The London Printing and Engraving Co.

A note about this book. Illustrated London and its Representatives of Commerce was was an unsuccessful and therefore rare 252-page directory that was intended to be an annual work. The first section is an illustrated description of London. The main section is a directory of several hundred shops and businesses that subscribed to the directory and presumably supplied their own descriptions (a mix of history and advertising). Many descriptions are accompanied by engravings, occasionally photographs, of the premises (possibly from the business’s catalogue) and describe the business as supplying to the higher social classes. Copies would have been distributed to each subscriber to circulate amongst their customers. My copy cost only a few pounds at a car boot fair as a “tatty old book,” but better quality copies can cost around £100. Because it’s an important historical resource I have put it online. Feel free to download and use the text and images.

In addition to “Illustrated London and its Representatives Of Commerce,” The London Printing & Engraving Co. published “The Ports of the Bristol Channel: Progress Commerce 1893, Being a Directory of Merchants and Traders,” “Century’s Progress: Lancashire,” "Century’s Progress: Yorkshire,” (which I also have), "Industrial Great Britain a Commercial Review of Leading Firms Selected from Important Towns of England with Illustrations of England's Prominent Edifices," and “Rivers of the North: Their Cities and Their Commerce: the Clyde, Forth, Tay, Tyne, and Tees: maritime enterprise, Manufacturing Energy, Mercantile Activity.” It would seem the venture proved a failure as the publishers ceased trading and was wound-up in 1896.

NO word in the English language embodies so much in two brief syllables as does the word LONDON. To mention the name of this most wonderful of cities — the metropolis of the world’s greatest and broadest empire — and to calmly contemplate all that it expresses and signifies, is to summon up a multitude of ideas and impressions which the mind hesitates to cope with and classify. London, as a subject for the pen of the writer, or as a theme for speech or thought, is inexhaustible and illimitable. London, as a simple fact, presents an epitome of all that is comprised in the life of the present age — social, political, municipal, commercial, and intellectual. It is a world in itself, a universe in miniature, an empire of streets and houses, with every element of civilised existence fully developed; with every factor that operates in the affairs of human life aroused to the most strenuous activity; with every resource incidental to the daily doings of modem men utilized to the highest advantage.

Few cities possess a more interesting history; none is so wealthy, so extensive, so populous, so influential in the outer world; no community of men, in past or present times, has manifested a character so full of individuality, and yet so perfectly cosmopolitan. Said the late Earl of Beaconsfield, in one of his works, “London is a roost for every bird,” and the truth of that statement is demonstrated in every page of the history of the place, for members of almost every race, and creed, and nationality have, at one time or another, found an abiding-place within the boundaries of Britain’s metropolis. To-day there are in London more Irish than in Belfast, more Scotchmen than in Edinburgh, more Jews than in all Palestine, more Roman Catholics than in Rome; and as we walk through the streets of the metropolis we meet with many a face and form that certainly are not English, the vast variety of human species comprising well-nigh all that have ever ventured abroad from their native lands — from the sallow “Celestial” to the dark-skinned Hindoo, the dusky African, or the swarthy Malay. For these various types the East End is an especially interesting field of research, owing to the proximity of the great docks, into which come vessels from every quarter of the globe, bearing visitors or immigrants from practically every land under the sun.

It has been said that London, and the country in general, also, is too ready to thus admit the foreign element so largely and in such diversity, without any let or hindrance, and perhaps this may be true enough; but the constant presence of so many different types of human kind in our midst is not without its interest, and makes London unique in an ethnological sense. A remarkable feature is the manner in which these various races have gathered themselves together in localities, to which they have imparted a distinct character by their continued residence therein. Thus we find a great colony of French and Italians in Soho, where one may walk down a whole street and hardly hear the sound of the English tongue. Another populous settlement of Italians exists in the neighbourhood of Clerkenwell; Jews from all parts of Europe are to be met with in great numbers in Whitechapel; the German residents become more numerous every year, and already form a very notable item in the population; while in various quarters of the great metropolis one meets representatives of every civilised land, far and near, the majority of whom have important business interests in England, where every man, irrespective of race or creed, has a right to engage in legitimate trade, in a legitimate manner.

All the statistics of London are upon a gigantic scale, compared with which those of other towns and cities at home and abroad appear absolutely insignificant. One might write for a month and not exhaust this one subject. A few examples may be given as possessing a special interest. For instance, the metropolis has doubled in extent within the last half century, and its population is now increasing at the rate of about fifty thousand per annum. There are forty-five people to each acre of ground, on an average, though in some of the crowded districts there are as many as one hundred and sixty; and the vast multitude of inhabitants occupy something like eight hundred thousand houses, which are ranged in about fourteen thousand five hundred streets, squares, terraces, etc. Within the area of the Metropolitan Police District there are about seven thousand miles of streets and roadways; and within a radius of eight miles round Charing Cross there are three hundred miles of railways in operation.

The consumption of food in London is something enormous, and statisticians have calculated that it amounts in One year to seventy-five miles of oxen, ten abreast; one hundred and twenty miles of sheep, ten abreast; twenty miles of calves, ten abreast; fifteen miles of pigs, ten abreast; twenty miles of hares and rabbits, one hundred abreast; seventy-five acres of poultry, placed close together; a mountain of loaves of bread, six hundred feet square, and three times the height of St. Paul’s; and, “to wash it all down,” as it were, one thousand columns of hogsheads of beer, each one mile in height! It is almost impossible to conceive such stupendous quantities of food stuffs, and these, be it noted, are nothing more than the bare necessaries of life, no count being taken of the infinity of luxuries that find their way annually into the insatiable and appreciative maw of “Modern Babylon.”

Every branch of trade and commerce in which civilised men engage is exemplified in London, and the representatives of each branch are counted in hundreds, frequently in thousands. For example—there are two thousand wine merchants, three thousand bakers, two thousand five hundred greengrocers, something like three thousand tailors, a still greater number of bootmakers, two thousand tobacconists, one thousand three hundred pastrycooks, one thousand eight hundred dairymen, and no fewer than seven thousand publicans and beer-sellers. Upwards of forty miles of new streets are laid out each year, and some fifteen thousand new houses are added in the same period of time.

In every respect London is unparalleled, and stands as the acknowledged colossus among modern cities — unapproached and unapproachable. A volume might be filled in recounting a few of the innumerable comments that great writers have made upon the unique features of the metropolis — its immensity, its wealth, its inexhaustible mine of human interest, its marvellous comprehensiveness. Dr. Johnson, though but an adopted son of the great city, was one of its most loving and faithful children, and all that he has told us about the London of his time might with equal force be uttered at the present day. The citizen of London is still the citizen of the world, to all intents and purposes, and may still find within the scope of the metropolitan street system almost every material thing that man need desire to possess, hope to attain, or wish to avoid. The London of to-day, with its mountains of brick and mortar, its leagues upon leagues of busy streets and crowded lanes and alleys, its labyrinth of railway lines, its grand public buildings, its bridges, its historic river, its arts, sciences, institutions, schools, trades, industries, and its millions of human souls, all intent in some degree upon the one great struggle for existence, can still command the wonder and admiration of the most stoical or matter-of-fact among men. Even those ardent lovers of nature who pine like caged birds when they find themselves detained for long in the confining bonds of noisy, bustling, towns, have had many a good word to say for our mighty capital.

Wordsworth admired its majesty and grandeur, and Dr. Arnold, in his correspondence, wrote a notable paragraph, which we shall here quote, to show how one who loved the beauties of mountain and valley in an exceptional degree could not refrain from paying his tribute of respect to the world’s greatest city. Under date of August 1st, 1837, Dr. Arnold wrote:— “We passed through London, with which I was once so familiar, and which now I almost gaze at with the wonder of a stranger. That enormous city, grand beyond all other earthly grandeur, sublime with the sublimity of the sea or of mountain, is yet a place that I should be most sorry to call my home. In fact, its greatness repels the notion of home; it may be a palace, but it cannot be a home. How different from the mingled greatness and sweetness of our mountain valleys! and yet he who were strong in body and mind ought to desire rather, if he must do one, to spend all his life in London than all his life in Westmorland. For not yet can energy and rest be united in one, and this is not our time and place for rest, but for energy.”

Mark the sentiment embodied in the last two sentences, and observe how it notices and commends those which are the two grandest features of London’s life — its immensity of energetic action, and its vast scope for the exercise of vigorous and untiring industry. Yet was there never such a city of contrasts, for in it we may see the very essence of each element in the nation’s life — its wealth and poverty, its passion and folly, its pleasure and fashion, happiness and misery, sin and rectitude — every phase of human nature that presents itself in the life of the age is variously reflected.

That London has its drawbacks and its defects it is, of course, impossible to deny. First among the causes of these stands that fearful and wonderful thing which may now-a-days be indicated by the distinctive title of the British Climate.
For the vagaries of the weather, however, the city is not responsible, nor can it be held answerable for the conditions that give rise to frequent eclipses of sun and day by that unique brand of fog known as “London particular.” On this unwelcome but persistent winter visitant Henry Luttrell has discoursed in somewhat trenchant verse:—

“First, at the dawn of lingering day,
It rises of an ashy grey;
Then, deepening with a sordid stain
Of yellow, like a lion’s mane,
Vapour importunate and dense,
It wars at once with every sense.
* * *
Scarce an eclipse, with pall so dun,
Blots from the face of heaven the sun,
But soon a thicker, darker cloak
Wraps all the town, behold, in smoke,
Which steam-compelling trade disgorges
From all her furnaces and forges,
In pitchy clouds, too dense to rise,
Descends rejected from the skies,
Till struggling day, extinguished quite,
At noon gives place to candle-light.”

The inhabitants of London undoubtedly have the remedy for fog very largely in their own hands. If every householder and burner of coal for heating or other purposes were compelled by law to adopt smoke-consuming apparatus, the evil would soon be abated to the point of extinction. But, with all its faults, every Londoner, (aye, and every Englishman) is proud of the metropolis that stands to-day as a mighty monument to the powers and capabilities of his ancestors; and as we take up our position in the midst of the wilderness of streets and lanes that clasp the winding Thames in their tight embrace, we may see around us on every hand evidences which help us to realize one great and gratifying fact, that, through ages of varying fortunes, through all the perils of fire, famine, pestilence, and war, London has lived, has flourished, and still bears itself as a very monarch among the civic communities of the world.


In the space at our disposal here we can do no more than glance at the circumstances attending the early history and subsequent career of the metropolis, though both are closely allied with the growth and development of the kingdom in general. Certainly a city of some consequence existed here long before the Romans came to Britain, and that city was known to the early Britons as Caer Lydd, or the City of Lud. The derivation of the present name is doubtless from “Lyn—Dyn,” signifying “the city on the lake,” wherefrom it may be supposed that the broad flats or marshes which in later times existed all round the original site of the place were at that early date covered by water. Historians differ concerning the presumable origin of the early British town. Some go so far as to say that it existed over a thousand years before the birth of Christ, being thus considerably older than Rome; and Leigh points out that the tables of Geoffrey of Monmouth ascribe the foundation of London to a descendant of Aeneas the Trojan, the name given to it being New Troy or Troy-Novant. Lud, the ancient British king, eventually surrounded it with walls, and gave it the name of Caer-Lud. When Lud died he was buried near to the spot where once stood the gate called Ludgate. The opinion also prevails that the British tribe known as the Trinobantes made London their capital a long while prior to the coming of the Romans; and there is good reason to believe that London was the Civitas Trinobantum of Caesar.

Tacitus was the first Roman writer to make mention of Londinium (or Lyn-Dyn), which he refers to as a place frequented by many merchants and ships, though it had not then been raised to the dignity of a Roman colonia. It subsequently attained that rank under the name Colonia Augusta. It is thought that the Romans were a long time settled in England before they actually occupied Londinium and made it a station; and the Roman walls round the city were probably not built until the year 306, the older fortifications of King Lud serving till that time. After the usual Roman custom there were originally four principal gates, but these were afterwards greatly increased in number, and though they have now entirely disappeared, their memory is preserved in such names as Newgate, Ludgate, Dowgate, Aldgate, Aldersgate, Cripplegate, Moorgate, Bridegate, Bishopsgate, &c. The “port” of London (which is now regarded as extending from London Bridge to the North Foreland), was of much importance even in early times, and as far back as the fourth century (A.D. 359) it is said that eight hundred vessels were engaged here in the exportation of grain.

When the Saxon kingdom of Essex was formed London became the capital, under the name of Londenceaster. Then came the Normans, and from William the Conqueror the City of London received its first charter. This charter (granted in 1079) is still preserved, and is beautifully written in Saxon characters on a long narrow strip of parchment, the translation being as follows “William the King greeteth William the Bishop, and Godfrey the Portreeve, and all the burgesses within London friendly. And I acquaint you that I will that ye be all there law-worthy as ye were in King Edward’s days. And I will that every child be his father’s heir, after his father’s days. And I will not suffer that any man do you any wrong. God preserve you.”

Many a page — many a volume, in truth — could be filled with the relation of the countless historical scenes and incidents that have transpired in or near the ancient city of London, with its memories of Celts and Romans, Saxons, Danes, and Norman knights; and many a romance could be woven out of the deadly feuds that were ever rife among these contending factions, in whose eventual union and ultimate amalgamation lay the establishment of that sturdy and united British race, possessors of an indomitable energy that has made itself felt throughout the world, and of a steady perseverance and commercial aptitude that have built up the London of to-day.

We cannot pretend even to briefly sketch the long and eventful political history of the metropolis, but we may set down here a few interesting particulars of occurrences that have had some special connection with the growth and progress of the place. The following chronological list of notable events is compiled with the aid of the very extensive and exhaustive one given in that valuable work “Haydn’s Dictionary of Dates.” In the year 61, A.D., Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni, reduced London to ashes and massacred many thousands of Romans and others. Very shortly afterwards Suetonius, the Roman general, took a terrible revenge, defeating the warlike queen, and putting to death a vast number of her followers. Boadicea took poison, and the Roman influence became fully established in this quarter of the country. The bishopric of London is said to have been founded in the reign of the Emperor Lucius, about the year 179, Theanus being the first prelate. London was rebuilt and walled in by the Romans, A.D. 306. About 597 the Saxon King Ethelbert founded St. Paul’s Church, on the site of the present cathedral. London suffered pillage at the hands of the Danes in 839, but the invaders were subsequently expelled, and King Alfred repaired and strengthened the City. The Tower of London was built by William I. in 1078, and a year later the City’s charter (above referred to) was granted. In 1100 Henry I. granted a charter, and in 1154 the City received a charter from Henry II. Old London Bridge was begun in 1176, replacing one that had been burnt. In 1189 the first Lord Mayor (Henry Fitz-Alwyn) was elected. King John granted a charter in 1214, providing that the mayor and common council be elected annually. Between 1199 and 1220 numerous foreign merchants settled in London, by invitation. Henry III. gave a charter in 1233. Aldermen were first appointed about 1242. A tax, called “murage,” to keep the?walls and ditches in repair, was levied about 1282. Three years later water was brought from Tyburn to West Cheap. Livery companies were incorporated in 1327. Edward III. granted a charter in 1328. London sent four members to Parliament in 1355.

Wat Tyler’s rebellion occurred in 1381. Aldermen were elected for life in 1394. The City was first lighted at night by lanterns. Whittington was thrice Lord Mayor — 1397, 1406, 1419. Jack Cade’s rebellion took place in 1450. Caxton set up his first printing press in 1471. Dean Colet founded the famous St. Paul’s School (now in Hammersmith Road) in 1509. The City streets were first paved in 1533. The “Bills of Mortality” for London were first compiled about the year 1538 (Henry VIII). In the following year the dissolution of religious houses was carried out, and St. Bartholomew’s Priory (founded by Rahere about 1100) became an hospital. Christ’s Hospital (the “Bluecoat School” ) was founded by Edward VI. in 1553. To prevent the increasing size of the metropolis it was forbidden, in 1580, to erect buildings “where no former hath been known to have been.” Thames water was conveyed into the City by leaden pipes in 1580-94. New River water was brought into London in 1623. Hackney coaches plied in the streets for the first time in 1625. Building operations in the western parishes (St. Giles, &c.) began about 1640. Two years later the City was held for the Parliament, and in 1643 considerable fortifications were made. In 1665 occurred the Great Plague, the ravages of which carried off 68,596 persons - some say 100,000. In the following year the Great Fire broke out, devastating 436 acres of ground and laying waste 400 streets, 13,200 houses being destroyed and 200,000 people left shelterless. The present cathedral of St. Paul was founded in June, 1675, and was opened on December 2nd, 1697. A London Directory was published in 1679, and Charles II. granted a charter to the City in 1680. A penny post (local) was established in 1683.

The Bank of England was established in 1694. Fleet Ditch was covered and the Fleet Market opened in 1737. From December 25th, 1739, to February 8th, 1740, was the period of the “Great Frost,” during which fairs were on the frozen surface of the Thames. The eight gates of the City were removed in 1760-61. Blackfriars Bridge was opened on November 19th, 1769, and was replaced by the present magnificent structure just a hundred years later. The building of Camden Town was begun about 1791. Gas was first exhibited in Pall Mall in 1807. Regent Street was begun in 1813. The Lord Mayor and Corporation gave their historic banquet to the allied sovereigns on June 18th, 18l4. Waterloo Bridge was opened on June 18th, 1817. Southwark Bridge was opened in March, 1819. An extraordinary increase in building commenced about 1820. The Bank of England was completed by Sir John Soane in 1821. Cabs, or “cabriolets,” drawn by one horse, were introduced in 1823; and about ten years later Mr. J. A. Hansom invented the cab which bears his name. Twenty-seven turnpikes were removed by Act of Parliament in 1827. Omnibuses were introduced in 1829, and in the same year the new Metropolitan Police force inaugurated its useful career. New London Bridge was opened in 1831. The Houses of Parliament were burnt in 1834 (rebuilt 1840).

The railway was opened from London to Birmingham, September 17th, 1838. The railway to Southampton was opened in May, 1840. Wood pavement was tried in the following year, but failed to give satisfaction. The erection of baths and washhouses began in 1844, and penny steamboats commenced running in 1845. A year later twopenny omnibuses began running. The great Chartist Demonstration occurred in April, 1848. In May, 1851, the great International Exhibition was opened, and on October 11th it was closed. The late Metropolitan Board of Works held its first meeting on December 22nd, 1855. The metropolis was divided into postal districts in January, 1858. Complaints of the state of the Thames were made in 1858, and an Act for its purification was passed. The Metropolitan (underground) Railway was commenced in the spring of 1860. Mr. George Peabody gave £150,000 to ameliorate the condition of the poor of London in March, 1862, and this munificent donation was subsequently followed by two others (one of £100,000 in 1866, and one of £100,000 in 1869), both given by Mr. Peabody for the same philanthropic purpose.

The second great International Exhibition was opened May 1st, 1862. The Thames Embankment Bill was passed in August, 1862. The Metropolitan (underground) Railway was opened on January 10th, 1863. The first block of “Peabody Dwellings,” in Spitalfields was opened February 29th, 1864. In October, 1864, the first railway train entered the City of London, near Blackfriars Bridge. The North London Industrial Exhibition was opened at Islington by Earl Russell, October 17th, 1864. The South London Industrial Exhibition was opened by the Earl of Shaftesbury, March 1st, 1865. The City Industrial Exhibition was opened by the Lord Mayor, March 6th, 1866. Cannon Street Railway Station was opened on September 1st, 1866. The first stone of the Holbrn Viaduct was laid on June 3rd, 1867. Part of the Albert Embankment on the Lambeth side of the Thames was opened July 30th, 1868. King’s Cross Market was opened in August, 1868. The new Meat Market at Smithfield was inaugurated by the Lord Mayor, November 24th, 1868, and opened to the public on December 1st. Holborn Viaduct and the new Blackfriars Bridge were inaugurated by the Queen, November 6th, 1869. The Prince of Wales opened the Victoria Embankment, on the north side of the Thames, in July, 1870. Three days later his Royal Highness opened an International Workmen’s Exhibition at Islington.

The first of the series of annual International Exhibitions at South Kensington was opened by the Prince of Wales, May 1st, 1871. Hampstead Heath was purchased for the use of the public by the Metropolitan Board of Works in the same year. Tolls on the Commercial Road, London, E., ceased August 5th, 1871. Queen Victoria Street, E.C.,was opened in November, 1871; and St. Andrew’s Street, from Holborn Circus to Shoe Lane, in the same month. The National Thanksgiving for the recovery of the Prince of Wales took place on February 27th, 1872, when the Queen and the Prince went to St. Paul’s. The East London Museum at Bethnal Green was opened by the Prince and Princess of Wales in June, 1872. The first “Hospital Sunday” took place on June 15th, 1873; and the first “Hospital Saturday” on October 17th, 1874. Great Eastern Street (from Shoreditch to Old Street) was commenced in October, 1876, and was completed and opened in August, 1878. Temple Bar, the last of the city gates, was removed in January 1878. Waterloo Bridge became toll free on October 5th, 1878. In November of the same year -the famous “City and Guilds of London Institute,” for the advancement of technical education, was formally constituted.

A new street between Shoreditch and Bethnal Green, completing the direct road from Oxford Street to Old Ford, was opened in March, 1879. The new street from King William Street to the Tower was opened on January 25th, 1884. The Common Council agreed to the construction of a bridge between the Tower and Horselydown, with lifting sections for the passage of ships, to cost about £750,000, October 24th, 1884. The Tower Bridge Act was passed in August of the following year, and work was soon commenced upon the bridge, the foundation stone being laid by the Prince of Wales on June 21st, 1886. In 1887 the Duke of Cambridge opened the two fine streets through Soho which have been named Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road. In the same year the Queen opened the People’s Palace in Mile End Road; and London was en fete in June, 1887, when Her Majesty celebrated the Jubilee of her long and beneficent reign in a manner fully befitting the dignity of a sovereign whose empire extends to the “four corners of the earth.” It would be impossible to give even an approximate idea of the vast numbers of people who thronged the metropolitan streets on June 21st, 1887, to greet their beloved sovereign on the occasion of her progress to the Thanksgiving Service at Westminster Abbey. The great free steam ferry between north and south Woolwich was opened by Lord Roseberry in March, 1889. Of the London County Council, which, was constituted in 1888 to replace the Metropolitan Board of Works, we shall speak separately in another page.

In nearly all the above-mentioned events it will be noticed that something has been accomplished towards promoting the progress of the metropolis and improving the condition of its inhabitants. Of course incidents less beneficial than these have transpired, and though London has rarely known the horrors of war, it has on numerous occasions (like other huge cities) suffered from fire, pestilence, and popular commotions. The most disastrous visitations of fire occurred in the years 798, 982, 1086, and 1666, on each of which occasions enormous destruction of property was the result. The insanitary condition of the place in olden times tended to create epidemics; and dreadful plagues, attended by almost inconceivable mortality among the lower classes of the people, occurred in 644,1348,1485, 1603, and 1665, the last-named being the “Great Plague.”

To enumerate the riots and tumults that have taken place in London from time to time, and to explain the causes which save rise to them, would fill a good-sized book. None, perhaps, were more deplorable than the “Gordon Riots,” of 1780, when the metropolis witnessed scenes of fanatical barbarity which, it is safe to say, will never be repeated. During recent years the “Labour Question” has caused some considerable ebullitions of popular feeling, and most of our readers will remember the riot of March, 1886, which originated in Trafalgar Square, and resulted in much wilful damage. We cannot pursue further our survey of the general history of London. The subject is altogether too vast, and in the space at our disposal here we can only, as it were, touch the fringe of it. Consideration must, however, be given to some special features of the metropolis, notably the growth, its government, its present topographical constitution, the institutions, public buildings, trades, industries, &c.; and to these we may now briefly refer.


It may be accepted as a fact that London in the days of the ancient Britons was nothing more than a large collection of huts grouped together on some dry and firm spot in the midst of the marshes that then abounded in this neighbourhood; but after the settlement of the Romans the place grew rapidly, and became the seat of considerable maritime commerce, the Thames affording ready access for shipping. The Romans brought the civilisation of the Eastern world to London, and though they left but little influence upon the great mass of the people, they undoubtedly laid the foundations of the nation’s subsequent greatness. The Saxons were a ruder and rougher race, but they were industrious and skilled in many handicrafts, and they established many of our most successful trades.

When the Normans came they brought the arts and sciences which they had acquired in the south, and inaugurated improvements and new ideas which were productive of much good. During all this time London continued to expand and prosper, and as early as the first half of the thirteenth century there was a continuous street from Ludgate to Westminster, besides one running out of Bishopsgate to Islington, and one connecting the Tower with Stepney. Thus early did the outlying districts begin to assume large proportions, and to prevent their further extension laws were passed forbidding the erection of new houses on hitherto unoccupied ground. Despite all this the suburbs continued to increase in size and population, and the result of their steady growth throughout the lapse of centuries is seen in the metropolis of to-day — a vast congerie of towns and districts, which have only within recent times become practically homogeneous, and which still have many distinctive features of their own.

London is so much a world in itself that one half of it hardly knows how the other half lives; and in Kensington and Belgravia there are doubtless many men and women who have never seen Aldgate Pump, just as there are in the vast and teeming eastern parishes many others to whom the “west end” is no more than a topographical term applied to a distant and mysterious region with which they have not a single interest in common. Similar comparisons might be drawn between the north and south of London, for despite the splendid system of communication now maintained by rail, bus, and tramway between all quarters of the metropolis, the inhabitants of Camberwell still know comparatively little of Camden Town, and the denizens of Hoxton are equally vague in their conception of Brixton or Clapham. Of course there are exceptions to this general rule, but the man does not exist, and never will exist, who is perfectly familiar with every quarter of the “province covered with houses” that now bears the general name of London.

Let us glance at the growth of London — we mean the metropolis, including the “City” — as indicated from time to time by writers on the subject. In Henry II.’s reign Peter of Blois estimated the population at 40,000. In the time of Elizabeth, John Botero placed London with Naples, Ghent, Prague, and Lisbon, as having over 150,000 inhabitants, while Paris then had no less than 400,000. At the time of the great plague London was considered to have a population of nearly 500,000; and Evelyn, writing in 1684, stated that within his recollection it had doubled in size.

The real and remarkable growth of the metropolis, however, may be said to have commenced about the middle of the reign of George II. A spirit of enterprise seemed suddenly to animate all things — the neighbouring villages were one by one absorbed, the rural roads and lanes developed into paved streets, the verdant fields became covered with dwellings and shops, and progress was made in every direction. Then it was that the genteel classes betook themselves westward from Covent Garden and Soho. Prior to that Chelsea was a small rural spot; Kensington, a court suburb, reached by a shockingly ill-kept road; frequently infested by highwaymen; Paddington and Westbourne were little villages; Belgravia and Tyburn were open fields, where blackberries might be had for the gathering; and Regent’s Park was a good place for snipe”

The first official census was taken in 1801, when the population of all the metropolitan districts was 865,850. In 1821 the figures gave a total of 1,200,274; in 1851, 2,362,236; in 1861,2,808,862; in 1871, 3,264,530; in 1881, 3,815,544. The population of the City of London, proper, in 1801, was 156,859; in 1821, 125,434; in 1841, 125,008; in 1861, 112,063; in 1881, 50,526. This steady diminution (the total in the “City” in 1891 being only 37,694) is due to the constant opening up the improved communication with the suburbs, and the consequent removal to outlying districts of many shopkeepers, &c., who formerly resided at their places of business. A day census of the “City” in April, 1881, showed the population during business hours to be over 260,000. Some recent figures presented to the Corporation (says the Daily Telegraph) show that upwards of 301,384 persons are now engaged in the “City” during business hours. On May 4th, in twenty-four hours, there were in the City 1,186,094 passengers on foot, and 92,372 vehicles of all kinds. It is difficult to realize what these enormous figures really signify, but an illustration may make their meaning clearer — If the number of people daily entering the “City” were to be despatched from any given station by train, 1,977 trains, each conveying 600 persons, would be required for the purpose; and if these trains were all arranged in a straight line they would cover 221 miles at railway!

The figures of the census of 1891 may be given for the various areas of the metropolis, and compared with those of 1881. Within the Registrar General’s Tables of Mortality (area 74,690 acreas) the population in 1881 was 3,905,544; in 1891 (April 6th) it was 4,211,056. Within the voundaries of the County of London, which is identical in area with the School-board district (containing 75,460 acres), the population in 1881 was 3,834,194; in 1891, 4,231,431. Within the Metropolitan Police District (exclusive of the City of London, and containing 440,890 acres), the population in 1881 was 4,716,009; in 1891 it reached the vast total of 5,595,638. We may add that the Metropolitan Police District (the area known as “Greater London”) covers a radius of 15 miles from Charing Cross, exclusive of the “City,” and contains 688.31 square miles, with a rateable value of £35,089,558. The total mileage patrolled by the Metropolitan Police is now 8,360 miles (Whitaker). We quote the following comment from an “editorial” in the Daily Telegraph, July 23rd, 1891:-

“The vast irresistible growth of the ‘town upon the pool’ has stretched over 53 parishes in Middlesex, 35 in Surrey, 18 in Kent, 14 in Essex, and 10 in Hertfordshire. It has obliterated the ancient distinctions of hill and valley; dried up streams as a haystack abolishes a puddle; driven the wandering river back into its bed, and confined it there with new impassable banks; and, in place of the few score huts and sheds that Caradoc and Boadicea knew, it has planted within its present circumference of seventy odd miles 797,679 separate houses. What would good Queen Bess, who felt uneasy at a population of 150,000 and 15,000 tenements, have said to such a record, if it could have been foreseen? In all England and Wales, there are sixty-two towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants, but no one of these, of course, approaches the majestic capital. Liverpool, Manchester, and Birmingham average about half a million; and there is a town in Wales, named Ystradyfodwg, which, for some reason or other, has made the most extraordinary advance, jumping from 55,632 ten years ago to 88,350 this year, an increase of more than 58 per cent. Yet this is far outdone by such places as Tottenham, Leyton, Willesden, and West Ham, which, lying near to the metropolis, have shared its stupendous increase. London itself, taking the name in the largest sense, has augmented by nearly a million souls and a hundred and thirty thousand houses in the last ten years; and another return informs us that 4,162 houses are in course of construction. Nearly six million people and nearly one million houses!,”

This tremendous development is interesting enough in itself, but what will it eventually lead to? That it is in some respects to be viewed with apprehension can hardly be denied, and a very able commentary on the overgrown state of the metropolis appeared a few years ago in the Daily News, from which we may make a quotation before quitting this subject. The writer of the article in question says:— “To a great many settled residents in suburban London it is rather a dismal reflection that every spring finds them interned a little deeper in a huge chaos of bricks and mortar. They make no change of residence, yet every year the fields and the green lanes, the woods and sedgy streams of the country, recede farther and farther into the distance. London, it is true, is not increasing just now quite so fast as it has done in the matter of bricks and mortar. It did not last year add eighty-six miles of dull, depressing streets to its outer girdle, as it did in 1881; but the year before last it added over thirty-five miles, and last year it probably did pretty much the same again. Most of these new streets are cut out of the gardens and orchards, the paddocks and pasture lands immediately surrounding London; and thousands of Londoners who ten or twenty years ago might take their walking-sticks on Sunday afternoons or summer evenings and stroll off for a country ramble, now find themselves practically as far removed from anything of the kind as though they had themselves moved from the suburbs into Cheapside or Smithfield. Every year the outer ring of the speculative builder’s handiwork widens somewhat, and every year the country-loving suburban resident has to groan in spirit as the spring-time comes round and he goes out to revisit some favourite spot and finds that it has been wiped out; that where there was a broken country lane and a plashing streamlet and a hawthorn hedge there is now a straight road of clinkers and ballast, a sewer and a brick wall, or a wooden fence. All round the metropolis — north, south, east, and west — this, everybody knows, has been going on for many years; indeed, it may be said to have been going on ever since the days of Queen Elizabeth, who peremptorily ordered that no more buildings should be erected within three miles of London and Westminster, because, among other reasons, she doubted whether such multitudes as were gathering in the metropolis ‘could serve God and obey her Majesty’ without such an addition to the powers of government as she was indisposed to contemplate.

“London, of course, is the growth of many centuries; but of late years that growth has been accelerating in a ratio unpleasant to contemplate. It is particularly unpleasant for those who, as we have said, are being buried deeper and deeper in monotonous streets and roads. It is very disagreeable, even for those who have time and money to spend, whenever they feel inclined to run out of town a little way. A person may often feel disposed for an hour’s walk when he is not disposed to take a railway journey, and to thousands who have settled down in what they took to be?the outskirts of London it is a miserable feeling that every year a quiet stroll in the fields is becoming more and more impracticable. The matter is more serious for people whose resources of time and money are limited. Few realise what a loss it is to a population to be entirely shut in from the humanising, health-giving, tranquilising effect of a resort to green fields and quiet rural scenes.

Oh! but to breathe the breath
Of the cowslip and primrose sweet,
With the sky above my head
And the grass beneath my feet!

This was no mere artificial sentiment of Hood’s. There are thousands upon thousands in London who are tormented by just the kind of thirst of which that pathetic cry is the true expression, and who in the time of springing grass and bursting buds and expanding flowers feel like caged birds ready to beat their hearts out against their prison-bars.

For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel,
Before I knew the woes of want
And the walk that costs a meal!

“There was the simplest difficulty in Tom Hood’s time, the hour’s walk would cost a meal; now to hundreds and thousands living in a vast district from which the green fields were easily accessible a generation ago, there is the cost of a meal and the price of railway ticket if the breath of the cowslip and the primrose is ever to be drunk in by the jaded toiler. The world has seen only one London as yet, and we hardly know what must be the mental and moral effect of shutting in great populations, generation after generation, from the subtle and healthful influences of the natural world. If from any social circumstances we were compelled to eliminate from the food of great masses of our population some apparently trivial but really essential element, no reflecting person would be greatly surprised if in some unexpected form physical disease were to manifest itself on a serious scale. One need not be unduly pessimistic to apprehend that just in proportion as people are shut away from woods and streams and fields mischief must result. We cannot starve into quiescence the most healthy and elevating of natural cravings without deteriorating and impoverishing human nature. We cannot, we may rest assured, every two or three years interpose another dozen miles of dreary streets between millions of people and the open country, whilst we provide unlimited attractions in the way of music-halls and public-houses, without producing in course of time moral and mental and physical results of a very serious character, though it may not be in our power to predict what form these consequences may take.

“It is, however, of no use to cry out about the growth of London. Great is the speculative builder; who shall resist him? Alas! we have no Queen Elizabeth to put him to the rout. And in sober truth, it is not the builder who is answerable for an ever-advancing extension of residential London. It is almost appalling when we come to think of it from the standpoint of a few years hence. But, whatever we may think of it, it will probably go on until, from the profundity of their wisdom, our social economists have evolved some means of arresting the depopulation of the rural portions of the kingdom, and have succeeded in wooing back the people from town to country. In the meantime it is little short of criminal on the part of public authorities to let slip any opportunity of securing to dense populations such substitutes for the open country as may be afforded in parks and greens and public gardens. They are by no means perfect substitutes as a rule; but it is all we can get, and genuine art — that which devotedly follows Nature in her most bewitching moods —has done much in some of them, and may do infinitely more, to render them better substitutes. We have parks and gardens to a considerable number within the metropolitan area, or the street-begirt position of Londoners would be melancholy in the extreme. But we have not enough, and we cannot get enough. To the populace anxious just now to secure North Woolwich Gardens as a public ground, there is no satisfaction in knowing that there is a park at West Ham. To the people shut up in Clerkenwell it is of no use to point out that Regent’s Park lies somewhere up yonder in the north-west; that out towards the setting sun there lies Hyde Park, and that away to the eastward is Victoria Park. These may do for holiday resorts; but when people have ‘only one short hour’ for a stroll among flowers and trees, a park is practically inaccessible to them if they have to tramp for half-an-hour to get to it, and half-an-hour to get back. And it should be borne distinctly in mind that the necessity for open spaces — in its urgency at least — is quite of recent origin. London has not only extended, but it has consolidated of late years. Many a quiet lane, many a pleasant by-path, many an open walk amid gardens and hawthorn hedges in the inner suburbs of London, has been ruthlessly overrun by the brick-and-mortar demon within the past ten years. There never was such a necessity as there is now. There never was so large a community doomed to such desolate dreariness as is to be found in vast expanses of suburban London. Every spring finds these expanses more extensive and more remote from rural sights and scenes, without which some of the wisest and best of the world’s philosophers have believed that people cannot be either as happy, as healthy, or as moral as they ought to be.”


London, as “every schoolboy” knows, is situated on the banks of the Thames, about 60 miles from the sea, and in north latitude 51 deg., 31 min,, and west longitude 5 min., 37 sec. from Greenwich. The distances from our vast metropolis to the other capitals of Europe are as follows:— to Paris, 225 miles; to Berlin, 540 miles; to Rome, 950 miles; to St. Petersburg, 1,140 miles; to Vienna, 820 miles; to Lisbon, 850 miles; to Madrid, 860 miles; to Constantinople, 1,660 miles; to Moscow, 1,160 miles; to Copenhagen, 610 miles; to Stockholm, 750 miles; to Edinburgh, 395 miles; to Dublin, 340 miles.

Separated into two unequal parts by the Thames, which traverses it in a winding course from east to west, London, extends largely into four counties, Middlesex and Essex on the north side, and Surrey and Kent on the south side. “Greater London” also takes in several parishes in Hertfordshire, which are within the radius of the Metropolitan Police jurisdiction. The River Thames — “Father Thames” as he has been lovingly called, once a silvery and pleasant stream, but now grown wondrous dirty and dismal in these days of heavy traffic — has always been, and will always continue to be, one of the greatest factors in the prosperity of London. The northern bank, upon which stands nearly all that is oldest and most historic of the metropolis, slopes gradually up-ward from the water, while the southern, or Surrey bank, is almost level. On each side a maze of streets stretches away for miles in every direction, and the vast area thus covered by the metropolis from east to west and from north to south has a bewildering effect upon the stranger, who finds himself well-nigh unable to get beyond the endless labyrinth of thoroughfares. Indeed, if we leave omnibuses and railway trains out of the reckoning, it would take a good walker several hours to leave behind him the last of London’s gas-lamps and policemen, in whichever direction he might choose to set out.

One of the great charms of London (though some find it a defect, no doubt), consists in its picturesque irregularity. Nowhere does one find that rectangular street system which gives to the plan of some great modern cities the aspect of a gigantic chess-board; The lines of thoroughfares throughout the metropolitan area, and even in many of the newer suburbs, intersect each other without any apparent regard for continuity or geometrical precision; and the stranger who is in a hurry will find considerable excitement (even though he have little pleasure therein) in making his way to any given destination, unless he be under experienced guidance.

The omnibus system is practically perfect, and competition has reduced the fares to marvellous cheapness, but the routes require knowing, and nothing is easier than for the uninitiated visitor to get upon the right ’bus going the wrong way. However, the policeman is ubiquitous, and he is nearly always ready and willing to impart accurate information to the anxious enquirer. To learn London thoroughly would, perhaps, be possible in a single lifetime, but the task would be a colossal one. To learn it fairly, and to an extent sufficient for most purposes, is but the work of a year or two to the man who keeps his eyes and ears open, moves about pretty constantly, and has a retentive memory. “All roads lead to Rome,” and there must be hundreds of roads in England which lead to London. Take any line of street or highway you choose in the metropolis, pursue it to the extremity of its pavement in some outlying suburbs, and you will find that it has a continuation, stretching out into the rural districts, and giving access to some distant spot in the “shires.” Within the metropolis itself there are great highways, too — busy, crowded arteries through which the stream of traffic ebbs and flows continuously, reinforced or depleted, as the case may be, by smaller veins that play an auxiliary part in promoting the unceasing circulation of the mighty flood of life, and preventing its congestion. Yet it is not always possible to have perfectly free motion everywhere. Witness that most wonderful of streets, Oheapside, and its two extremities at the Bank and the Post Office. Nowhere in the world can such a sight be seen in a city thoroughfare as is here presented at the noontide hour of every working day. What a sea of heads and faces on the two packed pavements! What a mass of vehicles of every description in the roadway! “More haste less speed” is the inflexible rule here, and men may learn their insignificance in the midst of such a mighty and immovable throng, each member of which is wholly intent upon his own affairs and purposes, and cares not one jot for those of the man at his elbow. Patience is personified in the stalwart helmeted police-constable, who, with little loss of dignity, pursues the constant process of evolving order out of chaos; and in due time, by imitating his forbearance, we may arrive at our intended goal, none the worse for wear, though somewhat less “consequential” in our own estimation. But it must have been weary waiting for the worthy old lady from the country who, finding herself for the first time in the midst of this unparalled [unparalleled?] throng of traffic, resolved to tarry in a doorway until “those people coming out of church” had all gone past!

The divisions of metropolitan London are so numerous and intricate as to be unexplainable in a brief space, and they furnish a great field of activity for the map-maker and topographer who wishes to keep up with the times. Apart, however, from these many parochial and municipal sub-sections, there are three great general divisions which fashion, commerce, and convenience have created, and which know no very definite boundaries. These are the East End, the West End, and the City.

The East End is that expansive and densely-populated district which commences at the farther end of Aldgate, and extends away, beyond the City, to the east and north-east. It consists of a multitude of interwoven streets and alleys, some broad and busy with trade, some dull and quiet with dwellings on either side, some dark, mean, and not of the best repute. This is a distinct portion of the metropolis, where hard work is the rule, where poverty is familiar to many, where crime is not by any means unknown, but, at the same time, where improvement is continuous, thanks to the influence of education and to the earnest labours of good men and women who have not lost all faith in the human family of which we are all members. There are people who affect to despise the East End, who even contrive to summon up a shudder when it is mentioned; but this class of small-souled creatures becomes less numerous as time passes on, and the opinion is at last beginning to prevail that, after all, the East End has a great and notable destiny, and will in the coming years give many proofs of its right to be regarded as one of the most important and useful departments of the metropolis. Why all this was not recognised long ago we shall not attempt to surmise; it is enough to know that it is recognised now, and that many efforts are being made to improve the conditions of life among the deserving and industrious thousands who toil (many of them night and day) in this much maligned and much misunderstood region. Of the mighty trades and industries of the East End, with its docks, warehouses, factories, and shipping — all sources of national wealth and power — we shall speak later on.

The West End embraces everything that constitutes London’s political and social greatness. Here is the home of “Society”; here are the great London clubs, whose fame in many instances is world-wide; here are the Houses of Parliament, the Government offices, the art galleries, the theatres, the various centres of intellectual and scientific advancement, the University, the principal schools, and many of the finest business establishments in the world. The West End of London is sui generis: it has no counterpart in any other city or community in existence.

The “City” is the recognised financial and commercial centre of the Empire. For ages its Lombard Street has been the abode of great bankers, its Cheapside of busy merchants, its Mark Lane of the corn trade, its Mincing Lane of the colonial and tea trades, Paternoster Row of famous booksellers, Fleet Street of the printers, and so on through many other branches of business, each of which has long had its own particular locality. The vast wealth of the “City,” the influence of its Corporation, the ancient dignity of its chief magistrates, and the great antiquity and numerous privileges of its civic organisation entitle it to the respect it has won throughout the country and all over the civilised world. Within this “one square mile,” as the “City” has been termed (though its area is in reality much greater), there is concentrated more of historical interest than attaches to any other spot in England. Every street and alley has its associations every narrow lane teems with reminiscences of the past, even in this age of matter-of-fact; at every few yards one comes across something which has held its place as a landmark in history. True, the antiquities of the “City” are becoming less numerous every year, but not even the effacing hand of time can rob it of its wealth of associations or of the honour attaching to the great part it has played for centuries past in the drama of English politics and commerce.

The three great divisions we have referred to above do not, of course, take in any part of the metropolis on the south bank of the Thames. The “Surrey side” has its own distinctive features and forms a division by itself. Here Southwark, or “the Borough,” is the most important sub-section. This busy district, which is the centre of many great trades and industries, had its own bailiffs until 1527. In that year, however, the Crown made a grant of Southwark to the City, and it has appertained to the corporation ever since. In 1550 it became a ward of the City, under the name of the ward of Bridge Without — that is, the Bridge Ward without [outside] the walls. As a borough, Southwark returns three members to Parliament.

The other sub-divisions of South London comprise Bermondsey, Camberwell, Brixton, Clapham, Lambeth, Wandsworth, and numerous other districts, some of which are wholly industrial, while others, lying farther to the south and west are largely residential, though they have local retail trades for purposes of domestic supply. As we have already seen, the suburbs of London were formerly small villages that have been absorbed in the growth of the mighty metropolis of which they now form integral parts. They extend over an immense area, and afford comfortable and not expensive homes for a vast multitude of merchants, clerks, and others whose daily avocations call them into the more central parts of London, where dwelling places are every year becoming fewer and more costly.


Great and beneficial changes have been wrought in many parts of London under the influence of modern enlightenment and the spirit of moral and sanitary reform; and the improvements that have thus been effected have so completely changed the aspect of the older districts that people who lived at the beginning of the century would hardly recognise these localities could they revisit them and see them under their altered conditions.

A large and interesting volume could be filled with records of the construction of new streets and the widening of old ones in London. The problem of over-population and insufficient accommodation presented itself to the authorities of the metropolis long ago, and for many years increasing efforts have been made to effect a satisfactory solution of this, the most serious question that can come before the rulers of a great city. The “powers that be” have not always worked in harmony, for many separate interests have been involved, but during the last twenty-five years the value of their labours has become particularly apparent, and London and its people have benefited enormously therefrom. Indeed, wonders have been accomplished in the way of promoting the health and also the morality of the great masses of London’s population by means of improvements in the streets and houses in which they dwell; and not only the East End, but also various parts of the central and western districts, have profited by the intelligent expenditure of public funds in this direction.

Dirty, dingy nooks and corners, where filth, disease, profligacy, and crime once reigned supreme, have been thrown open to the pure air and light of heaven, and though the great work is not yet by any means finished, its results even now are striking. London to-day is one of the healthiest of the world’s great cities, and, considering its enormous size and the heterogeneous nature of its population, its standard of morality is very creditable. Londoners have become a most law-abiding people on the whole, and this is true even of the lowest classes, who live now under conditions which do not afford anything like the opportunities for wrong-doing which existed fifty years ago. Of course, a great deal is doubtless due to a watchful and efficient police, but more still is owing to the street improvements. Thoroughfares which no respectable person dared to traverse a quarter of a century ago have now either disappeared entirely or have been so opened up and purified that they are perfectly safe, even at the late hours of the night. The so-called “criminal classes” have greatly reduced in number, and rowdyism becomes less and less a reproach to the metropolis as years pass on, and dark, dirty “rookeries” cease to exist as asylums for the wanton law-breaker.

The formation of Regent Street and West Strand were among the pioneer works of sweeping improvement in nineteenth-century London. Then vanished that dreadful nest of drunkenness and crime, Buckridge Street and its surrounding alleys, which gave place to the broad and handsome thoroughfare of New Oxford Street. “Seven Dials” is no longer the synonym for wickedness and violence that it once was, but has become a comparatively clean and well-kept quarter, populous with many small traders and dealers in dogs and birds, and traversed by an omnibus route and a constant stream of cabs and pedestrians, who find it a short and convenient highway from Charing Cross to Oxford Street. The two magnificent streets known as Shaftesbury Avenue and Charing Cross Road have transfigured a large portion of St. Giles’s and Soho, and are already lined with tall and stately buildings constructed upon the best modern principles. They are destined to become two of the finest business streets in the West End.

The noble thoroughfare of Victoria Streel extending from Westminster Abbey to Victoria Station, has shot an arrow of light and cleanliness through what was once one the most wretched slums in the south-west district, and has become a favourite place of residence for professional men and others, who dwell in the fine blocks of “mansions” that have here been erected. In many another crowded district, north, south, east, and west, the great work has been going on steadily and unobtrusively and almost every year recently has seen one or two new names added to London’s voluminous street directory. Among the latest is Rosebery Avenue, the vicinity of Pentonville, a broad and useful thoroughfare, named after the noble earl who was the first chairman of the London County Council.

