationalization of the telegraph system, and its administration by the Post Office.

Chairman of the North Staffordshire Railway Co from its inception until his death, of the Metropolitan Railway Co and other positions.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 8 April 1868
  • [1] Wikipedia
  • Biography of John Lewis Ricardo [2]