A scheme has for some time been under discussion for relieving the congested traffic of the Strand by removing the block of old buildings to the south Holywell Street. Let us hope that nothing will be allowed? to interfere with the speedy consummation of this excellent project. Another admirable suggestion is for the cutting of a broad thoroughfare from Somerset House northward to Southampton Row, Holborn. This idea, if carried out, would abolish some unlovely “bits” in the neighbourhood of Drury Lane and “Clare Market,” and would provide one straight line of roadway from the Strand to Camden Town and the north-western districts. On the whole the street improvements in London (including the great advances made in the matter of paving) have been highly creditable to all concerned in carrying them out; and if the work be continued as it has commenced, we may one day find ourselves living in a “model metropolis,” with never a grievance, and nothing but the weather to grumble at.


REFERENCE having already been made to the importance of the City of London as one of the great divisions of the metropolis, and as the headquarters of British trade and finance, some brief notice must now be taken of the constitution, privileges, and government of this ancient liberty, the corporation of which is believed to be the oldest civic body in the world. What was the actual origin of the Corporation of London it would be difficult to say, but it is known that a “Frithguild” was in existence here as far back as the time of Athelstane, and this may have been the nucleus of the council and court of aldermen.

During the Saxon period, London (the “City”) was governed by a potent official, known as the “Portreeve,” and he certainly was the prototype of the Lord Mayor. Even in the face of the Norman conquerors the sturdy burgesses of London maintained their rights and dignities, and William I. was doubtless only too glad to secure their fidelity and favour by granting them the charter of which we have made some mention. In 1189 the Portreeve received the title of Mayor, the first to be so designated being the renowned Henry Fitz-Alwyn, who served the City as chief magistrate for twenty-four years in succession, and who stoutly defended the privileges of the citizens against any encroachments of the Norman Kings. Those privileges increased in number as years passed on, and have been preserved almost intact to this day, thus giving the citizens and civic authorities a prestige which is a high tribute to their power and influence. The ancient customs of the City have also imposed several restrictions upon the merchants from which their brethren in other parts of the metropolis are free. One of these, for instance, is the rule of “market ouvert,” which obliges a City trader to sell his goods in the open and accessible shop on the ground floor of his premises.

Apparently the title of Lord Mayor was first used in the reign of Edward III., in the case of Sir Thomas Legge. At first the aldermen were elected annually, but by the terms of the charter of Richard II. they are appointed for life. The Common Council is a survival of the ancient “Folk-mote” of the Saxons, and at first it consisted of only a limited number of members, but the representation of each ward in the Common Council has been greatly increased, varying now from four to sixteen councillors, and amounting in all to 206. The ward of Bridge Without, however, has no councilmen, though, like each of the other wards, it is represented by one alderman in the Court of Aldermen. The wards of the City are twenty-seven in number, but the representation is only for twenty-six, there being two wards of Cripplegate, which return one alderman between them.

The title of the Corporation is “the Mayor, Commonalty, and Citizens of London,” and the Lord Mayor (who is held to rank as an Earl, and is styled “right honourable,”) is the civic ruler-in-chief. His powers and privileges are great, and within the City boundaries he is supreme, standing next in precedence to the Sovereign. He is elected by the Livery from the Court of Aldermen, and holds office for one year. He is chosen from the Aldermen below the chair, the day of election being September 29th; and on the 9th of November (popularly known as Lord Mayor’s Day) he proceeds in state to the Law Courts to Be sworn in before the Lord Chancellor, prior to taking up the duties of his office. The Lord Mayor’s public duties are exceedingly onerous, and his expenditure during his year of office always greatly exceeds the £10,000 voted to him by the Corporation for his term in the mayoral chair. The present Lord Mayor of London is Alderman the Right Honourable Stuart Knill, who represents Castle Baynard Ward. The official residence of the Lord Mayor is the Mansion House.

There are numerous other offices associated with the administration of the City of London, chief among which are the two Sheriffs, the Recorder, the Town Clerk, the Common Sergeant, the Chamberlain, the Remembrancer, &c., those positions are all of ancient standing.

Concerning the wealth of the City the following paragraph appeared in the Daily Telegraph a short time ago, and is worthy of quotation:— “Few people probably are aware of that which in the eyes of many citizens constitutes sufficient reason why the City of London — the ‘one square mile,’ as it is sometimes disparagingly termed — should retain its municipal government and privileges. The profits assessed to income tax under schedule ‘D.’ amounted in 1889-90, for the City alone, to upwards of £70,000,000, the rest of the county of Middlesex reaching £41,000,000, and wealthy Lancashire coming in a bad third with something under £33,000,000. These three far exceed the rest of England and Wales all put together.”

We may add that even since the constitution of the London County Council, with its extensive powers, the City continues to retain most of its ancient privileges of self government. The City is, however, represented by four members in the County Council, viz., Sir John Lubbock, Bart.; the Earl of Rosebery; Mr. Henry Clarke, and Mr. B. L. Cohen.

We append a list of the ancient Livery Companies of the City of London, which have always been such a prominent feature in the commercial life and general career of the City. They are as follows:— The Apothecaries, Armourers and Braziers, Bakers, Barbers, Brewers, Butchers, Carpenters, Clothworkers, Coach and Harness Makers, Coopers, Cardwainers, Curriers, Cutlers, Drapers, Dyers, Fellowship Porters, Fishmongers, Founders, Girdlers, Goldsmiths, Grocers, Gunmakers, Haberdashers, Innholders, Ironmongers, Joiners, Leathersellers, Mercers, Merchant Taylors, Painters, Pewterers, Saddlers, Salters, Skinners, Stationers, Tallow Chandlers, Vintners, Watermen and Lightermen, and Wax Chandlers.

In addition to the above companies, which all have Halls, there are the following, which have no regular Halls of their own:— Basket Makers, Blacksmiths, Broderers, Clock-Makers, Cooks, Distillers, Fan Makers, Farriers, Felt Makers, Fletchers, Framework Knitters, Fruiterers, Glass Sellers, Glaziers, Glovers, Gold and Silver Wire Drawers, Horners, Loriners, Masons, Musicians, Needle Makers, Patten Makers, Plasterers, Playing Card Makers, Plumbers, Poulterers, Scriveners, Ship-wrights, Spectacle Makers, Tilers, Tin-plate Workers, Turners, Upholders, Weavers, Wheelwrights, and Woolmen.

Of the trades above indicated many have become extinct, though the guilds still survive. Some of the companies are very wealthy, and many of them are liberal supporters of charities and educational institutions, doing a great amount of good in this way.

The City of London has worthily filled a foremost place in the annals of the British nation. It has ever been a champion of liberty and progress, and a leader in every good work for the suffering populations of the globe, and many a nation, involved in some sudden calamity, has had reason to bless the ready benevolence of Londoners and the powers of relief embodied in the Lord Mayor’s “Mansion House Funds.”


BY the Local Government Act of 1888 was constituted this important administrative body, in which are now vested all the powers, duties, property, &c., of the late Metropolitan Board of Works. The London County Council consists of 118 members elected by the ratepayers, and 19 aldermen elected by the members. When London was formally constituted a county the Duke of Westminster became the first Lord Lieutenant. The election for the first council took place on January 7th, 1889, and at the first provisional meeting (January 31st, 1889), Sir John Lubbock was chosen chairman. On the 5th February the 19 alderman were elected, and on the 12th February, 1889, the Earl of Rosebery was appointed chairman, Sir John Lubbock being vice-chairman, and the late Mr. Firth, deputy chairman. Among the original members elected by the ratepayers were two ladies, Lady Sandhurst and Miss Cobden. The Queen’s Bench Division, however, decided (May 16th, 1889), that women are not eligible for election as councillors. The Council entered upon its duties on March 21st, 1889. After serving as chairman for a little over a year Lord Rosebery retired from that post. The present chairman is the Rt. Hon. Sir John Lubbock, Bart., M.P., who is one of the representatives of the City in the Council. The vice-chairman is Alderman Sir Thomas Farrer, Bart., but at the moment of writing this article the post of deputy-chairman is vacant. The aldermen are chosen for a term of six years, but nine retire every alternate three years. The councillors are elected for three years.

Insides assuming the powers, duties, and liabilities of the Metropolitan Board of Works, the London County Council also takes — Secondly, those transferred from counties in connection with the granting of music and dancing licences in the metropolis, including the City, asylums for pauper lunatics; reformatory and industrial schools, weights and measures, county buildings, coroners’ districts, and other minor powers. Thirdly — powers transferred from various authorities with regard to highways, licensing of houses or places for the performance of stage plays beyond the limits of the Lord Chamberlain’s authority, licensing of slaughter houses and of cow-keepers, and the election of coroners. Fourthly — new powers with respect to contributions to ordinary roads, bills in Parliament and actions at law, medical officers of health, bye-laws for the suppression of nuisances, and complaints to commissioners as to the regulation of railways.” — (Whitaker).

The administrative powers of the London County Council extend over the following parishes:— In Middlesex, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kensington, Chelsea, Paddington, St. George’s (Hanover Square), St. James’s, and St. John’s (Westminster), St. Martin’s (Hampstead), St. Marylebone, St. Pancras, Islington, Clerkenwell, Soho, St. Giles’s, St. Lukes, Hoxton, Haggerston, Hackney, Bethnal Green, Bow and Bromley, St. George’s-in-the-East, Limehouse, Poplar, and the precincts of the Tower and the Savoy. In Kent: Plumstead, Lewisham, Greenwich, Deptford, and Woolwich. In Surrey: Bermondsey, Camberwell, Newington, Lambeth, Wandsworth and Battersea. The Council meets weekly, receiving reports from its numerous committees; and it has already carried out a large number of important public works.


The means of communication between the two great divisions of London — north and south — are very complete, and consist principally in a large number of bridges for railway and general traffic, spanning the Thames at various points within the metropolitan area. The new bridge at the Tower is not yet completed, but when it is finished it will be the means of greatly easing the strain of traffic upon London Bridge, which is, at present, the most easterly of all the bridges.

A whole volume might be written concerning the history of Old London Bridge, but for that we have no space here. The present bridge is a massive stone structure connecting the City with Southwark, and was built from the?designs of John Rennie. It stands a little to the west of the site of the old bridge. The first pile was driven in 1824, and the bridge was opened by King William IV. in 1831, the total cost having been over £500,000. Morning, noon, and night, London Bridge presents the busiest scene in the metropolis. Footways and roadways are always crowded, and the sight from six to seven o’clock in the evening on any working day is one never to be forgotten. It was computed in March, 1859, that there passed over London Bridge in one day about 20,500 vehicles and 107,000 foot passengers. A count made recently under the auspices of a weekly journal showed that in the twenty-four hours, January 22nd to 23rd, 1889, 111,873 foot passengers crossed London Bridge.

Proceeding westward, up the river, we pass a railway bridge from Cannon Street Station, and then reach Southwark Bridge, a substantial erection, designed by John Rennie, and built in 1815—1820, at a cost of about £800,000. This bridge is remarkable for its massive ironwork. It was built by a company, but was freed from toll in November, 1864, the company being compensated by the City. Another railway bridge crosses from Ludgate Hill, and immediately above it comes Blackfriars Bridge, one of the most beautiful and spacious pontine structures in the world. Designed by Cubitt, this fine five-arched bridge was commenced in 1865, and opened by Her Majesty the Queen in November, 1869.

Waterloo Bridge comes next, and a more majestic work of the kind has probably never been carried out. It is built of granite, and is 1,240 feet long and 42 feet wide. There are nine arches, and the bridge forms a splendid level highway from Wellington Street, Strand to the northern end of Waterloo Road, S.E. This bridge was originally projected by Mr. G. Dodd, but was completed by John Rennie, and opened on the second anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo (June 18th, 1817) in the presence of the Prince Regent, the Duke of Wellington, and many other eminent personages. It took nearly six years to build, being commenced in October, 1811.

The fine railway bridge of the South-Eastern Railway Company, crossing the river at the site of old Hungerford Bridge (which was removed to Clifton), has a footway along the eastern side, and affords a most convenient “short cut” for pedestrians from Charing Cross to Lambeth and Waterloo Station. The next bridge is that at Westminster, a remarkably fine structure which was begun in 1853 and partially opened in 1860. The whole bridge was opened on the Queen’s birth-day, 1862. It is one of the broadest and handsomest bridges in England.

Lambeth Bridge is a suspension bridge for foot passengers only, and connects Horseferry Road, Westminster, with Church Street, Lambeth. It was built at a cost of £40,000, from designs by Mr. Peter Barlow, and was freed from toll in May, 1879. Vauxhall Bridge comes next, and stands near to the site of the famous Vauxhall Gardens, which ceased to exist as a pleasure resort in 1859. This bridge, over 800 feet long and 37 feet broad, is built of iron, and was completed under the direction of Mr. Walker. The cost was £150,000, and toll was levied to defray the amount. The bridge was commenced in 1811 and opened in 1816. It was freed from toll in May, 1879. The fine suspension bridge connecting Chelsea with Battersea Park, and known as Chelsea Bridge, was opened in March, 1858. Mr. Page was the engineer. Chelsea Bridge became toll-free on May 24th, 1879. The next bridge to the westward is the Albert Suspension Bridge, which spans the river between Cheyne Walk (Chelsea Embankment) and the western end of Battersea Park. This is a handsome structure dating from 1872, and, like Chelsea Bridge, it became free from toll on Her Majesty’s, birthday, 1879. Then follow Battersea, Wandsworth, Putney, and Hammersmith Bridges, all of which are invaluable conveniences to residents in their respective neighbourhoods. These bridges are fine structures, the work of eminent engineers and contractors, and they are all toll-free for both pedestrians and vehicles.

A word should here be said concerning the Tower Subway, a very useful means of communication for foot passengers only, running under the bed of the Thames between Tower Hill and Bermondsey. This subway consists of an iron tube about seven feet in diameter, and the work of construction was effected by Mr. Barlow, the engineer, in a little over a year, the subway being opened in April, 1870.

With all the above-mentioned bridges, the Tower Subway, the several railway viaducts, and the river steamers plying from point to point on both the Surrey and the Middlesex sides, Londoners have no reason to complain of inadequate facilities for crossing the Thames within the Metropolitan area.


LONDON’S unrivalled and unparalleled system of railways and service of cabs and omnibuses is the undisguised admiration of every visitor. It may safely be asserted that in no city in the world can the people move about from one district to another with greater expedition, ease, and economy than in the British capital. The metropolis is the terminus of a large number of the principal railway companies in England — that, of course, is only to be expected, and we express no surprise at the tremendous activity and extent of such gigantic stations as Paddington, Euston, St. Pancras, King’s Cross, Liverpool Street, Charing Cross, Cannon Street, London Bridge, Victoria, or Waterloo. Perhaps nowhere else in the world is such a vast amount of railway business done as at these huge termini. But the wonder arises when we note the perfection of the internal and local railway system of the metropolis, and the inestimable conveniences thus made to accrue to the people. It is by this means that Londoners are enabled to reside ten, fifteen, or twenty miles “out of town” and yet be in a position to reach their places of business in the City with unfailing promptitude and all desirable comfort. Every suburb has its railway communication, and many of them have a service of trains which is astonishing in its completeness and sufficiency.

The following great railway companies have terminal stations in London:—The London and North Western, the London and South Western, the Midland, the Great Northern, the Great Eastern, the South Eastern, the London, Brighton and South Coast, the London, Chatham and Dover, the Great Western; and to these may be added the London and Blackwall, the London, Tilbury and Southend, the North London Railway, and the Metropolitan and the District Railways, which latter bear the popular name of the “Underground,” though they are not by any means entirely subterranean. By means of the network of branch lines and loop lines which intersect the metropolitan area, all the above systems are brought into more or less complete interconnection; and a passenger arriving at any of the great termini can proceed thence to almost any other by simply walking a few paces from one train to another.

Clapham Junction is the chief scene of connection between the various lines running into London, and is, unquestionably, the busiest railway junction in the world, some thousands of trains, appertaining to various Companies, passing through it every twenty-four hours. The “Metropolitan” and the “District” railways (the former on the north and the latter on the south) form a complete ring of communication round the principal portion of the metropolis, and consist of the “Inner” and “Outer Circles.” Trains run very frequently on these lines, and the system of stations is most complete, from Aldgate in the east to Shepherd’s Bush in the west. There is also an extension to New Cross in the south-east, and to Wimbledon (District Railway via Putney) in the south-west. Space forbids a full explanation of London’s wonderful railway facilities, but a few remarks will show how readily a person can get from one quarter of the metropolis to any other. By the District and Metropolitan lines all the outskirts of the capital may be traversed, as well as all the inner portions, as represented by such central points as Charing Cross, the Temple, the Mansion House, Aldgate, Bishopsgate, King’s Cross, Gower Street, Praed Street (Paddington), Kensington, Victoria, and St. James’s Park.

The Crystal Palace may be reached from several points, as Clapham Junction, London Bridge, &c. The various riverside towns up the Thames are accessible by way of the Great Western and the South-Western Railway (Paddington and Waterloo); the eastern districts and counties may be reached from Liverpool Street by the Great Eastern line; the whole of the northern counties are brought within a few hours journey by the splendid services from Euston, St. Pancras, and King’s Cross. The London, Brighton and South Coast, and London, Chatham and Dover lines afford excellent communication with the southern counties and with all the favourite watering-places from Margate round to Brighton. Prom Waterloo or Paddington the traveller can make his way into the south-west and west of England; and from Charing Cross the service to the Continent,{via Dover and Calais, is all that can be desired for speed and comfort.

There is also now in operation a line of railway which interestingly illustrates the possibilities of electric traction. This line is known as the “City and South of London Railway,” and it runs from the Monument, at the foot of King William Street, City, through a subway under the bed of the Thames, to the “Elephant and Castle,” and on to Stockwell. The road is also to be continued to Clapham Common. Electricity is the motive power, and trains, with accommodation for about one hundred passengers, are run every few minutes, the average speed being from fifteen to twenty miles per hour. The cars are lighted by electricity, and at present a uniform fare of twopence is charged for any distance. The line was opened by the Prince of Wales in November, 1890.

London has the largest and most perfect service of cabs in the world, and London cabmen, as a body, have during recent years gained a high reputation for efficiency and civility. Their skill as drivers is unequalled, and their knowledge of the great City and its outer districts is, as a general rule, remarkably accurate and extensive. Cabs were introduced in London in 1823 to replace the old-fashioned Hackney coaches, and the number remained limited for some years. When the licences were thrown open in 1831, there were only about 160 cabs in the London streets; by 1862 the number exceeded 6,000; and in 1881 it had risen to 9,650. At the present day (1891) there are probably 13,000 cabs plying for hire in the metropolis. The hansom (introduced by the late J. A. Hansom, in 1834), is the most popular vehicle, and is certainly unsurpassed for speed, comfort, and ease of management. A good driver will guide a hansom through mazes of traffic with wonderful skill and dexterity; and Lord Beaconsfield was very happy in describing this ubiquitous class of cab as the “gondola of the London streets.” The tariff of cab fares for London is moderate, straightforward, and easily learnt. Each cab is required to show a table of fares in a prominent place, and also to exhibit its number at the back of the vehicle. Each driver is also required to have a badge with his number thereon.

For the great body of the London public, the splendid omnibus service affords the favourite method of locomotion. Nearly two thousand omnibuses now ply in the London streets, besides tramcars in considerable numbers, and thousands of men and horses are employed by the various proprietors. Competition has brought the fares down almost to “vanishing point,” and it is possible to ride over four miles for a penny in the central parts of the metropolis — all of which is greatly to the advantage of the public, at least. The new types of omnibuses are very commodious, the cattle are for the most part splendid animals, and the service appears to fully satisfy all the requirements of the community.


The extensive and elaborate arrangements now existing in London for the protection of life and property have made the huge metropolis one of the safest places of residence in the world. The two main factors in securing this gratifying state of things are the police and firemen, and to them we must pay a brief tribute of approval and commendation. The Metropolitan Police originated in 1829, Mr. (afterwards Sir Robert) Peel being the prime mover in bringing about the organisation of the force. For a long time the constables were popularly denominated “Peelers”; and the more modern slang term of “Bobby” is also traceable to the Christian name of the distinguished statesman to whom the origin of this great “civil guard” is due. The Metropolitan Police headquarters are now at New Scotland Yard, on the Thames Embankment, where a magnificent new block of specially designed building is occupied. The force (according to Whitaker's Almanack) comprised, on November 8th, 1891, 31 superintendents, 794 inspectors, 1,629 sergeants, and 12,594 constables, making a total of 15,048 men. There are also 375 horses, for the use of mounted constables and officers. The discipline and training of the force are perfect, and the police constable has become absolutely indispensable to the progress of metroplitan life. His powers are very considerable, and he is generally both acute and judicious. He directs the traffic in the great thoroughfares, acts as a sort of walking directory to persons uncertain of their whereabouts, preserves order generally, and keeps a watchful eye upon the doings of the people as long as they remain under his cognisance. The jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Police extends over no less an area than 688 square miles, of which Charing Cross is the centre, but does not take effect in the “City of London,” which has its own separate police force. Colonel Sir Edward R. C. Bradford, K.C.B., is the Chief Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and is assisted by a numerous staff of experienced officers.

The City Police Force, having its headquarters at 26, Old Jewry, E.C., comprises (says Whitaker) 1 chief superintendent, 1 superintendent, 1 superintendent of detective department, 4 chief inspectors, 8 first-class inspectors, 21 station inspectors, 12 detective inspectors, 66 sergeants, 7 detective sergeants, and 782 constables, with 84 constables on private service duty. This body of police is under the command of the Commissioner, Lieut.-Colonel Henry Smith, and its jurisdiction is specially confined to the “City.” A finer body of police constables is not to be found anywhere. The Metropolitan Police Courts are fourteen in number, and are situated as follows: Bow Street, Clerkenwell, North London, Lambeth, Great Marlborough Street, Marylebone, Southwark, Thames (Stepney), Westminster (Vincent Square), Worship Street, West London (West Kensington), Greenwich, Wandsworth, and West Ham. There are two police courts in the City, viz., at the Mansion House and at Guildhall.

The Metropolitan Fire Brigade is now under the control of the London County Council, and has its headquarters in Southwark Bridge Road. In the year 1774 an Act was passed requiring the churchwardens and overseers in every parish to provide and maintain an engine to deal with fires occurring within their several districts. These “parish engines” were generally of the most primitive description, the most efficient fire engines, down to 1865, being maintained by the leading fire insurance offices. In that year, however, it became widely recognised that more effectual means to cope with fires in the metropolis were absolutely necessary, and an Act was passed constituting the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, which commenced operations under that title on January 1st, 1886. It has attained to a state of remarkably high efficiency, largely owing to the efforts and skill of the late chief officer, Captain Sir Eyre Massey Shaw, who has become known almost all over the world as Captain Shaw. A little over a year ago Captain Shaw resigned his command of the brigade, much, to the regret of all who had been associated with him therein; and the County Council have recently appointed to the chief command Mr. J. S. Simonds, who was for many years the second officer of the brigade. The equipment of the brigade is most complete and of the best modern character. The system of stations, and the general arrangement of alarm appliances, has resulted from many years of experience, and is highly satisfactory. For bravery, skill, promptitude, and discipline the London firemen are unsurpassed, and their services to the metropolis have been inestimably valuable.


MODERN London possesses some of the largest and most palatial hotels in Europe. English inns, worshipped by Dr. Johnson, and by every worthy bon vivant that has preceded or followed him, have always been proverbial for cosy comfort, and this fine old-time characteristic is now very happily blended with the more recent regime of refinement and luxury that has exercised its controlling influence upon the modern hotels of the British isles. We cannot give a catalogue of London hotels here, but mention may be made of some that have won a national and international reputation for many superior qualities. A- mong these stand the following:—

The Hotel Metropole and Hotel Victoria, in Northumberland Avenue; the Grand Hotel, Charing Cross; Morley’s Hotel and the Golden Cross Hotel, West Strand; the Albemarle Hotel, Albermarle Street, W.; the Arundel, Arundel Street, W.C.; Bailey’s, Gloucester Road,; S.W.; the Bath Hotel, Arlington Street, W.; the Bedford and the Tavistock, in Covent Garden; Haxell’s Hotel, Strand; the Hummums Hotel, Covent Garden; the Bridge House, London Bridge; Cannon Street Station Hotel; Charing Cross Station Hotel; Holborn Viaduct Station Hotel; the Midland Grand Hotel, St. Pancras Station; the North-Western Railway’s Hotel, at Euston Station; the Langham Hotel, Langham Place, W.; Claridge’s, in Brook Street, W.; Long’s, in Bond Street; the Covent Garden Hotel; the Grosvenor Hotel, at Victoria Terminus; Hatchett’s, in Piccadilly, the great “Coaching House”; Inns of Court Hotel, Holborn; First Avenue Hotel, Holborn; Manchester Hotel, Aldersgate Street; the Great Western Railway Hotel, Paddington, and many other old-established and high-class hostelries, some of which are regularly patronised by the nobility and gentry, while others have a large and valuable general or commercial clientele.

The visitor to London is, indeed, confronted by an embaras de richesses in the matter of hotels. From such a host of excellent and admirably managed hotels it is difficult to make a selection; the traveller’s means and tastes must be his guide to a large extent. It maybe added that the wants of the “inner man” are also amply provided for by the vast army of metropolitan restaurateurs. There is hardly a street in the “City,” the central districts, or the West End that does not boast of some well-reputed establishment where the “art gastronomic” may be satisfactorily practised.

Clubs are a great and special “institution” in London, and pages might be filled in merely detailing the names and peculiarities of the leading metropolitan “cercles.” They exist for every conceivable purpose — political, social, literary, artistic, musical, dramatic, scientific, &c., &c.; and they undoubtedly play a great and useful part in the life of the capital. We cannot give even an approximately complete list of London clubs in this brief article, but the following are of preeminent status and world-wide renown:— Army and Navy, Athenaeum, Boodle’s, Brooks’s, Carlton, Garrick, Guards’, Oxford and Cambridge, Reform, Savage, Travellers’, United Service, and White’s. “Club Land” is the region of St. James’s and its immediate environs, and the principal club houses of London are to be found in Pall Mall, St. James’s Street, and that neighbourhood generally.


WITH these delightful “breathing grounds” — the indispensable “lungs” of a great city - London is particularly well supplied. The metropolis has a vast area of park land scattered over its broad surface, and these become every year veritable “camps of summer,” reminding the residents of the green fields, flowery banks, and bright blue skies which they are probably unable to reach very frequently in the press of business affairs. The following are some of the principal parks within the metropolitan area:—

Hyde Park, in the West End, the most fashionable resort of “Society” during the London Season, containing seven hundred acres, finely laid out in walks, drives, greensward, shrubbery, and ornamental waters. Regent's Park, in the north-west district, containing about four hundred acres of beautiful undulating park lands, with ornamental waters and magnificent flower-beds. Kensington Gardens, to the west of Hyde Park, containing about three hundred acres, presenting a splendid example of landscape gardening, and possessing a remarkably fine collection of trees and shrubs. Here is situated the Albert Memorial, the finest' monument in the United Kingdom, erected in memory of the late Prince Consort. St. James’s Park, Westminster, once the resort of the fashionable world of London, comparatively deserted now, but still beautifully kept. The area is about eighty acres, and there are delightful walks and ornamental waters. Green Park, adjoining Piccadilly, and lying north-west of St. James’s Park, contains seventy acres, principally open, and intersected by paths running in all directions. Battersea Park, two hundred and fifty acres; Victoria Park, Hackney, three hundred acres; Finsbury Park, Hornsey; Southwark Park, Kennington Park, West Ham Park, Clissold Park (Stoke Newington).

Besides the above, there are the broad, open commons at Clapham, Wimbledon, Putney, Hampstead Heath, Peckham Rye, Hackney, Highbury, Plumstead, &c., together withBushey Park, Greenwich Park, Highgate Woods, Kew Gardens, and other charming public grounds, all easily and cheaply accessible from London and all free to the public. Many of the great London squares are almost park-like in size and appearance, and add greatly to the healthfulness and beauty of the metropolis. Among these are Russell Square, Bedford Square, Bloomsbury Square, Gordon Square, Tavistock Square, Woburn Square, and Torrington Square, all in the West Central district; Portman Square, and Manchester Square, W.; Lincoln’s Inn Fields, W.C.; Eaton Square and Chester Square, S.W.; Vincent Square, Westminster; and the handsome squares in front of the Houses of Parliament.


AMONG the most admirable features of the metropolis are its excellent and numerous charities, all of which are supported and conducted in a manner justifying the reputation for benevolence that has long been enjoyed by Londoners. London’s institutions for the succour and relief of the poor, the sick, the destitute and the unfortunate are worthy of the wealth and dignity of the capital, and in the principles of their organisation and the methods of their administration they are inferior to none in existence. Here again the narrow limits of our space prevent us giving a full list of these excellent benevolent schemes, and where all are so worthy of praise it would be invidious to single out a few for individual mention. Those of our readers who are particularly interested in this matter, and in its details, may be referred to the “Classified Directory of the Metropolitan Charities,” a complete index to the subject of which it treats. There is also an excellent list of important London charities in “Hazell’s Annual” for 1892. We append the following extract from the Daily Telegraph, January 1st, 1892:— “Charity never faileth. At any rate, it did not fail in the year now closed. According to the seventeenth edition of the ‘Classified Directory of the Metropolitan Charities,’ the total revenue of the charitable institutions having their headquarters in London amounted to over six millions sterling — or, to be precise, £6,060,763. This total included £2,658,212 for home and foreign missions; £200,251 raised on behalf of the blind, deaf and dumb, incurables and idiots; £655,790 for hospitals; £504,423 for pensions and relief of the aged; £750,000 for the Salvation Army, and £130,000 for the Darkest England Fund.”

Closely allied to the benevolent institutions are the hospitals of London. Of these there are many, and they are doing a splendid work in their several spheres — a work that deserves a larger measure of voluntary support and encouragement than it sometimes receives. The special collecting days known as “Hospital Saturday” and “Hospital Sunday” have been the means of bringing in a large addition to the funds of the hospitals; but even now the appeals made to the public do not always meet with such a ready and liberal response as could be wished. Let us earnestly hope that none of these great establishments for the care of the sick poor, the diseased, and the injured may be crippled in their operations by lack of funds for carrying on the same. The list of London hospitals is too long to be given here, but it may be mentioned that it is remarkably comprehensive, and that there are now in various parts of the metropolis no fewer than twenty-one general hospitals, six hospitals for consumption and chest diseases, thirteen hospitals specially devoted to children, seven hospitals for women, six lying-in hospitals, a fever hospital, four hospitals for nervous diseases, seven for diseases of the skin, five ophthalmic hospitals, two cancer hospitals, three orthopaedic hospitals (for treatment of deformities), two dental hospitals, four throat and ear hospitals, and numerous other establishments for various diseases, all conducted in a manner that has elicited general commendation. There are also three hospitals for lunatics, who are admitted by election or payment, viz., the Bethlehem Royal Hospital, the Asylum for Idiots at Earlswood, and St. Luke’s Hospital in Old Street. Besides the above there are seven homes for incurables, eight asylums for pauper lunatics, and fifteen dispensaries.


EDUCATION is the most powerful influence that has been called into action in moulding the English character, and there are few among the races of men who have more fully recognised the necessity existing for the careful instruction of the young than have the people of the United Kingdom. British schools and colleges have long been famous, and those of London are no exception to this rule, the academical establishments of the metropolis being upon a par with its other highly developed institutions. The educational facilities afforded in London at the present day are of the very highest order, and some of the great schools carried on are almost unrivalled in the successes of their alumni. Among these we must specially mention those celebrated seats of learning, St. Paul’s School, Hammersmith Road; Westminster School, in Dean’s Yard, S.W; Christ’s Hospital, Newgate Street, E.C.; Merchant Taylor’s School, Charterhouse Square; and Dulwich College, S.E.; all of which are ancient and highly interesting institutions.

St. Paul’s School, removed from the City to splendid new buildings in Hammersmith Road, was founded in 1509 by Dean Colet of St. Paul’s. Westminster School, located under the shadow of the ancient Abbey, owes its origin to Queen Elizabeth, and dates from 1560. Christ’s Hospital (the “Bluecoat School”), which is soon to be removed into the country, is one of the most interesting of London’s old-educational foundations, and was one of the many excellent schools founded and endowed by the youthful and studious King Edward VI. The famous school of the Merchant Taylor’s Company, in Charterhouse Square, dates from 1561; and Dulwich College was founded in 1619 by Edward Alleyn, an eminent comedian of that period. Beside the above ancient schools, London has King’s College School, Strand, founded 1828; University College, Gower Street, founded 1832; the City of London School, on the Thames Embankment, founded in 1834; and a large number of other excellent and highly reputed schools, colleges, and institutions, including several polytechnics and no fewer than thirty-three grammar schools.

The London School Board has done excellent work in the field of elementary education among the masses of the people, and since its establishment in November, 1870, it has provided accommodation in permanent schools for considerably over 410,000 children. Large additions to this accommodation are being prepared. There are in the service of the Board 7,450 adult teachers and 1,472 pupil teachers. Mr. J. R. Diggle, M.A., is chairman of the Board, which has its offices on the Victoria Embankment, and meets every Thursday afternoon. The present members of the Board were elected by the ratepayers in November, 1891, and will hold office for three years.

London also has a regularly constituted University, termed the “University of London,” and dating from the year 1836. It is governed by a Chancellor (the Earl of Derby), a Vice-chancellor (Sir James Paget, Bart.), and a senatus of thirty-six members, and its representative in Parliament is Sir John Lubbock, Bart. There are a large number of examiners and assistant examiners, and the university is empowered to grant degrees to students of the universities of the United Kingdom, and of many collegiate establishments. A supplement to the charter (1878) authorised the granting of degrees to women.

Besides scholastic institutions of a general character, the metropolis has many establishments of high standing devoted to imparting instruction in special subjects. For example — a great impetus has been given to the study of music by the work of the Royal Academy of Music, the Royal College of Music, and the Guildhall School of Music. The splendid system of the Science and Art Department, South Kensington, is known and appreciated in all parts of the country, and its influence is felt throughout the kingdom. The requirements of technical education are attended to at several noted establishments, among which are the City and Guilds Technical College, Finsbury; the South London School of Technical Art, Kennington Park Road; the Polytechnic, Regent Street; the People’s Palace, Mile End Road; and the school at New Cross, so munificently endowed by the Goldsmiths’ Company to promote technical education in South London. It need hardly be said that these and many other establishments designed to advance the intellectual, artistic, scientific, and practical culture of the people are fully availed of and highly appreciated by those for whose benefit they are maintained.

Undoubtedly a great part in the education of the public is sustained by the many fine museums in London, among the foremost of which are — The British Museum, the Natural History Museum, the South Kensington Museum, the Bethnal Green Museum, the Guildhall Museum, the Soane Museum, and numerous smaller establishments possessing valuable collections of artistic, scientific, and literary treasures. London has also a host of public and private art galleries, where frequent exhibitions are held; and as some claim is advanced for the drama as a popular educator, as well as an entertainer, it may be mentioned that the metropolis has now by far the largest number of “Thespian temples” to be found in any city in the world. There are now between sixty and seventy theatres and music-halls in the metropolitan area; and besides these there are a great many fine halls for concerts and non-dramatic entertainments, the long list of these being headed by the Royal Albert Hall, St. James’s Hall, Exeter Hall, Prince’s Hall, and Steinway Hall, which are all specially suitable and largely used for musical performances. In short, no city at home or abroad has better facilities for the entertainment of its population, musically, dramatically, and artistically; and a play or an opera which secures the approval of a London audience goes forth bearing the “hallmark” of merit which is almost a sure passport to similar success in all parts of the English-speaking world.


The ecclesiastical edifices of the metropolis are, it need hardly be said, remarkably numerous, and many of them are of surpassing interest, historically and architecturally. First and foremost stands the vast cathedral of St. Paul, the Metropolitan Mother Church, and the noblest work of a giant among architects. There are many who affirm that this majestic pile is, in not a few respects, superior even to St. Peter’s at Rome, and the latter is certainly its only rival among buildings of a similar class. A church has stood upon the site of St. Paul’s from the earliest days of Christianity in England, but Old St. Paul’s (a splendid Gothic edifice, with a spire of stupendous height), was destroyed by the great fire in 1666, and Sir Christopher Wren was commissioned to design and erect the present cathedral. The majestic pile stands as a fitting monument to its architect, and to-day, under the rule of an enlightened and earnest-minded capitular body, it is one of the greatest centres of religious activity associated with the Church of England. St. Paul’s Cathedral contains the tombs of Nelson, Wellington, and many another illustrious upholder of Britain’s rights and prowess on land and sea. Its mighty dome dominates the City and is the great landmark in every view of London. The cathedral was commenced in 1675, and opened in 1697, but was not completed until 1710. At the present time the interior decoration is receiving much attention, with admirable results. The very Rev. Robert Gregory, D.D., is Dean of St. Paul’s.

Westminster Abbey, founded by Edward the Confessor, and rebuilt, restored, and enlarged by several successive sovereigns, is beyond doubt the most historic edifice in London. This beautiful “temple of silence and reconciliation” is the Valhalla of great Englishmen, and within its sacred walls “men who have filled history with their deeds and the earth with their renown,” sleep their last long sleep. No pen can do justice to the subject presented for our consideration by this ancient fane, rich in memories of all that is most glorious in the annals of our nation. From the Saxon King Harold to our Queen Empress Victoria all the sovereigns of England have been crowned here, and within its stately walls many of them have been laid to rest. Almost side by side with her kings — all under the same lofty Gothic roof — lie many of England’s most illustrious children. Poets, statesmen, warriors, men of letters, artists — in fact all the great phases of the nation’s manhood, are represented in this Pantheon of the British Empire. Westminster Abbey is a collegiate church, governed by a dean and chapter, and the services are conducted in accordance with cathedral usage. The very Rev. G. Granville Bradley, D.D., is Dean of Westminster.

We cannot speak in detail of the other churches of London, but the following is a brief list of some of the most noteworthy and interesting:— St. Saviour’s, Southwark, the future cathedral of South London; All Saints, Margaret Street, W.; All Souls, Langham Place; the Chapel Royal Savoy; St. Andrew’s, Holborn; St. Alban’s, Brook Street, Holborn; St. Andrew Undershaft, Leadenhall Street; St. Andrew’s, Wells Street, W.; St. Barnabas, Pimlico, S.W.; St. Bride’s, Fleet Street; St. Dunstan’s, Fleet Street; St. Martin’s-in-the- Fields, Trafalgar Square; St. Giles’s, High Street, St. Giles’s; St. George’s, Hart Street, Bloomsbury; St. George’s, Hanover Square; St. Margaret’s, Westminster; St. Clement Danes and St. Mary-le-Strand, Strand; St. Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside; St. Michael’s, Cornhill; St. Pancras, Woburn Place, W.C.; St. Sepulchre’s, Holborn; the Temple, Church, Temple, W.C.; St. Paul’s, Covent Garden, W.C.; St. Stephen’s, Walbrook, E.C. All these churches should be seen by visitors to London.

There are hundreds of other places of worship in the metropolis, the requirements of all denominations being fully provided for; and the Roman Catholic communion have a cathedral (St. George’s, South London), a Pro-Cathedral (Kensington), and an Oratory (Brompton), besides a great number of churches. London is the See of an Anglican bishop (the Right Hon. and Right Rev. Frederick Temple, D.D., Bishop of London); and there is also a Roman Catholic Arch-Diocese, the spiritual head of which is His Eminence Herbert Cardinal Vaughan, Archbishop of Westminster.


It is not intended that this brief article should assume any of the functions of a guide book, its object being merely to illustrate a few of the great features of modern London, thereby suggesting the manner in which the metropolis has developed and the extent of its advancement during the more recent periods of its history. This object, perhaps, will be best attained by some such consideration of London’s vast mercantile and industrial interest as will be found in the series of articles occupying the major portion of the present volume; and we shall therefore bring our remarks upon the various places of interest, public buildings, &c., within the metropolitan area into as small a space as possible.

There are in London almost innumerable spots which are singularly rich in interest of some kind. Despite the changes that are constantly taking place, this characteristic continues to be admirably preserved. Many of the streets, for example, form a source of constant entertainment and instruction, and most of these thoroughfares are almost unique. Piccadilly, Bond Street, andRegent Street present an array of high-class shops, such as can hardly be matched elsewhere in the world. Cheapside we have already referred to as a scene of business activity altogether unrivalled. Whitechapel High Street, and the Mile End Road (viewed from the top of an omnibus for choice) spread out before the eyes of the visitor a scene that is not likely to be ever forgotten. The Strand, that historic thoroughfare whose lawns and gardens in the olden days stretched down to the bank of the “silver streaming Thames,” is a street sui generis — there is nothing just like it in any other city in the world. Fine shops here attract the attention, and there is an air of briskness and of vivacity that savours not so much of business as of pleasure. The great elements of life are here combined in a striking manner; work is constantly commingled with play. The Strand is the chosen haunt of the dramatic and literary professions as well, and on a fine spring day it has been said that one can here meet upon the pavement in the course of a half-hour’s stroll, more men of mark and talent in the world of letters and of the drama than can be encountered in any other single street at home or abroad in a day’s ramble.

Fleet Street, which is but a continuation of the Strand eastward of Temple Bar, presents a picture somewhat allied to the above, but in many respects quite distinct. Here we find the journalistic centre of the English-speaking world; the home of the press, that mighty agent of progress and freedom which England first brought to a state of perfection. The very air of Fleet Street is redolent of news; everybody seems upon the verge of hearing some great and startling piece of intelligence from somewhere. There is always an atmosphere of suppressed excitement; men and boys rush to and fro upon all sorts of errands connected with the affairs of the fourth estate; and all the quaint little courts, alleys and side streets that intersect the purlieus of this remarkable thoroughfare are perpetually noisy with the clatter of printing machines and the constant hubbub of great publishing enterprises.

There is but one Fleet Street, and almost every London newspaper of international reputation has its offices here, not to mention the hundreds of smaller journals and periodicals of all kinds and a great number of provincial papers that have opened branches or London offices within the boundaries of “Typographia.” The principal exceptions to this general rule are The Times and the Morning Post, the former having its headquarters in Printing House Square, Doctor’s Commons, E.C., and the latter in Wellington Street, Strand.

Paternoster Row is another highly interesting thoroughfare, and has long been the abode of famous booksellers. Close by is Stationers’ Hall, where copyrights are registered. In former times many noted music publishers had their shops in Paternoster Row, but they have since moved westward, and now abound in Berners Street and that vicinity generally.

The great markets of London at Leadenhall, Smithfield, &c., &c., not forgetting the world-renowned Billingsgate, should always be visited by those who wish to see special features of London life; and hours can be spent in Covent Garden, the Lowther Arcade (a juvenile paradise packed with toys), the Burlington Arcade, with its elegant shops, the Soho Bazaar, the Crystal Palace Bazaar (Great Portland Street), and many other public resorts of a like nature.

Among the historic relics of old London, St. Paul’s, Westminster Abbey, and the ancient Tower of London are, of course, pre-eminent. Next comes the Temple, with its beautiful church, almost the only edifice now remaining to remind us of that warlike religious order of Knights Templars, whose power and influence were so great in mediaeval times. The Albert Memorial, the Monument (commemorating the Great Fire), the Duke of York’s Column, the Nelson Monument, the Guards’ Memorial, the Crimean Memorial, and Cleopatra’s Needle, are the principal erections of a monumental character in London, though there are numerous statues of more or less artistic merit.

Many of the public buildings of London are remarkably fine edifices, and do credit to a metropolis of such wealth and prestige. The following is a brief list of the principal ones, with dates, &c.:- Buckingham Palace, the town residence of the Queen, built by Nash in 1826, added to by Blore in 1846, and first occupied by Her Majesty in 1857. The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, built in 1836-38, Mr. Wilkins being the architect. Burlington House, the home of the Royal Academy of Arts, erected in 1855 by Messrs. Banks & Barry, a fine example of Italian Renaissance, with one of the most beautiful pairs of iron gates in England. The Royal Albert Hall, the largest and finest hall for musical performances in London or in the kingdom, capable of seating over 8,000 persons, possessing a grand organ by Willis, which is among the largest instruments in the world. The hall was built between 1868 and 1871, the architects being Captain Fowke and Colonel Scott; and the total cost was over £200,000. The Natural History Museum, South Kensington, a building of magnificent proportions, erected in 1879 to receive the natural history collection of the British Museum. The Admiralty, a large group of buildings in Whitehall, erected early in the last century by Ripley, and forming the headquarters of the naval administration. The Horse Guards, an extensive block built in the reign of George II., and used as the headquarters of the household troops. The Banqueting Hall, Whitehall, designed by Inigo Jones, and erected as part of a new royal palace for James I.; until recently the Chapel Royal, Whitehall, had its services here, but these have been discontinued. The Treasury Buildings, Whitehall, built by Barry in 1848, and containing a large number of Government offices and departments.

The Houses of Parliament, designed by Barry and dating from 1840, covering an area of nearly nine acres, and forming a very fine example of Perpendicular Gothic architecture. Westminster Hall, built by Richard II., and possessing the finest wooden roof (unsupported by pillars) in existence. Somerset House, the home of the Inland Revenue Department, extending from the Strand to the Victoria Embankment, a very stately and handsome pile designed by Chambers in 1767. The Royal Palace of Justice, popularly known as the “Law Courts,” built in a fine style of Gothic by Mr. Street, and opened in 1883. The Record Office, Fetter Lane, a splendid fireproof structure of handsome and massive appearance, completed in 1867 by Sir J. Pennethorne, and used as a store for the national documents. The Bank of England, commenced 1734, completed in its present form 1848, occupying about four acres of ground. The Mansion House, the residence of the Lord Mayor, completed in the Classical style by Dance, 1753. The Guildhall contains a free public library, museum, reading room, banqueting hall, council chambers, courts of law, &c. The General Post Office, St. Martins-le-Grand, comprising two very large blocks on opposite sides of the street, the older dating from 1829 (Smirke, architect), the newer from 1870, Mr. Williams being responsible for the designs. The Royal Exchange, designed by Tite, and opened in 1844. Lambeth Palace, opposite Westminster, a very ancient and historic group of buildings, the London residence of the Archbishops of Canterbury. The British Museum, Bloomsbury, one of the grandest Classical structures in England, and the largest and most interesting museum in the world; completed in 1857, the architects being Sir Robert Smirke and Mr. Sidney Smirke.


IN its mercantile and manufacturing aspects London presents two of the most interesting phases of its character; and from a purely practical point of view these features are far more noteworthy and important than even the great political, social, and historical attributes of the metropolis. Every branch of commerce that has been made profitable by human ingenuity and tact is represented in the almost endless list of London’s trades, and almost the same thing may be said concerning the metropolitan industries. Industries innumerable are carried on upon a scale of the utmost magnitude; and if a catalogue of all these trades were compiled it would include in its principal sections metalworking in every branch, furniture making, leather manufacture, engineering, watch-making, silk-weaving, brewing, distilling, sugar refining, tobacco manufacture, cutlery and electro-plate manufacture, wood-working, ship-building, sail-making, chemical manufacture, soap and match manufacture, pottery manufacture, the production of candles, preserves of all kinds, musical instruments, high-class tools, all manner of electrical and other machinery, ropes, clothing, boots and shoes, hats, carriages and waggons, and countless other articles for home use and for exportation. As a matter of fact (with the exception of woollen, linen and cotton manufacture), there is not an industry peculiar to any other town or city in the United Kingdom that has not been largely and successfully developed in this great head and centre of the nation’s trade.

The importance of the port of London as a shipping centre may be inferred from the fact that the Custom House alone gives employment to over 2,000 persons. The tonnage of the port is over 6,000,000 tons; and the entries and clearances of vessels average about 150 a day, or, say, 50,000 a year. The Customs revenue is between ten and eleven millions sterling per annum; and the total foreign trade of London (imports and exports) is far and away the greatest of any port in the world, amounting to nearly 28 per cent, of the trade of the entire kingdom.

Before bringing this article to a close we must say a word concerning the Press of London, to which the entire kingdom owes a great deal. In 1830 (according to the Encyclopaedia Metropolitana) the newspaper press of London had become a very powerful agent, and had “risen to extraordinary importance under the free Constitution of the country and the shifting aspect of its political relations.” The writer of the article quoted from goes on to say: “Though fettered and burdened by an enormous weight of taxation on every material employed in its operations, and especially by the duties payable to Government on even the smallest advertisement, its extent and influence in the metropolis, when compared with that of fifty years ago, is surprisingly great.” Since these words were written the press in London has got rid of its “fetters and burdens” to a very large extent, and the blessings of freedom it now enjoys are the source of its continual development and improvement. The tone of the London press is, for the most part, a high one, and its influence is unquestionable, both at home and abroad. Edited by brilliant and thoroughly capable journalists, and conducted with conspicuous enterprise and vigour, it has ever been the champion of the weak against the strong, and the upholder of the cause of freedom and justice. There are newspapers in London whose dicta are respected in the courts and Cabinets of Europe, and which, while they speak with no uncertain sound for the necessary maintenance of international peace, are ever among the first to assert our national rights and to point out the best methods of safeguarding the same. Of these journals, and of all others which emulate their high example, the metropolis and its inhabitants have every reason to be proud.

In dealing with the varied and well-nigh infinite features of life, society, politics, art, letters, science, and commerce presented by the British metropolis, words almost cease to be a medium, and become little more than a makeshift. When all is said and done, however, the great fact remains that London still stands at the head of the cities of the world, unrivalled, unique, and becoming more wonderful every year.

“The Babylonian spires are sunk,
Achaia, Rome, and Egypt moulder down,”

but London, the capital of the British Isles, nay, of this huge rotundity we tread, continues to grow with even greater luxuriance than when, three-quarters of a century since, our home poet sung —

“Where has commerce such a mart,
So rich, so thronged, so drain’d, and so supplied,
As London ? opulent, enlarged, and still
Increasing London ? ”

Still increasing London! That is the watchword for the future, as it has been for the past. Where the increase will end none of us can guess, and few of us, perhaps, care to conjecture; but one thing is certain — the growth of the “world city on the banks of Thames ” has not yet approached its limit, and the possibilities of the future unfold a picture which we of the present age can hardly contemplate, even in the mind’s eye, without a sensation of excitement. At all events, the supposititious New Zealander who is to sit upon the broken arches of London Bridge and sketch the ruins of St. Paul’s, is still secure in the Antipodean fastnesses, and as we view the metropolis in the present year of grace, nothing seems farther outside the bounds of possibility than the fulfilment of the doleful mission which pessimists prophets have assigned to him.



THERE is probably no type of mercantile establishment more genuinely interesting than a large modern drapery emporium of the first class. Its varied features, and the important part it plays in the affairs of the household and the life of the fashionable world, give it a special claim upon public attention. It involves the constant exercise of rare faculties of taste, discernment, enterprise and technical knowledge on the part of its proprietory; and the nature of a large portion of its diversified stock is such as to arouse the admiration of those in whom there exists a love of the beautiful and the artistic.

All these characteristics, and many others almost equally attractive, are found in a high state of development in that beau ideal of a metropolitan textile and fashion warehouse, the magnificent establishment of Messrs. Marshall & Snelgrove — a firm whose record presents one of the most striking examples of well-directed energies and commercial skill to be met with in the annals of mercantile enterprise in London. It was in the year 1837 that this great concern inaugurated its conspicuously prosperous career, and during the more than half a century that has elapsed since then it has so kept pace with the progress of the times and the demands of a critical and select clientele, that it stands to-day not only in the front rank of West End trade, but also the possessor of an international renown and influence which speaks volumes for the unerring judgment of those who have guided it to its present commanding position. From year to year the trade of the firm has increased with the regularity that denotes the substantial basis upon which its foundations rest, and to speak of Marshall & Snelgrove’s at this day is to indicate the recognised emporium of supply for all the thousand and one articles of drapery and fashionable habiliment which appeal to the taste and fancy of the most cultured classes of the purchasing public.

Twelve years ago was erected the stately block of premises which, now accommodates the immense business of Messrs. Marshall & Snelgrove, and the fruits of long experience and practical ability have so manifested themselves here that it is, perhaps, no exaggeration to term this noble pile the most perfectly equipped and most conveniently arranged establishment of its kind in the metropolis. The buildings have been completed in a modification of the Italian style, which ensures commodiousness as well as architectural beauty, and they are replete with every special contrivance and appliance to facilitate the transaction of a business of extraordinary magnitude and comprehensiveness. The block is bounded on the south by Oxford Street, on the east by Vere Street, and on the north by Henrietta Street, and on the west by Marylebone Lane. These four important thoroughfares afford, ready access to every part of the premises, each frontage having one or more entrances by which the visitor may expeditiously and conveniently approach any of the twenty-five distinct departments into which the warehouse and its colossal stocks are subdivided. Thus, glancing briefly at the ground plan of the establishment, we find it so arranged that the haberdashery and ribbon departments stand one on each side of the noble main entrance from Oxford Street. To the west of these are the cloak-room and the floor-cloth department, with the furnishing department extending round the south-western corner of the block, and running a long way up the Marylebone Lane side. East of the Oxford Street entrance, after the ribbon department, come hosiery, flannels, and linens, the latter occupying the Vere Street corner. Turning up Vere Street the gentlemen’s hosiery, costume, ball-dresses, and mourning department (with spacious fitting-rooms), dress-making, millinery, flowers, ladies’ hosiery, parasols, and trimming departments follow each other in succession up to the comer of Henrietta Street. In this latter thoroughfare are found the white embroidery, silk, and ladies’ and children’s outfitting departments.

Returning to Marylebone Lane we note the extension of the furnishing department quite half-way up the street, and after this (towards Henrietta Street) come the offices and counting-house, occupying a large area, and accommodating a remarkably numerous and always industrious clerical staff, whose members have doubtless plenty to do in looking after the commercial and financial routine of such a gigantic concern. In the vast interior of the block, between the four boundaries above mentioned, the visitor is introduced to the carpet and rug, general drapery, silk, lace and embroidery, shawl, ladies’ gloves, fancy jewellery, curtain, fancy drapery, muslin, and various other departments, all systematically and conveniently laid out, and presenting collectively a most impressive evidence of this eminent firm’s resources.

If any one department is of prime importance where all are so perfect in their several ways, the post of honour may perhaps be accorded to silks. In these magnificent fabrics Messrs. Marshall & Snelgrove are pre-eminent, and they show an assortment which, for comprehensiveness and perfection of quality, is unrivalled. It is not too much to say that no other house in the world can invite the attention of its patrons to a greater profusion of rich and beautiful silk textiles than is here displayed daily to the visiting public. Messrs. Marshall & Snelgrove command the markets of the world, and lay them all under tribute for every novelty as well as for every standard silk fabric in perennial vogue; and for this reason it is impossible to suppose that they stand second to any other firm in existence. We believe it is a fact that they are the heaviest purchasers in the Lyons market — the greatest source of supply for all standard qualities of silks.

In other departments, such as mantles, furs, millinery, ball-dresses, and costumes, shawls, ladies’ outfittings, &c., &c., this house is hardly less distinguished, and continues to lead the way in matters of style, taste, and novelty. The dress-making and millinery staff includes some of the most experienced and skilful artistes in London, and their productions exemplify every modification of fashion with faultless taste and perfect fidelity. Competent dressmakers are sent to any part of the country when required, so that ladies can enjoy the advantages of the highest class of workmanship without the necessity of personally visiting the establishment. At the same time we are bound to say that such a visit is an additional advantage for by no other means can the resources of Messrs. Marshall & Snelgrove’s fashion departments be so readily recognised and appreciated. The talent and energy of Continental manufacturers produce and supply a vast number of attractive novelties every year, especially in the matter of fancy drapery and ladies’ and children’s apparel, and all these are available without the slightest delay at Messrs. Marshall & Snelgrove’s, thus further indicating the close and sensitive communication subsisting between this great emporium and the various centres of artistic effort and fashionable invention abroad.

We might fill pages with passing comments upon the innumerable attractions of this firm’s establishment, but the work would be one of supererogation, for the public of to-day recognise the name of Marshall & Snelgrove as one of the “household words” of modern trade, and they know too well what this famous house is prepared to do for its patrons to require any reiterated information on the subject. It is enough for our purpose here to record that the warehouse is stocked to repletion with the best and choicest goods of home and foreign manufacture; that the distinctive features of each department; consist in the immense variety and superior quality of its contents, and that the policy of the house is to sell all goods at prices equally compatible with their high excellence and with the principles of fair dealing. Every department is under the supreme control of a buyer or manager who possesses a thorough knowledge of its individual requirements, and who has the assistance of a large and well-trained subordinate staff.

The retail trade of the house extends to every quarter of the kingdom, and branches have been opened at St. Nicholas Street, Scarborough, and at Bond Street and Park Row, Leeds, to supply the firm’s large and important connections in those districts. Special attention is paid to the requirements of American ladies, and Messrs. Marshall & Snelgrove have been so successful in this matter that their American clientele increases continuously. We note other very important features of the business in the sample department, whence samples of goods are sent out in enormous quantities to all parts of the world; the postal and correspondence department, in which upwards of one thousand letters are received every day; and the examining department, where all goods are carefully examined by experts before being placed on sale; thus preventing any imperfect or inferior article being offered to the public. Messrs. Marshall & Snelgsove also do a remarkably large wholesale trade, both in best and medium qualities of goods. Their stock in this special department of the business is enormous, and the superior facilities and connections at their command enable them to offer many notable advantages to customers in the trade, and to execute the largest orders with every satisfaction and promptitude.

In view of the fact that hundreds of persons are constantly to be found in these vast premises, both by day and by night, it is interesting and gratifying to note that the precautions for securing their safety in the event of any outbreak of fire are upon a scale of completeness and efficiency leaving nothing to be desired. Messrs. Marshall & Snelgrove’s establishment has its regularly organised fire brigade, composed of employees of the firm, who are thoroughly drilled and trained in the use of the splendid appliances the liberality of Mr. Marshall has placed at their disposal. This brigade consists of forty members, under the charge of Captain J. J. Jones and four deputy-captains. The system of alarm signals throughout the premises is most elaborate and thoroughly practical in effect, and by its means it would be possible to quickly subdue an incipient fire without unnecessarily disturbing the whole establishment. At the same time the arrangement of signals enables the entire brigade to be at once called into action to quell any more serious outbreak, should such a necessity arise. The arrangements for awakening the employees in case of fire are as complete as electrical science and ingenuity can make them. The most effective and approved extinguishing appliances are constantly ready for use in every part of the building; and there is a full equipment of fire-escapes. The corridors and passage-ways have a system of pilot lights which are never extinguished. Throughout the day ten alarm stations are under constant guard, and at night this number is increased to twenty-two. Every entrance to and exit from each part of the building has wrought-iron double-doors, which can be instantly shut when required. In short, it would seem impossible to suggest any improvement in a scheme of precautionary and protective measures so intelligently devised, and so systematically and faithfully carried into - practice.

Messrs. Marshall & Snelgrove give employment to over two thousand persons all told, and of these about eight hundred board and lodge on the premises. In the many excellent arrangements made to promote the happiness of these resident employees, we have further proof of the wise forethought of the firm and the liberal ideas they entertain with regard to the health and welfare of all in their service. The sleeping apartments are large, well warmed and well ventilated. Libraries, smoking-rooms, committee-rooms, reading and sitting-rooms are provided. The kitchens are equipped to perfection, their three huge roasting-ovens having a total capacity of 2,200 pounds of meat at one roasting; and only the best quality of food is served to the staff, while all the culinary processes are carried out systematically by a highly competent force of cooks and assistants.

Wonderful, indeed, is the organisation of the whole of this colossal establishment, a veritable monument to the proprietary energy, liberality, and sound judgment that have made it what it is. As to the personnel of the firm: Mr. James Marshall, senior, the founder of the house, retired from active business life about twenty years ago, and at his fine estate, Goldbeaters’ Farm, Hendon, he now enjoys the rest and repose which have come as the result of an industrious and honourably prosperous career. Mr. Snelgrove retired in 1885, and Mr. James C. Marshall, son of the founder, is now the head of the house, having associated with him as junior partner his son, Mr. Arthur J. Marshall. These gentlemen, well-known and highly respected members of the mercantile community, administer the affairs of the business with unfailing care and judicious enterprise, and maintain by their watchful supervision that perfect system of practical organisation which has been one of the great factors in securing its success. The house of Messrs. Marshall & Snelgrove stands as a type of that unique class of mercantile institutions developed by the efforts of men trained to observe and practise the best methods of London trading, and supported by the wealth and intelligent appreciation of the upper classes in the world’s greatest Metropolis; and it is, perhaps, with more justification than that afforded by mere patriotic enthusiasm that we think such an establishment is possible only under the control of London merchants and under the patronage of the elite of London society. No higher tribute can be paid to the administrative powers and judgment of the present principals of this firm than the record of the fact that they have preserved in the most adequate manner all the, honourable traditions Of their distinguished house, and contributed largely to the continuous enhancement of reputation that has marked the later years of its long and prosperous career.


The tea and coffee trades undoubtedly constitutes one of the important commercial interests of London, and have many notable representatives among the wholesale and retail dealers in various parts of the metropolis. Of these firms none is better known or more highly reputed than that of Messrs. William & George Law, of New Oxford Street, and St. Andrew Square, Edinburgh.

This eminent house is one of the largest concerns of its kind in London, and it is at the same time one of the oldest in the coffee trade in Great Britain, having been founded originally at Edinburgh sixty years ago. The London house was opened in 1850, and has had a highly successful career, gaining a widespread and influential connection in all parts of the metropolitan area, and maintaining an unsurpassed reputation for the purity and fine quality of all its specialities. The founders, Messrs. William and George Law, developed the concern from the commencement upon strictly first-class lines, and their sound policy continues to be closely adhered to by the present capable and experienced proprietary.

The premises of the firm in New Oxford Street form probably the finest tea and coffee warehouse in any part of London, and are at once strikingly handsome in appearance and thoroughly commodious in arrangement. The spacious ground floor, lofty, well lighted, and relieved by admirably proportioned Corinthian columns, is devoted to sale-room purposes, while the rest of the establishment affords accommodation for the storage of large quantities of teas, coffees, and other goods dealt in, and also for packing-rooms, blending departments, &c., the latter being equipped with the best steam-power machinery.

In the tea department of their business this well-known firm have produced a number of special blends, embracing careful admixtures of various kinds and flavours of first-class tea. The blending as first done with samples only, and the results are then tested by tea-tasters. When a variety of flavours suitable to an equal variety of public tastes has thus been obtained, the formulas are applied to large quantities, and the mixing is carried out upon a wholesale scale in accordance with the proportions used in the sampling. Messrs. Law consider that blends of the best China, Indian and Ceylon teas make the best cup of tea, and they have a great diversity of these blends always in stock. At the same time customers can have any particular kind separately if they so desire. No firm in London can boast of a stock of teas more carefully selected, more judiciously blended, or more fully calculated to gratify the palates of those who can appreciate the “sovereign drink of pleasure and of health” in the perfection of condition and purity.

Not less celebrated are Messrs. Law for the high standard of excellence they maintain in their coffee department, which has always claimed a large share of their attention. They have a separate establishment in Charing Cross Road, which they devote to the roasting of coffee by means of a special apparatus invented by Mr. William Law for the purpose. This coffee-roaster was awarded a gold medal by the Society of Arts for Scotland, and the report of the committee appointed by that eminent scientific body to examine Mr. Law’s model of a new coffee-roaster, read as follows:— “The committee have examined the model of Mr. Law’s coffee-roaster, the slightest inspection of which induces the conviction of its answering the anticipations of its inventor. The method adopted to produce two simultaneous rotatory motions, the one at right angles to the other, is very ingenious, the merit of which is enhanced by its simplicity. The committee have also visited Mr. Law’s premises, where the machinery for roasting and grinding coffee is kept in motion by a handsome steam-engine, and they are confirmed in their opinion of the perfect efficacy of the contrivance. The ease with which the roaster is raised from the furnace, and the way in which the state of the coffee may be ascertained while the motion of the globe is maintained in one direction have given the committee great satisfaction.”

In devising this extremely clever apparatus, Mr. William Law had to contend with a difficulty which has always operated to the disadvantage of cylindrical coffee-roasters, namely, the difficulty of obtaining a thorough roasting of the berries, with a uniform effect upon them all. It is no uncommon thing to see coffee berries roasted so unequally that some are black, others brown, and others of various intermediate shades. This defect of the cylinder system seemed to Mr. Law to be inherent in that system, for, in spite of the greatest care a coke fire two or three feet long will exhibit one spot bright, another dull, and other spots neither dull nor bright. The coffee berries over the bright spot would naturally be done brown, while those over the duller spots would be only partially roasted. The various expedients introduced from time to time in order to surmount this difficulty did not improve matters much, and Mr. Law, abandoning the impracticable cylinder altogether, took as his model for a distinctly new roaster a no less important object than the earth itself. He constructed a globular receptacle, and imparted to it two simultaneous and complete rotatory motions by a device as simple as it is effective. This globular roaster, with its double rotatory motion, is heated, not over an open fire, but in an atmosphere of heated air, through a cast-metal casing. Thus, from whatever side the heat comes, it operates with equal effect upon all parts of the revolving globe, the complex motions of which bring every portion of its surface into contact with the source of heat. Naturally, the berries inside tumble about in all directions, and the result is perfect uniformity in the roasting. It is quite impossible for them to be other than alike, and one berry, therefore, cannot neutralise the flavour of another, which is the inevitable consequence of irregularity in roasting. The “Edinburgh Coffee-Roaster,” as this ingenious apparatus has been named, is in constant use at Messrs. Law’s establishment in Charing Cross Road, and its effective operation is undoubtedly one of the secrets of that uniformity of quality which distinguishes the coffee supplied by this firm. The machine is worked by steam power, and seems capable of performing an almost unlimited amount of work. Coffee-grinding is done at the New Oxford Street premises, where several powerful mills are in operation. It is noteworthy that Messrs. Law never pack coffee until it is ordered, and then it is freshly roasted and ground.

A short time ago we read a very entertaining leaflet written by Mr. William Law, and devoted to the subject of coffee, concerning which commodity his practical knowledge was unusually extensive. After dilating upon the beneficial effect of. strong well-made black coffee upon a friend of his who was afflicted with asthma, Mr. Law speaks, in the leaflet referred to, of the manner in which he discovered, during a Continental tour, the secret of the superiority of coffee as prepared in Germany and France, and especially in Paris— “the grand centre of every refinement in the art of cookery, and of coffee in particular.” This secret he found to consist in the judicious and moderate employment of that innocent ingredient, chicory. He tried the plan himself in his own business, and records its instant appreciation by the public. Other dealers following his example, the practice became general after a time, and although some merchants undoubtedly overdid it, the use of chicory in a moderate proportion has ever since found favour with the great body of the public.

Mr. Law’s leaflet concludes with this paragraph:— “The practice had everywhere commended itself to the public. The official sanction [of the Treasury] only commended the practice, and gave everyone entire freedom to follow it, whatever were their previous conscientious scruples. For a period therefore of nearly twenty years, any taste for coffee which has grown up in Great Britain has been formed on a mixed material, and not on pure coffee.” The twenty years’ period referred to was that between the year 1832, when the practice of adding a small quantity of chicory to coffee became generally adopted, and the year 1852, when the above leaflet was written.

Messrs. William & George Law control a large and widespread trade, and in the London district they have a particularly valuable clientele. They have organised a complete system of delivery by their own carts to all parts of the metropolis, on stated days. Thus Bloomsbury, Mayfair and Marylebone have a delivery every day, Bays water, Kensington, Notting Hill and Paddington are served on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday; St. John’s Wood, Kilburn and Maida Hill on Monday, Wednesday and Friday — with equally convenient arrangements for all other metropolitan districts.

Besides dealing so largely in tea and coffee, Messrs. Law hold stocks of choice sugars, cocoa and chocolate, groceries, spices, pickles and sauces. They publish a neat little brochure explaining the nature and sources of supply of these commodities, as well as of tea and coffee, and include therein a number of recipes which have borne the test of long experience. The whole business of this firm is conducted upon the highest commercial principles, and is well known as one of the best-managed and most substantial mercantile concerns in the Kingdom.


IT may safely be said that no modern trade is of greater importance to the general public than that of the house furnisher, and if proof of this self-evident truth were needed it could be found in the fact that some of the best known and most notable of metropolitan business houses are engaged in this branch of operations. House furnishing, as a trade, is greatly developed at the present day, and has a far more comprehensive scope than it possessed in former times. For an insight into the capabilities of a really high-class modern house-furnishing establishment, upon the most complete scale, one cannot do better than turn to the emporium of the eminent firm of Messrs. Hampton & Sons, whose recently, enlarged and greatly improved premises in Pall Mall East are among the most attractive in the West End. Hampton & Sons’ Establishment, being on the north side of Trafalgar Square and adjoining the National Gallery, has the unique advantage of being the most central and occupying the finest position of all the great world-renowned commercial houses of the West End of London. The buildings on the right-hand side of the accompanying view of their premises are the National Gallery and St. Martin’s Church, the classic portico in the foreground being that of the Royal College of Physicians. The Cockspur Street Branch and offices of the house agency are in the big block of buildings known until recently as Waterloo House, immediately opposite to the main establishment and adjoining the Royal College of Physicians.

This well-known and old-established firm rank with the leaders of their trade in England, and they furnish a true type of the business in which they are engaged, in its highest nineteenth- century development. Messrs. Hampton & Sons’ commercial policy is and has been to supply goods of the best quality and character in all departments of the furnishing trade, at the lowest possible prices for ready money; and that this method of doing business has been successful, both as regards themselves and the public, is conclusively demonstrated by the immense additions the firm have been obliged to make to their premises in order to meet the greatly-increased demands of a growing connection. Space would fail us ere we could do full descriptive justice to this firm’s large and noble-looking establishment, or to the business of which it is the headquarters; but our readers may find some interest and information in a few notes concerning Messrs. Hampton & Sons’ remarkable stock, and the resources they now command for carrying out all orders and contracts entrusted to them. In the first place, it should be observed that the enlarged premises in Pall Mall East now afford every facility for developing a greatly-extended business, and the firm are thus enabled to fully maintain their excellent and well-tried principle of reducing profits in proportion to increased return. Indeed, the goods shown in all departments are now marked at lower prices than ever before, though the quality is still of the same high standard as formerly. The establishment in its entirety has been planned and equipped upon the most perfect modern scale, and now contains large English and Foreign Carpet; Curtain, and Linen show-rooms, and many show-rooms for the display of Furniture, Decorations and Ornamental objects, Bedsteads, Bedding, and Furnishing Ironmongery, China, and Glass.

Interior and Exterior House Painting and Decorating is one of the chief Departments of this firm, whose exceptional taste and skill in the preparation of original Designs for artistic schemes of Decoration, and thorough tasteful and satisfactory execution of the same, are too well known to need comment. In the matter of house decoration, indeed, Messrs. Hampton & Sons are unsurpassed, and our readers should not fail to visit their new specimen rooms in Cockspur Street, where all the newest and most artistic mural decorations may be inspected. The display of choice English and foreign wall papers is particularly interesting and complete, and here, as in all other branches of the firm’s business, moderate prices for superior goods offer a strong inducement to purchase. Here, too, may be seen the elaborately equipped Sanitary-Fittings’ Department, which the popular and intelligent interest now taken in the sanitation of houses, &c., has encouraged Messrs. Hampton & Sons to establish, and fit up with all the latest and most scientific and approved devices for the perfect sanitation of dwellings. All kinds of sanitary work, plumbing, hot-water and gas fitting, electric lighting, &c., come under the personal direction of a competent surveyor, whose presence is a guarantee that every contract will be well and faithfully carried out.

In these same premises in Cockspur Street is Messrs. Hampton & Sons’ large and important Estate Agency department. The business transacted in this latter branch includes sales of Estates and Properties of all kinds by Auction and Private treaty; the letting of Town and County mansions and houses, furnished and unfurnished; the making of Inventories, and Valuations of every description of property for transport or probate, the drawing up of plans and surveys of properties, and reporting as to value, state of repair, drainage, electric lighting, &c.; also specifications of dilapidations under leases, additions or alterations of buildings, and the collecting of rents. On the first of each month the firm publish a list containing descriptive particulars of upwards of two thousand houses, mansions, estates, shootings and fishings, which properties have been placed in their hands for sale or for letting.

We may now glance briefly at some of the features of the firm’s interesting furniture departments, all of which are situated in the main building — Pall Mall East. A special attraction will be found in several interesting specimen rooms which have been fitted and completely furnished in various antique and artistic styles, including Louis XV., Louis XVI., Early French, Italian, Queen Anne, Sheraton, the popular Renaissance styles, and other fashionable treatments of the day. All the showrooms are illuminated by the electric light, enabling customers to choose materials by the most perfect artificial light, and under most favourable conditions. The conveniences of a commodious hydraulic elevator and a perfectly appointed ladies’ room are also among the new features of Messrs. Hampton’s establishment which elicit the high approval and appreciation of their numerous customers. The stocks throughout are magnificent, and, while everything is of superb quality and workmanship, the moderate nature of the prices is very noticeable. All kinds and descriptions of furniture and decorations for mansions and houses of the better class are fully represented, and every tasteful novelty in design and material is promptly brought forward, Messrs. Hampton & Sons being themselves among the leading firms in the introduction of new and artistic ideas connected with their trade.

Visitors to this fine emporium of high-class furnishings should not fail to inspect the handsome saloon which has been completely decorated in the Italian style. The wall panels are hung with specimen materials showing examples of the Tynecastle tapestry, new leather papers, antique tapestry, Venetian velvets, brocades, and some of the choicest English wall papers and French paperhangings. All these are well worth seeing, and the Italian room, with its many beauties of ornamentation, should on no account be missed. The firm’s show of Cabinet Furniture and Upholstery is one of the finest and most varied to be seen in England, and includes a great number of notable styles, a prominent special being the now popular Louis XV. and XVI. styles for Drawing-rooms and Boudoirs, and the eighteenth-century English styles, Sheraton, &c, for Dining-rooms. The Departments for Bedroom Furniture, Bedsteads, Bedding, Ironmongery, and Kitchen requisites are replete with goods of unexceptionable quality and finish, and there are also complete stocks of fine Cutlery and Electro-plate, products of the most noted English manufacturers.

The Carpet Department, with its spacious suite of show-rooms, must be seen to be duly appreciated. It contains a display of carpets embracing every known variety of both British and Foreign Carpets in all the choicest qualities and colourings, and visitors will be astonished to note the very superior value Messrs. Hampton & Sons are prepared to give in these exquisite goods. Messrs. Hampton & Sons import all their foreign carpets direct, thus saving all intermediate profits and Agents’ expenses. The stock includes upwards of two thousand of the choicest antique and modern carpets from the Levant, besides an unrivalled assortment of Persian, Arabian, Armenian and Indian carpets, including the celebrated Vellore carpets, of which Hampton & Sons are the sole importers. Rugs of every description are en evidence, and there is a remarkably large and varied stock of mattings of all kinds, as well as of Linoleums, Floorcloths, &c., at prices to suit all requirements.

A specially attractive department, devoted to Oriental art, displays all manner of beautiful furniture and unique wares and decorative fabrics from Persia, India, Arabia, Japan, China, Egypt and Algeria. The firm make a special feature of giving designs and estimates for furnishing in the Oriental style. The new show-rooms of the curtain department afford every convenience for the display of a magnificent stock, which embraces a great variety of elegant draperies of British and foreign make, exemplifying all the latest designs and novelties for each season. In chintzes and cretonnes Messrs. Hampton & Sons have doubtless the largest and choicest assortment ever shown in London, and in household linens their stock has few rivals in magnitude or comprehensiveness.

As Government contractors Messrs. Hampton & Sons are necessarily very large factors of the best Irish, Scotch, Barnsley, and French linen manufacturers, and this circumstance enables them to carry out their determination of giving purchasers such special advantages in price and quality as have, probably, never before been afforded.

The firm have recently added to their Establishment a China and Glass Department, which they have stocked with a large variety of the latest and choicest productions of the British and Continental potteries and glass-works. Here will be found a splendid assortment of novel and artistic designs in dinner and dessert services, tea and breakfast services, toilet services, decorative china, superior table glass, and kitchen requisites. Visitors will especially admire the “Stanley” tea service, the “Clarence” and the “Wreath” services of glass, and the “Princess” service of table glass for twelve persons, all of which are of very fine quality and design, while the prices are remarkably moderate for goods of such choice character. In dinner and dessert services' the renowned productions of the Royal Worcester, Royal Crown Derby, Coalport, Wedgwood, Doulton, and other famous potteries are well represented. It may be noted that Messrs. Hampton & Sons undertake contracts at special quotations for china and glass for clubs, hotels, messes, schools, and public institutions, samples and estimates being sent free on application.

Ever observant of the signs of the times, and sympathetic with the spirit of true progress, they have also duly noted the increasing favour in which electricity is held as a means of lighting residences, &c., and to meet the growing demands of their patrons in this connection they have opened a special department for the artistic application of the electric light to the purposes of decorative domestic lighting. Estimates are given for complete and permanent installations, and a speciality consists in providing temporary installations for receptions, balls, fetes, theatricals, &c. All work of this class is carried out with rare artistic effect, as well as with scientific accuracy, the firm having retained the services of a specially qualified staff of electricians for this department. A Department for Warehousing and Removals, provided with every facility for carrying cut orders on any scale, is one of the most active of the many busy sections of this remarkably enterprising Firm.

In all its departments Messrs. Hampton & Sons’ extensive business is personally conducted by the experienced principals in a manner that wins general admiration and confidence, and the valuable connection by which it is now supported has been developed among the most influential families of the nobility and the wealthy classes in town and country. In every respect this house is a recognised leader in the trade it so admirably exemplifies.


THE old-established and eminent music-publishing house named above is one of the recognised leaders of the trade in London, and enjoys an international reputation. It was founded as far back as the year 1826 by Christian Rudolph Wessel, a native of Bremen, who was born in 1797, and came to England in his twenty-eighth year. He commenced business in conjunction with an amateur named Stodart, at No. 1, Soho Square, and the title of Wessel & Stodart was assumed by the firm. The object of the house was to popularise high-class foreign music in this country, and it must be said that remarkable success has attended the pursuit of that object from the first. In 1838 Mr. Stodart retired, and Mr. Wessel continued the business alone for a while. In 1839 Mr. Wessel took another partner in the person of Mr. Stapleton, and the business was then transferred to 67, Frith Street, Soho. Mr. Stapleton retired in 1845, and Mr. Wessel again became sole principal, remaining such until 1860. In 1846, however, the business was removed to 229, Regent Street, and ten years later Mr. Wessel took the commodious premises in Hanover Square, where the house still has its headquarters.

In 1860 Mr. Wessel retired altogether from business life, and left the business in the hands of two trusted assistants, who had previously been his apprentices, viz., Mr. Edwin Ashdown and Mr. Henry John Parry. These two gentlemen traded as Ashdown & Parry from 1860 until 1882, when Mr. Parry retired, and since that date Mr. Ashdown, the present head of the house, has assumed the entire control of the large and important business. Mr. Wessel, the founder of the concern, must be reckoned among the pioneers of modern musical progress in England, and it is highly satisfactory to note that Mr. Ashdown continues the good work with unflagging enterprise and with undiminished success. Among the great composers whose works have been introduced into England by this noted house we may name Chopin, Henselt, Kullak, Mayer, Schubert, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Spohr, Abt, Kucken, Gade, Schulhoff, and Heller, these being a few especially notable names in a very long and comprehensive list. Mr. Wessel died at Eastbourne on March 15th, 1885. He and his successors have had and still hold the exclusive copyright in England in the works of Heller, though, by a decision of the Court of Chancery in 1853, several important works were lost to them.

Since 1860 the firm have given a considerable amount of attention to publishing the works of resident English composers, such as, Walter Macfarren, Boyton Smith, Sydney Smith, Wilhelm Ganz, J. W. Elliott, Michael Watson, Edward German, Ignace Gibsone, F. E. Bache, Edwin M. Lott, and others, and in this department they have achieved great success, making their selections of new compositions with unerring judgment and excellent artistic taste. The Ashdown music catalogues are now of great magnitude, and are among the most complete and comprehensive in the world. They are arranged in six parts, viz., Part I., pianoforte music; Part II., vocal music; Part III., music for harp, guitar, and concertina; Part IV., music for violin, violoncello, orchestra, &c.; Part V., music for flute, clarionet, cornet, &c.; Part VI., music for organ and harmonium.

The great extent of the business at the present day may be understood when it is stated that the firm’s list of publications includes no fewer than 25,000 works, all by composers of high repute in the musical world. In the English colonies the Ashdown editions of Sydney Smith’s popular works have an immense sale, hundreds of thousands of copies having been disposed of by the firm. There is a branch establishment in New York (Lincoln Building, 1 and 3, Union Square), which is under the management of Mr. Percy Ashdown, a son of the principal; and at Toronto the house has a Canadian branch, managed by Mr. Sydney Ashdown, another son. There are two other sons engaged in the business, assisting their father in the routine of management at the Hanover Square establishment.

The firm has now become a limited liability company, but this change was made entirely from private motives, and the whole business remains in the family of Mr. Ashdown, who is the bona fide principal, and who retains the supreme control in his own hands. It is a somewhat curious coincidence that Mr. Ashdown was born in 1826, the very year in which the business was founded; and both he and his late partner, Mr. Parry, were apprenticed to the late Mr. Wessel in 1840. Mr. Edwin Ashdown has greatly extended the scope of the business during recent years, the effect of his enterprise being visible especially in the remarkably successful American and Canadian branches, which were instituted by him. It may be safely said that no man in the trade has done more for music in general than Mr. Edwin Ashdown, nor has anyone achieved higher or more gratifying results in the introduction of the works of eminent composers of the present century to all sections of the music-loving public in England, America, and the Colonies.

The house of Edwin Ashdown, Limited, occupies premises in Hanover Square, which are worthy of its great business. Any publication required by a customer can be sent off without the least delay. The firm employ a very large staff of travellers, clerks, salesmen, and other assistants. Their name is known in all parts of the world, and no publishing house stands higher in the esteem and confidence of the trade and the profession, at home and abroad.


WE name at the head of this brief sketch a house whose reputation in one of the most important of London’s many trades has become universal and pre-eminent. For upwards of a hundred years the familiar name of Messrs. Debenham & Freebody has been associated with the high-class drapery and fashion trade of the West End, and under its auspices a business has been developed which is without a superior in the metropolis to-day, either with respect to its extent and special features, or as regards the distinguished character of the patronage it enjoys. As every Londoner knows, Messrs. Debenham & Freebody have their headquarters at the corner of Wigmore Street and Welbeck Street, and here they have for many years conducted a drapery, silk mercery, haberdashery, costume, millinery and ladies’ outfitting establishment, which is the admiration of everyone who has visited it, and the renown of which has extended to almost all quarters of the globe.

It will be all but impossible to give a correct idea of this famous and singularly interesting emporium in writing, but a few brief notes concerning its aspect and contents may be of interest to our readers. About eight years ago the premises were rebuilt, and, being at that time considerably extended, they now form a spacious and very handsome block of buildings, with a frontage of one hundred and thirty feet to Wigmore Street, and a rearward extension of about one hundred feet. This fine block contains no less than five complete floors and two basements, and the whole of the internal arrangements are upon the most elegant and convenient scale, the appointments throughout being in perfect taste, and fully in keeping with the superior character of the business. Especially noteworthy is the excellent and complete system of warming by hot-water pipes, and the lighting by means of gas and electricity is all that can be desired in brilliancy and efficiency. Few London establishments present such a magnificent sight on a dark winter day or evening as that of Messrs. Debenham &c Freebody. We must also say a word in praise of the highly effective means adopted to secure protection against fire, the firm having their own private fire brigade, thoroughly drilled and constantly in attendance on the premises, day and night.

In its business aspect Messrs. Debenham & Freebody’s warehouse is second to none in the world in point of interest and attractiveness, and the stock it contains is almost unique of its class. There are no fewer than twenty departments represented in this great establishment, all of them conducted separately under highly competent and experienced buyers, and all stocked with the choicest and newest goods the world’s markets afford, ranging from standard drapery fabrics of the first quality to an infinite variety of foreign and Oriental novelties of an artistic order, for decorative purposes. One might fill a volume in describing these wonderful departments. Each one furnishes material for a lengthy chapter, and they all stand as so many eloquent witnesses, testifying to the enterprise of a great firm and to the thoroughness with which they exemplify every branch of their business.

Among the “leading lines” with which the name of Messrs. Debenham & Freebody is inseparably associated we may mention silks, costumes, mantles, ball dresses, mourning goods, boys’ tailoring, ribbons, hosiery, haberdashery, fancy goods, lace, flowers, millinery, and Oriental specialities. In all these departments the firm excel, and it is a matter of difficulty to make a selection for special mention. Perhaps, however, the most interesting and attractive feature of the entire establishment consists in the department for ladies’ costumes — a great speciality of Messrs. Debenham & Freebody, and one in which they have few rivals. Here are shown all the newest styles and most artistic designs in ball, evening, dinner and court dresses, morning and tea gowns, walking and visiting costumes, and riding habits; and in quality of material, workmanship, and artistic finish, the large, and varied stock that occupies the costume show-rooms is unexcelled in London. It exemplifies every branch of the costumier’s art as applied to the production of high-class attire for ladies, and in each section the latest fashions are illustrated with absolute fidelity, albeit with a degree of originality that emphasises the well-known fact that Messrs. Debenham & Freebody are in the habit of leading, not of following or imitating, other West End houses.

We must leave our readers to acquaint themselves by a personal visit with the many other notable features of this typical metropolitan house. Even the briefest summary of goods that deserve attention would be impossible in the space at our disposal here, for Messrs. Debenham & Freebody find the many pages of their voluminous price-list none too capacious for the specification of those important specialities for which they are so widely known at home and abroad. It ought to be mentioned that, although this distinguished house is careful to preserve all its excellent past traditions, it is by no means slow to move with the advances of the present age, and to adapt its methods to every mutation in the requirements of its influential clientele. Many evidences of enterprise and ready perception bear witness to this, and among them may be remarked the pretty and artistically-furnished lunch and tea-room, where ladies can be served with light refreshments of the finest quality at any hour of the day. This dainty apartment affords a very charming means of rest and physical recuperation during the course of a day’s shopping, and is greatly appreciated by the patrons of the house.

Messrs. Debenham & Freebody employ, in all, upwards of six hundred hands, and their assistant staff in the show-rooms and at the counters is so admirably organised and efficient that there is never the least approach to confusion, however numerous may be the influx of customers, or however pressing their demands. Every visitor’s requirements are promptly and satisfactorily attended to, and universal courtesy prevails, as it should do in an establishment of such eminent standing. The firm treat their employes with a kindly consideration that deserves recognition and commendation. The residential quarters are in every respect most comfortable, and all the domestic arrangements are upon a scale of remarkable completeness and sufficiency. The sitting-rooms, with their provisions for music and other social pastimes, are especially inviting, and the well-stocked library affords means of mental entertainment for all those who are inclined to profit thereby. Once a week the whole of the members of the staff (male and female) meet together in the spacious library, where doubtless many a pleasant and instructive evening has been and will be spent after the duties of the day are at an end. The employees also have a cricket, football, and lawn-tennis ground at Willesden, so that outdoor amusement is not lacking, and in the basement of the Wigmore Street premises there is a well-appointed gymnasium. We need hardly say that the members of the firm’s staff show themselves to be animated by a spirit of sincere respect and esteem for their employers, who, though they rightly exact unimpeachable good conduct and strict attention to duty from all in their service, are at the same time more than ordinarily liberal in providing for the comfort, amusement, and general welfare of their assistants.

Messrs. Debenham & Freebody’s vast business is conducted upon the most perfect and systematic commercial lines, and the excellence of its working organisation is strikingly demonstrated in the wondrously busy post-order department. Here, during the course of a year, upwards of two hundred thousand letters are usually received, and of this enormous number hardly a single one goes astray after its delivery at the establishment. Our readers will hardly need to be told that Messrs. Debenham & Freebody’s trade, though especially large in all parts of the United Kingdom, is not by any means confined to this country. The firm have customers in all quarters of the globe, and wherever their connections extend they enjoy the favour and confidence of the highest circles of patronage. In all its operations the business is conducted with conspicuous ability and sound judgment; and the administration continues to be marked by those Special features of enterprise and commercial honour which have so powerfully influenced the progress and prosperity of this typical London house.


PROJECTED during the early days of the present century by the late Mr. Dinneford, this celebrated establishment was at first carried on solely as an exclusively high-class dispensing business. This is still one of its most salient features, but the firm has for very many years enjoyed a high reputation for certain specialities, which have made their name familiar in every quarter of the globe. The principal of these are: A mild aperient family medicine called “Dinneford’s Magnesia,” and two very chaste toilet preparations known as “Dinneford’s Emollient Cream,” and “Dinneford’s Molfa Soap,” the latter of which is held in the highest esteem amongst ladies of fashion both at home and abroad.

The premises occupied are most eligibly situated, and comprise a spacious elegantly appointed pharmacy, fully stocked with an exhaustive series of drugs, chemicals, and pharmaceutical preparations of ascertained purity and standard strength; the elaborately equipped laboratories and commodious stores being located at the rear, and affording every facility for the dispensing of physicians’ prescriptions, the compounding of family recipes, the preparation of proprietary articles, and the rapid transaction of business in each department. The entire concern is thoroughly typical of its important line of operations, and the business is conducted with a careful competence that is well calculated to preserve all the traditions of this old-established and highly reputed house, and to sustain it in the public favour which, it has so long and so deservedly enjoyed.


THE extensive and important mercantile concern now carried on under the above title was formed several years ago by the amalgamation (as a limited company) of two old-established and high-class businesses, long known in the West End under the names of Morel Brothers, and Arthur Cobbett & Son respectively. The headquarters of the company are now at 210, Piccadilly, but there are important branch establishments at 18 and 19, Pall Mall (formerly the warehouse of Messrs. Arthur Cobbett & Son); 143, Regent Street, W.; and 61, Church Street, Inverness, N.B. As purveyors to Her Majesty the Queen, the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Edinburgh, the Duchess of Albany, Prince Christian, and Prince Henry of Battenberg, Messrs. Morel Brothers, Cobbett & Son, Limited, enjoy the most distinguished patronage it is possible to secure, and their connection throughout is of wide range and very superior character.

The business is of a most comprehensive nature, and its leading departments embrace all descriptions of high-class family groceries, teas, coffees, choice imported comestibles, foreign and colonial fruits and other produce, together with wines, spirits, and liqueurs of pre-eminent excellence. Among the many specialities with which one may identify the name of this famous house, are such articles as caviare, preserved vegetables, Chinese birds’ nests, sardines, beches de mer, pates de foies gras, botargo, salad oil of the highest quality, pates de foies de canard, truffles, pates d’alouettes, pates de grive, Parmesan cheese, Gruyere cheese, and Spanish hams. In the wine, spirit, and liqueur department the select nature of the company’s trade is evinced in the character of stock, which includes goods of the very finest growths and brands obtainable. Here, for example, are Scotch whiskies ranging from five to twenty-five years old, and “Napoleon Brandies” of the vintages of 1815, 1834, and 1848, besides a wonderful stock of liqueurs of every description, in which the noted Curacoa Morel figures prominently. The stock of wines, spirits, and liqueurs, taken as a whole, is quite unsurpassed in quality, and is one of the most complete to be found in London.

The same words may with justice be applied to every other department representing the company’s dealings; and special attention is, of course, given to the branch of family groceries, in which are included superb teas and coffees, with many other articles expressly imported by this house. Within its legitimate scope the range of this business is practically unlimited, and the stock embodies the choicest products of all markets in everything that comes under the heads of groceries, wines, and spirits, and Italian warehouse commodities.

The company’s newly erected chief warehouse at 210, Piccadilly, is one of the finest commercial structures in this noble thoroughfare. The building is of brown Portland stone, in the Venetian style of the Italian Renaissance, and has frontages of thirty-four feet to Piccadilly, and seventy-five feet to Eagle Place. The elevation to the roof is over seventy feet, and the walls are more than two feet in thickness. This handsome and elegantly designed building contains two basements and six upper floors, and is perfectly fireproof throughout. Its internal arrangement is excellent in every respect, and as the upper parts are being let for chambers, &c., the knowledge that the fireproof construction of the edifice is so complete will no doubt be reassuring to tenants. Messrs. Morel Brothers, Cobbett & Son, Limited, occupy the two basements, the ground floor, and the mezzanine floor, and have thus very superior accommodation for their business. The shop is twenty-five feet high from floor to ceiling, and is splendidly appointed. On the mezzanine floor, in addition to the space available for stock, there is accommodation for the clerical staff, and from here there is access to the board-room, in which the directors hold their meetings.

We know of no other establishment of the kind in London which presents a more elegant or more attractive appearance, and the fine show-windows with their tasteful display hold forth a promise which is amply fulfilled within. The lower basement forms an unsurpassed wine cellar, and from its great depth it is possible to maintain a uniform temperature here the whole year round. The upper basement is devoted to the purposes of a general warehouse for reserve stock. As to the upper floors, it may be mentioned that they are all provided with every sanitary convenience, and that a fine modern lift affords ready means of communication and access from flat to flat. We ought to add that this noble building is from the designs of the well-known architect, Mr. John Robinson, of Middle Scotland Yard, Whitehall, upon whose artistic and professional talent it reflects very high credit.

Since the amalgamation of the two houses of Messrs. Morel and Messrs. Cobbett, the business in its entirety has been greatly extended, and the enlarged facilities afforded by the new premises in Piccadilly are calculated to promote a further rapid increase in the trade of this representative and highly reputed concern. At the Piccadilly establishment the business is personally directed by Mr. Claxton, the able and experienced general manager. Each of the branches is under competent control, and the entire business presents an example of perfect organisation and practical management eminently creditable to all engaged in the work of its administration.


THE last half century has witnessed in London the creation and development of a number of unique mercantile institutions — houses predestined, it would seem, to win fame and to play the part of leaders in their several departments of commercial activity. The names of a good many distinguished firms will readily occur to our readers as answering to this description, and among them, undoubtedly, none will suggest itself more promptly than that of “Jay,” under which has been conducted over fifty years the great mourning warehouse in Regent Street, so familiar to Londoners and to the habitues of the West End. Recently, this noted house sustained a loss in the death of its accomplished and respected founder, Mr. W. C. Jay, who for many years had associated with him in the business his son, Mr. T. Jay. This gentleman is now sole proprietor.

Jay’s mourning warehouse occupies a noble pile of buildings at the upper end of Regent Street, where that celebrated thoroughfare joins Oxford Circus, and in this establishment we have a standing testimony to the remarkable and continuous growth of a business which was inaugurated upon a comparatively modest scale. The premises now form one of the handsomest Structures in this neighbourhood, and are the result of successive enlargements made to meet the demands of a constantly increasing trade. They have extensive frontages to Oxford Circus and to Regent Street, and at the rear, abutting on Swallow Place, is a recent addition to the premises, a commodious annexe which has been specially planned, built, and fitted up as residential quarters for the large staff of assistants. Here it may be appropriately mentioned that Messrs. Jay have upwards of six hundred hands in their service, including showroom and counter assistants, clerks, and workpeople engaged in the “making-up” departments. That every consideration is given to the comfort and general welfare of the resident staff is shown in the excellent appointment of the premises provided for their accommodation. A drawing-room with piano, a well-stocked library, and many other evidences of comfort and convenience speak for the thoughtfulness of this firm in the treatment of their employes.

The extensive facade of plate-glass windows is a constant centre of attraction to passers-by in busy Regent Street, and here we have quite an epitome of the firm’s commercial undertakings, as represented by a display of choice goods remarkable for richness, novelty, and exhaustive variety. Internally, the appointments and fittings of the whole establishment are upon an elegant scale, and the convenient and systematic arrangement of the different departments enables a visitor to readily appreciate the resources of this house. The speciality of the business consists in the supplying of ladies’ high-class mourning goods, and in this department the firm are honoured by the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen, the Princess of Wales, and many members of Continental Royal and Imperial families, as well as by that of the nobility and the elite of society.

A splendid assortment of goods is held in all descriptions of family and complimentary mourning. Messrs. Jay’s experienced milliners and dressmakers are prepared to travel to any part of the kingdom at short notice, taking with them dresses, millinery, and patterns of materials at various prices, and thus enabling ladies at a distance to give their orders with the absolute certainty of their being satisfactorily and expeditiously executed. In other departments the reputation of this house is too widely known to need extended comment. For instance, Messrs. Jay stand among our most eminent firms of silk mercers and importers, and they have long been noted for the superior quality and character of their black silks. Indeed, the silk department is a leading feature of the business, and it finds admirable accommodation in the handsome and spacious ground-floor showroom devoted to its purposes. On the same story are situated elegantly appointed saloons for the sale of gloves, fancy articles, trimmings, and half-mourning materials, and a particularly commodious showroom is set apart for the display of made-up costumes, in which Messrs. Jay excel. Ascending to the first floor of the premises, we note the arrangements made to accommodate the millinery, mantle, underclothing, jet jewellery, and other departments. These have seven fine showrooms devoted to their use, and in each case the display of specialities is of the most fascinating character, the attraction being enhanced by the subdued tone of the various fabrics. There are six perfectly appointed fitting-rooms, and the visitor will not fail to notice the artistic, tasteful character of the decorations. The upper stories are arranged as workrooms, and are provided with appropriate conveniences for the use of the staff.

One of the most important departments of the business is that of funeral furnishing. Messrs Jay undertake the complete furnishing of funerals, supplying everything essential to propriety and decorum, and on receipt of letter or telegram they are prepared to send out an efficient staff to take complete charge and conduct all the arrangements from first to last, without the slightest trouble to the bereaved. In its entirety Messrs. Jay’s mourning warehouse is one of the sights of London. We need hardly add that in all departments an extensive and select business is carried on. The trade controlled is both wholesale and retail, and in each section its working organisation is as perfect as high practical skill and long experience make it.

The enterprise and artistic taste of this house are almost proverbial, and both these qualities have lately been manifested in an especially interesting manner in the publication by Messrs. Jay of a “History of Mourning.” This unique work, by Mr. Richard Davey, is a most exhaustive contribution to the literature of an interesting subject, and under Messrs. Jay’s auspices it has been produced in the style of an edition de luxe. The volume, a royal quarto of one hundred arid eleven pages, printed on superb paper, and profusely illustrated with finely executed engravings, is a remarkable specimen of artistic typography and binding. For frontispiece there is an excellent chromo-lithograph portrait of Mary Queen of Scots as widow of Francis II. of France. This is a facsimile of the original drawing by Clouet (preserved in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris). The title-page is also interesting, embodying an elegant floral design composed of the flowers mentioned in Shakespeare’s dirges. Mr. Davey opens his review of mourning as an institution among the nations by referring to the curious usages of the Egyptians, who, according to Herodotus, over three thousand years ago selected yellow as the colour which denoted that a kinsman was lately deceased. After two interesting chapters devoted to a consideration of Egyptian obsequial ceremonies and customs, our historian proceeds to survey the use of mourning among those nations from which we immediately derive our funeral observances. The ceremonies and practices of the Romans, Jews, and Greeks are discussed, and it is shown that the Greeks must have exercised much influence upon the early Christians. The evolution of custom from custom and ceremony from ceremony is then traced onward through succeeding centuries concurrently with the quickening progress of the Christian Church, and the perusal of several highly interesting chapters introduces the reader to a vast fund of information concerning the mourning rites and habiliments that have obtained in France, Spain, England, and other countries during the past eight hundred years. Great care and labour have clearly been bestowed upon this part of the work, and all with the most excellent results in comprehensiveness and accuracy of detail. There are exhaustive comments on embalming, mourning apparel, and the magnificent funeral ceremonies and pageants of royal and distinguished personages in olden times, special attention being given to the obsequies of English sovereigns. Thus we are gradually brought onward by Mr. Davey to the doings of more modern times, and descriptive justice is done to the stately funerals of Nelson, Napoleon the Great, the Duke of Wellington, Victor Hugo, the late Prince Consort, President Lincoln, King Victor Emanuel, Lord Palmerston, the Earl of Beaconsfield, Charles Darwin, and the late Emperor Frederick of Germany. All these solemn and impressive functions are admirably depicted by full-page illustrations. Mr. Davey also dwells upon the rules regulating court mourning and public mourning in this country, and in one interesting chapter he states the accepted reasons for the selection of various colours for mourning in different parts of the world. Some notes on funeral furnishings, draperies, floral tributes, &c., bring to a conclusion this voluminous and most instructive work. From first to last Mr. Davey has treated his subject in a masterly manner, and the sumptuous style in which this “History of Mourning” is produced reflects the highest credit upon Messrs. Jay. Among the many beautiful illustrations with which the volume is embellished we note a fine portrait engraving of the Queen, and it is interesting to know that Her Majesty and the Princess of Wales have been graciously pleased to accept copies of the work.


IT has been truly observed that the Londoner of to-day is indeed a citizen of the world, for to the English metropolis come the choicest products of the earth. In the matter of furs and fur garments this truth holds as good as in that of all other necessaries and luxuries of life, for London is the principal fur and skin market of the universe, and hither the fur merchants of every part of Europe, Asia, and America come periodically to make their purchases of the costliest and rarest skins. As might be expected, in view of the exceptional position of London in the fur trade, it possesses some of the largest establishments devoted to the retail supply of furs and fur garments. One of these exemplifies in the highest degree the resources of the London fur trade. It is hardly necessary to say that we refer to the International Fur Store in Regent Street, an emporium which has, within the space of ten years, become one of the chief attractions of the celebrated thoroughfare in which it is situated. This noted house is a monument to the energy and commercial ability of its manager, Mr. T. S. Jay, who originated it and who has displayed remarkable spirited enterprise in its prosperous development. Under this gentleman’s administration the International Fur Store continues to merit the esteem and favour of the best classes, and its patrons not only enjoy every commercial advantage derivable from dealing with a house of such unlimited resource, but also have the gratification of inspecting a stock of fashionable furs and fur garments unrivalled in value, richness, and variety.

An exhaustive history of the fur trade, in connection with the use of furs as personal apparel, would make extremely interesting reading. It would carry us back to the days of our primordial ancestors, whose only costume was made of the skins of beasts; and it would show us that from those prehistoric times down to the present, furs have been continuously in vogue among all nations. Among civilized peoples, preference has been shown for those classes of peltry which combine beauty with utility; and it is especially worthy of note that in the highest state of modern civilisation furs continue not only to form an article of apparel and adornment for the wealthy classes, but are also adopted to embellish and distinguish robes of state and ceremony. We have ample evidence of this in the richly trimmed robes of the Queen, of the peer, and of the judge, as well as in the symbolical use of fur in heraldic bearings. Apart from its historical and social aspects, the fur trade is singularly interesting in its practical and commercial features, and we gather some entertaining information on these points from the descriptive illustrated pamphlet issued by the International Fur Store as a guide to the public in choosing and purchasing furs. In this brochure Mr. T. S. Jay embodies some of the fruits of his experience and discourses about furs with the authority of one who has thoroughly mastered his subject. He tells us that by far the largest quantities of furs now generally used are brought from North America, where, at one time, that powerful organisation the Hudson’s Bay Company held a monopoly in the fur trade, similar to that once enjoyed by the East India Company in Oriental commerce. The Hudson’s Bay Company still exercises a ruling influence in the trade, but the whole system of obtaining the furs is now changed. “The trappers and hunters are no longer ignorant savages, ready to sell the skins they have secured with toil and peril for beads, or blankets, or tobacco, representing only a small fractional part of the true value. They no longer barter on the principle that a musket is worth as many skins as will, when piled close, be the height of the weapon from stock to muzzle; and there are, therefore (Mr. Jay adds with a touch of humour), no enormously long-barrelled pieces manufactured for the North American market.”

The magnitude of the fur trade at the present day is something astonishing, and is strikingly illustrated by the figures showing the number of skins sold by the Hudson’s Bay Company and others at public auction. These figures represent several millions of skins per annum, the varieties embracing every description of peltry now in general use for making garments, rugs, &c. Mr. Jay further points out the important fact that extended commerce has so regulated and defined the market values of furs, even between the hunter and the first consignee, excepting in exceptional cases, now there should no longer be fancy prices for furs in any English warehouse. We quote the following paragraph from the pamphlet above referred to, as being worthy of the attention of our readers:— “The mystery of the fur trade has disappeared before the developments of commerce, just as the mystery of the fur country has diminished by the enterprise of travellers and explorers, who have made much of it familiar to readers of books of travel. Of course there is still a pretence of mystery, as many purchasers of choice furs know to their cost, and fancy prices are often demanded and obtained, but in truth a lady should find little more difficulty in computing the cost of a fur cloak or mantle, than in assessing the value of a silk dress.” Here we have an indication of the lines upon which the International Fur Store is conducted. No “pretence of mystery” is in vogue at this establishment to hoodwink the uninitiated; but marked and stated charges are the rule in each department, and intelligent explanation is given to customers to fully account for the differences of value in various kinds of furs. It may be at once stated that from the first it has been the object of the International Fur Store to supply furs of the very best quality and most stylish character, for ladies’ and gentlemen’s wear and for ornamental purposes, at the lowest possible prices for cash. Obviously, in order to be able to achieve such an object more than ordinary knowledge of the trade is essential, and Mr. T. S. Jay has spared no effort to place himself in a position to carry out the system of trading his enterprise has suggested. In 1886 and 1887, he visited the great fur districts of Canada, and acquired a minute acquaintance with every aspect and detail of the trade, from the methods of the trapper to the principles governing the supply and price of various skins in the market. This knowledge he has turned to excellent account in the organisation and management of his London business. Being in a position to buy for ready-money to the utmost advantage, Mr. Jay is equally able to sell his goods on such cash terms as to defy competition; and the simple fact that the “credit system” has no place in the transactions of the International Fur Store is sufficient to suggest to judicious purchasers that much monetary benefit may accrue from dealing with this establishment.

With characteristic watchfulness and energy, Mr. T. S. Jay has seized every opportunity presented to him of improving his stock from season to season. He makes his purchases with unerring judgment, as the contents of his show-rooms testify, and lays every notable source of supply under tribute to swell the volume and variety of his importations. The result of all this tact and enterprise is a collection of rich and beautiful furs which it would be impossible to surpass. All kinds of fur-bearing animals are represented at the International Fur Store, and the show-rooms are replete with examples of choice peltry made up in every conceivable style and fashion — for there are fashions in furs as in all other articles of attire, and the requirements of taste and correct style have to be studied in such an establishment as this quite as carefully as the necessities of good quality and comfort. The various garments, all exemplifying the fashions of the day with perfect fidelity, display elegance of design, workmanship, and finish. In the show-rooms the visitor will not fail to notice that all goods are marked in plain figures, and, as we have already stated, there is but one price for each article, viz., the lowest ready-money figure compatible with the quality and character of the article to which it is attached.

As to the individual classes and kinds of goods that make up the total of this wonderful stock — a volume would barely exhaust their variety. The stylish and supremely comfortable fur-lined coats for gentlemen and cloaks for ladies which are now so much in vogue, are of course prominent among the specialities of the, house, and are shown in all kinds of material and at a wide range of prices, some of which are remarkably moderate. Had we the space at our disposal, we could show that a comparatively small sum of money will go a very long way at the International Fur Store in purchasing furs. There is an endless range of choice for ladies in fine sealskin cloaks, mantles, &c., and in all the high qualities of this beautiful fur, the skins may be seen by the purchaser before they are made up — a feature of the business which is obviously of great advantage to the customers. The furs of the sable, the silver fox, the grey fox, the sea otter, the raccoon, the skunk, the ocelot, the wolverine, the duck-billed platypus, the beaver, the mink, ermine, Astrachan lamb, musk-rat or musquash, squirrel, opossum, bear, wild cat, and African monkey, all find a place in the stock of the International Fur Store, and their many and varied uses are fully exemplified. In sables and sea otters the collection at this establishment is always a matchless one, and in many other kinds of choice furs a similar standard of pre-eminence is maintained. Only once, we believe, has the International Fur Store displayed its manufactures at a general exhibition, viz., at the Health Exhibition of 1884; but that occasion was quite sufficient to establish the high status of the house, since it resulted in Mr. Jay obtaining the only medal awarded to an English furrier. Few business houses have received so many flattering notices in the leading news-papers and journals of fashion and society throughout the kingdom as this house during the last ten years.

The premises occupied; by the International Fur Store at 163, Regent Street, are spacious, commodious, and extremely well appointed. They afford superior facilities for the conduct of an exceptionally extensive trade, and about four years ago an acceptable increase in the general accommodation was effected by the opening of an additional shop at 198, Regent Street. At both places the show-rooms are resorted to daily by a numerous and distinguished clientele and by visitors from all parts of the world, who find the splendid stock of furs here open to their inspection. The work-rooms on the premises present a busy scene, and the extensive manufacturing operations engaged in are all carried on under conditions favourable to the attainment of the best results in the goods produced. Upwards of one hundred and fifty hands are employed. The home clientele, in all parts of the United Kingdom, is of an exceedingly influential character; needless to say this house enjoys the support of a large circle of American patrons. The “Lady and the Bear” — forming the insignia of the International Fur Store — have become familiar as household words to all habitues of Regent Street, Mr. Jay’s practical; experience and acknowledged enterprise afford assurance that the policy hitherto pursued in the conduct of the International Fur Store, will be closely adhered to in the future. Londoners have reason to be proud of such an establishment as this, which reflects credit no less upon the metropolis than upon those directly concerned in the management of its affairs.


ONE of the best known and most respected firms of pharmaceutical chemists in the west of London, and one held in high estimation by the medical profession and the public generally, is that of Messrs. Cooper & Co., of Gloucester Road. This notable house was founded in the year 1863, and its principal, Mr. Cooper, is, a chemist of high attainments and very extensive experience. He is a Fellow of the Chemical Society of Great Britain, chemist by examination in honours, and Member of the Pharmaceutical Society. Moreover, Mr. Cooper’s skill and comprehensive grasp of his profession are evidenced by a number of important medicinal preparations with which he has identified his name. These excellent productions have achieved a permanent position among high-class specialities for the treatment and cure of various forms of disease, and have elicited testimonials of high approval from physicians and the medical press. To cite a noteworthy instance, it may be mentioned that when the recent epidemic of Russian influenza visited London, Messrs. Cooper & Co.’s salicylate of quinine proved to be a reliable and valuable remedy, and in many cases its beneficial effects were remarkable. Those two leading journals, the British Medical Journal (May 10th, 1890), and the Lancet (October 11th, 1890), both referred in eulogistic terms to the efficacy of this important speciality. The usefulness of Messrs. Cooper & Co.’s salicylate of quinine is not, however, limited to cases of influenza, for its specific action is recommended in muscular and nervous affections, as rheumatism, rheumatic gout, and neuralgia.

One of the most notable of this firm’s preparations is Cooper’s Cordial Essence of Ginger, which is prepared from the finest Jamaica ginger by a process which dissolves only the sweetness, aroma, and warmth, and retains in the highest state of activity all the, special virtues of this beneficent West Indian root. Ginger has long been known and esteemed in medical and domestic circles as a most valuable anti-spasmodic and carminative medicine, and has been found singularly efficacious in gouty affections, spasms, flatulence, colic, chronic rheumatism, and nervous and hypochondriacal ailments generally. It not only alleviates pain in these and other instances, but has restorative and invigorating properties of an exceptionally important character, and when taken at bedtime it has the effect of producing that refreshing sleep which is such an inestimable boon to the sufferer. It is also an excellent addition to all mineral waters, acting as a tonic and gentle stimulant. Moderate in price and possessing the valuable qualities above referred to, it is not surprising that Messrs. Cooper’s cordial essence of ginger has become one of the most esteemed of family medicines. It should certainly find a constant place in every household. Messrs. Cooper & Co. were the first to introduce a mustard plaster in a cleanly and portable form under the name of Sinapine Tissue, and recently have patented a linseed and mustard cloth. These preparations have been commended by the Lancet and Medical Times and Gazette. The former preparation, by the way, seems to have suggested the telegraphic address of the house, which is “Sinapine, London.”

We may also add that Messrs. Cooper & Co. bestow especial attention upon the manufacture of medical formulae of many kinds, such as compressed tablets, which by a most ingenious machine they make — according to any formula — at the rate of forty or fifty per minute. Also cachets formed of two concave wafers, or amylaceous capsules, between which the various powders are enclosed, a most convenient method of administering nauseous powders; also coca wine, codeine jelly, emulsion of cod liver oil with hypophosphites, soft gelatine globules for taking cascara, castor oil, chloroform, &c., for which they have an eminent reputation. The variants of these articles which they produce are between one hundred and twenty and one hundred and fifty in number, a fact which indicates the diversity and minuteness of their operations.

The firm’s premises in Gloucester Road are of spacious extent and elegant and complete appointment, and contain a most exhaustive and high-class stock of all drugs and pharmaceutical requisites. There is a fully equipped laboratory for the purposes of chemical experiment; and in the dispensing department the utmost care and skill are exercised, in order to ensure perfect accuracy, and to prevent disappointment to either physicians or patients. Illustrative of the thoroughness with which this high-class pharmacy is conducted, is the fact that the water used in every admixture is distilled in the firm’s own laboratory, and is guaranteed to be chemically pure. Charles E. Cassal,. Esq., F.I.C., F.C.S., the eminent public analyst, in a report on this water dated February 18th, 1891, pronounces it “exceptionally pure distilled water.” Messrs. Cooper & Co. enjoy the support and confidence of a large professional connection, and are patronised by an extensive distinguished private clientele.


PERHAPS nothing bears witness more strongly to the advanced taste of the present day than the improvement that has taken place during recent years in decorative fabrics and in feminine attire. In both these important matters great artistic progress has been made, and among the most noteworthy of the various firms in London by whom that progress has been promoted and encouraged stand Messrs. A. Stephens & Co., of Regent Street. These now widely known importers of art fabrics and designers of novelties in costumes and millinery commenced their interesting operations in the year 1885, and by judicious enterprise and a rare manifestation of artistic talent and taste, they have speedily built up one of the most successful of high-class West End businesses. As their trade gradually increased, Messrs. Stephens made corresponding additions to their premises, and they now possess an establishment which for general commodiousness and elegant appointment it would be difficult to surpass, while few can equal it in the variety of its attractions. As importers of Indian silks, fine cashmeres, and other Oriental art fabrics of a rich and beautiful character, Messrs. A. Stephens & Co. have made such excellent arrangements that they are in a position to supply the choicest and most effective goods at very inexpensive rates; and their unique and fascinating stock has been compiled with such care and judgment that it combines the finest quality of material, the highest artistic merit, and the most approved artistic features of design and colouring with the lowest possible prices.

Working with the special object of promoting the use of these tasteful and artistic fabrics for costume purposes, Messrs. Stephens make a really wonderful display of new designs and styles in ladies’ and children’s dresses for all occasions; and these for genuine grace and beauty of conception are not excelled by anything of the kind to be met with in London. The different costumes are so devised as to be suitable for making up in several classes of material, and nothing more charming in the costumier’s art has come under our notice than some of the new styles exhibited by this really artistic firm. Messrs. A. Stephens & Co. deal entirely in original designs, which are prepared on the premises by their own talented artists, and patrons of the house are offered a wide range of choice in novel and exceedingly beautiful ideas for walking and other costumes, ball and dinner dresses, bridesmaids’ trousseaux, tea-gowns, dresses for garden parties and fancy balls, &c., &c. The styles are at once unique, tasteful, and fashionable, and in the planning and draping of these various descriptions of dresses a remarkably high level of excellence is attained. Many exquisite novelties are shown in the children’s department, and the millinery department has also been successfully developed upon the highest lines. Messrs. A. Stephens & Co. make a special study of colour in everything they do, all their costumes being perfectly harmonious in this important particular. They are equally careful as regards workmanship, and have gathered into their service some of the most skilful and experienced hands that money can obtain.

The whole aim of the house is a lofty one, and the highest artistic ideals are constantly kept in view. Ably seconded by their efficient artists and workpeople this firm have practically inaugurated a new era in the designing and making-up of ladies’ and children’s costumes — an era of which beauty and grace are the pre-eminent characteristics. Their efforts have met with widespread and sympathetic recognition among the cultured classes in town and country, and have been rewarded by a large and gratifying influx of valuable patronage. The success of the establishment has been assured from the first, and its enterprising proprietors have the satisfaction of knowing that their house is playing a great and influential part in the revival of becoming and artistic costume which is so conspicuous a feature of fashionable life in this last decade of the nineteenth century.


THIS noted house was successfully organised in the year 1876, under the auspices of its present talented proprietors, and it will be gathered from the sequel that their general operations are of a most complete and comprehensive character. The premises occupied and appropriately known as Academy House, are most eligibly situated in the best and busiest part of Oxford Street, and comprise a spacious elegantly-appointed single-fronted warehouse on the ground floor, a handsome show-room above, and ample private and other accommodation for teaching and other purposes. The Warehouse and showroom are very heavily stocked with a very fine selection of pianos, organs, harmoniums, &:c., all of which are available for either cash or on the three-years’ system at exceptionably favourable rates; while the stock of musical instruments and musicians’ requisites, and sundries of every kind, is particularly rich and well selected; and the prices are in all cases based upon the most moderate scale. Any instrument not held in stock can be supplied to order during the course of twenty-four hours; while with regard to sheet and book music, it would indeed be difficult to find a more complete collection to select from in the metropolis, new sheet music being supplied at 2d. discount in the shilling under half price. Repairs and. Tuning are of course undertaken, only skilled and experienced hands being, deputed to do the work.

In their publishing department, besides issuing new music from time to time, the firm undertake the revision and publication of composers works, in the very best style of engraving, at the low rate of three guineas for five music plates and title page in the newest style, with one hundred copies. Lastly, they are in touch with highly qualified professors to give lessons on the premises in singing, and on the piano, violin, banjo, and other instruments; and place private rooms, furnished with good pianos, at the disposal of pupils for practice, at the rate of 1s. per hour. In connection with this department, the firm are prepared at the shortest notice to provide bands for garden parties, balls, public fetes, and the like; pianists for accompaniments at private parties and dances; and their Mr. W. Marriott acts as agent for vocal artists of all voices, for public or private concerts. The business in all its details is conducted with commendable energy and enterprise, upon a thoroughly sound and well-balanced basis, and it is manifestly the resolution of the proprietors that the high reputation they have achieved, and the liberal support accorded to their house, shall not only be well sustained, but steadily enhanced and fully deserved in days to come.


THE development of this high-class concern has been rapid and continuous, and at the present day it stands a notable testimony to the ability and energy of the principals, both of whom are Fellows of the Surveyors’ Institution, and gentlemen of practical and scientific experience in all departments of their profession. Mr. W. R. Waters, one of the partners, is also a Civil Engineer, and is a well-known specialist and expert in sanitary matters. The firm occupy well-appointed and commodious offices at the above address, with auction-rooms and storage accommodation on the upper floors, and employ a numerous and highly efficient staff. As house, land, and estate agents Messrs. Waters & Waters do an exceedingly large business, and in London they make a speciality of houses, furnished and unfurnished chambers, flats, and business premises, of which they publish monthly a separate list, giving all particulars. They keep a most comprehensive register of country estates and houses (furnished and unfurnished), which list is published monthly, together with shootings and other desirable properties, and they are in direct communication with a leading firm of land agents in Scotland, whose printed lists of estates, moors, forests, fishings, coast and country residences for sale and to let may be had at their offices in Waterloo Place. Messrs. Waters & Waters’ published lists of all kinds of properties are remarkably full and complete.

The firm, who conduct frequent auction sales of houses and estates at “The Mart,” have a special department for sanitation and surveys, under the personal direction of Mr. W. R. Waters, C.E., F.S.I. General auctioneering is largely carried on, and landed estates are valued and developed for building purposes. In all these matters Messrs. Waters & Waters display the skill and facility that come of long experience, and all their undertakings are carried out with a promptitude and thoroughness that are greatly appreciated in an age when “time is money.” There is nothing within the scope of a first-class estate and property agent’s business that Messrs. Waters & Waters are not prepared to undertake, and carry out in accordance with their clients’ wishes and requirements, and the manner in which they fulfil their various engagements has won the confidence and patronage of a widespread and influential connection among property owners, the aristocracy, and the wealthy classes generally in London and the country. It may be added that they are sole agents for the extensive Fulham estates, which are being developed in accordance with their designs; and where a short time since the pedestrian has been accustomed to perambulate fields, groves, and woods, he will now walk through wide, well-constructed roads and avenues, and instead of the majestic trees he will find immense piles of wharfs, factories, houses, &c., all the outcome of this enterprising firm.


THE pianoforte is the most cosmopolitan of musical instruments. It appeals to a universal constituency of artists and music lovers. It finds a place in every refined, home circle, and its influence in the musical education of the people is inestimably great. No musical instrument has had a more interesting career or exhibited such striking features of rapid development, and none is more truly indispensable to the art it serves so well. Among the many makers whose names have a prominent place in the annals of pianoforte manufacture, it may with justice be said that none have done more to raise the instrument to its present high condition of perfection than Messrs. Steinway & Sons, the world-renowned firm whose business we propose to briefly review in this article. The name of Steinway has become a synonym for the highest order of excellence in pianoforte making, and this firm’s instruments have established a standard of merit so far in advance of that which obtained forty years ago (when the Steinway pianos first made their appearance) that one is fain to admit the seeming impossibility of further improvement.

It was in 1850 that the founder of this celebrated house and his sons came from his native place, Seesen, near Brunswick, in Germany, and established the business at New York, thereby inaugurating what has proved to be a new and a great era in the history of keyboard instruments. Messrs. Steinway & Sons still have their headquarters at New York, where their vast manufactories rank among the largest industrial establishments in the “Empire City.” Their American show-rooms are at Nos. 107 to 111, East Fourteenth Street, New York, and they have a wonderful establishment at Astoria, opposite One Hundred and Twentieth Street, New York, comprising factories for making piano-cases and actions, foundries, metal works, drying kilns for wood seasoning, saw-mills, timber yards, and basins, all upon an immense scale. This is quite an industrial city in miniature, and has come to be known as “Steinway.” The firm also have a finishing factory at Hamburg, Germany, with a depot in the same city for the Continental trade. Altogether over a thousand hands are employed in the manufacturing departments in Europe and America, in addition to the large staffs attached to the firm’s various branches in different parts of the world; and there is every reason to believe that Messrs. Steinway are by far the largest pianoforte makers in existence. Their immense trade in the United Kingdom is now conducted from the London house, which was opened in 1875, and which has become one of the institutions of the country in the musical instrument trade. This establishment is situated in Lower Seymour Street, Portman Square, and comprises spacious and elegant show-rooms on the ground and upper floors, displaying a magnificent stock of Steinway pianofortes in every size and style, and at prices ranging from one hundred guineas upwards. The premises also include well-appointed shops for regulating and repairing instruments, and in immediate connection is the well-known and favourite Steinway Hall, one of London’s prettiest and most comfortable concert halls. Here there is excellent accommodation for an audience of about six hundred persons, and the convenient situation of the hall, coupled with its elegant appointment and admirable acoustic properties, bring it into very great request during the London musical season. This handsome little hall has an equally notable “American cousin” in Steinway Hall, New York, which is also the property of the firm under notice.

We do not propose to discuss exhaustively the merits of the far-famed Steinway pianofortes in this necessarily brief review. A good-sized volume might be filled in recording all that the Steinways have done for the improvement of the instrument with which their name is so inseparably identified, and such a record would simply be an account of the best achievements of modern times in the perfecting of the pianoforte. It is enough for our purpose here to note that musicians and virtuosi of every nationality are agreed in the opinion that the Steinway pianofortes in their present advanced state of excellence are practically unrivalled for their comprehensive merits. They present probably a larger combination of good qualities than any other instrument of the kind extant, and are well-nigh unique in their adaptability to both the great branches of musical art in which the pianoforte is called upon to display its capabilities, viz., the accompaniment of vocal music, and the exhibition of virtuosity in solo or concerted performance. In other words, the Steinway pianofortes are the instruments for both singers and pianists, and in this respect they are above and beyond competition. The contrapuntal style of music in vogue a hundred years ago was easily satisfied with a pianoforte of moderately good tone and mechanism; but the elaborate compositions of modern times, with their masses of harmonic colouring, make much heavier demands, not only upon the player, but upon the instrument, and call for qualities of tone and action in the latter which exist in a superlative degree in the magnificent productions of Messrs. Steinway & Sons. These qualities are obtained by the united aid of the many notable improvements introduced and perfected by this great firm.

Among the most important advances thus effected by Messrs. Steinway we note their new application of their Overstrung System, by spreading the strings in the form of a fan upon the elongated sound-board bridges; also that valuable invention, called the Cupola Metal Frame, with its Capo d’Astro Bar, which offers such perfect resistance to the strain of the strings concentrated upon it that it is possible to withstand the pull of the strings in a Steinway “grand” to the enormous and unequalled extent of 75,000 lbs. Messrs. Steinway have also embodied in their wonderful instruments shaped metal frames in connection with the new construction of the inner and external casing in a number of layers of uninterrupted long-fibred wood, thus doing away with the grave disadvantage of weakness in the treble register of grand pianos, where the arch of the case begins — a weakness so frequently manifested in instruments whose cases are constructed upon the old-fashioned principle, with short pieces of wood. Another great improvement is secured by the metallic tubular action frame, which, being entirely impervious to atmospheric influences, ensures unerring precision, power, and delicacy of touch combined with durability. Purification of tone is further insured by the Steinway duplex scaling, a new invention which greatly increases the duration of tone, and keeps the instrument much longer in tune. The new tone-sustaining pedal is also a splendid idea, and there are many other points in which the ingenuity and scientific skill of the Steinways have been advantageously displayed, the grand result of all being a piano which is as perfect as any human contrivance can hope to be, and which unites in itself the highest excellences of pure and rich tone, lightness and quickness of touch and repetition, finished workmanship, faultless mechanism, and that durability which makes a good instrument doubly valuable. Such masters of the art and technique of piano-playing as Liszt, Wagner, Rubinstein, Paderewski, and Berlioz have accorded the highest commendation to Steinway pianofortes, and were any further proof of merit required (in addition to that universal public verdict which is perhaps the weightiest testimony of all) it is amply forthcoming in the long array of exhibition honours these superb instruments have won in all parts of the world.

From the date of its establishment up to the year 1862 the house of Messrs. Steinway received no fewer than thirty-five first premiums at the principal fairs of the United States, and since 1862 their pianofortes have been exhibited at the world’s international exhibitions only. At London, in 1862, they were awarded a first prize medal; at Paris, in 1867, they obtained a grand gold medal, carrying with it very special commendation; and at Vienna, in 1873, although the firm did not actually exhibit, they met with that imitation which has been well called the sincerest flattery, for the official reporter stated on that occasion that “more than two-thirds of the pianofortes exhibited were imitations of the Steinway instruments.” The Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition of 1876 brought additional honours to Messrs. Steinway, who there obtained the highest awards for the best pianofortes and best pianoforte material, with the unanimous agreement of the judges that their instruments embodied “the highest degree of excellence in all their styles.” Messrs. Steinway & Sons achieved a great success at the Inventions Exhibition, London, 1885, gaining the highest award in the power of the jury to grant, viz., the “Gold Medal awarded to Steinway & Sons for grand and upright pianos, for general excellence, and several meritorious and useful inventions.” Besides all the above-named distinctions, this firm have been specially honoured in receiving the Gold Medal of the Society of Arts, awarded to them upon the recommendation of the Jury of the Inventions Exhibition for the best pianos in that exhibition, and for “several meritorious and useful inventions.”

We could fill a great deal of space in recounting the long list of other awards gained from time to time by this distinguished house in various parts of the world, but those we have mentioned are of ample importance in themselves, and require no support. They prove conclusively that in the arena of international competition, where all prejudices are laid aside for the time, and only calm unbiased judgment prevails, the Steinway pianofortes have taken the premier place, and completely justified their universal reputation and the favourable verdict of the musical world. We may take this opportunity of drawing the attention of our readers to the admirably-printed and fully-illustrated pamphlet and catalogue Messrs. Steinway & Sons have recently issued. The catalogue, with its fine engravings, is a work of art, and the firm’s many valuable patents and clever inventions for the improvement of the pianoforte are described in a most interesting manner, with diagrams and copious letterpress. The same publication gives reprints of testimonials received by the firm from such distinguished musicians, artists, and scientists as Helmholtz, Liszt, Wagner, Rubinstein, Berlioz, Gounod, Joseph Joachim (who says “Steinway is to the pianist what Straduarius is to the violinist”), Adelina Patti, Sophie Menter, Annette Essipoff, Arabella Goddard, Alma Haas, Madeline Schiller, Edward Greig, Paolo Tosti, Leonard Borwick, Senor Albeniz, Arthur Friedheim, Benno Schonberger, Otto Hegner, Antoinette Trebelli, Madame Melba, Minnie Hauk, Madame Gerster, Madame Valleria, and Marie Roze.

Messrs. Steinway & Sons now manufacture about four thousand pianofortes yearly, an enormous number when we bear in mind that each one of these instruments is one of the highest class, made and finished in the most perfect and conscientious manner. About five hundred of these superb pianos are annually disposed of in England, and in London especially the Steinway pianofortes are in such great and increasing request that the demand almost overbalances the supply. The aggregate value of the firm’s stock of pianos everywhere may be set down at nearly £1,000,000. The English stock alone is worth from £40,000 to £50,000. An enormous and world-wide trade is carried on by this distinguished firm, and Steinway pianofortes are known, used, and esteemed by the greatest artists in every quarter of the globe in which “the most perfect of all the arts” receives exposition.

Messrs. Steinway’s London house is under the able and experienced management of Mr. Charles Ziegler, a member of the house of Steinway, and Mr. E. Eshelby, to whose courtesy we are indebted for much of the information embodied in this article. Messrs. Steinway hold Royal special appointments from H.M. the Queen and T.R.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales, His Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia (who honoured Mr. W. Steinway with a personal audience at the Marble Palace, Potsdam, Sep¬tember 11th, 1892). The Steinway pianofortes have also been supplied to the Royal Courts of Russia, the Sultan of Turkey, the Emperor of China, the Mikado of Japan, the Queen of Spain, &c., thus showing their world-wide distribution.


Projected in the year 1838, the commercial development of this concern has, under the vigorous administration of its talented proprietor, been both rapid and continuous, the first expanding of business having necessi¬tated a removal about thirteen years ago to its present eligible quarters. The premises occupied are located but two doors distant from Bond Street, and passing through its portals, a magnificent permanent exhibition is revealed, comprising one of the largest and most varied and valuable collections of antique furniture, modern reproductions and graceful cabi¬net work, and decorative designs, to be found under any single roof in the West End of London. Mr. Litchfield has won a well-merited renown for the fidelity and thoroughness of all his work, whether it consists in the making of a single piece of furniture or the entire decorating and furnishing of a large mansion — in illustration of any distinct period in the history of decorative art, such as the Elizabethan, Jacobean, Georgian, Louis Quinze, Italian Renaissance, Empire, and other pro¬nounced periods. According to Mr. Litchfield, this class of work is more extensively engaged in in the country than in town, and his trade connection is very largely developed among the county nobility and gentry.

On the ground floor at Bruton Street the first show-room is devoted principally to the display of rare antique furniture, exhibiting many very handsome old oak carved cabinets and chimney-pieces, one of the last named being in the form of an exquisitely wrought oak “inglenook,” which would grace the great hall of any noble mansion. Here also are hung some choice copies of the famous embroidery of the Maison Cluny de Paris, in the reproduction of which Mr. Litchfield has been entirely successful. In another room is a portion of the interior of Mapledurham House — an old Elizabethan mansion which belonged to the Earls of Devonshire of the sixteenth century. This relic of a famous country house is one of Mr. Litchfield’s chief treasures, and is deservedly admired by critics and con¬noisseurs of the antique. The floor above this has a room fitted up in genuine old-time fashion, and curious Dutch casements evidently of great age, have been adapted by Mr. Litchfield as cabinet fronts, their solid oak frames, with polished steel mounts, producing quite a unique effect, while the rest of the room is all in harmony, an old mosque lantern swinging from the ceiling, and some valuable antique Flemish tapestry gracing and draping the walls. This tapestry is another treasure, and Mr. Litchfield possesses some splendid specimens in a very fine state of preservation. A small room hard by, equipped in pink and white, affords a strikingly beautiful example of how a boudoir can be decorated in the Adams style. The same style and period is further represented by a handsome white enamelled wood chimney-piece with overmantel, which stands prominently in the next room, and commands the admiration its beauty can scarcely fail to attract; while near to this is placed an original Flemish cabinet — a very superb specimen of rich oak carving, dating back to the year 1759; and the beautiful rococo ceiling of this room amply demonstrates the firm’s skill in eccentric decoration. In yet another apartment there are further speci¬mens of antique furniture and also panelled examples of rich wall papers, a brilliant aureolian pattern in strong relief on a white ground, the pro¬duction of an English factory, contrasting agreeably with the not less rich but more subdued tone of a quaint lacquer pattern in Japanese paper.

Yet another striking feature of the business consists in the reproduction of antique styles in lamps, and for these Mr. Litchfield enjoys an unrivalled fame. His patterns are produced in great variety to match any style of decoration or period of structure, and in every instance the articles exhibit intrinsic grace and beauty of a very high order.

A large staff of skilled hands is always held in readiness to execute the commands of patrons, and Mr. Litchfield enjoys the liberal support of a very large clientele, and conducts his vast business in a manner which has won for him the respect and esteem of all those who have had the privilege of his acquaintance.


THE West End of London, which has a world-wide fame for its unequalled productions in carriages of all kinds, is similarly renowned in connection with the important trade of the saddler and harness-maker. In this branch of industry London goods are admittedly unrivalled, whether it be in quality of material, beauty of finish, or general perfection in workmanship. The old and widely known firm of Messrs. H. Peat & Co. enjoy the distinction of a leading position among West End saddlers, and their high-class productions are well known and greatly esteemed both at home and abroad.

This eminent house was founded considerably over a hundred years ago by a member of the Peat family, and has always been carried on under the same name. Its association with the history of the saddlery and harness trade in London has been extremely interesting, and from the first it has maintained that special prominence and prestige therein which is its chief characteristic at the present day. In very early times Messrs. Peat & Co. numbered many distinguished personages among their customers, just as they continue to do at the present time, and looking back as far as the year 1815 we notice among many illustrious names recorded in their ledger that of Marshal Blucher, the great Prussian commander, and that of Lord Hill, of Waterloo fame, in addition to scores of other renowned military officers and noblemen of high distinction, who were, or are, among the esteemed patrons of this leading firm. Indeed, there has never been a period in its history when the house of Messrs. H. Peat & Co. failed to receive the most distinguished support, from that of Royalty downwards, and the same noteworthy and gratifying condition of affairs prevails to this day.

The firm exemplify in the highest possible style every branch of the saddler’s art, and their specialities in military and sporting saddles and saddlery for the colonies are so well known and of such acknowledged superiority that detailed mention of them here is uncalled for. In every department of their highly interesting craft Messrs. H. Peat & Co. consistently maintain the highest possible standard of excellence in material and workmanship. This fact is well known everywhere, and their productions consequently enjoy a special reputation for thorough reliability. They have obtained the three highest awards in the saddlery section of the South Kensington Exhibitions, and no manufactures of the same kind stand higher in the favour of buyers and users of saddlery, whether it be in this country or abroad. A very large export trade is carried on with the United States, South Africa, and the British Colonies in general, while the firm’s old-established and influential home connection extends throughout the entire United Kingdom.

Messrs. H. Peat & Co. occupy large and handsomely appointed premises at the above address in Piccadilly, and give employment to a very numerous staff of the most skilful and experienced workmen in the trade. The stock held in readiness to meet all urgent requirements is one of great magnitude and completeness, and the display of high-class and beautifully finished saddlery and harness in the show-room is undoubtedly one of the finest we have ever seen. The administration of this extensive and select business is marked by great ability and sound judgment, and under the direction of the present experienced principal the house continues to be eminently successful in meeting all the varied requirements of its distinguished clientele.


IN the various branches of the modern drapery trade and especially in its fashionable departments, Regent Street can boast of some of the foremost houses in London, and among these representatives of an important and select branch of mercantile enterprise a prominent place is held by the old and well-known firm of Messrs. J. Allison & Co. The history of this eminent house dates back to the earliest years of the century, and about 1826, it came under its present title. Since then its progress has been continued uninterruptedly, and the steady development of its business upon the highest commercial lines has made it one of the largest and, undoubtedly, one of the most respected silk and drapery concerns in the West End. For many years past this excellent status has been maintained, and no firm could possibly enjoy a better reputation in the best circles of custom. Messrs Allison’s fine premises at the above address have recently been re-decorated throughout, and the addition of a new frontage has made them exceptionally handsome in external appearance. This establishment covers probably a larger ground area than! any other in Regent Street, and extends back to Argyll Street in the rear — which means a length of between two hundred and fifty and three hundred feet. Besides the main entrance in Regent Street and the carriage entrance in Argyll Street, there is also a side entrance in Little Argyll Street, and these and other features of convenience make the
place remarkably commodious for the working of an unusually large business. The premises are three and four stories high, and are fitted up throughout upon a scale of great elegance and even luxuriousness, especially in the magnificent show-rooms, and the comfortable and perfectly appointed fitting rooms for ladies’ use.

All the usual departments of a high-class, drapery emporium are fully represented here, and the principal subdivisions of the firm’s extensive and varied stock include:— silks, Irish poplins, and silk velvets, fancy dresses in wool, cotton, and mixed textures, ribbons of every variety, novelties in dress trimmings, haberdashery, hosiery, and gloves of the best makes, real and imitation laces, crepes and crepes lisses, fancy handkerchiefs, scarfs, and aprons, mantles and shawls, ladies’ and children’s underclothing, and the best class of household drapery and family linen. Dressmaking and millinery are, of course, highly important departments, this work being all done on the premises by the firm’s own numerous staff of skilled and experienced workpeople, and every new style and change of fashion is faithfully reproduced in the most finished and tasteful manner. The firm also make a speciality of every requisite for family and complimentary mourning, both in dresses and millinery and in materials. They have likewise established a high reputation for wedding outfits, and have long been noted especially for superb qualities of silks and ribbons and the best English and foreign makes of gloves.

In all departments Messrs. Allison’s stock will be found replete with new and superior goods, selected with great care and judgment in all the leading markets at home and abroad, and the completeness of the firm’s resources, coupled with the unfailing reliability of all their wares, will amply account for the fact that their establishment is regularly patronised by a very large and fashionable clientele drawn from the elite of the social world in London. Moreover, Messrs Allison enjoy the patronage of many distinguished county families. Altogether the firm give employment to a very numerous staff of hands, and not the least creditable characteristic of this notable house is the kindly consideration with which all its employes are treated.


MESSRS. JOHN BELL & Co.’s business has long been one of the most reputable concerns of its kind in the West End, and it also stands among the oldest, for it was founded as far back as the year 1798 by Mr. John Bell, a member of the Society of Friends. The drugs then in use were collected with but little care, and their originally inferior quality was still further deteriorated by the adulteration universally practised. Himself a thoroughly upright and conscientious man, John Bell determined from the outset that everything he sold should be of the best and purest quality attainable, and the policy he thus initiated has been characteristic of the business ever since. Beginning in quite a small way and under circumstances the reverse of encouraging, Mr. Bell had the satisfaction of seeing his business steadily increase until it became one of the most important dispensing establishments in the country. That leading position it still maintains.

Mr. Bell had been in business more than fifty years when in 1849 he died, leaving his son Jacob, who had been in partnership with him for some years, to carry on his work. Mr. Jacob Bell was a man of great natural, ability and of scientific training. In early life he evinced a strong inclination towards art, and was for a time in the studio of Mr. Briggs, R.A. Although he eventually relinquished, the idea of practising art for a livelihood, he retained to the last a great interest in it, and was the intimate friend of many artists of renown, among whom were Messrs. Ward, Frith, Cooper, Lee, and particularly Sir Edwin Landseer. His advice and purse were always at the service of his friends, and he formed a small but valuable collection of paintings, which he bequeathed to the nation. But Jacob Bell will always be best known in connection with that most important organisation, the Pharmaceutical Society, of which he was the originator and throughout his life the earnest supporter, and of which he was President at the time of his death. The earliest meetings of the Society were held under his roof; it was largely owing to his efforts that, in 1843, the Society received a Royal Charter of Incorporation; and he established and was for many years editor of the Pharmaceutical journal, which he long carried on at a loss, but which he eventually handed over, a valuable and paying property, to the Society. The intimate connection between the house of John Bell & Co. and the Pharmaceutical Society, thus begun, has never ceased, and no other establishment has supplied so many office bearers to the Society, whether as Presidents, Councillors, or Examiners. After Mr. Jacob Bell’s death, which occurred in 1859, the business was continued by Mr. Thomas Hyde Hills, who was in partnership with him at the time. He, too, was a generous patron of art, and watched with solicitous care over the declining years of Sir Edwin Landseer. Like Mr. Jacob Bell, Mr. Hills was a warm supporter of the Pharmaceutical Society. He filled the offices of Treasurer, Vice-President, and President of that body, and lost no opportunity of promoting its welfare.

The business of Messrs. John Bell & Co. is of a peculiarly professional character, and the visitor cannot help remarking the absence of those varied proprietary and toilet articles which usually form such an important feature of a chemist’s shop. Dispensing is performed by a large staff, every member of which is duly qualified, and every effort is made to ensure accuracy and despatch. The pharmacy itself, though sufficiently spacious and admirably appointed, occupies but a small portion of the extensive premises. There is a large and well fitted laboratory at the rear, ably presided over by Mr. S. Gale, F.I.C., F.C.S., in which all the galenicals used in the business are made. In Hills Place, but connected with the main building, are situated the store-rooms, which are far more extensive than the casual visitor might suppose, and which contain stocks of great magnitude, variety and value. The house of Messrs. John Bell & Co. is now nearing its centenary. During the whole period of its long and distinguished career it has been the aim of those charged with the administration of its affairs to fully merit the confidence of the medical profession and of the public; and the reputation enjoyed by the house, not only in this country but also abroad, affords sufficient testimony that their efforts have not been unrecognised or unsuccessful.


THIS fine wholesale and export establishment is one of the most noted repositories of ceramics in London, and is a veritable treasury of art works of an interesting and unique character, which the energy of Mr. Oppenheim has collected from all parts of the Continent. The business is of old standing, having been founded by Mr. Oppenheim in 1851, at 75, Newman Street, Oxford Street. On account of the steady development of the trade, and the importance it assumed in the wholesale and export markets, it was transferred in 1880 to the present address. The premises occupied in Farringdon Street are seven storeys high, with an imposing frontage, and they afford excellent accommodation for the immense business to which they are devoted. The ground floors form the offices, receiving and packing rooms; the remaining flats are entirely given up to show-room purposes.

Mr. William Oppenheim’s importations, briefly summarised, embrace the famous china-wares of Dresden, Sevres, Berlin, Vienna, Coburg, and Italy, together with all styles of faience, articles of vertu, Dresden china and other clocks, decorative furniture, and artistic productions of a character appealing to the cultured taste of the period. On his premises will be found a superb display of ornamental items, and probably nowhere else does there exist a richer or more perfect exhibit of the so justly far-famed Dresden china- ware. We noticed side by side with articles costing but a few shillings, single plates up to the value of £10 each, actual cost of production, splendidly executed china plaques to £25 each, and vases to £120; as well as beautifully hand-painted dinner services, breakfast, afternoon, tea, and dessert sets, in almost endless variety of shapes, decorations, and prices; also a very choice collection of Vienna, Sevres, and Pat Tendre vases, plaques, and plates. He also shows charming enamels, executed in the finest styles on gold, silver, &c., equalling in every respect the mediaeval examples of which they are reproductions; elaborately carved ivory figures, groups, and plaques from four to forty inches high, wonderfully worked from the single piece; tankards of such extraordinary dimensions that the marvel is what the elephants were like with tusks large enough to cut them from, whilst he has one magnificent centrepiece there in this exquisite medium worth £250.

The vast stock embraces goods suitable to all tastes, means, and requirements, and is constantly being replenished by arrivals of the latest novelties from all the noted Continental centres of ceramic manufacture and art-industry. An enormous wholesale and export trade is controlled, and Mr. Oppenheim has customers in every quarter of the globe. His establishment is recognised as a depot for the productions of the Royal Dresden China Factory. Mr. Oppenheim is one of the most active and energetic merchants in the City, and is greatly esteemed by all who know him in the trade with which he has so creditably identified his name. He has built up a business than which there is none more interesting in the Metropolis; and his magnificent warehouse, quite a museum in itself, is one of the “sights of London,” and although not open to the general public, visitors are most courteously received, and upon presentation of their cards allowed to inspect the show-rooms without being even asked to make purchases.


THIS enterprising firm control one of the most flourishing wholesale tea businesses in the City, and occupy a leading position in the trade, which has been gained by their energetic methods through a long course of years, coupled with the fact that they have consistently adhered to the principle of upright dealing. The house dates from the year 1854, and its present principals are Mr. James Hillyard and Mr. John Wade, two gentlemen than whom none in London possess a more exhaustive practical knowledge of the tea trade. Messrs. Whitworth, Hillyard, & Wade are wholesale merchants in every description of tea that enters the London market, having amongst their customers some of the largest retail buyers in the Kingdom; but they are, in particular, specialists in fine teas; and in addition to supplying enormous quantities of tea in bulk, direct from bond or ready blended, they do a heavy trade in some very choice packet teas, which enjoy an eminent reputation for purity and superior quality. Among the firm’s leading specialities we may mention the famous “Tit-Bits” Tea (specially recommended by the journal whose name it bears), and the celebrated blend known as “Ye Tea of Ye Olden Time,” such as our forefathers did “drinke and enjoie.” This last-named article was successfully placed on the market some ten years ago, as opposed to the low-class cheap teas of to-day; and Messrs. Whitworth, Hillyard, & Wade, claim for their speciality that it is the finest tea the world produces, that it goes twice as far as ordinary teas, on account of its exceptional strength, and that it makes the time-honoured pastime of tea-drinking a veritable delight. “Ye Tea of Ye Olden Time” has been highly commended by leading "physicians, and is now largely used by people of fashion. It is unvarying in character, and no tea is better calculated to give satisfaction to the patrons of retailers who cater to a good class of trade.

Messrs. Whitworth, Hillyard, & Wade control a very widespread trade, with connections in all parts of the United Kingdom, having branch offices at Manchester, Leeds, Huddersfield, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Glasgow, and Douglas. The agency for their packet teas was readily taken up by leading grocers all over the country, the success, of which continues to increase as these really superior and carefully chosen goods become better known to the general public. This firm startled the tea world in 1891 by giving the unprecedented price of four pounds seven shillings and sixpence (£4 7s. 6d.) per pound for the famous Golden Tips from the Gallebodde Tea Estate, in Ceylon, which they sold the same day for five pounds ten shillings (£5 10s. Od.) per pound, thus in one day giving the highest price per pound, and making the largest profit per pound then ever heard of. This event was commented upon by all the newspapers of the country, and was commemorated by the Graphic, and gave an impetus to the cultivation and scientific preparation of tea which was of immense advantage to consumers of tea all the world over.


THE business of this rising and highly-enterprising firm was founded five years ago on a very limited scale by Mr. R. B. Smith, at 35, Friday Street, whence he removed to Watling Street for three years, and, finally, to the present commodious warehouse. Mr. Smith was for fourteen years with Messrs. W. Williams & Sons, of Bread Street, and is well known in the City. The firm has struck out something of a new line for itself in placing on the home and foreign markets the specialities in trimming of the best German and French manufacturers, as well as English-made goods at very moderate prices. The firm are chiefly noted for novelties in colored trimmings, which is their leading speciality, and black gimps. A large and varied assortment is stocked, probably unique in London. Mr. Smith does a good home trade, the growth of which has been extremely rapid, and maintains enterprising representatives in the Midlands, and West of England, the North of England, and the South of England.

About twenty assistants are employed in the warehouse. The firm has also eminently succeeded in the foreign trade, and does a large and growing export business to Canada, where a traveller is retained; the Cape, the East Indies, and the West Indies, with the latter of which a specially good connection is controlled. In fact, a very large shipping business is being developed with equal enterprise and judgment. The house, indeed, in all respects has few if any equals for rapid growth in London, and eminently merits the success and reputation it has won in a period so comparatively short.

99, 101, 103, 105, 107, 109, 111, 113, 115, AND 127A, KENSINGTON HIGH STREET, W.

THERE is no more complete emporium of ladies’ goods in London than the immense establishment conducted with so much success at the above address by Messrs. Derry & Toms. Founded about forty years ago in a portion of the premises now occupied, this great business has from the first pursued a course of steady growth and development, largely influenced therein by the conspicuous energy and enterprise of its proprietors. Year after year it was found necessary to make extensions in the premises, in order to accommodate the enlarged trade, and Messrs. Derry & Toms now occupy no less than ten splendid shops in High Street, Kensington, with a total frontage of over 245 feet. Needless to say, this vast establishment forms one of the most notable mercantile features of the district, and its long array of richly-dressed windows makes a permanent attraction in this remarkably busy and interesting thoroughfare. In these windows are promptly exhibited from time to time all the choicest novelties of the day, and a lady has only to pass Messrs. Derry & Toms’ two or three times a week to keep fully posted on every point of interest in the great world of dress and fashion. Streams of carriages almost block the way, conveying visitors to this favourite establishment, and half the business of busy Kensington seems to be centred in the handsome shops over whose portals appears the name of Derry & Toms.

The following list of departments will show how comprehensive is this firm’s business, and how fully they exemplify every branch of the important trades with which they have identified themselves :—Dresses, general drapery, silks and shawls, black stuffs, mourning and undertaking, ribbons, fancy goods (including stationery, &c.), gloves of guaranteed excellence, hosiery, haberdashery, trimmings, lace, costumes, mantles, millinery, flowers, baby-linen, baby caps, ladies’ outfitting and underclothing, umbrellas, Japanese goods, furs, wools, stationery, and a large and most interesting china, glass, and cloisonne department at 127A, High Street. These departments are stocked to repletion with a magnificent assortment of high-class goods, selected with great care and judgment in all the leading markets at home and abroad, and the several classes of goods are admirably laid out for the inspection of patrons in different parts of the huge establishment.

In every matter of plan and appointment the interior of the premises presents a highly attractive appearance, and all arrangements for the reception of customers are most complete. Access to the first floor is gained by means of broad, handsome staircases, and here we find commodious and artistically decorated show-rooms, displaying a wealth of fashionable novelties in mantles, millinery, and costumes, all designed upon the latest Parisian or London models. The workmanship and finish exhibited in these productions attain the highest possible standard of merit. Messrs. Derry & Toms have long enjoyed a special renown for trousseaux and layettes, in which they are second to no other house in the West End, and they are also deservedly famous for their superior outfits for ladies visiting or residing in the Colonies or tropical countries. Most convenient fitting-rooms adjoin the show-rooms on the first floor.

The second floor contains the large, airy, and well-lighted work-rooms for the firm’s numerous staff of milliners, dressmakers, &c., and on the top floor are situated the domestic and residential quarters of the indoor assistants, of whom there are upwards of 200. Here we find excellent appointments and furnishings, and note on every hand evidences of the kindly consideration shown by Messrs. Derry & Toms for their many employes. A fine library is provided, and in various other effective ways the firm seek to promote the comfort and intellectual and social welfare of the staff.

The principals of this eminent house are Mr. C. J. D. Derry, Mr. C. W. Toms, and two sons of Mr. Derry — Messrs. Arthur D. and Alfred E. Derry — who were admitted into partnership in 1884. All four gentlemen take an active part in the general conduct of the business, and are esteemed and respected by their customers and employes alike. By the constant exercise of rare skill and practical knowledge they have built up what may well be termed a model drapery and fashion emporium, and among the many admirable features of the place we note with special satisfaction the very efficient means existing to cope with any outbreak of fire, and to ensure the speedy escape of the resident staff in case of a serious conflagration. A great part of the premises is brilliantly illumined by electricity whenever artificial light becomes necessary. There is no finer example of a large high-class business in London, nor is there one more carefully organised or more capably administered. We need hardly add that Messrs. Derry & Toms receive the most liberal support at the hands of the leading families in Kensington and the West End generally, or that they have customers in nearly all parts of the United Kingdom. Long experience and a perfect knowledge of the trade have enabled this firm to achieve an especially high degree of success in meeting the requirements of a distinguished clientele, and their fine establishment in Kensington High Street has thus become indispensable to a large section of the fashionable community.


IN connection with the manufacture of high-class pianofortes there is no name more worthy of honourable mention than that of Mr. C. Bechstein, whose extensive business originated at Berlin in the year 1850, and whose fine instruments have a universal renown in the musical world to-day. Mr. Bechstein began to bring his pianofortes prominently before the notice of musicians and the public in England in 1862, when he gained the highest award. His first establishment was opened in Rathbone Place in 1871, was transferred to 445, Oxford Street in 1879; but owing to the enormous increase of business a fresh removal to larger premises had to be made in July, 1890, since which date it has been carried on at the above address in Wigmore Street, and forms one of the best-known pianoforte depots in the metropolis. Mr. Bechstein’s success in this country can only be described as remarkable, for during the twenty years in which his show-rooms have been open to the London public an immense English business has been built up, and the Bechstein pianofortes have gained an enviable position in the esteem of musical people in London and the provinces. These splendid instruments embody the highest perfection of pianoforte manufacture, and are quite unsurpassed in the richness and purity of tone which has endowed them with a world-wide reputation.

An inspection of Mr. Bechstein’s magnificent stock in the spacious show-rooms in Wigmore Street will reveal to the intelligent visitor many of those exceptional features of merit which distinguish the pianofortes of this house. Not only is the tone perfect and the touch and action all that can be desired, but the solidity of structure, durability, and extreme beauty of the case designs constitute additional recommendations which amply justify the reputation these pianofortes have won in the highest circles. Mr. Bechstein has gained the commendation of some of the greatest musicians of our time, and won the illustrious patronage of the Royal and Imperial houses of England, Germany, Russia, Italy, Bavaria, Wurtemberg, Portugal, and Roumania, as well as of a great many of the princely and ducal families of Europe. It was a Bechstein pianoforte (specially made for the occasion) that was presented to the Empress-Queen Frederick on the occasion of her silver wedding. This superb instrument (the cost of which was no less than one thousand guineas) was enriched with hand-painted panels, several of which were the work of Her Majesty the Empress herself. A fine engraving of the instrument hangs in one of Mr. Bechstein’s London show-rooms. Pianofortes of almost equal value have been made by Mr. Bechstein for other distinguished personages; and of his ordinary manufactures several hundreds are displayed in the Wigmore Street show-rooms at prices ranging from sixty to five hundred guineas.

Many of the greatest pianists in modern times have evinced a decided preference for the Bechstein pianofortes, and a list of only a few of these distinguished artists would include the names of the late Abbe Liszt, Anton Rubinstein, Hans von Bulow, Sir Charles Halle, Bernhard Stavenhagen, Camille Saint-Saens, Max Bruch, Eugene d’Albert, Vladimir de Pachmann, Madame Sophie Menter, Madame Essipoff, and Master Josef Hoffmann — all of whom have favoured Mr. Bechstein with letters testifying in the most unequivocal terms to their high appreciation of his instruments. Richard Wagner said of the Bechstein pianofortes that they were “resounding benefits to the musical world.” Liszt wrote: “For twenty-eight years that I have now used your pianos they have maintained their superiority.” The testimony of Rubinstein is to the effect that “C. Bechstein has attained the utmost degree of perfection in the art of instrument making;” while Von Bulow declares that “Mr. Bechstein’s instruments are distinguished by their superior quality in every branch of pianoforte manufacture.” Mr. Bechstein’s business in London is managed with conspicuous ability and judgment, and increases year by year as the merits of his pianofortes become more widely known. At the present time the connection of the house extends to all quarters of the United Kingdom; and the marked appreciation of the Bechstein pianos manifested by all sections of the musical public in Great Britain constitutes a thoroughly sincere tribute to their sterling qualities, and gives a general endorsement to the favourable verdict long since pronounced by men whose profound knowledge of the technique of piano-playing gave them the right to speak with authority.


AMONG the fashionable hotels of London none holds a more prominent position than the Hotel Albemarle, which occupies one of the finest sites in Piccadilly, and forms one of the principal architectural features of that noble thoroughfare. This select and widely-known house, standing in the very heart of the Court quarter of the West End, and bearing an aristocratic name as well as enjoying an unrivalled situation, has become a prime favourite with distinguished visitors to London, and is the resort of a most influential and superior clientele. The building is one of noble proportions and imposing appearance, and, together with the decorations of the establishment, is from the designs of Messrs. Ernest George Peto, of Maddox Street. The lofty and handsome elevation rises conspicuously, immediately opposite the top of St. James’s Street, down which an uninterrupted view is obtainable from all the principal windows. Piccadilly forms the southern frontage of the hotel, and the building extends for a considerable distance up the private and fashionable Albemarle Street, which continues to be a favourite residential quarter.

Internally, the Hotel Albemarle is most conveniently arranged and elegantly appointed, and realises more one’s ideal of a chateau than of a hotel, the interior designs, decoration, and furniture being taken from the celebrated chateaux of Fontainebleau, Chantilly, and Cluny. In the general plan of the rooms, in the organisation of the domestic departments, and in all the sanitary arrangements the latest improvements have been adopted, and among these we note the electric light, of which there is a complete installation throughout the premises. The proprietor has even gone so far as to devise an ingenious contrivance whereby the light can be switched on and off by a guest without leaving bed. Thus candles are dispensed with in the bed-rooms. Passing through this luxuriously-appointed and beautifully-decorated establishment, the visitor is constantly impressed by the manner in which art, science, and practical experience have combined their resources to make everything as complete and perfect as possible. Particularly attractive are the various styles of the Renaissance period in which the interior decorations and furnishings have been carried out. Thus we find that the style of Francois Premier has been adopted in the furniture and adornment of the fine dining-room and ladies’ drawing-room on the ground floor, and also in the treatment of the hall and staircase. The whole of the first and second floor apartments are furnished and decorated in the style of Henry II., while the third and fourth floors illustrate the periods of Louis Quatorze and Louis Quinze respectively. One very fine Louis Quinze room is called the “Rubens Room,” which goes with an apartment specially reserved for Royalty and other distinguished visitors, from a superb painting on canvas which adorns the ceiling, and which is believed to have belonged to the first Duke of Albemarle, after whom Albemarle Street is named.

No hotel in London enjoys a higher reputation for all the details of its accommodation than does the Hotel Albemarle. Cuisine, wines, attendance, are alike unexceptionable, and the house has very special recommendations in its splendid situation, close to all the best shops, places of amusement, parks, art galleries, and fashionable resorts. The hotel contains eighty beautifully-furnished, lofty and airy bed-rooms, besides fourteen private sitting-rooms, and a large number of fine public apartments, all appointed and decorated in the most sumptuous manner.

The Hotel Albemarle has a numerous staff of highly-trained and experienced servants, and the management is all that can be desired by the most fastidious, Mr. Vogel taking upon himself the active superintendence of the entire routine. He is courteous and considerate, and ever watchful of his patrons’ interests. Few men could have succeeded so well in the position he occupies, and none could have raised the Hotel Albemarle to a higher place in the esteem and favour of fashionable society. We need hardly insist upon the fact that the Hotel Albemarle maintains its character as one of the most select hotels in all Europe. It is patronised by Royalty, nobility, and the elite of the social world, and its peculiar prestige is carefully preserved by the policy of receiving visitors only of the highest class and those with introduction. A word of commendation is due to the enterprise that has prompted Mr. Vogel to issue for the benefit of his guests a prettily-illustrated and very convenient “Guide to London.” This readably written, compact, and accurate little book contains a large amount of useful information in a small compass, and will undoubtedly be much appreciated by visitors to the Hotel Albemarle who desire to see all that is worth seeing in our great Metropolis.


SOME of the finest business establishments in the world line the broad and fashionable thoroughfare of Regent Street, and the conspicuous feature in this brilliant array of shops are the show-rooms of the Manufacturing Goldsmiths’ & Silversmiths’ Company, with its unequalled display of beautiful and costly specialities. The great business here carried on was founded about the year 1880 by the present Company, and within this comparatively brief space of time its success has been almost unprecedented. At the present day, the Company stand second to no house in the trade for enterprise and sound commercial reputation, and they hold a stock of the value of nearly three-quarters of a million sterling, which for novelty and real attractiveness, it would be impossible to excel. The original policy of the concern has been closely adhered to from the first, viz., the placing of the products of its workshops directly before the public, and thus saving purchasers the numerous intermediate profits which, in the case of high-class goods, fall into the pockets of “middlemen.” The public have shown a ready appreciation of this method of doing business, and have been so liberal with their patronage that the Company are now doing one of the very largest trades in the world, and are making things decidedly lively for those old-fashioned firms who think the world will stand still while they make up their minds whether to move with the times or not. Another circumstance has undoubtedly contributed to the great success of the Goldsmiths’ & Silversmiths’ Company — all articles in their show-rooms are marked in plain figures, so that there is no risk of customers being imposed upon, according as their rank or apparent length of purse might suggest to the salesman. Here, every
one is treated with impartial fairness, and all may depend upon conscientious dealing and full value for their expenditure, be the latter large or small.

For the benefit of our readers we here set down a few characteristic “ points ” of the Goldsmiths’ & Silversmiths’ Company’s establishment, which are the result of careful observation. (1) Visitors are not importuned to purchase, but are at liberty to inspect the magnificent stock with all reasonable minuteness, and to make such selections therefrom as their own taste or fancy may suggest, without interference on the part of the salesman. (2) All goods are, as previously noted, marked in plain figures, and at the lowest prices for cash. (3) The stock in its entirety is one of the most complete, exhaustive, and representative in London, and abounds in novel and interesting features which will amply repay a visit. (4) The Company’s staff is thoroughly efficient, and its members are polite and attentive to a degree. (5) Catalogues are issued, illustrating the leading specialities in each department, and these publications are works of art, representing the outlay of much money and unlimited care. It would, indeed, be impossible to speak too highly of these beautiful catalogues, which are eminently creditable to all concerned in their production, and worthy of the dignity of an ancient and distinguished trade.

The Company’s premises are very spacious and commodious, being specially appointed to suit the requirements of a high-class business, and the large and well-lighted show-rooms contain one of the most brilliant displays in the world of choice productions in such leading lines as diamond ornaments, fine gold and gem jewellery, watches, clocks, sterling silver plate, electro-plated goods, table cutlery of the highest quality, dressing-bags, and other elegant specialities of the goldsmith’s and silversmith’s art. In design and workmanship, as well as in material quality, the Company’s goods are unexceptionable, the highest possible standard being reached and maintained. We were particularly impressed with the splendid work done in presentation and testimonial goods — a department in which the Company have almost a monopoly. It would be idle, however, to enter into minute details here. Words are quite inadequate to describe such an establishment and such a stock: a personal visit only can properly convey an idea of the character, beauty, and value of these exquisite creations of artistic fancy and technical skill. In the matter of spoons and forks, we ought to say that the Company under notice have some very notable specialities, of splendid appearance and extraordinary durability, and these superior goods are now being offered at the lowest prices compatible with their great excellence.

The Company’s jewellery workshops are situated in Clerkenwell, and their very extensive manufacture of silver-plate is carried on at their own works. In both instances a very large staff is employed, and the workmen are invariably of the highest skill and best experience. The Company’s connection extends to every corner of the earth, and they are favoured with a vast amount of distinguished patronage, from that of Royalty downwards. The extent and influential character of the connection built up by this house within the space of a dozen years can only be explained by the fact that the public, being supplied direct, are enabled to effect a saving of from twenty-five to fifty per cent, by dealing with the manufacturers. Messrs. William Gibson and J. L. Langman are the able and experienced managing directors of this very notable business. Their energy and sound judgment have largely promoted its success in the past, and augur well for its continuous and increased prosperity in time to come. We ought to add that the Goldsmiths’ & Silversmiths’ Company have been awarded no fewer than nine Gold Medals, and have also received the much-prized Cross of the Legion of Honour, a special distinction conferred upon this firm in acknowledgment of the originality of their designs, and the high standard of excellence they have attained.


THIRTY years ago, over six millions of people visited London’s second great international exhibition at South Kensington, and of that vast throng of sightseers many were undoubtedly interested in a small collection of Japanese exhibits then for the first time brought prominently before the notice of a wondering but not unappreciative public. Who would have imagined that results of world-wide influence would have followed that exposition of a few art-works and curios from the far-away empire of the Mikado! And yet from that very occasion there sprang a revolution in European decorative art — a revolution that is still in progress, revivifying the decadence of Western taste and fancy in ornamentation and giving a much-needed impetus in the direction of a higher and more purposeful artistic code. One immediate outcome of the interest aroused by the Japanese exhibits in 1862 was the “aesthetic movement” which came in for the undue exaggeration that awaits most novelties, but which has proved to be no mere passing fancy or bagatelle in actual result, for it has unquestionably exercised a widespread and beneficent influence upon the taste of the day by securing the adoption of more graceful textile fabrics, and more subdued and harmonious colourings than were formerly in vogue. Aestheticism proper was, indeed, at one time, in danger of becoming a mere ephemeral fashion fancy, but that danger vanished with the advent of the world-famous firm of Liberty & Co., of whom we pro¬pose to speak in this article.

The firm in question saw what might accrue from a proper adherence to aesthetic principles, and they at once took the prevailing ideas seriously in hand, giving them the sound basis of artistic reason, and thereby achieving a strongly defined and well de¬served commercial success, as well as bringing into full force and being a new era in the practical application of art to everyday purposes. Find¬ing its origin in the modest manner that so frequently characterises mer¬cantile ventures destined to future greatness, the house of Liberty & Co. commenced its operations in 1875 with a staff of three employees, and from that unpretentious initiative it has now developed into a concern of inter¬national reputation and renown, uniting the energies of five hundred assistants in its comprehensive routine, and, moreover, controlling impor¬tant branches in Birmingham and Paris, to say nothing of a host of accre¬dited agents and correspondents in all great commercial centres. Japan gave the key-note for the initial operations of this house, and Japanese wares came as a revelation to the connoisseurs and art lovers of England, for, with a quick appreciation of the possibilities of this movement, Messrs. Liberty & Co. set themselves the congenial task of importing and collect¬ing the rarest specimens of native art — porcelain, bamboo-work, ivory, lacquer, leather, textiles, &c. — with a care and skill, a sense of form and colour fitness, calculated to inspire general confidence in the progressive and real character of the art they typified and expounded. Success was thenceforth assured, and connoisseurs and collectors besieged the house in their eager quest for rare examples and relics of Old World art.

Messrs. Liberty & Co. were, however, not content to remain curio and bric-a-brac collectors only. They applied themselves earnestly to the improvement of decorative art, and to the restoration of its retrogressive beauties. Arab arch and Moorish treatment, Tudor and Jacobean picturesqueness, the quaintness of the pure Dutch style — all these had a telling effect upon fin de siecle ideas, and forthwith the world’s standard of taste began to rise under the auspicious influence of this distinguished house. And as with architectural and interior decoration, in form and style, so also with hanging, portieres, draperies, and other home embellishments of a like nature in texture and in colouring. These the firm perfected and elaborated until design and colour alike came into exquisite fitness from their hands, and even mere modern work was permeated with that subtle influence which the characteristic Oriental imports had fostered and strengthened. Still more closely is the name of “Liberty” associated with dress fabrics which were introduced in the “Liberty” shades and textures in 1876. In this department the house has achieved a most remarkable triumph, and the specialities hold an undisputed place as the accepted standards of taste in colour. Here, as in all else, we note that the germ of the “Liberty” colour effects is drawn from Eastern examples, combined with and modified by a nice discernment for the utilitarian needs of modern Western civilisation, and avoiding most carefully the vivid in hue or the startling and grotesque in design. Hence the indisputable fact that the name of this house has become a synonym for perfect harmony and appropriateness in dress fabrics.

A yet greater stride was made in 1884, when the firm took into serious consideration the repeated and earnest desires of ladies to be draped by Messrs. Liberty & Co., and the result of this consideration eventually took the form of a dressmaking department, marked by the same distinctive individuality that has characterised previous operations of the house. Messrs. Liberty’s central aim in this new departure was to re-establish the craft of dressmaking upon an intelligible and progressive hygienic and artistic basis, one that would commend itself at once to leaders of art and fashion alike. To accomplish this laudable end they brought to bear upon their work the recorded principles of past centuries, both in European and Eastern costume, tabulating and elaborating them in a manner as complete and exhaustive as the procedure they had adopted in the expansion of their other departments, and showing unmistakably that they had entered upon the study of each phase and period with the intent to extract its individual lesson and re-mould the result to nineteenth-century requirements. These efforts were aided in a marked degree by the pliant and sympathetic nature of the soft draping silk and woollen fabrics already popularised by the firm, and the happy appli¬cation of Messrs. Liberty’s ideas in the direction of costume improvement is now a matter of social and commercial history.

It must not be supposed, however, that this firm confine their attention entirely to Eastern fabrics, largely as those beautiful textiles do enter into their dress and decorative work. Messrs. Liberty & Co. were among the first to take an active interest in the renaissance of the British silk industries, by exhibiting selected examples, and causing a loom to be fixed and worked on their premises. This auspicious revival, which is being supported by Royalty, has already made marked progress, and a British Silk Association has since been formed to give practical encouragement to the home industry. In 1891 Messrs. Liberty held another exhibition of British silks, at which some exquisite specimens of silk weaving were shown, proving beyond all question that the English weavers still remembered their handicraft, and had lost none of their old-time skill therein. It is extremely gratifying to know that many of last season’s Court dresses were made of English silk brocades, and it is confidently expected that these rich and substantial home-woven fabrics will grow more and more in public favour, and that English silks will once more take their high place among the loom products of the world — in which event no small credit will be due to the artistic and enterprising house here under notice. Indeed, some of Messrs. Liberty’s' very latest specialities are in English-made damask silks, known by the name of “Thetis,” because of the peculiar weaving effect obtained in the fabric.

We have now briefly touched upon the salient points in the operations of this distinguished house, and, for the rest, we must leave it to our readers to make themselves personally acquainted with that wondrous establishment in Regent Street, over whose portals appears the magic name of “Liberty,” and from whose spacious and elegant saloons emanate specialities in decoration and apparel which are at this day the recognised and accepted standards of taste and fashion for the greater part of the civilised world. The record of Messrs. Liberty & Co. is unique in the annals of commerce, for in less than twenty years their earnest efforts have brought about a radical change in our ideas of architecture and interior decoration - a change for the better we need hardly affirm; educated public taste on the question of colour; and initiated a rational and artistic revolution in feminine attire, which has already had the happiest results. Moreover, their help and encouragement have, to a large extent, influenced the gratifying renaissance now noticeable in the British silk industries; and, finally, they have shown to the world that (with able management and cultured taste to support and maintain the association) successful commercial enterprise and a thorough devotion to the true principles of art can exist and flourish side by side.


Projected by its present able and energetic proprietor but six years ago, the Royal Arcade Gallery — by reason of its splendid situation at the Bond Street corner of the fashionable arcade whence it derives its name, and the magnificent display always en evidence in its tastefully arranged windows — forms one of the most attractive features in the neighbourhood. Within, all the appointments of the place are in the best modern style; the spacious ground floor being reserved for a permanent exhibition of rare specimens of antique china, gold, silver, bronze, carved ivory, lace and enamel, etchings, engravings, oil paintings, and drawings; while on the first floor there is an admirably lighted fine art gallery, which has already become noted for the excellent series of expositions particulieres that have there been held; the paintings at present on view being those of the well-known artist, Mr. Felix Moscheles. Such exhibitions afford the very best facility for judging of the merits and peculiar characteristics of an artist, and they have undoubtedly been the means of attracting the regular attendance of connoisseurs and collectors to Mr. Stacey’s establishment. In his executive department Mr. Stacey is ably supported by many artists of note, and skilled and experienced craftsmen, and is thus prepared to undertake portrait-painting in miniature, in oil, or in water-colours; the restoration, repairing, or reproduction of valuable old china and enamels; the cleaning, lining, and restoring of prints and pictures, the renovating of antique laces, the making of frames to order in any material or design, the regilding of old frames, and the arrangement, and keeping in order of all kinds of fine art collections. The high reputation won by Mr. Stacey at the very outset has been his best and only advertisement, and this, coupled with the efficiency and sound judgment that continue to mark the methods of his administration, has secured and retained for the house a patronage characterised by every attribute of desirability and distinction.


THE development of great business establishments devoted to the exemplification of many different trades under one proprietorship has, perhaps, been the most striking feature of our commercial progress during the last twenty-five or thirty years. This process of centralisation — this concentration of a multitude of mercantile undertakings in one gigantic enterprise — has found favour among merchants and the general public in nearly all parts of the country, and has been carried out on scales of varying magnitude and comprehensiveness both in London and the provinces. Of all the results of this widespread movement, however, including the great “stores” of the metropolis and the cooperative societies of the leading towns and cities in the country, it may be safely said that none can compare in the vastness of its operations or the completeness with which it takes in every conceivable department of modern business with the establishment of Mr. William Whiteley, in Bayswater.

One has only to mention this busy and fashionable quarter of Western London (once a quiet and somewhat remote suburban district), and immediately thoughts arise of the “Universal Provider” and the wonderful mercantile domain over which he holds sole and undisputed sway. Here all the marvels of commercial enterprise are massed together in one bewildering group, and the whole colossal concern is the outcome of the energy and progressive spirit of one man! Who shall attempt to estimate the amount of labour and thought, of anxiety and care, of perseverance and determination, involved in building up that greatest of London’s commercial “lions” which is so universally known to-day as “Whiteley’s”? And now that the great work has been accomplished, and the huge concern brought to that state of perfect organisation in which it seems to progress entirely by the force of its own widespread influence and renown, who shall sum up the incalculable advantages it has bestowed upon the community in the midst of which it stands, upon London in its entirety, upon the Kingdom, ay, and upon thousands of dwellers in lands far beyond the boundaries of Britain? These are points of consideration which force themselves upon our attention when we first seriously contemplate the mighty business, or system of businesses, Mr. Whiteley has created in Bayswater, and thus we become conscious of many characteristics which give to this remarkable undertaking a status much higher than that of a mere mercantile speculation.

If Mr. Whiteley be well termed the “Universal Provider,” he has a no less patent right to the title of “Universal Benefactor.” He has brought all the blessings of unlimited and unrestricted trading within the reach of every household. He has made shopping a pleasure, not a discomfort, and if there were not another merchant in existence, the fact would make no difference to Mr. Whiteley’s patrons, who have long since learnt that every personal and domestic requirement of life can be fully satisfied by the “Universal Provider.” It was on the 11th of March, 1863, that Mr. William Whiteley first opened at No. 31, Westbourne Grove, the single shop which was destined (though, doubtless, its proprietor did not then anticipate anything of the sort) to be the nucleus of what is now unquestionably the largest business house in London, perhaps in the world. That little shop was started with a staff consisting of the proprietor (then 31 years of age), two young ladies as assistants, and an errand-boy, and Mr. Whiteley relates quite an interesting incident in connection with the visit of his first customer. It appears that the shop was not opened until a rather late hour on the first day of its career, and just as the boy had got down the window shutters, and was about to remove those on the door, there arrived at the entrance an elderly lady of pleasant countenance, who stepped over the stall-board into the shop, and asked to see a certain cap-front which was among the goods displayed in the window. Being informed by Mr. Whiteley that the shop was that day being opened for the first time, and that she was the first customer, the visitor there and then proposed to offer a prayer for the success of the venture, and this pious office was duly performed in the presence of the proprietor and his assistants. Thus auspiciously inaugurated, the house entered upon its course of remarkable prosperity, and we all know what it has become during the twenty-eight years that have elapsed since that modest cap-front was sold to the “first customer.”

Westbourne Grove and Queen’s Road are to-day almost absorbed in Whiteley’s, that is to say, Whiteley’s is the dominant feature in a business sense of these two important thoroughfares, and the little shop at No. 31 has grown by continuous accretion until it is now merely a unit in a vast group of buildings within the walls of which are represented all the multifarious trades and industries that bear any relationship to the daily needs of human life. To find an adequate name for such a congeries of warehouses as this would tax the most fertile coiner of words, and we shall not essay the task. It is sufficient to know that Whiteley’s is something unique and unapproachable in its many-sided character, that it forms a permanent exposition of every product of “earth and air, flood and field,” rivalling the greatest of industrial and artistic exhibitions in the scope and variety of its display, and that the routine work connected with its almost innumerable departments calls into requisition the services of some 6,500 assistants and workpeople, a host equal to the population of many a venerable and respectable town in this and other lands.

The following summary of leading departments, though incomplete in itself, may serve to indicate what is really implied by Mr. Whiteley’s proud sobriquet, “The Universal Provider.” Commencing at No. 31, Westbourne Grove (the original shop), and continuing along the array of shops that own Mr. Whiteley’s sway, in this thoroughfare, we may review in succession such important branches of the business as those for hats, caps, sticks, tailoring, woollen drapery, uniforms, liveries, riding habits, juvenile clothing, gentlemen’s hosiery, gloves, shirts, and complete outfitting, ladies’ complete outfitting, trousseaux and layettes, silks, satins, velvets, dress materials, mourning goods, funeral furnishing, ladies’ and children’s hosiery, haberdashery, trimmings, laces, umbrellas and sunshades, furs, mantles, shawls, millinery, court and general dressmaking, gold and silver plate, watches, jewellery, bronzes and fancy articles, dressing and writing cases, sewing machines, drugs and perfumery, boots and shoes for ladies, gentlemen, and children, indiarubber and waterproof goods in the greatest variety, prints, calicoes, plain muslins, flowers, feathers, ribbons, stationery, books, music, artists’ colours, printing and lithographing, stamping, engraving, bookbinding, Berlin wools, fancy needlework, costumes, hairdressing saloons, wines, spirits, beers, cigars, tobacco, snuff, tea, coffee, &c., &c.

At No. 39, Westbourne Grove we passed the counting-house, banking department, money exchange, office for opera and theatre tickets, railway and tourist ticket offices, office for lost property, and general information bureau. A new carriage entrance in Kensington Gardens Square gives access to a magnificently-appointed restaurant and dining-rooms, waiting and cloak-rooms, lavatories, and spacious showrooms for a wonderful display of toys and games, lawn-tennis goods, cricket and football outfits, &c. Turning now into Queen’s Road, we find at No. 147 the departments for household furniture and bedding, war-kits, camp and school furniture, church furniture, and, in an annexe, the “Oriental Bazaar,” which is one of the finest sights in London. After these come (in shops ranging from No. 149 to No. 159), the departments for carpets, oilcloths, general upholstery, furnishing drapery and blinds, paperhangings, electric lighting, hot-water engineering, gas and sanitary engineering, painting, plumbing, and decorating, photography, family and household linens, blankets, muslins, lace and leno curtains, trunks and all manner of travelling equipage, saddlery and harness, guns, rifles, revolvers, coals, shipping, dyeing and cleaning, removals and furniture depository, confectionery, chocolate, American fruit drinks, ices, tea and coffee (prepared), china, glass, earthenware, ironmongery and tinware, brushes, turnery, pianos, and all musical instruments, photographic apparatus and chemicals, fine art works, general hiring, flowers, fruit, seeds, gardening requisites, bread, pastry, grocery, tobacco and cigars, aviary and zoological department, meat, poultry, game, fish, vegetables, cooked viands, wines and spirits, ice, beers, aerated waters, and general provisions. Finally, at Westbourne Hall, No. 26, Westbourne Grove, Mr. Whiteley has his auctioneer business, sale-rooms, and house and estate agency.

Comprehensive as is the above list, it does not by any means form a complete index to the many aspects of this Protean business. For instance, we have not mentioned the bakery or the beer bottling departments, the builders’ department, or the busy and splendidly equipped workshops for cabinet-makers, carpenters, smiths, farriers, coach-builders, and other skilled craftsmen employed. Nor have we referred to Mr. Whiteley’s farm of three hundred acres at Finchley, whence he derives a portion of his vast supplies of farm produce; nor have we spoken of his new farm at Hillingdon, of which four acres have been roofed in with glass at a cost of £20,000. Here market-gardening is carried on upon a great scale, all kinds of flowers, fruits, and vegetables being grown in vast quantities. From the two farms it is of interest to note that the daily supply –of meat from Finchley alone amounts to six beasts, thirty sheep, and one hundred pigs, all this being in addition to large imports of all the most famous growths of Scotch prize cattle, and Welsh and Southdown mutton. Mr. Whiteley has just bought two more farms at convenient distances, principally for growing fruit and vegetables for bottling and jam-making. He has also just bought between three and four acres of land at Kensington, which is to be covered with fireproof warehouses for storing furniture, plate, wines, &c., which will be the finest, largest, and best in the world, and the goods from all the principal railways will be run into the warehouse, and much might be said about this and also the two new farms.

At the present time six waggons are engaged in the daily transport of produce from the farms, and every day four waggonloads of manure are sent off to the Finchley and Hillingdon estates, besides soot from the chimney sweeping department, this latter being yet another utilitarian development of the scheme of universal providing. While on the subject of waggons and transport, we may mention the fact that no fewer than 250 vehicles and 325 horses are engaged in the daily delivery of goods from the Bayswater warehouses, and Mr. Whiteley’s stables are a sight worth seeing, for vastness, good order, and cleanliness. The various departments above mentioned and the host of minor ones associated with them form a subject on which one might write for a week without exhausting its interest.

In these different sections of Mr. Whiteley’s gigantic business the visitor finds the best products of the world’s markets. Merchandise from every quarter of the globe is here, all of the most reliable quality, moreover, and added to this there are manufactured articles of every description for household and personal use, brought from the great industrial centres of England, Scotland, Ireland, the Continent, and America, or perhaps from one or other of the busy workshops in which Mr. Whiteley’s own staff of skilled artizans ply their various handicrafts. Knowing, as we do, that the many departments into which the “Universal Provider” has subdivided his establishment afford full representation to every modern trade, and make ample provision for satisfying all the needs of our daily existence, it would be superfluous to enter into descriptive details here, even had we the space at our disposal for the voluminous review that would thus become necessary.

There are, however, one or two departments at Whiteley’s which seems to us to call for just a word or two of individual mention by reason of their special characteristics. For example, the hire department is a most important one, and it may be well to inform our readers that through this branch of the business they can be supplied on hire with every description of china, glass, crockery, electro-plated goods, tents, marquees, awnings, bedsteads, bedding, furniture, or anything else for which some temporary need may arise. This department will be found at 159, Queen’s Road, and it contains an enormous and varied stock, ready to meet any demands. The charges are strictly moderate, and the goods supplied are of first-class quality. Then there is the electrical department, which is a most extensive concern in itself, and is under the able management of Mr. Jackson, an electrical engineer of high attainments. Four large boilers drive a pair of 300 horse-power horizontal engines, fitted with automatic expansion gear, and these supply power for the fifteen large dynamos by Ferranti, Siemens, Emmich, and Jablockoff, which can supply lights up to 80,000 candle-power. These lights are distributed all over the premises, and in addition there are sixty arc-lights in the buildings, which are worked by a large Gramme dynamo with Siemens exciter. Mr. Whiteley’s own house, and those of several other gentlemen in the vicinity are supplied with electric light by means of secondary batteries, which are re-charged when required by a large Emmich dynamo. A great advantage of this system is that the lighting power can be safely conveyed any distance, and can be utilized in places far beyond the reach of any electric lighting company’s mains. In fact, bazaars, ball-rooms, banqueting-rooms, &c,, are thus provided with electric light by; Mr. Whiteley, either temporarily or permanently, at a very moderate cost,; which includes the loan of incandescent lamps when the installation is to be temporary. Estimates for this sort of work, and for the carrying out; of all contracts associated with electric lighting can be obtained on application at the department, No. 149, Queen’s Road.

It may not be generally known that Mr. Whiteley does a very extensive Australian Indent business, his special and varied experience making this. an advantage much esteemed by his clients in our Antipodean colonies, who are thus relieved of a very voluminous and troublesome correspondence, while, at the same time, they still retain the benefits of the lowest market rates. On several occasions Mr. Whiteley has been entrusted with the care, entertainment of, and attendance upon various distinguished visitors to this country. Among these was Cetewayo, the Zulu king, and a particularly notable instance was that of the Guicowar of Baroda, for whom Mr. Whiteley made various important purchases, amounting sometimes to as much as £25,000 a day.

Reader, “’tis better to be brief than tedious.” Briefly then, let us say that there is absolutely nothing which Mr. William Whiteley is not in a position to do for you. When you enter the world he will furnish you with every requisite of infantile outfitting; when you leave it, he will see that your obsequies are conducted with all due decorum and good taste. In all the seven ages of man Whiteley’s has within its boundless resources the satisfaction of every requirement, the gratification of every desire. Whiteley will build you a house, paint it and decorate it, look after the sanitation and gas-fittings, or light it by electricity if you choose. He will carpet it and furnish it throughout, provide you with works of art and instruments of music, keep your coal-cellar full and your larder replete, sweep the chimneys by contract, clothe you and your family, provide you with seats at the theatre and the concert-room, send you off as a tourist to any part of the world and bring you home again for a minimum outlay of money and trouble. If you have an estate, Whiteley will manage it for you, collect your rents, get tenants for your vacant houses, cut and store the crops on your farm, or buy or sell any description of property you may wish to possess or dispose of. Do you wish to give an entertainment or a dinner to your friends? Whiteley will relieve you of all work and worry in connection therewith. Are you on the committee of the “county ball”? Whiteley will fit up the ball-room with every article of furniture and decoration on the most moderate terms. Are you interested in a bazaar? Whiteley can supply you with an endless variety of saleable novelties, and he will also equip the hall or other premises in which the affair is to transpire. There is absolutely no limit to the scope of this remarkable business. Whiteley will get you an elephant if you want one, or a canary bird, or a house dog. He will sell you a horse and carriage, or a perambulator, or a barrel of apples, or a bouquet, or a paper of pins, or the last new novel or popular song. He will equip you with every requisite for shooting, fishing, camp and barrack life, active service in warfare, or any athletic sport, and he is equally ready to furnish you completely for any other career in life you may elect to follow.

Having announced to the world that his mission is that of a purveyor of everything, Mr. Whiteley has lost no opportunity of proving that he is in sober earnest. He does nothing by halves, and his flights of enterprise (once regarded by old-fashioned tradesmen with affected indifference) have become far too serious in their results to be further ignored. Where it has been found impossible to outrival it has been deemed necessary to imitate, and to-day Mr. Whiteley’s bold methods are being largely copied by even the most conservative of merchants. Most of them, however, are too late in entering the field, and the “Universal Provider,” who recognised a quarter of a century ago that the public were ready for a revolution in trade, has carried out his vast project in a vigorous and masterful style that has left little or no opportunity for smaller competitors. He has practically lived down the jealousy once aroused by his superior commercial skill and high ambition, and if he has any enemies to-day they are overwhelmingly outnumbered and nullified by his hosts of friends and supporters in the ranks of the general public.

As most of our readers are aware, Mr. Whiteley’s establishments in Bayswater have on five successive occasions been extensively damaged by fire, and these disastrous conflagrations would seem, we are sorry to say, to have been the outcome of some spirit of malignity which did not hesitate to commit the crime of arson in order to accomplish its vengeful purpose. In connection with these misfortunes nothing has been more striking than the manner in which Mr. Whiteley rose superior to each reverse, and even turned disaster into triumph by immediately reorganising his business upon a scale of magnitude greater than ever. The Briton’s characteristic admiration for true courage and dauntless perseverance has been repeatedly evoked under these circumstances, and to-day Whiteley’s is more firmly established than ever in the esteem and favour of the public, who have derived so many benefits from its continued enlargement. Since the last great fire, in August, 1887, elaborate precautions have been taken to protect the reconstructed premises from future disasters of the same kind. The entire place has been fitted with Grinnell Automatic Sprinklers at a cost of £20,000, and these sprinklers are supplied from two enormous tanks on the roof, each containing between two and three hundred tons of water, which is forced up to this altitude by very powerful pumps. There is also a well-organised fire brigade, whose members have frequent practice with a powerful fire-pump, and capable of raising to the roofs of the buildings three hundred tons of water per hour. The water supply is ample for the most exigent needs, and the prospects of the fire fiend for causing future damage are poor indeed.

Mr. Whiteley’s extraordinary commercial success is all the more remarkable when we remember the fact that he has never made any use of advertisement. From the first he has relied entirely upon the merits of his goods and the honesty of his methods to secure him continuous support, and the event shows that his confidence in himself and in the public has not been misplaced. It is his proud boast that he has never allowed anything to be sold in his establishments which he would not consider perfectly fit for his own use and consumption, and having once gained the public confidence he has never forfeited it by the smallest act of negligence or carelessness. Having regard to those sterling personal qualities which have upheld him throughout his long and busy life as a trader and public caterer, it is hardly too much to say that Mr. William Whiteley is to-day the most conspicuous and interesting figure in the commercial community of London. Born in Yorkshire on September 29th, 1831, he came to London at an early age with his entire capital in his pocket in the shape of a £10 note. Arrived at the outset of his metropolitan career, he filled situations in several firms in the City, proving to his employers that he had been well trained in his youthful days, and that he possessed that shrewd business aptitude which makes the average Yorkshireman the most successful trader in the world. Eventually, as we have already seen, he started for himself in Westbourne Grove, and the establishment he has developed in that neighbourhood is not only one of the mercantile wonders of England, but is also an invaluable convenience to the thousands of people of all classes who are numbered among its daily patrons. The “Premier County” — as the place of his birth — and London, as the place of his adoption, both have reason to be proud of a man who has achieved all that man can achieve in the world of industry and trade, and whose indomitable energy, perseverance, and far-seeing enterprise have placed him at the head of the most comprehensive business and one of the largest commercial connections in this or any other land. One has only to engage in conversation with the “Universal Provider” to become aware of the fact that his mercantile capacity is rare even in these competitive times. Yet with all his shrewdness and savoir faire, there is about him that characteristic northern geniality which is potent in the making of friends, and which has won for him the personal regard and respect of his employees and his patrons alike. Despite his sixty years, Mr. Whiteley is as bright and active as ever, and in matters of supervision and administration he is a host in himself. Courteous and kindly to a degree rarely found in men who have gained vast wealth and widespread renown as architects of their own fortunes, the innate high character of the man constantly reveals itself, even in the matter-of-fact details of daily business, and the many benefits he has conferred upon the public by his fearless enterprise are reciprocated by popular esteem and confidence, the sincerity of which is open to no doubt or question. Mr. Whiteley has two sons who are being thoroughly educated and trained in all matters connected with the business, both of them having served for certain periods under the buyers in every department. Mr. William, the elder son, is now taking an active and responsible part in the finance department, while Mr. Frank, the younger, is devoting himself assiduously to the duties of his important post in the commercial department. Mr. Keith, the commercial manager, and Mr. Arthur, the finance manager, have both been with Mr. Whiteley almost from the origin of the house, and many of the buyers and principal salesmen have also been many years in his service.

Having a genuine respect and esteem for their distinguished and considerate chief, the thousands of assistants and workpeople forming the general staff acquit themselves of their various duties with a zeal and efficiency that has not a little to do with the smooth working of this colossal mercantile concern. A word of special praise is due to the voluminous issues of printed matter which serve to inform Mr. Whiteley’s patrons of the manner in which he is prepared to meet their varied requirements. These publications are unequalled in their way, and, to name only two out of the many, we may direct attention to the five hundred page furniture catalogue, with its splendid and costly illustrations, while the general catalogue and price-list, a huge tome of over two thousand pages, approaches the “London Directory” in dimensions, and quite eclipses any other publication of the kind that we have seen. Finally, let us add that telegrams can be sent to all parts of the world from No. 39, Westbourne Grove. The telegraphic address of Whiteley’s is “Whiteley, London,” and the firm’s London telephone number is 7,033.


OF the several celebrated business houses that have their centre and headquarters in the fashionable thoroughfare of New Bond Street, there is probably no one of more prominence than that of Piesse & Lubin, whose prestige as parfumeurs of the first rank is already adequately endorsed in the universal popularity of their products. The late Dr. G. W. S. Piesse, F.C.S., the founder, of the firm, who claimed descent from Paracelsus Piesse, to whom it was first given to discover the merits and specific virtues of that Hungary Water, which has eclipsed all other odorant liquids, and was first distilled by him in 1650, brought his scientific bent to bear on the manufacture of perfumes. He was the author of the “Art of Perfumery,” explaining and illustrating by one hundred woodcuts the method of obtaining the odour of plants. The fifth edition of that work has just been published, edited by his son and literary executor, Dr. C. Piesse, whose chemical and medical knowledge have enabled him to supervise the production of all toilet requisites, and to insure the purity of their components as well as their innocuous character.

Because Piesse and Lubin have not confined themselves to the circumscribed limits of the modern perfumer’s trade, and for the reason that they have entered upon the entire practical domain of flower culture and distillation, they command resources of no ordinary kind. Besides operating as perfumery merchants and factors, providing for wholesale and retail connections at all ends of the universe, they are flower farmers and cultivators, controlling extensive lavender farms at Mitcham, Surrey, and growing varieties of the richest flowers that can be placed under cultivation in the three eminent productive centres — Cannes, Grasse, and Nice. The various perfumes, when extracted, are compounded in London without any extraneous aid further than the splendid facilities of the firm’s own laboratories, from which there evolve a range of magnificent products, the mere enumeration of which would fill only such a volume as the illustrated price-list of the house, a book presenting in itself a beautiful index to perfume and cosmetique collections, alike notable for profusion, magnitude, and excellence, as well as the elegance of the bottles and boxes in which they are submitted for sale. They are identified by these all over the world, and bear the well-known trade-mark, the musk-deer, and the lithographed signature of “Piesse & Lubin.” Among recent specialities introduced by this house are:— (1) The Florimel of Palm, for the prevention of tan, &c.; (2) Haarfarber Piesse and Haarfarber Soap, preparations for the hair; (3) Eau Toilette Piesse, a refreshing water for gargling and for admixture with the bath; and (4) the world-famed Kiss-me-quick, and (5) Loxotis pour le mouchoir.

The firm are acquainted, with the only true method of preparing the famous powder derived from the pistachio nut, which, from its very harmlessness, and the fact that it is made from an edible fruit, has attained a popularity unequalled by any other accessories of modern toilet, excepting, perhaps, the Pistachio Nut Oil Soap, the Milk of Pistachio Nuts, Pistachio Nut Meal, and the Spanish Oil of Pistachio Nuts, all produced by Piesse & Lubin from the same fruit, which, as Gordon’s Month in Spain relates, is so well known in the land of its production that Spanish ladies — from the mountain peasant to the court beauty — have long discovered the valuable service which the oil of the nut fulfils in imparting a gloss and beauty to the hair quite unattainable by any other aid.

With the advancement of what may be described as cosmetic science, Piesse & Lubin have introduced many little secrets for the toilet which are as harmless in application as they are unfailing for all the purposes for which they are intended. Sweet fumigation, pomades, oils, and concentrated essences, from the very gems of the floral world, are all duly noted; the pomegranate flower from Carthagena, and the Sacred Lign aloe from Mecca, illustrating the breadth of the firm’s ramifications, and the completeness with which all the proverbial “spices of Araby” are represented. No more than a passing comment can be here devoted to a host of elegant things in eau de toilettes, vinegars, nosegays, Hungary water (Eau de la Reine de Hongrie), sachet powders, bath herbs, dentifrices, laboratory products, and hair washes; also flower-scented soaps, and the attar of roses so popular among the fashionables of London. The soaps manufactured by the firm present an unlimited variety, as do also their fancy perfumeries, and for presentation purposes, nothing could be more acceptable than Piesse & Lubin’s cases and cartons, enclosing rich items of every useful and elegant description.

The establishment of the firm in Bond Street is, at the present time, one of the notable features of that fashionable thoroughfare, both by reason of its spacious and handsome character, and the aspects of ornamentation by which it is dignified, additional interest in the artistically-dressed show-window being imparted by the tesselated pavement in front. There is a separate entrance in Bond Street to the wholesale department, which controls a wholesale and export trade extending to all parts of the world, and particularly to China, Japan, India, North and South America, Canada, Australia, the Colonies, and the whole of the European continent. It would be difficult to name any place where the productions of Piesse & Lubin are unknown. They have agents in all the principal cities of the world, and are perfumers by patronage to the Courts of St. Petersburg, Berlin, Vienna, Rome, London, Athens, &c. The infinitely-superior qualifications of their goods are everywhere unchallenged, and are confirmed not only by an unlimited popularity, but also by a splendid series of medals and honours gained at every important exhibition since the World’s Show of 1851.


THERE is no name more creditably identified with the violin, trade than that of Messrs. Hart & Son, whose operations in this connection extend over a period of nearly a century. This old and eminent house owes its origin to Mr. John Hart, father of the late Mr. George Hart, whose contributions to the literature of the violin, and whose exceptional talents and knowledge as a connoisseur of the first rank are sufficiently well known to obviate any exhaustive treatise thereon within the present brief sketch. It was his father who made the Goding collection by which instruments of rare merit were brought into deserved recognition; while Mr. George Hart was entrusted with the catalogue of the famous Gillott specimens, and the formation of a large part of the Adam Group. The
“Emperor” Strad, the “Josephs,” belonging to Mr. G. Haddock, the famous violoncellos possessed by Mr. Gudgeon, and the magnificent collection at Hartford, Connecticut, owned by Mr. Hawley, were obtained through his skilled judgment and selection. Besides manifesting special proficiency as a violinist, Mr. George Hart displayed considerable enterprise in the publication of several works relating to the art of which he was a distinguished master. The details of the violin stock purchased from Paul Stradivari, the information regarding these supplied by Signor Frederico Sacchi, and the prints of the Paganini Joseph Guarnerius, were all issued to the public from the establishment at Wardour Street in which the business of Messrs. Hart & Son is conducted at the present day, and in one of the upper apartments of which the noted specialist and author was born.

The world-wide fame of Mr. George Hart is largely attributable to the interest he has imparted to the two authoritative and universally appreciated works that bear his name. The first edition of “The Violin, its Famous Makers and their Imitators” (which has been since enlarged and garnished with upwards of sixty engravings) was favourably reviewed by the Saturday Review, the Athenaeum, the Academy, the Times, the New York Herald, Musical Times, and other leading organs, whose unanimous expressions of admiration have been endorsed by all interested in the branch of study to which it forms a unique key, simple to follow as an analysis of the chief makers’ characteristics, and penned in a graceful literary style which, while avoiding purely technical lines, presents a romantic charm that the photographs and wood engravings tend to enhance. The last edition of the “Encyclopaedia Britannica” has the following reference:— "The best handbook of violin makers is Hart's ‘Violins’ (London, 1875-80).” With the addition of many engravings not in the English editions, the book has been translated into the French by Alphonse Royer, who has judiciously conserved the impressions of legendary narrative with which the original abounds, and among the fiddle-loving community of France the work ranks as a companion volume to Vidal’s well-known “Les Instruments a Archet,” beyond which it has no rival in the special branch of literature to which it pertains. The other book is entitled “The Violin and its Music,” illustrated with several steel engravings of eminent violinists, and treating ably and exhaustively of the various schools of composers and virtuosi in the musical countries in Europe. The eminent service to musical education rendered by the late head of this firm is in some measure continued by his son and namesake, Mr. George Hart, upon whom the direction of the business now solely devolves, and who gives ample promise of maintaining the reputation that attaches to the house of Messrs. Hart & Son. The popularity of educative works (among which the “Violin and its Famous Makers” occupies a first place, fifteen thousand copies having been sold) has induced Mr. Hart to promote still further the sale of those publications of German, Italian, French, and English masters which have been long obtainable through this establishment, and which relate to tuition, not only in the violin, viola, and cello, but also to the guitar, mandoline, and zither, instruments of which this firm possess numerous examples. Their own special makes of violins are produced on the higher floors of the establishment under the vigilant superintendence of the principal, himself a thoroughly qualified musician and expert.

For the violin beginner and the accomplished artist, Messrs. Hart have alike made ample provision. Their covered strings, manufactured on new principles, are in constant demand, and they provide the principal harpists, with the best harp-strings made in Italy, for the regular consignment from which country they have special facilities. They make a preparation of rosin produced from their own recipe, and in breve provide completely the entire requisites of violin practice. The whole of the four floors and basement at Wardour Street are arranged and laid out in a manner which illustrates the exactness of the methods employed mf the present proprietor and his esteemed predecessors. The establishment on the street level is handsomely appointed, and the fittings are in every degree appropriate to the stock which it serves to exhibit in the most tasteful and attractive manner. To fiddle fanciers, connoisseurs, dealers, makers, and players alike, this noteworthy house presents an interest altogether uncommon. The firm operate under special appointment to H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, whose taste for the violin is widely known, and the house is patronised by most of the leading violinists of this and other countries, among whom the established repute of Messrs. Hart & Son, and the proficiency of the principal, form a sufficient guarantee for the continued fulfilment of the valuable sphere of work and trade it has so long and illustriously represented.

By special appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, the Princess of Wales, and other members of the Royal Family.

LADIES’ lingerie and trousseaux, baby-linen and layettes, patented hygienic hosiery, of which more anon; handkerchiefs, millinery materials, tailor-made garments for the little ones, and ladies’ outfitting items of every conceivable kind, but exclusively of the best quality and make, are nowhere to be seen in greater variety or perfection than at this celebrated emporium in Wigmore Street, most attractively and tastefully displayed, in a charmingly-appointed salon, and presided over by the courteous and attentive proprietresses, Mesdames Edmonds and Orr, who fifteen years ago succeeded to the prosperous concern which had been established about half a century ago. Such, in a nutshell, is the history and character of the house, which now-a-days ranks so high amongst its contemporaries in the trade as to have elicited the special notice of H.I.M. the Queen, enjoys her frequent patronage, and holds in addition, special appointments to H.R.H. the Princess of Wales, H.I. and R.H. the Empress Frederick of Germany, H.R.H. the Duchess of Teck, H.R.H. the Hereditary Princess of Saxe-Meiningen, and the elite of the English aristocracy and wealthier classes of the community at large. In commenting upon novelties in underwear, the Queen, during the fall of the year 1887, made some very appropriate comments upon the productions of this far-famed institution, which hold good to the very letter to the present date, and give a remarkably clear insight into the achievements of Mesdames Edmonds & Orr.

The writer, in speaking of the firm’s patented hygienic slender-waisted hosiery, remarks that it ought to be a special boon to many women, who desiring to be warmly clad, are yet loth to add to the bulk of their waists; and that up to the date mentioned — and, it may be added, up to now — it has not been easy to achieve one without the other, by the use of any other hosiery in vogue. All the vest and combination garments, whether of silk or wool, sanitary wool as well as other kinds, are on this valuable plan made with slender waists. That is to say, however thick the rest of the garment may be, just at the waist, for the depth of several inches, the material is woven of a thinner texture. There is no join apparent, nor does any exist, for the weaving has been continuous, but with a very much finer thread, insensibly introduced, and which is equally elastic. All these garments are manufactured from exclusively the best of materials, and all who have worn them find them infinitely more convenient and comfortable than anything of the kind hitherto introduced; and what ought to be considered a desideratum, they are available at ordinary prices, for the invention adds not one iota to the cost. This improvement on ladies’ vests and combination garments, moreover, prevents the discomfort consequent on creases under the corsets, as only too often happens under the old regime, and consequently greatly improves the figure. They are fashioned out of pure sanitarily treated wool, lamb’s wool, elastic merino and silk, as well as in textures of silk and wool, and gauze wool for summer wear. Mesdames Edmonds and Orr have also introduced a novelty that has long been desired, viz., a petticoat bodice of woven elastic cotton, which fits the figure to perfection, being of the same elastic texture as a jersey. It is made high to the throat, with short sleeves, and edged neatly with Valenciennes lace.

As juvenile outfitters and tailors they stand peerless, and Her Majesty the Queen shows her appreciation of their excellent taste and good workmanship by frequent commands for goods destined for her own grandchildren, and no higher testimony could possibly be afforded than this, that in the execution of all their orders, they have always given such high satisfaction as to not only retain the confidence and liberal support of their numerous distinguished customers, but to benefit by their warmest recommendations to their friends.


THE famous emporium conducted by Mr. Peter Jones in Sloane Square possesses a paramount claim to prominent mention in any review of the great mercantile houses of western and south-western London. At this noted establishment is carried on one of the largest and most comprehensive businesses of its kind in the metropolis, and perhaps the most remarkable fact connected with the concern is that it has attained to its present gigantic proportions in the short space of fifteen years. "We use the word “short” advisedly: compared with some West End houses, that of Mr. Peter Jones is in its infancy, but businesses grow now at double the rate that formerly prevailed, and this one has been in existence quite long enough to win for itself a high place and a secure one in the esteem and confidence of the public. Its success is wholly due to the energy and straightforward qualities of its esteemed founder and sole principal, and it stands now as a monument to that gentleman’s untiring industry and pushing enterprise. When Mr. Peter Jones commenced business in 1877, he started in two shops situated at Nos. 4 and 6, King’s Road, adjoining Sloane Square. Since then a number of adjacent shops have been added one after another in rapid succession, and these being all rebuilt as they were acquired, the establishment now forms one huge block, of harmonious design and handsome appearance, rising to a height of five storeys, and crowned by a turret from which rises a flagstaff that is quite a landmark in this vicinity. For general commodiousness and imposing proportions, this fine block is unsurpassed in London, and it reflects high credit upon its enterprising proprietor and upon the eminent firm of architects he engaged to carry out his ideas.

Outwardly the attractions of Mr. Peter Jones’s noble warehouse are many, and the rich display of goods in the long tier of plate-glass show windows always proves irresistible for even the busiest of the many passers-by on the thronged pavement. A man or woman would be more — or less? — than human who could pass this varied exhibition of new and interesting merchandise without pausing to take a second look. Internally the lofty and beautifully-appointed shops and show-rooms more than fulfil the promise held forth by the exterior, and the visitor passes from department to department, conscious of being in the midst of a stock which has few equals, and probably no superior, in London. The magnitude of the entire stock, its remarkable variety, and the fine quality of the goods shown in each section, are the three great features which impress one most in Mr. Jones’s establishment. We may give here a brief indication of the plan of this warehouse, having regard to the location of the different departments.

The ground floor of No. 2 is devoted to household linens, and contains an unsurpassed assortment of these indispensable fabrics. No. 4 displays one of the most varied and important stocks of French and English dress goods we have ever seen, and we doubt if there is such a complete and interesting selection in any other London house. No. 6 forms the fancy department, and shows beautiful specialities in gloves of the finest Continental and English makes, laces, ribbons, &c., &c. No. 8 constitutes the ladaies’ and children’s boot and shoe department, an elegantly-furnished saloon displaying a splendid stock, in which a distinct speciality is found in the exquisite designs of court and evening shoes, made expressly by Mr. Jones’s own skilful workmen, on the premises, and greatly admired by his numerous lady patrons. A very important “bespoke” business is done here, and the boot and shoe department is largely patronised by aristocratic families far and near. We noticed amongst the latest novelties a charming cross-strap shoe of singularly elegant shape, produced in a large variety of fashionable shades and combinations, and selling at moderate price of 16s. 11d. Also a ladies’ deck shoe, for travelling outfits, fitted with thick cork soles to ward off the damp of the deck, and altogether very stylishly and prettily got up. In the farther end of this shop (No. 8) there is a department devoted to ladies’ underclothing, and containing an exhaustive stock, ranging from garments in inexpensive longcloth, up to those in the richest of silks and laces. At No. 10 Mr. Jones has gathered together a wonderful collection of sunshades, umbrellas and “en-tous-cas” in all the newest styles; and it may here he remarked that this being the central and widest shop in the block, it is ornamented with magnificent marble pillars and panelled throughout with mirrors. Passing through the umbrella department, one reaches the mantle department, than which no finer saloon of the kind could well be imagined. Here are shown all the most chic and stylish designs of the season, especially in the “three-quarter” cape mantles, which are now so greatly in vogue, and the display includes some rich and charming novelties lately brought from Paris. At the end of the mantle department a richly carpeted walnut staircase leads to spacious show-rooms wherein are displayed the beautiful productions of this house in costumes, tea gowns, dinner and ball dresses, evening dresses, and millinery. All the newest models are here en evidence, and the goods are all of a very superior quality, though moderate prices prevail.

The juvenile clothing department, with its capital stock, is also noteworthy, and exemplifies another interesting phase in the enterprise of this great firm. No. 12 is devoted to all kinds of furnishing drapery, and No. 14 to bedding, bed- steads, and carpets — all magnificent stocks. Behind this is the curtain and art muslin show-room, with exquisite specimens of real Cluny and antique lace, bed covers, &c., &c., the range of prices being such as to meet all possible requirements. In the basements are departments for trunks, cutlery, china, glass, electro-plate, and furnishing ironmongery. Mr. Jones has also recently added a gentlemen’s tailoring department, which promises to be a great success, the best West End cutters and workmen being employed. We ought to add that luxuriously appointed fitting-rooms are provided in connection with the mantle and costume departments. The whole establishment, in fact, is a model of perfect organisation, and presents evidences of the most careful and competent management in every part.

The work-rooms for the millinery, mantle, and costume departments are situated on the second floor of the premises, and are most excellently appointed throughout. Equally well fitted are the tailoring and shoemaking shops in the basement. A busy scene is presented in the country order department, where a staff of clerks is constantly engaged in despatching goods for delivery in various parts of the kingdom, and we note that country orders are executed and despatched on the same day as they are received. The general offices employ a numerous staff of clerks and Mr. Jones has some hundreds of hands in his service, all told. There is an efficient and well-trained fire brigade in connection with the establishment, and the place is fully provided with fire escapes. Mr. Peter Jones, the head of this great business, is well known for his commercial capacity and progressive enterprise. The residential quarters of the staff are replete with every appointment that is conducive to social enjoyment, including a capital library for the studious, a pianoforte for the musical, and two billiard-tables for those members of the male portion of the staff who love the scientific game of ball and cue. Mr. Jones enjoys the distinction of having been the first retail warehouseman in London to provide seats in the shops for his female assistants, and this he did a good while before the agitation on that point commenced. Both in the extent of its trade and in the character of its vast clientele, this great Sloane Square emporium ranks among the foremost in London, and under the personal supervision of its esteemed proprietor, all its affairs are administered with the painstaking care that wins public approval as well as with the sound judgment and business acumen that command material success.


PROMINENT among the leading West End firms engaged in the goldsmith’s interesting trade stands that of Messrs. Shepheard & Company, whose important business was founded upwards of twenty years ago. A large and handsome establishment is occupied at the above address by this eminent firm, and the shop and show-rooms, being in a fine comer situation, are among the most attractive in Regent Street. All the advantages of the position are fully utilised, the spacious plate-glass frontage displaying a magnificent assortment of high-class jewellery, watches, and goldsmith’s and silversmith’s specialities, while the internal appointments of the place are fully in keeping with the select character of the trade carried on. Messrs. Shepheard & Company make a point of supplying the public feet with goods of their own manufacture, at a moderate profit on first cost of production, thus avoiding all the intermediate profits taken by factors and middlemen, and securing articles of guaranteed quality and finest workmanship at a saving of at least one-third on the usual retail prices. All Messrs. Shepheard & Company’s goods are marked in plain figures for cash only, without discount, so that a customer is never in danger of being imposed upon, he can make his selection from a vast and varied stock, knowing all the while the exact amount his purchase will cost, and relying implicitly upon the integrity of a firm whose bona fides have been proved by many years of straightforward dealing.

Being actual manufacturers as well as merchants, Messrs. Shepheard & Company can offer inducements in the matter of price which few retail houses can equal, and at the same time they adhere to the sound policy of selling only the highest class of goods. This firm’s stock is replete with the newest and choicest productions in goldsmith’s work, fine gold and diamond jewellery and ornaments, silver and electro-plated goods, &c., with many novelties of a highly attractive character. Among the latter is a newly introduced specialite, being a new sweetmeat dish in the form of an orchid flower of the genus Cattleya Labiata; the dish is of Doulton china, exquisitely painted in a variety of delicate tints, and exactly represents the natural flower, the stand supporting the dish is an orchid leaf, with the stalk gracefully fashioned to form the handle, and the spoon or server has also an orchid bowl to match; the tout ensemble makes a very charming addition to the table, the dish being useful for so many purposes, such as preserves, bonbons, jelly, sugar, butter, &c., and the price is without doubt exceedingly moderate, costing only in silver-plate 16s. 6d., or in solid silver, 75s. The firm have also produced the flower in a larger size as dessert dishes for fruit, cake or cards, and again in the form of very elegant little salt cellars. We have no hesitation in predicting a large sale for these novelties as they only require to be seen to be appreciated. The design is protected by registration.

Messrs. Shepheard & Company are just issuing a new edition of their elegant catalogue, which contains upwards of eight hundred beautiful designs of jewellery, diamonds, silver, and electro-plate, &c., and all the necessary particulars for making a selection. This interesting book will be sent post free to any part of the world upon application. The entire business is under the careful personal supervision of Mr. W. A. Shepheard, the experienced and courteous managing partner, and the house enjoys the support and confidence of a large and influential clientele.


THERE are many gentlemen, now moving in the most distinguished West End circles, who obtain their supplies of hosiery from Messrs. Sandland & Crane, of 55, Regent Street, and whose grandfathers, living under the reign of King George IV., patronised the same firm for their voluminous neckties and daintily befrilled shirts. This highly reputed firm was established originally in 1828, and the honourable record of the present proprietors extends over forty years. The premises, as befit those of a firm which enjoys the patronage of the highest social classes, are spacious and well appointed. The accommodation for the customers includes fitting rooms, which are supplied with all convenient adjuncts. The spacious workrooms are occupied by skilled and experienced workpeople, selected for their ability to produce the several specialities of the firm. The stock in the show-rooms, which is confined to articles of the highest class in material and workmanship, includes gentlemen’s hosiery of every description; also gloves, scarfs, neckties, and all descriptions of underwear (silk, woollen, cashmere, &c.), and other articles of gentlemen’s outfit.

A speciality which has gained a widespread reputation for the firm is their Belt Drawers, of which they are the inventors and makers. This useful appliance was exhibited by the firm as an original production at the Exhibition of 1851, and was awarded a prize medal. These Belt Drawers, while they form an exceedingly convenient kind of that ordinary necessary of gentlemen’s underclothing, are also, through peculiarities in their make, invested with certain extra properties. Thus they afford a gentle and uniform support to the loins, abdomen, &c. They give to that portion of the figure, from the waist downwards, a compactness of form which greatly facilitates the wearer getting well-fitting trousers. The excellence of quality of all materials used gives the article great durability, which, coupled with its very moderate price, renders it really economical wear. These drawers must, in every case, be made expressly for the wearer, and the proper fit can be secured only by a personal visit. The connection of Messrs. Sandland & Crane extends, not only throughout the West End, but among the best class of families throughout the United Kingdom. They receive many orders for shirts and other specially made goods from regular patrons in the United States and all parts of the world.

18, 20, AND 22, WIGMORE STREET, W.

The record of any of the leading business houses of Great Britain invariably discloses a story of remarkable success from small beginnings to a triumphal development, and in this respect the career of the eminent pianoforte-making firm of Messrs. John Brinsmead & Sons furnishes one of the most interesting examples of enterprise which the history of London trade and industry contains. The house originated in the reign of King William IV. in a shop in Charlotte Street , Fitzroy Square, long since abandoned. There Mr. Brinsmead first opened, with the assistance of two men and an apprentice, until subsequent expansion suggested the acquisition of a factory at Tottenham Court Road, which afterwards gave place to the great block of buildings at Kentish Town that now comprehend the industrial labours of the firm and their staff of 300 skilled men. Every year from the first has marked a series of enlargements, improvements, and innovations, that exemplify the tireless and energetic manner in which Messrs. Brinsmead have endeavoured to bring to perfection the all-important industry with which their name has a world-wide association. The Brinsmead Works at Kentish Town represent the culmination of the firm’s successive trials towards perfect organisation and equipment; and to anyone who is permitted to survey the interiors of the several buildings, the scrupulous methods which the firm employ, the satisfactory and minute sub-divisions of labour, and the extreme orderliness and expertness with which the merest details are forwarded, it will be manifest that Messrs. Brinsmead have spared nothing towards sustaining their well-won distinction in this branch of work, nor have omitted anything which modern ingenuity and their own experience could suggest to render complete a factory which, while conducted with the above staff, boasts an installation of sound plant, possessing sufficient power to maintain the firm’s remarkable yearly output of nearly 2,000 pianos per annum.

Of the factory and its ample accessories, all of which present a forcible contrast with the unpretentious shop in which Messrs. Brinsmead’s great industry was initiated, the new factory is perhaps the most noteworthy feature, and it is here that the progress of the house is particularly manifested. The manager of the works is himself one of the Brinsmead family, while the senior partner of the firm has in no degree relaxed that enthusiastic interest in the advancement of piano production, which has been the basis of the firm’s almost unparalleled renown, and has made the name of Brinsmead — in every sense — a very household word. It would take a special opuscule on piano manufacture to enumerate even some of the various processes that this industry involves, and this being beyond the scope and purview of the present concise report on the firm’s position in relation to the work they exemplify, it may be more in accordance with the object of our present work to here direct particular attention to the firm’s saloons in Wigmore Street, wherein the highest and best phases of modern piano manufacture are illustrated under all the conditions characteristic of the principal west-end establishments. The Wigmore Street premises are indeed one of the “sights” of fashionable London, and have few rivals as regards their general attractiveness, while they are absolutely unsurpassed in respect alike of the great variety of pianos exhibited, and the magnificent quality and superb workmanship these embody. The entire series of six showrooms are replete with instruments exclusively of the firm’s own manufacture, and these number some 300 or 400, ranging in price from the sound and popular drawing-room piano at forty guineas to the most exquisite and elaborately finished model at the plutocratic cost of three hundred and fifty guineas. The almost numberless expressions of approval that have come unsolicited to the firm from the English and Scottish press, from personages of rank and distinction, as well as from the most accomplished virtuosi of the day, render unnecessary any lengthy review in this short sketch of the unchallenged merits of Messrs. Brinsmead’s pianos.

The defects of the old-fashioned piano have long since been thoroughly remedied by a number of inventions, among which there are none better known than the “Patent Perfect Check Repeater Action,” which invariably forms an important recommendation of the Brinsmead. The firm have never relaxed their strenuous opposition to that system of “cheap piano production,” which we owe to the foreign makers. Mr. Edgar Brinsmead is the author of a “History of the Piano,” which has become recognised as authoritative on the subject, while Mr. Thomas Brinsmead has had a life-long association with all the practical features of piano manufacture under the guidance of his father, the venerable and esteemed founder of the firm; and the prize medals and distinctions gained at home and abroad by the house have over and over again confirmed the truth of that famous utterance of the great Rubinstein — “the palm belongs to the grand pianos of the house of Brinsmead.” It need only be said in conclusion that to this honoured house belongs a very considerable share of the credit which the English-made piano of to-day so satisfactorily preserves. The highest authorities in the land — professional and otherwise — might be liberally quoted as corroborative of the fact that the productions of this firm rank foremost in general estimation; but the same object maybe attained if we refer merely to the Messrs. Brinsmead’s ever-increasing volume of home and export trade, and to the commercial laurels which more than half a century’s successful work, and the universal testimony of an appreciative public, have tended to confer.


THE record of this important concern has been almost unique, and few houses in the metropolis can boast of such rapid growth and advancement. It was in the year 1872 that Mr. Harding inaugurated his career as the “pioneer of progress.” in Piccadilly, and having after a short time secured his present eligible premises (situated four doors from the Royal Academy), he proceeded to introduce a new system of trading into this aristocratic quarter, selling the highest class of useful and artistic goods at the lowest possible cash prices. The outcome of this plan has been that the popularity of his establishment is well-nigh unbounded, and it is patronised regularly by a vast clientele, drawn from the best circles of society, who find here a complete reconciliation between the generally antagonistic elements of superior quality and low price. The success that has attended this fashionable bazaar from the first shows how readily the cultured classes of the community will recognise and support an establishment organised upon novel and attractive lines.

Mr. Harding’s productions in high-class pictorial stationery can scarcely be equalled. In this department he stands alone, and, employing upwards of fifty ready and talented artists therein, he produces work which is a positive revelation in novelty and elegance. Ball and hunting programmes and menu cards are the chief specialities, and these are not only charmingly designed, but are rendered additionally attractive by beautifully executed scenes of a sporting, social or political character, and by floral designs of singular grace and freshness. Die-sinking has been raised by Mr. Harding to the level of a fine art, and specially sunk dies, are largely made for illuminating and embossing envelopes, note-paper, &c., the desired crests, monograms, &c., being brought out in the highest style of this interesting art. We might fill pages with a mere enumeration of the many attractive objects included in Mr. Harding’s splendid stock. The display is one that could hardly be surpassed, and the elegantly appointed shop and show-rooms are replete with a thousand and one dainty novelties, and pretty ideas in card-cases, fine leather goods of all kinds, such as purses, wallets, &c., despatch-boxes, writing-tablets, beautifully bound pocket-books and diaries, photographic screens, photograph frames, and an exceedingly fine assortment of albums. Various articles, especially suitable for wedding and other presents, abound, and Mr. Harding has been particularly successful with his novel and useful perpetual engagement slate and his “Imperial” series of calendars, handsomely mounted in nickel stands, and adorned with excellent views of royal palaces, as also with a capital set of sporting and military calendars, embellished with appropriate scenes. The general stock of high-class stationery is equal to any in London, and the whole establishment forms a pre-eminently interesting exhibition of artistic and useful stationery.

Mr. Harding enjoys the patronage of the royal family, and holds a special appointment as art stationer to the Prince of Wales. His general clientele, extending all over the United Kingdom, includes the members of the nobility and gentry in London and the counties, and each year witnesses some notable increase in the volume of business done. Mr. Harding has amply justified the title of “Pioneer of Progress,” which has been bestowed upon him, and his enterprise in opening up a new era in West End trade operations has elicited approval in the highest quarters. Mr. Gladstone once observed to Mr. Harding that, “No matter how cheap an article may be it must be nice,” (a truism always recognised at this house); and the same distinguished statesman on another occasion wrote in a letter to Mr. Harding the following terse and true sentence: “Every trader who deals for ready money, I hope, serves himself, and most certainly confers a great boon upon the public.” By selling genuine goods at a small margin of profit Mr. Harding has instituted a bold precedent which has since been largely imitated in the West End, and the public are undoubtedly the gainers thereby. A writer in The Gentlewoman, a short time ago, after reviewing some of the most interesting attractions of Mr. Harding’s stock, concluded with these words: “The ‘smart’ folk who throng the neighbourhood certainly owe a debt of gratitude to the pioneer of popular prices in Piccadilly, and if one may judge by the carriages outside the door of No. 45, and the crowd of eager purchasers within, it would appear that they are more than anxious to substantially prove their appreciation of Mr. Harding’s efforts on their behalf.” In short, this emporium has achieved an altogether exceptional success, and its energetic proprietor fully deserves all the prosperity that has come to him as the reward of his well-directed enterprise.


WITHIN the boundaries of aristocratic Kensington — the chosen home of a large section of London’s fashionable society — are to be found at the present day some of the most extensive and noteworthy businesses in the metropolis, and one of these, in a pre-eminent degree, is that conducted by Messrs. John Barker & Co. at Nos. 65 & 67, Kensington High Street, 2 to 23, Ball Street, 2 to 6, Young Street, 75 & 77, and 87 to 97, Kensington High Street. The establishments specified in the above addresses form three huge blocks, of which the last-mentioned is the largest, and they are, collectively, the headquarters of a business which is unsurpassed, perhaps unequalled, in western London in point of magnitude and comprehensiveness. In this colossal concern is presented a very remarkable example of the steady development of a gigantic commercial undertaking from comparatively small beginnings, for Messrs. Barker’s business, like most of our leading houses in all branches of trade, was inaugurated upon quite a modest scale.

The following particulars concerning this leading firm will form an interesting contribution to our reviews of the great mercantile institutions of London:— In the month of October, 1870, Mr. John Barker, the present esteemed head of the house, commenced business as a general draper in two shops, Nos. 91 and 93, Kensington High Street, his establishment being started on “The new system” of supplying goods direct from the manufacturers at a small rate of profit for cash payments, thus saving the profit of the middleman. Before the year was out the firm had annexed Nos. 26 and 28, Ball Street, for the development of the millinery, dressmaking and underclothing departments, and in 1871 they acquired No. 87, Kensington High Street, which they devoted to the men’s mercery, tailoring, and juvenile clothing branches. About a year later the stock of a retail draper, who had been in business at 89, Kennington High Street, and 24, Ball Street, was purchased, and his premises were taken with the view to the extension of the drapery and other kindred departments. In 1873, the land at the back of 85 and 87, High Street was purchased, and the large block now known as Nos. 20 and 22, Ball Street, was erected thereon, this addition affording scope for enlarging the bookselling, stationery and fancy-goods branches, and also giving increased facilities in the mantle department. The year 1880 saw the purchase by the firm of Nos. 77, Kensington High Street, and 14 and 16, Ball Street, together with the stock of a firm of ironmongers, and thus the first step was taken for the inauguration of the furniture, carpet, glass, china, and other household departments which Messrs. Barker have since so extensively engaged. In the same year the shop of a grocer and provision merchant at 75, Kensington High Street was added, together with its stock-in-trade; and the two houses at the rear (12 and 14, Ball Street), which had also been bought at the same time, were pulled down and rebuilt on a large scale, in order to afford full accommodation for the grocery, provision, wine, spirit, and cigar departments. In 1885 the palatial building at the corner of King Street, numbered 95 and 97, Kensington High Street, was called into requisition to provide additional space for the silk and dress goods departments, and also to increase the accommodation in the mantle and millinery sections, and make room for boot and shoe and portmanteau and trunk sale-rooms.

After three years of continuous progress the firm made another important advance by annexing the premises of the London and County Bank, at 67, Kensington High Street, and by this addition was laid the groundwork of what was designed to become one of the largest and most notable cabinet, upholstery, and general upholstery establishments in the metropolis. In the same year the shops numbered 69 and 71, Kensington High Street were taken, and thus an opportunity was afforded of opening the drug and dispensing business, on the same system of small profits as had secured for the firm such uncommon success in other branches. On December 2nd, 1889, the public were invited by circular to inspect what is probably one of the finest, and certainly one of the most handsome and best constructed warehouses of its kind to be found in the kingdom. Eight houses, viz., Nos. 63 and 65, Kensington High Street; 2, 4 and 6, Young Street; and 6, Ball Street, were purchased by Messrs. Barker, and immediately pulled down. On the fine site thus secured has been erected a noble structure with a floor space of thirty thousand super, feet. This splendid pile is devoted principally to the extension of the furnishing, upholstery, and carpet departments, which have far outgrown the space originally set apart for them. The latest departure of this enterprising firm is the supply to their patrons of meat, fish, confectionery, bread and other household necessaries of the most excellent kind at prices which will effect a saving of at least twenty per cent.

Messrs. John Barker & Co. now have under their control no less than twenty-eight shops, representing forty-two separate departments of business. They employ between ten and eleven hundred hands, and their stables and yards accommodate eighty horses and a proportionate number of carts and vans, all of which are required for the delivery of goods. Moreover, the firm have building, decorating, gas-fitting, carpet planning, and other workshops in Young Street and Kensington Square, all upon a very extensive scale, and admirably adapted to the requirements of their immense trade in these branches. The principal shops in Kensington High Street present a magnificent appearance with their unrivalled array of lofty plate-glass windows, richly dressed with all manner of attractive goods. Few establishments in London have the power to attract the attention of such vast numbers of passers-by as has this stately emporium, and the pavements in its vicinity are always densely thronged.

As we have already shown, Messrs. Barker have three extensive blocks of premises entirely devoted to the purposes of their business, and we believe it is in contemplation to make further enlargements in the near future. “Barker’s” has become a household word in Kensington and the western districts generally, and its fame is rapidly spreading to all parts of the world. The premises comprised between Nos. 65 and 97, Kensington High Street, command a site which is quite unrivalled for business purposes, and have become the “stores” of the district — the recognised source of supply for an infinite variety of commodities which are indispensable in the household. It is this comprehensiveness that is the most striking character of Messrs. John Barker & Co.’s business, and upon such a scale have, the various departments been added to and extended, that the firm are now in a position to supply everything within the remotest extremes of the needs of everyday life, no domestic or personal requisite being beyond the scope of their trade, and all goods being sold at the lowest possible prices for cash exclusively. As a general warehouse “Barker’s” is almost unequalled in the extent of its resources, and each year witnesses some expansion of its sphere of usefulness, and some new achievement of a spirit of enterprise which has been promptly recognised and highly appreciated by the public.

Within the narrow limits of the space at our disposal here it would be impossible, obviously, to give a full and detailed description of Messrs. John Barker & Co.’s huge warehouses and brilliant show-rooms. Regarded as a whole, this emporium forms one of the “sights” of the West End, and must be visited to be thoroughly understood and appreciated. At the same time, the following brief notes enumerating the principal departments and specifying the character of their contents, may not be uninteresting to those of our readers who have not yet thoroughly familiarised themselves with the nature and organisation of Messrs. Barker's great business. We have already mentioned the fact that the firm have over ten hundred persons in their service, and at this point it may be remarked that the domestic arrangements of the establishment are all upon a scale of proportionate magnitude. For instance, there are culinary facilities amply sufficient to meet the requirements of this immense staff, the large and well-appointed kitchens being located in the top flat of the premises; and during our survey of the premises we noted the spacious and commodious dining-rooms, where hundreds of the employees can sit down to table at one time. As an indication pf what is required in the way of solid refreshment for this army of assistants, it may be mentioned that over four hundred pounds of butcher’s meat alone are consumed on Messrs. Barker’s premises daily. The firm pay special attention to the social condition of all their employees, and evince a kindly consideration in this respect to which the members of the staff are certainly not oblivious, if we may judge by the manifest interest they take in the work of their several apartments.

After a glance at the heavily stocked reserve departments, the shipping department, and the wondrously busy parcel-room, whence no fewer than two thousand parcels are sent out daily, we may proceed with our brief survey of the departments, naming them in order as their entrances occur in Kensington High Street. At No. 65 in this busy thoroughfare we obtain access to the cabinet, furniture and upholstery department, comprising several magnificent and spacious saloons replete with furniture of every description in the best materials and most artistic designs. No finer stock of the kind can be found in London, and Messrs. Barker are in a position to completely furnish a house in the space of three days. The departments for carpets, floorcloths, and linoleums can be approached either through the cabinet, furniture, furnishing ironmongery, or household linen departments, and will be found replete with choice goods, which are displayed in one of the largest show-rooms in the metropolis. In Young Street is the entrance to the bedstead and bedding department, with a remarkably large and varied stock. Messrs. Barker devote great care to the manufacture of bedding, the purity and sanitation of which can be relied upon. Decorating, house repairs, and sanitary engineering, the auction and estate agency, the furniture removal and warehousing department, the hire department, bazaar fittings department, and dyeing and cleaning department are other important branches of the business which all have their headquarters at No. 65. Turning now to No 67, we find here the fully stocked grocery and provision departments, the greengrocery, fruit and plants, confectionery and dessert fruits, wines and spirits, cigars, pipes, and tobaccos. At No. 71 is the highly successful department for drugs, patent medicines and perfumery; and No. 75 affords excellent accommodation for the firm’s superb stock of china and glass. Next door (No. 77) are the ironmongery, electro-plate, and turnery departments. Before leaving No. 75, however, mention must be made of Messrs. Barker’s very notable department for household linens, tapestry, and curtains, which now occupy the whole of the ground floor of this house, as well as the large saloon at 8 and 10, Ball Street. At No. 75, also, we find the entrance to the window-blind department, in connection with which there are large and busy work-rooms. Oriental articles and curios of all kinds are shown in great variety at No. 77. The departments entered at No. 87 are numerous, and include gentlemen’s outfitting, tailoring, juvenile clothing, hats, shirts, stationery, books, toys, and fancy articles. A leading speciality is made of juvenile tailoring and outfitting in all its branches, for which the firm have a high reputation, and much success has been achieved in making ladies’ and girls’ riding habits and fancy costumes of all descriptions. For hosiery, jerseys, parasols, trimmings, and haberdashery the entrance is at 89, Kensington High Street; and gloves, ribbons, flowers, lace, trousseaux, underclothing, baby-linen, tea-gowns, children’s costumes, children’s mantles, and the particularly attractive millinery department will all be found suitably accommodated in the premises entered at No. 91. Adjoining the millinery department are the fine costume saloons, and we need hardly allude to the renown Messrs. Barker have gained in all branches of dressmaking. Their work embodies the highest taste and finish, as well as the most perfect style, and their staff of skilled dress-makers has been greatly increased to meet the demands of an enlarged clientele. At No. 93 the firm exhibit immense stocks of household drapery, mantles in all the newest styles, cotton dress fabrics, and dress materials generally; and the important department for black materials and family mourning is reached by the entrance at No. 95. A splendid stock is held in silks (entrance at No. 97) and a large concession of space has been acquired by this interesting department during the last few years. The same entrance gives access to the boot and shoe department, trunk and portmanteau department, and cricket and lawn-tennis department, in all of which the stocks held are most comprehensive.

The above is a brief summary of the chief sections into which Messrs. Barker’s vast business may be divided, and the visitor will find each division perfectly organised and fully stocked with the most reliable goods in its particular line. There are other departments, recently added, which deserve a word of mention. One of these is the dairy department, in which the firm have the agency for the choice products of Lord Rosebery’s Cheddington dairies. Of the busy cabinet-making department, and the various other admirably equipped workshops associated with the business in its many aspects, we cannot pretend to speak in detail here, and what has already been said is merely intended to serve as an index to the more prominent features of Messrs. Barker’s mercantile operations. The scope of this enterprising firm’s undertakings is being constantly widened, and their aim continues to be the further development of an emporium which shall supply all the requirements of daily life, in goods of the best description, on a system of small profits — and all this practically under one roof, so as to avoid the necessity of residents leaving the neighbourhood to make purchases of any kind. A review of the vast stocks gathered together in this great Kensington mart has convinced us that all the markets of the world are judiciously drawn upon for the requisite supplies. Purchasing thus at the best sources of production, and always buying the most approved articles for ready money, Messrs. Barker are in a position to sell at prices which will bear comparison with those of any other firm in the kingdom, and the customers enjoy all the economical benefits and general conveniences granted by co-operative “stores” with the added advantage of free delivery and a total absence of trouble regarding membership tickets or fees. Messrs. John Barker & Co. pay special attention to the matter of goods delivery, and their remarkably prompt and efficient service for town and suburbs (employing no less than eighty horses and a like number of vehicles) is maintained at a cost of about £7,000 per annum — a fact which will afford some idea of the magnitude of the business. The firm’s price-list is a bulky volume containing upwards of 1,500 pages, and forming a complete catalogue of every description of merchandise required by a modern household or by any of its individual members, male or female, young or old.

Each succeeding year sees a notable increase in the clientele of this house and a marked expansion or its far-reaching connections in London, the suburbs, and the adjacent counties. No firm has done more to honestly achieve success, and none stands higher in the confidence of the public. Mr. John Barker, the head of the house, has for some years past taken a prominent part in public life, having been an Alderman of the London County Council, a Justice of the Peace for Hertfordshire (where he resides), and an active worker in the political field, having contested Maidstone at the last election. Notwithstanding these outside obligations Mr. Barker has never relaxed his grasp of the business, and he continues, as formerly, to bestow his personal attention upon all its affairs.


THE above notable business was founded in 1870, first commencing in the City, and subsequently removing to Regent Street. Not long ago the firm transferred their head-quarters to the larger and more commodious premises they now occupy in Berners Street. The show-room accommodation here is of a superior character, and affords facilities for the display of a splendid stock of pianofortes of the renowned “Ascherberg” make. These are shown in “cottage” and “grand” styles, of nine different models, and the instruments have been acknowledged by many eminent authorities to be “the very essence and epitome of all that is sound, good, and true in the productions of the most renowned makers in the world.” Among the many distinguished musicians and virtuosi who have highly commended the “Ascherberg” pianos may be named the following:—Franz Abt, Sir Julius Benedict, Signor Bevignani, Mr. J. H. Bonawitz, Mr. F. H. Cowen, Sir Charles Halle, Rafael Joseffy, Tito Mattei, Vladimir de Pachmann, Dr. Hans Richter, M. Camille Saint-Saens, Senor Sarasate, Xaver Scharwenka, etc. Moreover, the “Ascherberg” pianos have been repeatedly used by the leading pianists of the day at the Monday Popular Concerts, the London Ballad Concerts, the Crystal Palace Saturday Concerts, the London Academy of Music, the Guildhall School of Music, the London Conservatoire, and at all the principal concerts and training institutions on the Continent. They are essentially high-class pianos at a reasonable price, and as such they have few rivals and no superior. Messrs. Ascherberg’s factory is one of the most important industrial establishments in Germany.

As music publishers Messrs. E. Ascherberg & Co. are also widely known, and this department of their trade has assumed very large proportions. It includes the old-established music publishing business of Messrs. Duncan, Davison & Co., which Mr. Ascherberg purchased a few years ago, and amalgamated with his own undertaking. The firm own a very large, comprehensive, and valuable list of music copyrights, embracing the best works of the most esteemed composers for the pianoforte, organ, violin, harp, and voice. Great enterprise is shown by Messrs. Ascherberg in obtaining possession of important novelties, and in this respect they are always among the first in the field. For example, they have secured the English rights in Mascagni’s two remarkably successful operas, “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “L’Amico Fritz,” which they publish in vocal and in pianoforte score. Similarly they hold the copyright in “Philemon et Baucis,” Gounod’s beautiful pastoral opera; and also in “Djamileh,” a fine opera by the late Georges Bizet, composer of “Carmen.” Messrs. Ascherberg’s music catalogues are very exhaustive, and will be found particularly rich in good compositions for the voice, the violin, and the harp, as well as for the pianoforte and other keyboard instruments. We ought also to mention that this firm are the publishers of several new and extremely popular operettas and burlesques, including the well-known favourites, “Miss Decima,” “Cinder-Ellen up too Late,” “Blue-eyed Susan,” and the great Gaiety successes “Faust up to Date,” “Ruy Blas and the Blase Roue,” and “Carmen up to Data.” Messrs. Ascherberg’s trade is widespread, and their connection in musical circles at home and abroad is both extensive and influential. Mr. E. Ascherberg, the sole principal, personally directs the business, and it is to his energy and sound judgment that its marked success and advancement are due.


THIS concern has been connected with the trade for upwards of a century, and has taken part in the introduction of many of the improvements initiated during that period. It was founded originally by Mr. How, and was afterwards How & Shanks; and upon the death of the latter — who was for some time sole proprietor — the control of the house devolved upon his sons, Mr. Robert How Shanks and Mr. Fred Shanks, who, in partnership with Mr. R. H. Shanks’s son, Mr. Robert Shanks, continue to guide its affairs. Notwithstanding the extent of the premises at 70 and 71, Great Queen Street, they are insufficient to cope with the demands imposed upon their space by a trade that at home and abroad has grown, extensively. As many as one hundred and fifty carriages are placed on view here at one time, the large open frontage of sixty feet enhancing the facilities for display. The elevation of the establishment reaches four floors, and the premises extend clear through to the rear over a stretch of two hundred feet, the ground floor and portion of the first floor being packed with carriages, some on show, others for sale and repair, several being warehoused for clients. Most of the other floors contain the working resources of the firm, representing the body-making sections and the departments for wheel-making, painting, upholstering, finishing, &c. The blacksmith’s shops and accessories are located in a contiguous street, and every detail of the work is under a system of personal supervision on the part of the proprietors, which renders any default in design or workmanship quite impossible.

Handsome show-rooms, with all superior modern appointments, are conducted by the firm at New Bond Street, and the variety of fine carriages there exhibited constitutes a sight worth seeing among the many attractive business features of that fashionable thoroughfare. To the visitor the firm’s special skill in the construction of four-horse drags will be readily evident. From the very first these have formed a leading feature of the house, and an interesting memorial of the firm’s earlier operations is presented to the public in the form of a large and elegant drag which they sold eighty years ago, and which was used on the road for many years. The firm somewhat recently bought back the drag, which still looks thoroughly sound and good. It is, perhaps, one of the best and most telling evidences of enduring workmanship. As makers of every description of carriage, Messrs. Shanks illustrate all the varied operations of the modern carriage-making industry. They send as far as America and the Colonies, and their name is no less renowned abroad than it is among the firm’s valuable home connections. Since the first medal gained at the Great Exhibition of 1851 Messrs. Shanks have been the recipients of similar awards, and in point of excellence, lightness, and strength, their work is nowhere challenged.

188, STRAND, W.C.

THE Strand is one of the most interesting streets in Europe, and contains some of the finest shops and most select businesses in London. Few establishments among the many that grace this busy thoroughfare are better known than that of Mr. S. Fisher, at the corner of Arundel Street. Here is carried on a business which was founded by the father of the present esteemed proprietor over fifty years ago, and which has developed under his able and energetic management into one of the largest and most important concerns of its kind in the metropolis. Mr. Fisher’s premises have a very advantageous corner situation, opposite St. Clement Dane’s Church and the Law Courts, and they comprise a fine block of buildings, with extensive frontages to the Strand and Arundel Street. Internally the arrangements and fittings are excellent, and there is ample accommodation for the splendid stock held in all departments of the trade carried on.

Mr. Fisher’s productions in all kinds of portmanteaus, fitted dressing bags, dressing cases, travelling bags, trunks, &c., &c., have an international reputation for fine quality and superior workmanship; and the visitor to this establishment will see one of the best assortments of these goods to be met with anywhere. There are numerous specialities, particularly in “Gladstone” bags, for which this house is famous throughout the world; and also worthy of special notice are Mr. Fisher’s wonderfully compact, comprehensive, and economical travelling dressing cases, which are beautifully made and finished in the best materials, and fitted with cutlery and other toilet requisites of the finest quality. Many of these dressing cases, and also dressing bags, are marvels of design, space being carefully economised, and the principle of multum in parvo carried to its utmost extent. Conspicuous among the fitted portmanteaus is one known as Fisher’s Eiffel — as strong and good in every respect as the more expensive articles, fitted with two hair brushes, clothes, hat, tooth and shaving brushes, soap dish, scent bottle, jar, razor strop, comb, looking-glass, razors, scissors, nail file, button hook, &c., paper knife, complete writing case, inkstand, match box, &c. Its price is £10 10s., complete, with plated fittings; or £12 with silver fittings. Mr. Fisher will always make an Eiffel to order, to take a customer’s own fittings. Estimates are submitted free.

Probably no other house in London can show such a variety of dressing cases and fitted dressing bags for ladies and for gentlemen, and nowhere else have we seen goods of higher finish or better value. The stock also includes beautiful productions in despatch bags, despatch boxes, writing cases, writing desks, chessboards, workboxes, jewel cases, stationery cases, “ Tantalus” and other liqueur and spirit stands, high- class cutlery in great variety, luncheon baskets, solid leather portmanteaus, dress baskets, courier bags, &c., &c., in all of which the same high standard of quality and workmanship is fully maintained. Smokers will greatly appreciate the new patent exterior cigar-box lock (the “En Garde”), which is a neat, moderate-priced, and highly efficient article, affording perfect security, and capable of being attached to any ordinary cigar box. Fisher’s combined billiard and dining tables are another important and successful speciality, the result of much thought and inventive skill. More satisfaction, however, will be gained by a visit to the shop and show-rooms than from any amount of written description, and those who cannot call personally will do well to apply for one of the handsome illustrated catalogues and price-lists issued by the house, which affords a very accurate idea of the character of the goods, though, of course, it does not pretend to be a complete index to the remarkable assortment of useful articles comprised in Mr. Fisher’s stock. Many of the goods sold here are entirely manufactured on the premises, where excellent productive facilities exist, and novelties are constantly being brought out and added to the list of specialities. Many articles can be made to order in a few days, and in all cases Mr. Fisher’s rule is to mark everything in his stock in plain figures, and at the lowest cash prices. A very large and high-class trade is controlled, and the house enjoys the support and confidence of a most extensive and influential connection in all parts of the world. Mr. Fisher continues as of old to actively supervise all the operations of his business, and directs its affairs with a vigour and ability undiminished by the lapse of years. He is one of the best-known traders in the Strand district, is a staunch Conservative, and was for many years a great supporter of that distinguished statesman and politician, the late Mr. W. H. Smith, whose immense establishment is in close proximity to Mr. Fisher’s own business premises.


THE house of Messrs. Charles Gask & Co. may be cited as a particularly noteworthy example of the magnitude and importance to which the leaders among these great drapery concerns have attained. Founded over half a century ago by the late Mr. Charles Gask, the house has had a very successful career, and to-day it enjoys the support of a vast connection, and controls a trade which is certainly one of the largest of its kind in the metropolis. Some years ago the business became the property of a limited liability company, under which management its prosperity has been well sustained, while the connection has been considerably extended by the adoption of the most enterprising and progressive methods. The premises are very extensive, and occupy a commanding corner situation in Oxford Street and Wells Street, with frontages of one hundred and fifty feet to both thoroughfares. The block is four storeys high, and is one of the most imposing in the neighbourhood.

Three entrances give access to the establishment from Oxford Street, and the visitor finds the vast ground floor most conveniently appointed into various departments, which embrace every feature of the modern, silk mercer’s, draper’s, milliner’s, mantle-maker’s, costumier’s and ladies’ outfitting trades. The first floor is laid out chiefly as show-rooms principally for the display of millinery,, costumes, furs, mantles, &c., in which lines the firm always show a most interesting variety of new and stylish goods, illustrating the latest Paris and London fashions. On the second floor are situated the large work-rooms for dress and mantle-making, millinery, &c., where a numerous staff of skilled hands is employed. The premises also include well-appointed and very commodious, quarters for the resident staff, whose comfort and general wellbeing are very carefully considered by the firm. Throughout Messrs. Charles Gask & Co.’s establishment the fittings are of the best modern style, and the general organisation of the place approaches perfection. Immense stocks are held in all departments, and the firm have a reputation for keeping the newest and most attractive goods the markets afford. A few of the specialities to which Messrs. Gask & Co. invite the attention of their patrons may be briefly mentioned, as indicating the character of the trade done:— very special lines in jackets, mantles and capes, representing exceptional value at the low prices at which they are offered; also a large range of gloves of the best makes, going specially cheap; and a great stock of silks, brought from all the noted sources of supply, and marked at prices which only the resources of a large and wealthy firm could make possible. Millinery is always a special feature of this business, and few firms in Oxford Street control so large a trade in high-class costumes at moderate prices as do Messrs. Charles Gask & Co. This firm also show splendid stocks of hosiery, ladies’ and children’s underclothing, tea and dressing gowns, haberdashery and trimmings, dress fabrics, ladies’ boots and shoes, jerseys, blouses, all kinds of household linens and drapery lace curtains, cretonnes, art muslins, lace goods, blankets, quilts, carpets, rugs, a charming variety of ribbons, feathers and flowers, and all the latest productions in sunshades, umbrellas, and “en-tous-cas.” Besides the above there is a mourning department to which special attention is devoted, the best goods being supplied at the lowest consistent prices. Altogether, this great business ranks with the foremost concerns in. London in point of activity, extent of turnover, variety of stock, and that general spirit of enterprise which attracts patronage from all quarters. Conspicuous ability is displayed, in all the details of the management, and the house enjoys the favour and confidence of a large regular clientele extending all over London, the suburbs, and the home counties.


THE hotels of a great city very often form a criterion of that city’s advancement, and this is an axiom especially applicable to modern London, where the traveller will now find hotels rivalling those of any of the world’s capitals in the luxury and perfection of their appointments and accommodation. Among these splendid hostelries stands Long’s Hotel, a house the name of which is known in every quarter of the civilised world. “Long’s” is one of the oldest hotels in the metropolis, and its history can be clearly traced back for fully two hundred years. At the time of its origin the part of London now traversed by aristocratic Bond Street and its tributary thoroughfares was vastly different from the Mayfair of to-day, and “Long’s” at that remote period was doubtless a very excellent inn, giving as good accommodation to the wayfarer as any of its class, but affording few of the abundant luxuries that nineteenth-century travellers of the better class look for in the hotels they patronise. The lapse of many years has wrought a marvellous transformation in the once-straggling district of Mayfair, and very few indeed would think that this quarter of the West End was once the scene of the famous “May Fair,” a popular gathering vieing with Bartholomew Fair at Smithfield in liveliness and other characteristics more or less creditable. Bond Street has become the centre of London’s world of fashion, and the once primitive Long’s Hotel has developed into an establishment marked by every modern feature of refinement and taste, and called by many, without exaggeration, “the most comfortable and home-like hotel in Europe.”

Although judiciously conservative in such matters as appeal to the tastes of a select and critical clientele, Long’s Hotel has always “moved with the times,” making progress where progress was an advantage, and keeping fully in touch with the altered requirements of each successive generation to which it has catered. In pursuance of this sound policy, the management resolved in 1887 to rebuild the hotel, and the outcome of that resolution is the commanding and beautiful edifice that now dominates the corner of Clifford Street and Bond Street, a noble example of modern architecture, and a structure eminently adapted in every respect to serve the purposes of a high-class English hotel. No effort, no expense, no care or consideration has been spared in carrying out the rehabilitation of this famous hostelry, and the proprietors are to be congratulated upon a result which embodies everything possible in the way of comfort, elegance, and general convenience. Formerly “Long’s” was essentially a gentleman’s hotel, and the chosen haunt of bachelorhood. Now, however, its scope has been enlarged to the fullest extent, and it stands unrivalled in England as a family hotel. As such its reputation is world-wide, and it is almost as largely patronised by American and Continental visitors of wealth, rank, and distinction as by English families and gentlemen of the highest social status. Many foreign princes and noblemen, as well as members of the British aristocracy, figure among the regular patrons of the house. Long’s Hotel is renowned for its un-exceptionable cuisine and wine cellar, and its table d'hote and dinners for private parties are of great repute in West End circles.

The hotel has been luxuriously furnished and decorated by Messrs. Edwards & Roberts, of Wardour Street, and it would indeed be difficult to surpass it now in completeness of appointment or artistic beauty of ornamentation. The public rooms are all particularly fine. Immediately to the left of the Bond Street entrance hall is the coffee-room, a spacious and very handsome apartment; and in addition to this there is a nobly proportioned banqueting hall, capable of seating from eighty to one hundred guests in perfect comfort. This fine saloon is used for breakfasts, dinners, suppers, &c., by wedding parties, clubs, and private parties of friends, and on such occasions the catering resources of “Long’s” are displayed to advantage. This banqueting hall is decorated in the highest style of modern art, and presents a superb picture with its panelled walls and ceiling, its substantial furnishings, and its rich tapestries and other draperies. The smoking and reading rooms, the numerous private apartments en suite, and the still more numerous single bedrooms, are all perfectly appointed in their several ways, and maintain the sequence of luxurious comfort which is found pervading the whole of this fine establishment. The hotel is lighted throughout by electric light, and elevators of the most improved construction afford easy and expeditious communication between the several floors. A moderate tariff, a situation in the very heart of London’s most aristocratic quartier, and attendance of the most efficient and intelligent character, are also to be noted among the many features that recommend Long’s Hotel to the patronage of the cultured classes.

“Long’s” will probably remain an institution of the West End as long as the West End exists. It is visited by the elite English and foreign society with a regularity that indicates the great favour in which it is held, and probably no hotel in London has been frequently mentioned in the writings of well-known authors of our own and other lands. The management is a model that might well imitated by every nineteenth-century hotel, and is in the hands of A. Hartmann, who succeeded to the office of manager in March, 1892. Mr. Hartmann’s administration up to the present date has completely proved his fitness for the important and responsible post entrusted to him. He brings to bear upon his work the fruits of a long and comprehensive experience, culminating at that fine and fashionable house, the Royal Hotel, Scarborough, and his personal courtesy and savoir faire are qualities which meet with the approval and appreciation of the patrons of “Long’s.”


THE widely known and eminent music-publishing house which forms the subject of this brief review dates its history from the year 1823, when it was founded by the late Mr. Robert Cocks. The present sole principal is the eldest grandson of the founder (who died as recently as the year 1887), and bears the same well-known name. For many years this firm have worthily maintained a position among the recognised leaders of the music-publishing trade in England, and the numerous important works with which their name is associated have a world-wide acceptance in professional and amateur circles alike. Few firms in the trade issue such a mass of printed matter for the information of their customers, and it is in glancing over these interesting lists and catalogues that one becomes aware of the remarkable comprehensiveness of the business carried on by Messrs. Robert Cocks & Co.

The house has no fewer than twenty-one catalogues in print, embracing nearly twenty thousand works of various kinds, and some useful information will doubtless be derived from the following classified summary of these carefully compiled and well-got-up publications:— Catalogue No. 1 consists of pianoforte solos, duets, and trios, by the best composers, past and present. No. 2 deals with standard musical pieces, extracted from the piano and vocal catalogues. No. 3 is a selected list of popular and new vocal and instrumental music. No. 4 (so well known as the “Green Catalogue”) gives particulars of a wide range of pianoforte and vocal music which will be found very useful for schools and teachers. No. 5 is an abstract list of the same. No. 6 is a comprehensive catalogue of classical and standard musical works which the firm are offering at greatly reduced and popular prices. In No. 7 we have a capital catalogue of good vocal music, made up of songs, vocal duets, trios, quartets, cantatas, and oratorios, by the best composers of past and present times. No. 8 illustrates another phase of the firm’s trade, being an illustrated price list of Maelzel’s indispensable metronomes and Kalkbrenner’s hand guides for the pianoforte. The revival of part singing that seems just now to be commencing lends a special interest to1 catalogue No. 9, in which we find an exhaustive list of excellent part music, suitable for all kinds of choirs, glee-clubs, &c. No. 10 is Messrs. Cocks & Co.’s unsurpassed list of educational, theoretical, elementary, and standard musical works, which should be in the hands of all teachers and students of the art. No. 11 forms a very complete catalogue of music for the flute, cornet-a-pistons, orchestra, and brass band, together with books of instruction in the same connection. This catalogue will be an acquisition to directors of quadrille bands, amateur orchestral societies and brass bands. Violin, viola, and violoncello music are treated in catalogue No. 12, which has copious thematic indices. No. 13 specifies Messrs. Robert Cocks & Co.’s exhaustive list of organ, church and cathedral music, including oratorios, services, and masses, and will prove a valuable companion for organists and choir-masters. No. 14 supplies a real want by giving a capital list of good harmonium music. The requirements of the accordion, concertina, guitar, and harp are provided for in catalogue No. 15; and No. 16 introduces us to a variety of easy pianoforte music suitable to follow or be used with the instruction book. In the next three catalogues we make acquaintance with Messrs. Robert Cocks & Co.’s resources as pianoforte manufacturers (catalogue No. 18); purveyors of various useful articles, such as music folios, rolls, music paper, violin and guitar strings, &c. (catalogue No. 17), and dealers in and agents for the best types of American organs and harmoniums (see catalogue No. 19). A most interesting list of scarce and valuable works is supplied in catalogue No. 20; and the last of the long array, No. 21, furnishes lists of excellent old violins, of which the firm have always a large stock on hand. From the above any catalogues may be selected, and on applying for them they will be forwarded by Messrs. Cocks & Co., gratis and post-free.

Educational works, connected with the study of music as an art and as a science, continue as in the past to be a speciality of this noted house, and we may briefly refer to a few of the principal publications issued by Messrs. Cocks in this line. “Hamilton’s Tutor” is one of them (now in its 1,852nd edition), and has become a household word in this country and the Colonies. The invaluable technique studies and other works by Czerny were also introduced to the British public by this firm, and are still in great demand. Students of the pianoforte will hail with pleasure the new “Method” for that instrument by Mr. Walter Macfarren — a concise, yet comprehensive work in which the talented Royal Academy professor has combined all the advantages of the most popular standard works hitherto published, with some valuable new features that render the work one of the greatest practical utility for beginners and advanced students alike.

Messrs. Robert Cocks & Co. are also publishers of John Bishop’s excellent translation of Ludwig Spohr’s great “Violin School,” a work of incomparable excellence in its particular sphere. This finely produced translated version has the advantage of having been directly commended by its author, the distinguished composer of the “Last Judgment,” who wrote the following letter concerning it:- “I have carefully looked over the English Edition of my ‘Violin School,’ published by Messrs. Cocks & Co., and have no hesitation in recommending it as a faithful translation of the original work. — Louis SPOHR.” Otto Peiniger’s “Violin Method” is another admirable book of instruction, smaller in compass and cheaper in price than Spohr’s monumental work, but thoroughly useful and compiled with great care and the judgment of an experienced teacher. Dr .Turpin’s “Organ Method,” and the method of “Voice Production” by Edwin Holland, the well-known and successful Royal Academy Professor of Voice Production, are also prominent works, and new works and compositions by all the leading writers of the day are being, constantly embodied in Messrs. Cocks’ comprehensive catalogues. Their theoretical list contains the standard works of Albrechtsberger on harmony, and Cherubini on counterpoint and fugue, Dr. Adolph Bernhard Marx on “The Music of the Nineteenth Century and its Culture,” as well as “The Universal School of Music,” and a comprehensive selection from Sebastian Bach’s compositions for the pianoforte by the same distinguished author, besides many other excellent books by accepted writers on musical theory; and this firm are also the publishers of Dr. Rimbault’s “History of the Pianoforte,” and of Drs. Hopkins and Rimbault’s great work, “The History and Construction of the Organ” — the largest, most exhaustive and most valuable treatise ever issued in any language concerning the “king of instruments.”

Did space permit we might extend these remarks almost indefinitely, for we have as yet barely touched the fringe of the vast subject presented by Messrs. Robert Cocks & Co.’s long-continued enterprise as publishers of standard musical works. Enough has, perhaps, been said to indicate the wide range and scope of the firm’s operations, and more minute details can easily be obtained from the catalogues above enumerated. No London firm can show a larger or more valuable list of copyright works, and in the department of composition these have recently been considerably added to by Messrs. Cocks’ important purchases. Another feature of the instrument department is the Newman Bros.’ organs (of which Messrs. Cocks & Co. are the sole importers), celebrated for their pipe-like quality of tone, exquisite voicing, and remarkable crescendo effects. As pianoforte manufacturers Messrs. Robert Cocks & Co. have long done an important business and maintained a high reputation for the tone, touch, workmanship, and design of their excellent instruments. This firm’s leading models may be depended upon to give every artistic and practical satisfaction at reasonably moderate prices, while the “Winkelmann” pianofortes, of which Messrs. Robert Cocks & Co. are the sole importers, will bear comparison with the finest of German or American makes, than which on the other hand they are considerably cheaper. In the department of modern music, too, Messrs. Cocks & Co. have been particularly active during the last twelve months, adding to the list of their small army of composers such well-known and convincing names as Misses Maude Valerie White and Frances Allitsen, and Messrs. David Popper, Emile Sauret, Tivadar Nachez, Angelo Mascheroni, Hamish MacCunn, Lawrence Kellie, Eugene Oudin, Leo Stern, Otto Peiniger, &c., &c.

The premises at 6, New Burlington Street, are large and commodious, and have a special interest from the fact that they were formerly the town mansion of the Dowager Duchess of Cork. The chief music warehouse on the ground floor is fully two hundred feet long by twenty feet wide, with an arched roof, and lighted by electricity. In all probability this noble saloon was used as a picture gallery when the Duchess of Cork resided here. The premises in their entirety contain one of the largest stocks of music, instruments, and musical accessories in Loudon. Messrs. Robert Cocks & Co. control a trade which extends not only throughout the whole of the United Kingdom, but also to all the Colonies; and since the copyright has been extended by America to English works the firm are sending large quantities of their publications to the United States. The entire business is administered with conspicuous ability, tact, and prudence by Mr. Robert Macfarlane Cocks, the esteemed principal, who has been connected with the firm since 1868, and in that gentleman’s policy there is no lack of the judicious enterprise which has from the first been a creditable characteristic of this house. It is unquestionably a great privilege to aid, as Messrs. Cocks & Co. have so largely done, in making the creations of musical genius and talent known to a world-wide circle of lovers of the most perfect of all the arts, and he who avails himself of that privilege conscientiously and in a proper spirit may play a high, part in that mental and spiritual culture which it is the mission of music to instil. Working earnestly for the advancement of the art in all its branches, Messrs. Robert Cocks & Co. have not fallen short of what is expected of a great music-publishing house at the present day, and the effects of their well-directed efforts will live to do credit to the worthy motives and artistic; promptings that have guided them in all the undertakings of their comprehensive business.


The house of Mappin Brothers occupies a distinguished position at the head of the branch of high-class commerce it has exemplified for over eighty years; and that high place it has earned and sustained by reason of the merits of its world-famed productions, the combination of industrial and commercial resources shared by few existing British concerns and the firm’s long identification with several of the more advanced phases of representative Sheffield industry. Since the foundation of the business by Messrs. Mappin Brothers in 1810 its proprietary has necessarily been subjected to several changes, but during the whole of the intervening space the honourable repute of the firm has been judiciously preserved by adherence to the high productive standard of work long illustrated at the Queen’s Works in Sheffield, which have grown in facility and resource in a degree consistent with the demand imposed by a trade that has gradually extended to every part of the universe. Even at the present day, and in an age of keen competitive trading, the precedence of Messrs. Mappin Brothers is not by any means displaced; while, on the other hand, their repute is being steadily enhanced by the introduction of every novelty which can gratify the fashionable tastes so long catered for by the firm, and every new feature which the ingenuity and artistic skill of the principals can suggest towards the continued development of high-class cutlery manufacture.

The entire industry and business derives a large share of success by the vigilant superintendence of the general manager, Mr. W. H. Willoughby. Of the two splendid emporia respectively located at the address already named, the Regent Street House may be regarded as especially interesting and notably extensive. It constitutes a handsome structure of four storeys and basement, and the ground floor, which is a model of superb arrangement and appointment, affords an insight into the diversity of all those high-class goods which the firm are known to make and sell. There are additional show-rooms on the first floor, and while the two higher floors are entirely made use of as stock rooms, the basement is appropriated to the work of packing, and encloses several strong rooms for the preservation of the valuables. The collections of superior goods submitted within both establishments are of wonderful beauty, extent, and variety of design. Among many striking novelties attention may be drawn to an entirely new style of fork and spoon introduced by the firm known as the Clarence, and illustrating a design which appropriately coincides with prevalent ideals of chaste and refined art, an opinion that has been already confirmed by such society journals as the Queen, Lady's Pictorial, Truth, and World, and from an artistic point of view from the Illustrated London News, Graphic, Black and White, and others.

While Messrs. Mappin Brothers have not entered upon the ordinary domain of jewellery trade, this fact has enabled them to devote exclusive attention to those other departments that have become widely connected with their name, and perhaps the only, yet important exception may be pointed out by reference to their trade in presentation gold and silver cups and plate. It will be remembered that the gold casket containing the address of welcome presented by the City Corporation to H.I.M. the German Emperor at the Guildhall in July, 1891, was, together with the gold badges worn on that occasion, designed and manufactured by Messrs. Mappin Brothers. The solid silver challenge shield presented to one of the regiments of the Queensland Defence Force, the solid silver challenge trophy for the Artillery, and the handsome Waterloo Cup, this being about three feet high, in silver, richly gilt, were all the work of this firm. The work of Messrs. Mappin Brothers, in every sphere to which the artistic talents of their staff has been applied, is of the character that needs no commendation but its own absolutely superior merits. The leading journals of the day, from the Times downwards, have all spoken thereof in the highest complimentary terms, and we need only add, in the words of a writer in the Lady’s Pictorial of April last year, “all that experience can ensure, good taste suggest, and enterprise accomplish, is sure to be found in the manufactures of Messrs. Mappin Brothers.”

A short time since Messrs. Mappin Brothers secured a site, 66, Cheapside, with a frontage of twenty feet, depth two hundred feet, where they erected very handsome double-fronted premises of five storeys, the whole being used for the purpose of the business. The show-room on the ground floor is the handsomest without exception in the city, the back portion being lighted by a dome skylight in the Norman style, fitted throughout with very handsome plate-glass show-cases and counters for the display of their magnificent stock of silver and electro-plate. To any one who surveys the firm’s fine exhibition of table cutlery, canteens, silver and electro-silver, silver toilet ware, dressing bags, wedding novelties, presentation and testimonial plate, razors, scissors, pocket knives, travelling and other clocks, and outfits for hotels, clubs, and steamship companies, the above estimate will be found in every degree accurate. The unexcelled workmanship illustrated in every item from the smallest to the most elaborate has won the favour of connections that embrace numerous personages of distinction from Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family in general to various royal and aristocratic notabilities in all parts of the world. With a record of more than three quarters of a century to maintain Messrs. Mappin Brothers control their large business in a manner worthy of the universal measure of public confidence they merit and enjoy. The firm, with due regard for an honourable and unblemished repute, do not take advantage of their enviable prestige to extort those “fancy prices” that commercial houses of a high-class might frequently be tempted to impose. All their goods are marked in plain figures which admit of no ambiguity, and the principals and staff display a courtesy to customers which renders a visit to their attractive emporia a source equally of pleasure and profit.


A WELL-KNOWN and responsible house, extensively occupied with its special line of business, is that of Messrs. Ernest Dainty & Co., the wholesale importers of German and French mantles, and also manufacturers, whose business premises are located as above. Operations were commenced in this direction some five years ago, Mr. Dainty and Mr. Eaton being the founders. Both were men of large and sound experience in this branch of commercial and industrial activity, and giving the business the full benefit of their practical knowledge and matured judgment, they were not long in bringing the concern into a position of considerable prominence among cognate establishments. The business is still rapidly increasing, showing unmistakably that the trade fully appreciates the efforts Messrs. Dainty & Co. are putting forward, and endorses the excellence and superiority of their selections.

The business was started in Old Change, but as more extended quarters became necessary, a removal was made to the present site some two years ago. The premises now occupied are ample in size and well adapted by convenience of arrangement to the successful control of the business. The show-rooms are large and lofty, displaying to the very best advantage the numerous and high-class articles with which they are stored. An efficient staff of assistants is kept permanently engaged, and the house is in a position to fill orders of any magnitude at the shortest possible notice. The firm’s long experience in the trade has familiarised them with all the best sources of supply for the choice goods in which they deal.

Their selections are made from the leading houses in France and Germany, in which countries the manufacture of mantles has been carried to the highest state of perfection. Mr. Dainty returns to town at every week’s end to ascertain what novelties are in largest demand on the market, with a view to their immediate supply from Continental sources. This in a great measure accounts for the remarkable success attained. All the latest styles and most admired fashions are obtained as soon as brought out, and no house in London is able to offer a wider range of choice or more stylish and desirable goods. The specialities of the firm are coloured and black capes, plush and silk combinations and silk mantles, all of the latest designs, waterproof cloaks, &c. It is gratifying to place on record the fact that wherever their superior goods are once introduced they secure a continuous and increasing demand. The partners are sterling businessmen, thoroughly au fait in everything relating to their special business, attentive and courteous to all their patrons, and much respected for their strict commercial integrity.


THIS well-known gun-making industry was established in 1826, and both in its early years and during Mr. Lancaster’s proprietary it has formed the source of many of the genuine improvements that have characterised the progress of the art of gun-making during at least three-quarters of a century. The hammerless gun, highly praised for its perfect automatic and independent trigger and automatic blocking safeties, is the invention of Mr. Lancaster, and its strength and simplicity, ease of manipulation and of stripping for cleaning, have earned the commendation of all “crack shots” and of such authoritative sporting organs as the Field, Land and Water, Sporting and Dramatic News, &c. Mr. Lancaster’s special guns for home, Indian and Colonial sport attained the highest award at the Adelaide Jubilee Exhibition of 1887. At the international shooting competitions at Monaco; one of the English gentlemen who was successful in winning the much- coveted Grand Prix du Casino used one of Mr. Lancaster’s special guns for pigeon shooting. In the acquisition of a series of forty-six first-class prizes, medals and diplomas, Mr. Lancaster’s body-action hammerless ejector guns were distinctly foremost, and this precedence they continue to maintain among all the best English-made guns. One of the proprietor’s latest innovations is “The Colindian” (registered), especially suited, as their name implies, for taking abroad, where they have been already used with satisfaction, both at big game and feather, in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. They have been supplied to Her Imperial Majesty’s Government of India, as well as to many noted sportsmen in all parts of the world, and it is said that to have one of these guns, as well as a double-barrel express rifle, is to be fully equipped for sport in any part of the world. Mr. Lancaster is well known as the inventor of the non-fouling, smooth oval bore rifling, and his rook and rabbit rifles possess a wonderful celebrity, while the four-barrel hammerless gun and the express rifle have formed part of the regulation outfits for abroad for many years. The B.L. hammerless pistols, which have the advantage of being suitable for military and exploring expeditions, have fulfilled splendid service in various campaigns, particularly in Burma and the Soudan.

As a “coach” and fitter of guns to the special or individual requirements of his patrons, Mr. Lancaster has contributed valuably towards extending a knowledge of the art as well as a more intimate acquaintance with its practical phases, and his private shooting grounds at Willesden have become both a recognised centre for tuition in shooting, and a popular rendezvous not only for learners but also for private matches and revolver and rifle practice. Mr. Lancaster’s show-rooms present a handsome frontage to New Bond Street, and some idea of their spacious character may be conveyed by the fact that they extend from that thoroughfare to Little Bruton Street, where the factory is located. This is an extensive structure of seven floors covering an area of four thousand feet, communicating with the front establishment, the work being here done by a staff of fifty hands, all of whom are gunmakers and experts, trained under Mr. Lancaster’s own personal guidance. With a gunmaking experience of many years, and a special inventive and ingenuitive skill to which few gunmakers can lay claim, Mr. Lancaster has adopted every system conducive to the advancement of the art in which he has already acquired an unchallengeable distinction. His famous work “The Art of Shooting” is the sportsman’s text-book on the subject, and the volume teems with explanatory illustrations. It has been favourably reviewed by the Field and the Times, and is the favourite pocket manual of all who expect to find the art of shooting not less useful than recreative.


DATING back in its foundation to the dawn of the year 1792, this widely-known business has attained its centenary; and an inquiry into its antecedents shows that, the development of the pharmacy has been both brilliant and continuous from the very commencement. The business for a period of fifty years has been conducted under the vigorous and capable regime of its present senior partner, Mr. Frederick Kingsford, assisted in recent years by his junior partner, Mr. Henry How Millhouse, who devotes the most careful and competent attention to the splendidly-organised dispensing department, where a staff of fully qualified and experienced gentlemen attend to the compounding of English, American, and foreign prescriptions and family recipes, from drugs of ascertained purity and according to the special systems, which do differ slightly, adopted in various lands. They are thus essentially cosmopolitan pharmacists, and enjoy the confidence and liberal support of physicians and families amongst the aristocracy and wealthier classes of the community, making a special feature of catering to the wants of our American cousins in this country, and to distinguished members of the Embassies and foreign visitors of note.

The premises occupied have been recently rebuilt and refitted, and form an attractive feature in the street architecture of this magnificent thoroughfare. Within-doors they have been sumptuously decorated, and lavishly appointed by the celebrated firm of shopfitters, Messrs. Drew & Cadman, of High Holbom. The stock held is remarkable for its varied and comprehensive character, including all the principal items of the British and foreign pharmacopoeia, popular patent medicines, chemists’ sundries of all kinds, proprietary articles, including their famous American Pick-me-up Bitters, and toilet requisites, of which the following specialities are worthy of mention in virtue of the large demand they have created:— Kingsford’s Milk of Cucumber. This celebrated cosmetique, as introduced by the firm, being prepared from the juice of the cucumber, is purely vegetable, and cannot, therefore, injure the most delicate skin. It removes sunburns, freckles, roughness, and blemishes; renders the complexion fair, soft, and blooming, and by its constant use preserves the skin from the attacks of sun, wind, or frost, imparting that youthful and healthy appearance so desirable and essential. — Kingsford’s Milk of Cucumber Soap. This soap is made from the above noted preparation, and contains an excess of three per cent, of the emollient cream of cucumber in addition to the amount required for complete saponification of the alkali employed, which renders it soothing, softening, and whitening to the skin, instead of irritating and corrosive, as is the case with other soaps. It can be highly recommended for washing the most delicate skin. — Pearl Odonto. This most noted tooth-powder, which has gained so widespread a reputation, effectually removes tartar, imparting to the enamel a pearly whiteness. Possessing anti-acid, antiseptic, and tonic properties, it arrests decay, preserving the teeth to old age. It strengthens the gums, and prevents them from receding. Being pleasantly perfumed in addition to its cleansing and preservative properties, it is the very best dentifrice for the use of smokers. The business, lastly, is represented by the following corresponding houses abroad:— M. Swann, 12, Rue Castiglione, Paris; MM. Nicholls & Passeron, 3, Quai Massena, Nice; and Messrs. Hazard & Hazard, of New York; and is conducted in all its branches with rare ability and judgment, and upon lines which have won for its proprietors the esteem and respect of all those who have had the privilege of their acquaintance.


THIS thriving business, which deservedly ranks among the foremost of its kind in the metropolis, dates back in its foundation to the year 1862, when it was established by the father of the present able and energetic proprietor, and now occupies premises forming part of the noble pile known as the Albemarle Hotel Buildings, opposite to St. James’s Street. Mr, Peaston operates on a large scale in every branch of business incidental to hosiers, glovers, shirtmakers, and general outfitters; devoting, with his staff of expert workers and assistants, the most careful and competent attention to the production of high-class goods, and their distribution upon the ready-money system. His premises are most attractively ordered, both within and without, affording ample accommodation for holding and displaying to the best advantage a series of goods which comprises ready-made long-cloth shirts, with linen fittings; shirts made to measure by specialists, and guaranteed to fit accurately; flannel shirts of every grade, cricketing shirts of the most approved types, linen collars and wristbands, a large variety of cotton and silk night-shirts, cambric and silk pocket-handkerchiefs, natural wool, merino, cashmere, spun silk, and pure silk hosiery, braces and mufflers, fashionable dressing-gowns and jackets, pyjama suits in flannel, silk, &c.; a large assortment of gold, silver, and plated studs, links, solitaires, &c.; umbrellas and walking sticks up to date, travelling rugs in great variety, and, as particularly special lines, silk scarves and ties in all the newest shapes and colours, and gloves for all occasions by all the leading makers of the day. These various goods are always set out with due regard to effect, and the premises accordingly have a very elegant and attractive appearance. Mr. Peaston caters exclusively for the wants of the upper and middle classes, and unquestionably owes his success to the marked ability, energy, and enterprise which he has always exercised in the conduct of his important and responsible undertaking.

Three doors from Wimpole Street.

THIS old-established and highly reputed firm of trunk and portmanteau makers was founded as far back as the year 1839 at what was then No. 1, Edwards Street. Subsequently a move was made to No. 40, Wigmore Street, and about three years ago the large and essentially high-class business, which had there been developed, was transferred to the premises now occupied at No. 32, Wigmore Street, three doors from Wimpole Street, which is their only address. This establishment is admirably adapted to the various requirements of a select trade, and comprises a spacious sale-shop or warehouse, with workshops at 4 & 5, Blandford Mews, Baker Street, the whole being well appointed and having an appearance clearly indicating the first-class standing of the house. For over half a century Messrs. H. J. Cave & Sons have held a prominent position in London as makers of superior trunks, bags, portmanteaux, and dress baskets, and the eminent reputation they have gained in this important trade is amply justified by the splendid quality and finished workmanship of their productions. To any of our readers desirous of inspecting a really magnificent stock of trunks, portmanteaux, and similar travelling requisites, we unhesitatingly recommend a visit to Messrs. Cave & Sons’ establishment. To the uninitiated in such matters, it is a source of wonder that so much genuine good taste in design and beauty of workmanship and finish can be embodied in articles so distinctly utilitarian.

Messrs. H. J. Cave & Sons have a leading speciality in their famous Railway Dress Baskets, now universally used, but of which they were the original makers, these baskets having been invented by Mr. Benjamin Cave (the founder of the house) a few years after the commencement of the business. In 1862 the railway dress baskets (what would the ladies do without them?) were exhibited at the great London International Exhibition, where they were awarded a well- deserved “honourable mention,” and in 1863, a few weeks after the marriage of T.R.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales, Mrs. Cave (widow of the founder), received the distinguished honour of appointment as Railway Basket Maker to H.R.H. the Princess, which warrant has lately been confirmed to her son and successor. The year 1867 saw a great success achieved by Messrs. Cave at the Paris Exhibition, where they received a silver medal (highest award for trunks, &c.), and in 1873 they gained the only medal for portmanteaux at the Northampton Exhibition of Leather Work. In 1874 Mrs. Cave died, and in 1886 her son, Mr. William Cave, retired from the business, leaving the remaining son, Mr. Benjamin Cave, sole proprietor. Mr. Benjamin Cave is now deceased, and this old and well-known business (which has witnessed so many structural and topographical changes in the neighbourhood of Wigmore Street) is now continued by his widow and son, the latter being highly successful in the active management.

We ought to mention the important fact that at the Paris Exhibition of 1878, Messrs.. Cave again carried off the highest award, viz., the gold medal, and at the same time a silver and a bronze medal were also awarded to their workmen in recognition of their rare industrial skill. The firm still continue to preserve an almost unrivalled reputation for solid leather trunks, portmanteaux, travelling bags, dress baskets, and fancy leather work, and it is quite certain that no London house holds a superior position to theirs in any of the higher branches of the trade. Besides making the immensely popular dress baskets, with which their name is so creditably associated, Messrs. Cave deal largely in every description of fancy baskets of Continental make, and in these and other fancy goods they hold a most attractive stock. The general organization of the business is practically perfect, and Messrs. H. J. Cave & Sons were never in a better position than now to meet the varied requirements and execute the commands of their widespread and aristocratic connection in London, the provinces, and all parts of the outer world.


THIS eminent firm is about the oldest and the largest of its kind in the metropolis, and it is admittedly the foremost in its particular line. Messrs. Rowney’s business was established in 1789, in the West End, where it has since pursued a career of unvarying prosperity. A special feature of the operations of this distinguished firm consists in the fact that they manufacture every article they sell, having two large and splendidly equipped factories, one in Diana Place, Euston Road, N. W., the other at Malden Works, Kentish Town. Messrs. George Rowney &. Co’s business divides itself into several departments, the chief of which, perhaps, is that embracing the manufacture of oil painting materials. In this particular line the firm are practically unrivalled, and they enjoy the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen, and of the most distinguished artists of the day, many of whom have sent flattering testimonials to the firm. So perfect is their system of grinding colours by machinery, that they are enabled to supply artists’ colours in oil, water, or powder, perfectly fine, at the same prices as hitherto charged for colours less finely ground. It is the aim. of this firm to make their oil colours finer, brighter, less oily, and quicker in drying than any other similar colours at present manufactured, and their efforts to improve the general quality of artists’ pigments are very highly appreciated in professional quarters, as shown by testimonials received from such eminent artists as Abraham Cooper, R.A., W. C. T. Dodson, R.A., Rosa Bonheur, Charles Landseer, R.A., E. W. Ward, R.A., and H. Lewis, A.R.A., besides many others.

Messrs. Rowney are always well to the front with timely and acceptable novelties, and the latent article of this class introduced under their name are the beautiful new colours, to which they have given the names “Crimson Alizarin” and “Scarlet Alizarin.” These rich and durable pigments have been exposed to direct sunlight for twelve months without any perceptible change taking place, and upon this ground Messrs. Rowney are warranted in recommending them to the notice of artists and amateurs as an excellent substitute for crimson lake, carmine, and other, fugitive cochineal colours. The “Crimson Alizarin” is prepared for both oil colour and water colour painting, and no similar known shade of colour has successfully withstood direct sunlight for so long, a period. In Colour boxes, brushes, easels, and all other artists’ materials and requisites, Messrs. George Rowney & Co. manufacture, and supply an immense variety of very superior goods, and in this department they have several notable novelties. One of these is a new moist tube colour box, invented by Mr. Sidney Currie, and manufactured by Messrs. Rowney. This is a very clever idea, ensuring cleanliness and convenience, and saving considerable time in the finding and manipulation of colours, each tube having its appointed and permanent place. The colour is promptly obtained by squeezing the tube, which thus emits the quantity immediately required into a shallow hollow, communicating with the sockets into which the tubes are screwed by a small aperture. Mr. W. J. Wainwright, A.R.W.S., has stamped it with his approval, saying that “the system is the most perfect he has yet tried.” Another excellent invention is Mr. E. R. Butler’s Patent Folding Picture Canvas Frame. Artists owe a debt of gratitude both to the inventor and to Messrs. Rowney for the introduction of an appliance so ingenious and so exceedingly useful as this. For outdoor painting it is particularly valuable, enabling the artist to carry about a much larger canvas than was formerly possible; and pictures freshly painted can be folded and carried while the painting is still wet, without any possibility of becoming rubbed or injured.

Messrs. George Rowney & Co. have developed a very important chromo-lithograph department for the production of facsimile water-colour drawings and oil paintings. This branch has been conducted with consummate ability and perseverance, and has resulted in the production of an immense variety of facsimile works, after noted paintings and drawings by eminent artists. In all cases the prices are sufficiently moderate to bring these beautiful works within the reach of all lovers of art, and the great success of the department proves that it has met a very considerable want. Finally, Messrs. George Rowney & Co. are world-renowned as manufacturers of blacklead pencils, for which they obtained a prize-medal at the Great Exhibition of 1862, and many subsequent ones. They are pencil manufacturers to Her Majesty’s Stationery Office and Schools of Art, and their special grades of improved drawing pencils are the very perfection of their class in quality and in finish. Altogether, an enormous trade is controlled by this leading firm, their goods being in universal demand, and the business is equally important in its wholesale, retail, and export departments. The chief retail depot is at 64, Oxford Street, and comprises a splendidly appointed shop, containing a stock of great magnitude and variety. The wholesale and export departments and the headquarters of the firm are at 10 & 11, Percy Street, Tottenham Court Road, and they have a branch at 57, Rue Sainte Anne, Paris. The firm also have a retail branch at Princes Hall, Piccadilly, W. In all its operations this great business is directed with consummate ability and enterprise, and it undoubtedly ranks high among the most potent factors in modern artistic progress.


NEARLY thirty years have now elapsed since this thoroughly representative business was organised by Mr. Anthony Kitchen, in premises which occupied the site upon which the present handsome six-storied structure now stands, and which Mr. Kitchen found it necessary to construct some years ago in order to give full scope to his vastly increased trade. The building, as it now obtains, forms quite a striking architectural feature of the important commercial thoroughfare in which it is situated, presenting a facade of a highly ornate character of forty feet in width to Oxford Street, and extending for a distance of a hundred and fifty feet to North Row, in the rear, where there is a goods wholesale and trade entrance. From the great basement to the topmost storey the entire accommodation is utilised for business purposes, the higher floors being devoted to the display and storage of the stock, which is a thoroughly representative one, and comprises all kinds of furnishing and general ironmongery, lamps and gas fittings, kitchen and domestic utensils of every kind, tools for all trades, stoves and ranges, lamp oils, and, in short, everything incidental to first-class builders’ and general ironmongery stores, the spacious ground floor being elegantly arranged to show a particularly grand series of lamps and ornamental iron and brass work, and the basement as warehouses and workshops. In connection with the lamp-oil department, Mr. Kitchen supplies the best White Rose Oil at 1s. per gallon. This same oil is supplied in forty-gallon casks at the rate of 10d. per gallon, casks free of charge. In the executive department Mr. Kitchen, with a large staff of skilled craftsmen, operates as an art metal-worker, brass and iron founder, stove and range manufacturer, locksmith, bell-hanger, and practical lamp maker and gasfitter, electric light and bell engineer; and in each and every one of these branches has won a well-merited renown, which has been instrumental in determining a very large and valuable West-End trade to his house; indeed, in every department of the business high-class quality is made a feature of special importance, to which the proprietor’s attention is particularly directed, and it is largely due to this fact that the house has become so widely popular, and that such an extensive and thriving business has been developed. The public would do well to give him a trial before purchases elsewhere. Catalogues are sent free on application.


THE inception of this responsible house dates back to the year 1810. During the whole of its long career, its management has been conducted with enterprise and ability. More than half a century ago the firm invented and patented a process of cleaning known as the “chemical, or dry process,” and this they have been daily using with increased success since that time. From their experience and close study, important improvements have been made in its application, and it is now one of the most useful and successful branches in the business. The head premises in Wigmore Street are large and commodious, and comprise a nicely appointed suite of offices with accommodation for a staff of clerks, warehouses, and show-room. The works are situate at Ferdinand Place, N.W. They are ample in extent, and embody in their equipment the experience and progressive policy of the firm. They have recently been entirely rebuilt, and the latest and most improved plant and machinery laid down at a cost of several thousand pounds.

In the extent and efficiency of their resources the house has no equal, and an immense trade is done in cleaning and dyeing. By their special process the most expensive dresses and mantles, however richly trimmed, are cleaned whole; the colours are not injured, and the lustre and finish of the material preserved. It is also applicable for gentlemen’s clothes. This dry process, too, is eminently suitable for curtains and draperies of the many varied materials now in use, as tapestry, brocatelle, cretonne, silk, velvet, satin, damask, and rep. All the new shades of peacock, olive, or other art colours are dyed to ladies’ own patterns. Feathers are cleaned or dyed the most fashionable colours, and laces of every description cleaned, mended, or transferred in a superior manner. Special machinery has been provided for chintz and cretonne covers and curtains. All leno and lace curtains are cleaned. Carpets are beaten, cleaned, or dyed, and beds and mattresses are cleaned, purified, and re-made. The firm, with their special machinery and perfect facilities for the dyeing, cleaning, and finishing of all kinds of work, are enabled to guarantee the best finish and to quote such prices as cannot elsewhere be duplicated. Competent persons are sent to give advice as to colour and cost of all classes of work, and goods intrusted to them are promptly and safely returned, mourning orders being always finished in a few days. During its long and honourable career the house has acquired a connection of the most valuable and influential character, Her Majesty the Queen and many members of the Royal Family being numbered among the patrons of this responsible house. The partners are men of extensive practical knowledge, and occupy a position of prominence in commercial circles, while they retain the respect of all who come into contact with them.


CLAIMING without any fear of contradiction to be the oldest-established, as it unquestionably remains one of the most select and best patronised of depots for lovers of “sublime tobacco” in the metropolis, this famous business was organised over a century and a half ago, and has been conducted under its present style for about sixty years, having during its lengthy and continuously prosperous career probably enjoyed a larger share of direct royal patronage than any of its similarly situated compeers, for it was hero that King George IV. and the last of the Williams purchased their cigars, and here at the present day does the Prince of Wales secure his choice Havannas. Mr. Benson was the only retail cigar importer who obtained a medal at the first Exhibition in 1851, the raw tobacco exhibited being now on view at the Museum at Kew Gardens. The premises occupied are unlike the majority of retail tobacco stores, inasmuch as no window display is made, but the long single-fronted emporium, terminating in a well-appointed office and stock-rooms at the rear, is, nevertheless, very fully stocked and most methodically arranged with a magnificent selection of all the best brands and certified crops of superb Havanna and other cigars, the finest and most fragrant cigarettes, and the choicest of plain and fancy smoking tobaccos exclusively. The entire premises indeed suggest the superior character of the trade carried on; and as a matter of fact the house enjoys the confidence and liberal support of perhaps the largest aristocratic connection in London, and numbers numerous regular patrons in all parts of the United Kingdom, and that the present proprietory succeed to the full in sustaining every creditable tradition and feature of this ancient and eminent house, is the best possible evidence of and tribute to the ability and sound judgment of its personnel.


THE enterprise that has marked the development of the modern clothing and outfitting trades has frequently been the subject of admiring comment; and nowhere in London is it more strikingly exemplified than in the great business of Messrs. Hyam & Co., Limited. This famous firm has a history dating back over a period of more than half a century, and during that lapse of time its business operations have been continuously expanded until, at the present day, they extend to all parts of the United Kingdom. It may be safely said that no firm of outfitters and clothiers is better known in the various quarters of Great Britain, and Messrs. Hyam & Co., Limited, now have large and important branch establishments in several of the chief provincial towns; including Leeds, Birmingham, and Wolverhampton. Their metropolitan headquarters, well known to every Londoner, rank among the largest and finest establishments in Oxford Street, and these premises tell the story of the development of Messrs. Hyam’s business, for they have been greatly enlarged during recent years. They now form a stately and imposing corner block of four storeys, handsome in design, and arranged throughout to meet the requirements of a trade of far more than ordinary magnitude.

The accommodation is excellent in each department, and the interior appointments are truly superb, a very large amount of money having been expended upon the decorations and fittings of the lofty and spacious showrooms. Among other modern improvements, the electric light has been introduced, adding considerably to the attractive appearance of the establishment at those times when artificial light is necessary. The street frontage is one of the finest in Oxford Street, and the long array of plate-glass windows afford Messrs. Hyam & Co. an opportunity to make a display of high-class specialities in tailoring which is not surpassed in London for good taste and variety. Messrs. Hyam & Co.’s policy is a sound one, and has been amply justified, by the remarkable success and continued growth of their business. It is their aim to supply thoroughly first-class clothing and outfits for gentlemen and juveniles at prices which are at once economical and consistent with good quality and workmanship. They have also extended the scope of their operations to embrace ladies’ tailoring and millinery, and in this branch they have been eminently successful. The practical details of the business are all studied with the utmost care, and carried out with conspicuous skill. Rare judgment is displayed in the selection of materials, and only those workmen are employed whose experience has familiarised them with the requirements of a first-class trade.

Nowhere in London can a finer stock of clothing, outfitting requisites, and tailoring fabrics be found than at Messrs. Hyam & Co.’s warehouse in Oxford Street, and we may here briefly survey the several departments of this attractive establishment. The ready-made clothing trade of the house is a very large one, and in this section is shown a particularly extensive and varied stock of boys’ and youths’ attire, all made up in the newest styles, with best workmanship and materials. School outfits are a leading speciality, and as juvenile clothiers and tailors Messrs. Hyam & Co. are recognised as holding a position in the front rank of the trade. In ready-made clothing for gentlemen they display stylish novelties, ready for immediate wear, in tweed business suits, overcoats, ulsters, dress attire, &c., and these garments are all of fashionable cut and faultless finish, equal in all important points to the best goods made to order. At the same time the firm have developed an important order department both for gentlemen and for youths, and in this branch they offer special inducements, showing a splendid stock of materials in all the newest patterns, shades, and textures, suitable for making up into clerical and professional attire, half and full dress, and other garments for gentlemen and their sons. Outfits for home and abroad are a notable feature in this department; and school and college garments, Eton dress, &c., are further shown to be specialities in which Messrs. Hyam & Co. unquestionably excel, every requirement of style and cut being fully satisfied.

Great success has attended the development of the ladies’ Costume department, in which the highest class of work is turned out at very moderate prices. Riding habits, riding trousers, jackets, Newmarkets, ulsters, costumes, costume hats, silk and felt hats, and other requisites of a lady’s outfit, are the specialities of this department; and these various goods are produced in the perfection of style, taste, and finish. There is also a hosiery department, replete with new and carefully selected goods for boys, youths, ladies, and gentlemen; and to further increase the usefulness of their house as a great outfitting emporium, the firm have added a boot and shoe department, stocked with a remarkably large and comprehensive assortment of footwear for both sexes, the goods supplied here being of unexceptionable quality and appearance.

Servants’ liveries have always been a speciality of this house, and the high standard of excellence so long maintained in this department is still carefully upheld. The stock of livery plushes, vestings, and coatings is one of the best in London, and very superior work at moderate prices has always been a characteristic of this branch of the business. We ought also to mention that Messrs. Hyam & Co. pay special attention to the requirements of youths and gentlemen in the matter of athletic outfits. In this connection they supply everything in the shape of costume for all the favourite outdoor pastimes and sports of the day. The hat department is another feature of the business, which has been so successful that it has been greatly extended since its commencement; and Messrs. Hyam & Co. have also gone in largely for supplying travellers’ requisites of all kinds, keeping a large and excellent stock of trunks, portmanteaus, hat boxes, travelling-bags, rugs, &c. Finally, reference must be made to an important miscellaneous department in which one can be supplied with many useful and indispensable articles, including hat, hair, clothes, tooth, and nail brushes; combs, sponges, sponge bags, flesh gloves, pearl and bone studs, gold studs and sleeve-links, and many similar requisites of the toilet and wardrobe. From the above remarks it will be seen that Messrs. Hyam & Co.’s business is as comprehensive as it is extensive, and for a complete outfit for this or any other country, we know of no other establishment which offers better value or stronger economical inducements than theirs.

Messrs. Hyam & Co. make up all garments in their own large and well-appointed work-rooms, under the most perfect sanitary conditions, and, as we have already pointed out, they employ only thoroughly competent and reliable workmen. Moreover, their goods are always sold strictly upon their merits, it being no part of the firm’s methods to resort to extraordinary advertisement; and a large measure of their prosperity is undoubtedly due to the fact that they have always acted upon the sound commercial precept of giving their patrons real value for their money— a plan which insures the continuance of patronage once bestowed. The general trade of the firm is one of great magnitude, extending its influential connections among the very best classes custom in all parts of the United Kingdom. Many members of the aristocracy and upper middle classes favour Messrs. Hyam & Co. with frequent orders, and the house has from time to time enjoyed the patronage of most of the crowned heads of Europe. Messrs. Hyam & Co.’s American clientele is especially large and influential, and is constantly increasing. Altogether, this business is a splendid example of the power of well-directed enterprise and fair dealing, and it is now being conducted with ever-augmenting success upon a limited liability basis. Consummate ability and sound judgment are displayed in all the details of the administration, and the routine work of the several departments is supervised by experienced overseers and managers, who have all been with the firm for many years. The staff of workpeople and assistants employed numbers, in all, several hundreds of hands; and no better proof of the esteem and confidence in which the house is held by the public need be desired than the fact that its trade continues, even in these competitive times, to be sufficiently large to frequently tax all its vast resources of supply to their utmost capacity. The several illustrations which accompany this brief article will serve to acquaint our readers with the extensive character of the premises devoted to Messrs. Hyam provincial establishments.

Specimen of Church Decoration for Weddings.
As arranged at St. Margaret's, Westminster, by Messrs. Wills & Segar, (See opposite page.)


IN connection with the arts of floral decoration and landscape gardening there is probably no firm in London of higher repute than that of Messrs. Wills & Segar, of South Kensington, whose business, founded over twenty years ago, has developed into one of the foremost horticultural establishments within the metropolitan area. The headquarters of this noted house are known as the Royal Exotic Nursery, and occupy a prominent position in Onslow Crescent, where they cover a large area of ground. The conservatories here situated are among the most extensive in London, and they contain an unrivalled collection of palms, ferns, and foliage plants of all kinds, eminently suited for decorative work, and forming an exhibition which must be seen to be properly appreciated. The number of plants here kept is in excess of 50,000, and no words can adequately depict the rare beauty and elegance of these exquisite products of scientific gardening. The firm has also nurseries at Chelsea and Hammersmith. Some idea of the magnitude of the firm’s operations and the number and importance of their engagements may be gathered from the fact that they have in their employ a total staff of no less than 100 men, some of whom are gardeners and horticulturists of the highest practical skill and experience.

As floral decorators, Messrs. Wills & Segar have few rivals, and they have devised and carried out extensive schemes of floral decoration in most of the principal cities of the United Kingdom; also in France and Belgium on such occasions as Royal visits, civic fete-days, &c. Their work in the decoration of churches for fashionable weddings is of the highest order in artistic effect, and has brought their services into great request in this important matter. Furthermore, Messrs. Wills & Segar have gained the support of a widespread and valuable Continental connection, as the result of the reputation they acquired by the arrangement and decoration of the magnificent conservatories, winter garden and arcades of His Majesty the King of the Belgians, at the royal palace of Laeken, Brussels. They have been entrusted with all the recent decorations at the Mansion House, Buckingham Palace, the Colonial Office, the Admiralty, the War Office, and the Foreign Office; and various commissions for the floral decoration of public places have been repeatedly placed in the hands of this eminent and reliable firm.

A special feature of the firm is the fine selection of palms, ferns, and flowering plants that are at all times of the year on sale in their show-houses. They make the cultivation of palms a leading feature, confining themselves principally to those varieties which experience has proved to be the best for the decoration of dwelling-houses, both from their gracefulness of growth and hardy nature. All their palms are well hardened off before being offered for sale, a great desideratum when the life of a plant is to be considered after its removal from the conservatory to the dwelling-house. At the Paris Exhibition of 1878, Messrs. Wills & Segar carried out the decorative work at the Wills-Boyd conservatory, and their splendid achievement in this connection was unreservedly praised by the French and English press. All branches of the florist’s art receive exemplification at the establishment of Messrs. Wills & Segar, including the artistic making-up of wedding bouquets, ball bouquets, dress sprays, gentlemen’s button-hole bouquets, &c., all of which are tastefully prepared by experienced artists and safely forwarded to all parts of the country. In the decoration of ball-rooms, dinner-tables, &c., Messrs. Wills & Segar’s resources enable them to introduce many novel and charming effects, and it is noteworthy that they now hold themselves in readiness to supply ball-rooms with every requisite, even to the temporary installation of the electric light. Landscape gardening in all its branches is another leading speciality of this noted firm, and we have never seen anything more beautiful or more faithful to nature than Messrs. Wills & Segar’s work in the construction of rockeries and ferneries, specimens of which can be seen at their conservatories in Onslow Crescent. Conservatories and mansions are furnished with plants and cut flowers by monthly or yearly arrangement; and window-boxes are made and filled with plants, and kept in good order by contract. Few firms have gained such high honours and distinctions as the one under notice.

Messrs. Wills & Segar are florists by Royal Warrants to Her Majesty the Queen, and to their Royal Highnesses the Prince and Princess of Wales. They hold the Grand Prix d’Honneur, a splendid Sevres vase, the premier prize presented by the French Government at the Exhibition of 1878, and on the game occasion a gold medal and the Legion of Honour were awarded to Mr. Wills for a matchless collection of stove and greenhouse plants, including many new and rare varieties. In 1878, also, Mr. Wills gained upwards of seventy first prizes in France, and five gold medals at the Ghent International Horticultural Exhibition. Before concluding this brief review of one of the finest businesses of its kind in England, we should mention the fact that Messrs. Wills & Segar make a special point of taking charge of valuable plants while the owners are out of town. Servants are deplorably careless in matters of this kind, and the arrangements made by the firm under notice for receiving and carefully looking after all kinds of plants during their owners’ absence are greatly appreciated. Both Mr. Wills and Mr. Segar take an active part in the administration of the business, bringing their comprehensive experience to bear upon all its operations, and personally supervising the execution of every order received. They stand high in the favour and confidence of all who have had dealings with them, and are recognised as authorities on all horticultural and floricultural matters. Messrs. Wills & Segar continue to enjoy the regular support of a most numerous and distinguished clientele, both at home and abroad, and each successive year witnesses some increase in the volume of their business, and some expansion of the reputation they have so worthily achieved therein.

KENTIA BALMOREANA. The Queen of Palms for the Decoration of the Dwelling-house.


LANGEROME’S Librairie Frangaise occupies a commanding corner position, and is always attractively arranged with a very large and comprehensive selection of standard and classical works, novels, newspapers and magazines; speciality — grand assortment of fashion plates; dictionaries, guidebooks, maps, and charts, &c., in French, German, Italian, and other continental languages, in addition to a charming variety of plain and fancy stationery, stationers’ requisites, photographs and engravings, and fancy goods. Mr. Langerome, moreover, undertakes the printing in French, German, Italian, Spanish, &c., of visiting cards, menus, prospectuses, price-lists, bill-heads, memorandum forms, and the like, with neatness, accuracy, despatch, and economy; and in all the branches of his business does a very large wholesale and retail trade. For the rest the entire concern is conducted with exemplary energy and marked ability, upon principles of straightforwardness and integrity that have won for the house a widespread public confidence and patronage.


A VERY important and interesting business is that which has for upwards of ninety-two years been carried on in Coventry Street under the name of Lambert. This notable and thoroughly representative house was founded as far back as the year 1800 by Mr. Francis Lambert, who was born in 1778, and whose father was a well-known accoutrement maker, doing business in the Strand. Francis Lambert was apprenticed as a boy to a Mr. Wesley, a silversmith in the Strand, but, leaving him, he joined a Mr. Clark, who dealt in cutlery, and thus he acquired a knowledge of the latter trade as well. As already stated, he commenced business for himself in 1800, having as a partner a Mr. Hamlet, with whom, however, he soon afterwards severed his connection. A few months spent on the Continent enabled Mr. Lambert to acquire a great amount of additional knowledge bearing upon the artistic departments of his trade, and when he returned to London he again commenced business, in opposition to his late partner. The success of that venture was most encouraging, and its prosperous career has never since been interrupted, for the famous establishment now existing in Coventry Street is the direct outcome of that not very pretentious beginning ninety years ago. Francis Lambert was after a time joined in partnership by a Mr. Rawlings, and the firm bought the business of Rundle & Bridge, a very celebrated house in those days. Mr. Rawlings died in 1862, and the historic house of Lambert is now carried on by the son and grandson of the founder.

The premises occupied are very commodious and admirably adapted to the requirements of this high-class and artistic business. The shop, a fine corner one, has a frontage of over a hundred feet to Coventry Street, and its windows are a never-failing attraction to the thousands of passers-by. Apropos of the interest aroused in artistic minds by this renowned establishment, the following passage is quoted from a speech of the Right Hon. Leonard. Courtney, M.P.: “Mr. Thackeray, in one of his novels, talked of the unceasing delight of the people of those days in looking into the windows of Rundle & Bridge. That firm has passed out of existence, but its place has been in some part taken by Lambert & Rawlings. He never passed from Piccadilly to Leicester Square without stopping to look into that shop.” It is very interesting to know that the author of “Vanity Fair” was a constant visitor at 10, 11, and 12, Coventry Street, and the last purchase he made of Messrs. Lambert prior to his decease was a very fine silver bowl. It is characteristic of the man that, in driving a bargain for this bowl, he urged that he should have it at a reduced price, saying, “for the sake of a poor author.” It is not every shop that can boast of so intimate an association with Thackeray, and one can readily understand why it is that no alteration has been made in this establishment since the great and genial novelist’s days. Internally, the premises are spacious and finely appointed, and the stock is in many respects unique. Magnificent examples of beautiful antique gold and silver plate, old and valuable clocks, and superb jewellery, are here displayed, goods but rarely found in even the best of modern establishments, yet not by any means unusual at Messrs. Lambert’s, for this firm’s peculiar element is the unique and the unconventional, and they cater exclusively for the highest circles of society. Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal Family, the nobility and gentry, and many distinguished art connoisseurs and collectors are numbered among their regular and constant patrons.

While it would be idle to attempt even the most concise enumeration of the many features of interest that distinguish the stock and the productions of this widely famous firm, mention must be made of Messrs. Lambert’s superb display of church plate, which is shown in a large number of exceedingly fine glass cases. This department has long been a speciality of the house, and the firm have a wonderful private collection of ecclesiastical vessels, including some of great age and interest. Special attention is due to their many elegant designs in chalices; and the beauties of both the ancient and modern styles of church plate receive full exemplification. In the matter of second-hand plate, Messrs. Lambert are in a position to offer exceptional advantages to purchasers, both as regards price and quality; and their stock in this, as in other lines, is one of the largest and most valuable in London. This firm are not only dealers, but manufacturers also, and every branch of the goldsmith’s and silversmith’s art is carried out upon a large scale in the spacious and well-appointed workshops on the premises, a very numerous and skilful staff being here employed. All kinds of gold and silver plate are produced, and the house is especially famous for designing and making cups, trophies, &c., for prize and presentation purposes. The following extract from the Daily Telegraph of July 16, 1879, has reference to the firm’s excellent work in this last-named direction: “Messrs. Lambert, who chiefly follow the most approved forms of old English metal-working, as exemplified by the goldsmiths of William III. and Queen Anne, are prominently represented by the quaint and characteristic pair of bossed flagons, constituting the Rajah of Kolapore’s prize; the Chancellor’s Challenge Plate for the Oxford and Cambridge match, a stately tankard of thoroughly British design; and the Spencer Cup for the Public Schools’ competition. This last trophy is in the purest taste of the Adams’ period of decorative art, from the Old House which continues to work silver of the same fineness as used in those reigns, and which requires the Hall Mark of Britannia, and the Lion’s Head erased.” Messrs. Lambert also designed and executed the magnificent caskets in which the freedom scrolls of the Goldsmiths’ Company were presented to the Right Hon. W. H. Smith, M.P., and the Right Hon. A. J. Balfour, M.P., in May 1889. These were superb examples of the goldsmith’s art, and worthy of a house whose reputation is international, and whose influential connection extends to almost all parts of the world. This distinguished firm are the holders of warrants of appointments as gold and silversmiths to their Majesties William IV. and Queen Adelaide, H.R.H. the Duke of Sussex, Her Majesty Queen Victoria, their Majesties the King and Queen of Denmark, and also to their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Edinburgh. Messrs. Lambert were large exhibitors at the Great Exhibition of 1851, as also at its forerunner, the first exhibition of the Society of Arts, held at the Adelphi in the year. 1849. They also took part in the Marlborough House exhibitions, of which the South Kensington institution may be said to be the outcome. Here, too, valuable and interesting specimens of their workmanship are still to be met with.


THIS distinguished business stands out very prominently among any others of a similar kind. It is over a century since the business was commenced by the great-grandfather of the present proprietor. The concern has been handed down from father to son, each successive owner inheriting that rare gift, the ability to make a perfect violin bow. Heads of the musical world are loud in their praise of the correctness and beauty of the productions of this firm, and they are makers by special appointment to H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, who is, as is well known, an enthusiastic violinist. The fame of the bows of Messrs. James Tubbs & Son extends to all parts of the world, orders coming to them direct from each quarter of the globe. The Americans are large purchasers, as are also the Colonials. Messrs. James Tubbs & Son enjoy the distinction of being the only firm of bow makers who have been successful in gaining medals in recognition of the quality of their productions, they having made the bows which obtained the medal at the International Exhibition of 1862, and in the more recent Inventions Exhibition they had the honour of attaining the position of gold medallists in their class. The firm are also renowned for their covered strings, and for their resin, both of which are entirely reliable. Violins of reputed excellence are also dealt in, and repairs of all kinds are executed on the premises. Instruments are, however, not made by the firm now, not much attention being paid to that branch. The well-known and much-frequented premises consist of a large wide single-fronted shop, suitably fitted and appointed. Further accommodation is found at the rear, and in the basement where the workshops are situate. The members of the firm have always been noted for their courtesy, and the present proprietor is no exception to the rule.


FOR more than a century the eminent firm of Johnson & Co., of 111, Regent Street, have, through all the various changes of fashion and manners, supplied hats to the English nobility. The illustrated records of the house would furnish a most interesting chapter in the history of the costume of polite society during that period. Established in 1790, the firm soon created for themselves a valuable connection in the highest social circles, which they have diligently maintained and extended ever since. The premises, which they have occupied for about seventy years, are situated in the best part of Regent Street, one door from the corner of Vigo Street. They comprise a spacious double shop, beautifully fitted up. The appointments are of the most sumptuous character, consistent with the requirements of the business, and every appliance is provided for the convenience of the patrons of the establishment. The stock, while it is sufficiently large and varied to afford a satisfactory selection to the most fastidious tastes, is limited to goods of the highest class of material and workmanship. The regular patrons of the firm have learned to rely implicitly on their thorough knowledge of the requirements of the trade. The business connections of Messrs. Johnson & Co. extend not only throughout the county families in all parts of the United Kingdom, but to all parts of the world where Englishmen of the higher classes travel for business, pleasure, or that combination of both which sometimes takes the form of sport. Orders are sent from the most remote parts with the certainty that the firm will satisfactorily execute them, either in accordance with the known and recorded tastes of the purchaser, or else, if desired, in such a manner as to represent the latest fashionable novelty.

Besides the gentlemen’s silk hats, for which the firm have an unsurpassed reputation, they carry on a class of business which is of especial interest to ladies. Messrs. Johnson & Co. are hatters to the Queen as well as to the Prince of Wales; and it is fitting that, as the trusted servants of our Sovereign Lady, they should supply hats of many different descriptions for ladies’ wear. One of their handsome show-windows contains a charming assortment of ladies’ hats, trimmed in accordance with the latest fashion. As may be easily conceived, a special class business such as that which is successfully conducted by Messrs. Johnson & Co., can be maintained at its high standard only by the most assiduous attention to details on the part of the principals. Such attention and care are ungrudgingly given in the case of this eminent firm.


THIS well-known and old-established house has a history dating back to the year 1798, and was founded by a Mr. John Brogden, great-uncle of the present proprietor, who conducted the business solus until 1824. In that year the firm become Brogden & Garland, and so continued until 1831, when the title was altered to Garland and Watherston. Ten years later another change resulted in the adoption of the style of Watherston and Brogden, and this was retained until 1864; since which date the present title of Watherston and Son has obtained. For the first fifty years of its existence the house manufactured for the trade, both in London and in the provinces, but latterly it has devoted its resources more particularly to the development of a large high-class business, suited to the requirements of a select and fashionable clientele. Mr. Watherston, the present acting partner, is a practical goldsmith, having been specially educated as such, and he has long been recognised as an expert in all branches of the craft. He has also contributed to the literature of the trade, and is widely known as one of its ablest and most artistic exponents. His administration of the business has been marked by many admirable qualities, and under his guidance the house has attained much more than ordinary distinction.

Messrs. Watherston & Son exemplify all the higher departments of goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ work, and they are also diamond dealers and mounters, fine art workers in gold, silver, and gems, and reproducers of antique ornaments and bijouterie from originals in the principal museums of Europe. Their premises occupy a most commanding position in Pall Mall East, immediately adjoining the west side of the National Gallery, and directly facing Trafalgar Square. Here the show windows are among the most attractive of the kind in the West End, both for the rare specimens of the goldsmiths’ and silversmiths’ art which are therein exhibited, and for the fine display of diamond ornaments, precious stones, and exquisitely wrought jewellery. Internally the establishment comprises Several extensive and elegantly appointed show-rooms, which afford every facility for the display of a superb stock of goods of the choice character for which this house has always been noted. Every kind of work in gold and silver ware is undertaken by the firm, either to their own or to special designs, and they likewise devote due attention to repairs. Messrs. Watherston are manufacturers by appointment to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales and H.I.M. the Emperor of Germany, and enjoy the patronage of a large and distinguished connexion among the members of the British and foreign aristocracies. It may be added that those in quest of novel and beautiful productions, suitable for gifts and presentations, will always find a wide range of choice in Messrs. Watherstons’ unrivalled collection of unique and charming designs reproduced from antique models of the jewellery and trinkets of all nations and periods. Years of labour and research are represented in these highly artistic goods, and in this particular department it may, without invidiousness, be said that Messrs. Watherston & Son stand pre-eminent among contemporary firms at home and abroad. Telegrams may be addressed “Demetrius, London.” This address applies to the United Kingdom only.


THIS house was founded in the year 1786 under the style of Wilkinson, Wilson & Co. at premises in Oxford Street, at the corner of Park Street, the site being now occupied by gardens, and some years later the firm became Wilkinson & Kidd, a title which has ever since been retained. In 1862 the business was transferred from Oxford Street to its present address in Hanover Square. The premises here occupied comprise one of the spacious and commodious houses formerly used as family mansions in days when this West End square was a favourite place of residence. The building has been well adapted, to the requirements of Messrs. Wilkinson & Kidd’s business, and affords every facility for the conduct of their select and extensive trade. No outward display is made, and the establishment bears the stamp of superiority. Fine specimens of the firm’s productions may be seen in the spacious show-room on the ground floor, where goods are displayed in a number of handsome show-cases. As the great bulk of this firm’s business consists in the making of articles “to order,” a large stock for exhibition is obviously unnecessary. There is, however, a very fine collection of every article connected with a high-class saddler’s trade.

As hunting and military saddlers Messrs. Wilkinson & Kidd may be, said to hold a position almost unique in the trade, and no London or provincial firm has had a larger number of distinguished patrons among its regular customers. In its workshops were made the riding equipments of the great Duke of Wellington, at the period of Waterloo; and the firm likewise, equipped the Marquis of Anglesea, the famous cavalry commander at the same momentous battle. To have made the saddle in which the< “Iron Duke” sat on that ever memorable Sunday, is indeed something to be proud of. Messrs. Wilkinson & Kidd also supplied saddlery and accoutrements to the Prince of Orange for his Waterloo campaign, which are at the present day to be seen in the dining-room of the Palace at the Hague. Coming down to a more recent date, it may be noted that they made' the saddlery, &c., for the use of the Queen on her accession to the throne, and they have ever since been honoured by Her Majesty’s patronage. Messrs. Wilkinson & Kidd are, moreover, saddlers by appointment to the Prince and Princess of Wales and other members of the Royal Family; and among their many patrons in past and present times one may observe many of the most prominent and illustrious personages of the past century, including statesmen, military officers, literary and scientific celebrities, professional men of the highest eminence, &c. Nor have the distinguished patrons of this house been confined to our own country, for the list includes a great number of famous personages in every quarter of Europe and nearly all parts of the outer world, notably the Shah of Persia, the Nizam, &c., &c. Messrs. Wilkinson & Kidd maintain their old-time renown to this day, and produce a class of goods well calculated to perpetuate their unsurpassed reputation in the important trade with which they have been so long and so honourably associated. Their business is both wholesale and retail, and they make saddlery for every ordinary and special requirement, together with harness adapted to every kind of vehicle in modern use. In each department of the trade they employ workmen of the highest skill and best experience, and such is the extent and character of their influential connection that the staff is always busy, under the careful and thoroughly practical supervision of the present principals. Messrs. Wilkinson & Kidd have worthily earned the distinction they enjoy, and, despite the increase of competition in modern times, they continue , to hold a leading position among contemporary English firms in the same line.


TO the invention of new musical instruments must undoubtedly be ascribed a great deal of the musical progress of the present century, and the happy results achieved in this way have been particularly marked in connection with the development of the “Aeolian,” an instrument which will do a great deal to popularise the works of great composers without in any way robbing them of their special and distinguishing beauties. Many a lover of music is unable to fully indulge his passion for sweet sounds from the fact that he cannot devote the time or the money necessary to the attainment of proficiency as a performer upon any important instrument. To such an one the “Aeolian” comes as a “boon and a blessing,” and we propose saying just a few words as to the peculiarities and capabilities of this interesting invention, the facts being derived from a personal inspection and thorough examination of the instrument referred to. The “Aeolian” is neither a piano nor an organ, but an instrument of a unique character, and may be well described as a “household orchestra.” The “Aeolian” embodies in itself many different and charming qualities of musical tone, while the piano has practically but one; and on the former it is possible to reproduce orchestral effects which the latter cannot possibly imitate.

There are two great features of the “Aeolian” which call for special notice. The first is the remarkable ease with which it may be played - anyone of average intelligence, without having previously had any teaching in music, can in a few weeks so thoroughly master this instrument as to be able to play skilfully the most difficult music. The second important characteristic of the “Aeolian” consists in those orchestral properties to which we have made reference. The instrument is so constructed that twenty or thirty notes can be sounded as readily as five or six, and this fact must at once find favour with lovers of high-class music, since it obviates the necessity of confining performances to the ordinary piano and organ scores. Arrangements for the “Aeolian” are made from full orchestral scores, and these adaptations, when rendered by a person understanding the instrument, are of necessity far more perfect than are the performances of even the best pianists or organists. Any music ever composed can be obtained for the “Aeolian,” and Messrs. Whight & Co. can show a catalogue which already includes over five thousand different selections. These are being added to at the rate of from fifty to one hundred pieces monthly, and everything a customer may want is published on application.

Like an orchestra (a good orchestra we mean, of course), the “Aeolian” plays all classes of music well, but it is in the higher grades’of classical composition that it is heard to the best advantage. The wonderful symphonies of Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, and the “modern school”; the brilliant rhapsodies of Liszt, the inimitable nocturnes of Chopin, and the overtures that have added to the fame of the greatest musicians of past and present times, all these can be played by the “Aeolian” with perfect “execution,” and with a beauty and variety of effect possible on no other instrument. Even the immortal fugues of J.|S. Bach can be rendered with a degree of precision and brilliancy delightful to the ordinary listener and instructive to the student. Dance music is, of course, an easy matter, rendering the instrument peculiarly acceptable when a small company is gathered together with a view to Terpsichorean enjoyment; and, perhaps most wonderful of all, the “Aeolian” is a perfect accompanist! It will accompany a singer with infallible accuracy, and the tempo and volume of tone are so completely under control that every requirement of phrasing can be satisfied, and the art of the vocalist displayed to the fullest possible extent.

The “Aeolian” appeals alike to the cultured musician and to the music-lover who delights in the art without pretending to a knowledge of the science. Moreover, the instrument has a distinct educational value. There is much talk just now about the development of local orchestras throughout the country, and we earnestly hope that this great work will be pushed forward with all possible energy and whole-heartedness; but, at the same time, there are people who would rather have their music at home, where they can enjoy their own favourites and at their own time and leisure. Here the “Aeolian” comes to the rescue. The student can study his scores of the great masters all the more effectually for hearing them performed with absolute accuracy, under his own conductorship, and in his own house, while the amateur who likes “a little music” of any particular kind, well played, will derive unqualified pleasure from hearing a good performance of some favourite work in the quiet privacy of his own drawing-room.

From more than one musician of taste and refinement the manufacturers of the “Aeolian” have received very flattering testimonials. We strongly advise every music-lover to visit the elegant and beautifully appointed London agency of this instrument, in Regent Street. The show-rooms exhibit varied styles of the “Aeolian,” and Messrs. Whight & Co. are always prepared to receive visitors with the utmost courtesy, and show them what this really wonderful instrument can do. The “Aeolian” Company issue a full description of their speciality and a statement of its capabilities in the form of a pamphlet which is a perfect specimen of high-class typography, and a most elegant production of its kind.

9, CLIFFORD STREET, W. Manufactory : 17, SOHO SQUARE, W.

THIS eminent house has advanced to a position of the first magnitude and importance; and its operations illustrate the successful progress of a concern sustained under a continuous family proprietary for over a century. The house is known all over the kingdom alike for the comprehensive character of its dealings, and the many improvements it has been instrumental in introducing into all the departments of work with which the name of Feetham & Co, is identified. As sanitary and domestic engineers, the firm have been called upon to fulfil many large and responsible undertakings. They are also plumbers and general contractor of distinguished merit, and as art metal-workers have taken a creditable part in developing many of the genuinely artistic phases by which this branch of industry is nowadays characterised. They also engage in the varied operations of gas-fitting, locksmiths’, and bell-hanging work; and, as furnishing ironmongers, have brought to bear upon the representation of that trade all the resources which their own industry and the careful selection of the best manufactured goods can make available. They hold the appointment in this capacity to Her Majesty the Queen; and as kitchen and laundry fitters and stove makers, have entered upon the whole category of domestic equipment with a skill and completeness only equalled by that they have evinced in the warming of houses by their own improved hot-water systems, the providing of baths and lavatories, and the manufacture of chimney-pieces, grates, and fireplaces, illustrative of all the periods, past and present, in which the art of grate and hearth elaboration received recognition. In this they display a reproductive aptitude altogether uncommon, and for that reason it has become a first and leading branch of all their varied operations.

Between the works at 17, Soho Square — where a large number of hands are constantly employed — and the premises in Clifford Street, there is easy and almost instant communication, this being found of great convenience in the acceleration of the large trade that surrounds the former. Here the warehouse, show-rooms, and business offices all form one substantial block, and occupy a very, considerable area, the building, which is of five storeys, being of handsome appearance, yet presenting those antique impressions which emphasise the old standing of the firm. Everywhere throughout the interior there are abundant evidences of the specialistic work engaged in, in the splendid collection of goods that are here tastefully submitted to inspection. Every single item bespeaks a standard of excellence which indicates the firm’s adherence to the basis of first-rate work and exceptional artistic skill upon which their fame is established; and there is everything to justify the assertion that in the lines of industry which it has been the fortune of this house to illustrate in their highest phases of modern development, they have few compeers, and stand unrivalled by any known British firm, either private or incorporated.


OVER a hundred years have elapsed since the formation of this world-famous house, which has always been conducted under the style and title above designated, first of all at 139, New Bond Street and 175, Piccadilly, from which a removal was effected about four years ago to the present eligible quarters, upon the completion of the noble pile of buildings of which they form a part. The premises are in every way adapted to the requirements of a high-class business of the kind, comprising magnificent show-rooms, offices, ware-rooms, and well-equipped workshops. The show-rooms are elegantly appointed throughout in the most modern style, and carefully arranged to exhibit a stock which, for variety and value, it would be difficult to equal and impossible to surpass. In the lamp department a splendid selection of artistic lamps of every known principle is en evidence, and in this connection it may be mentioned that Messrs. Smethurst & Co. were the introducers of the “Solar Lamp,” the first lamp invented for burning colza oil, and also of the popular self-acting flower candle shades. Here too may be seen all the newest designs in lamp and candle shades, globes, chimneys, wicks, and all kinds of lamp and candle accessories, the finest French colza oil, sperm, and the highest, refined crystal oil, and the best sperm, paraffin, and fancy candles of every description. In the executive section of this department, moderator and all kinds of lamps are repaired, and chandeliers, &c., cleaned by expert workers, and lamps and candelabra are lent on hire.

Gas-fitting in all its branches forms another department, and in addition to a very rich stock of gasaliers, brackets, fittings of every description, globes, chimneys, and shades, every kind of brass work is cleaned, lacquered, and re-bronzed. Since the introduction of the electric light the firm, in keeping with the advances of the times, hold in constant readiness a staff of expert electrical engineers, and are prepared to undertake the complete installation of the electric light, and the providing and fixing of bells, telephones, and other accessories, making a speciality of adapting candelabra vase lamps and other fittings for the electric light. They, moreover, lend devices for illuminations on hire, and carryout contracts for the lighting of balls, routs, garden parties, &c.. with efficiency and expedition. It may be pointed out that in each of these departments the firm have fitted up some of the best mansions both in the metropolis and provinces. The business is now under the able and energetic control of Mr. Joseph Henry Rosoman, a gentleman of recognised ability and of extended experience in connection with the important branches of industry to which his attention is still so vigorously and successfully directed, and it would indeed be difficult to indicate a house that has made more remarkable progress during its lengthy career, and certainly none in any branch of industry whose success and prosperity have been more honestly and worthily won.

77 AND 78, ST. MARTIN’S LANE, AND 26, 27, 28, 29, 30 AND 31, CRANBOURN STREET, W.C.

A WELL-KNOWN instance of that extended system of trade supply which has been illustrated with such distinctive success in London is presented in the large business of Messrs. James Platt & Co., founded about half a century, and now ranking foremost among the several representative metropolitan concerns that are to-day referred to as examples of gigantic enterprise. It originated under Mr. James Platt, and is still controlled by that esteemed pioneer of progress with whose contributions to the field of literature nearly every one is familiar. Platt’s essays on “Business,” “Money,” and “Economy,” and on “Life,” “Morality,” “Progress,” “ God and Mammon,” “Poverty,” “Land,” “Democracy,” “Men and Women,” “Excelsior,” “Leaseholds” and other, subjects have become very textbooks in the respective lines of study which they indicate. The application to his own commercial work of those principles which he advocated in the first volume of his essays has long since proved their inestimable value. The business of Platt & Co. has assumed extensive proportions.

Of the three sons by whom the principal is assisted, one superintends the Broadwath Mills at Head’s Nook, Carlisle. They there make the famous Platt’s tweed, livery tweeds, Carlisle and tropical tweeds, and in such quantities as to meet the most pressing demands of shippers, contractors, and livery outfitters. Having purchased the dies of the late Mr. W. T. Morphew (trading as Sherlock & Co.), they have been enabled to produce everything in army, navy, and volunteer accoutrements. The main system of the house being to supply every article that a tailor in any part of the world may require for his business, the comprehensive character of their trade may be judged. The timeworn remark concerning the supply of “a needle to an anchor” largely applies to the operations of this house, which besides providing all tailoring fabrics and their accessories, also supplies the whole equipments of the tailoring and fitting rooms, and deals in pianos and harmoniums, bedsteads and bedding, boots and shoes, tea and coffee, waterproof garments, bicycles, cutlery, and all the machines used in the modern tailoring industry. The literary department teems with publications useful and instructive to the trade; and no less instructive is the bulky catalogue issued annually by the firm, and replete with everything which tailors and outfitters require to know.

The great importance of Messrs. Platt’s business is at once emphasised in the structural appearance of the large corner block, which the firm occupy at the point where Cranbourn Street and St. Martin’s Lane converge. The external aspects of handsome architectural design and the great height of the building tend to render the premises a striking feature of the thoroughfare. The whole, or nearly the whole, of the floors are devoted to warehouse accommodation and as the total frontage to both streets covers a stretch of some two hundred and thirty feet, the space at the disposal of the firm is exceptionally commodious. Five floors and a basement floor are fully comprised, and on the uppermost floor are located numerous bedrooms, dining and sitting-rooms, kitchen, and other domestic appurtenances, all suggestive of the home comfort provided for the employes, while the library, reading-rooms, and gymnasium convey many impressions of the intellectual and recreative facilities also afforded to the staff. All the details of a splendid home, colonial, and export business are carried out with intelligent accuracy and tact. The firm’s repute is so well established that they are in a position to communicate with and provide for their clients in all parts of the world without the intermediation of travellers; and their faithful and consistent adherence to the cash principle of trading, which they were one of the first houses to inaugurate, has done much towards the success of the business and the retention of its magnificent and far-extending custom.


THE old-established and well-known firm of Messrs. Elphinstone & Co. was founded half a century ago by the father of the present proprietor, and stands to-day in a most eminent position amongst its metropolitan contemporaries. Originally the business was simply that of plain and fancy bread and biscuit bakers. This is still the speciality, but to meet the requirements of the times the firm have developed other branches, more particularly the supply of light refreshments, luncheons, and dinners. The premises occupy an excellent position at the corner of Hanover Street, and in addition to the beautifully appointed shop and refreshment-room on the ground floor, there are elegantly furnished rooms on the floor above. The establishment throughout is admirably appointed, an air of comfort and refinement is everywhere apparent, which is enhanced in no small degree by the ready and polite attention of an efficient staff of well-trained assistants. Messrs. Elphinstone & Co. have always on hand a wondrously engaging stock, embracing a truly irresistible array of high-class confectionery, cakes, biscuits, entrees, entremets, soups, roast fowls, game in season, chaudfroids, jams, jellies, syrups, and the finest imported and most delicious comestibles; nothing in fact can be said to enhance its many self-evident points of merit and excellence. The house is specially noted for “Oliver” Biscuits, which have attained such a celebrity that they are now sent to all parts of the world. A very large business is also done in plain and fancy bread, Vienna, and wholemeal bread. The firm’s own vans deliver in all parts of the district, and no effort is spared to meet the convenience of customers in the punctual execution of orders. The establishment enjoys the patronage of a very select and high-class connection; ladies especially out shopping, and visitors to London, find it both private and convenient. The scale of charges is in every way moderate, and the house is fully licensed for wines, &c. Mr. Elphinstone, the present proprietor, possesses the advantage of long and thorough practical experience in every detail of the business, and makes the requirements of his patrons a consideration of the very first importance.


THE orthopaedic mechanician’s craft has nowhere in the world been brought to such a pitch of perfection as in London; and foremost among the leading exponents of this special branch of industry stands Mr. Philip Gray, who succeeded to the business which had been successively carried on by his uncles and his father before him, and which dates back in its foundation to close upon a century ago — having been carried on at No. 7, Cork Street, until quite recently, when the present eligible premises were acquired and entered upon. Mr. Gray, with a staff of specially trained expert craftsmen, operates on a large scale as a maker of artificial limbs of every kind, as well as of surgical instruments and appliances for malformations, operations, etc. His artificial limbs are, as a rule, made to meet the individual wants of patients, and in order to give entire satisfaction, it is, of course, a sine qua non that the patient should consult Mr. Gray personally. Many of these limbs are marvels of ingenuity, and all of them are produced in the most perfect manner from material of the very best quality.

In illustration of what Mr. Gray’s firm has already done, it may be mentioned that he is the sole maker of the celebrated “Anglesey” artificial limbs, so called from having been supplied by the firm to the late Field-Marshal the Marquis of Anglesey, K.G., who lost his leg at the battle of Waterloo, and subsequently, during a period of thirty-six years, was enabled to walk or ride with the greatest ease and comfort. Mr. Gray has in his possession a valuable testimonial from the late Marquis; and these limbs have been and still are extensively supplied to the German and French officers, who suffered amputation during the Franco-German War of 1870 and 1871 — from whom he has received numerous testimonials and heartfelt thanks, in addition to similar recognition from officers in the British army and navy, and private patients from all parts of the world. The premises in Maddox Street are, in every point of character and situation, precisely adapted to the requirements of this special business, and comprise a convenient consulting-room and show-room on the ground floor, with perfectly equipped workshops in the basement. For the rest, the business is conducted with marked ability in every detail, and much of the success that has been achieved is unquestionably due to the personal energy and sound commercial acumen of its enterprising proprietor.


MR. Spaull has for sixteen years occupied his present quarters. The premises occupied are handsome in appearance, and in size and arrangement eminently adapted to the superior and extensive business on hand. The stocks held by this enterprising house are exceptional in extent and comprehensive in their variety, and have been selected with great judgment and taste and an intimate acquaintance with the special requirements of the inhabitants of the district. Some of the notepapers are of an exceedingly high-class character, and can hardly fail to give satisfaction. Among these may be mentioned, the “Imperial” ivory wove, a good useful paper at five quires for a shilling; “Charterhouse,” a thick rough professional paper, at 2s. 6d. per five quires; “Azure Blue,” at 1s. 6d. for five quires; and “Royal” ivory wove, a superior exquisitely tinted paper offered at 8 and-a-half|d. per five quires. There are, also, many other kinds of paper well worthy of notice, such as “Specialitie,” “Silurian,” “Highly-glazed (Joynson’s),” and the popular “O.T.M.” In the book-selling department, a leading feature is made of Bibles, Prayer-books, and Church services in elegant bindings, and devotional books generally. All the poets are to be found here beautifully bound in morocco and other bindings from 4s. 6d. each, together with a large and varied selection of standard works and all the latest and most popular volumes. In most cases the full discount of threepence in the shilling is allowed to purchasers. Invitation cards, menu cards, and ball programmes are printed to order in gold, silver, and colours, card plates are elegantly engraved, and visiting cards printed at a few hours’ notice in a thoroughly artistic manner, and at lowest London prices consistent with first-class work and quality. Address, crest, and monogram dies are cut in a most artistic style. A choice display is made of articles suitable for presentation, including high-class purses with silver and fifteen-carat gold mounts, letter cases, eau de Cologne cases in russia and morocco, dressing cases, writing cases, scrap albums, ladies’ work-boxes, inkstands, frames, watch-stands, and a thousand and one other elegant and artistic novelties.

To supply a long-felt want in the district, Mr. Spaull has opened No. 6, The Mall, for the sale of best French and English confections. The stocks are of considerable extent and of quite a special character. The latest and most fashionable of sweetmeats and dainty morsels are here to be found in choice profusion. Exquisite boxes are sold for filling with comfits and crystallised fruits, as well as many novelties in the shape of figures and animals, which can be opened and filled with these delicious morceaux, Mr. Spaull has won popularity in his business, and he well deserves it for the enterprise, judgment, and ability he has shown in its development. He is well known for his courteous attention, and for the straightforward and honourable methods which mark all his transactions, and is everywhere respected for his personal worth, and well merited success.


ORGANISED at St. James’s Street in the year 1835 as a branch establishment of the famous German publishing house of the same name, which had flourished and is still in high activity since the year 1768, the commercial prosperity of the concern in London has been both rapid and continuous. In 1850 a transference was effected to the present eligible premises, which are in every point of character and situation precisely adapted to the requirements of a very select high-class business of the kind. They consist of a neat, elegantly appointed salon, with the remainder of the two three-storied houses for warehouse purposes, in which an exhaustive stock of sheet and book music for all instruments and voices is held, carefully classified, comprising standard works, such as Wagner’s Operas, which are the copyright of the firm, and music fully up to the hour of publication, and especially music from the leading Continental publishers of the day. The extent of their publications, especially of pianoforte and string music, is enormous; and the trade controlled is one of considerable volume, and, as already noted, the patronage is a very select one, including Her Majesty the Queen and members of the Royal Family, and many other distinguished personages drawn from the elite of the English and foreign aristocracy and lovers of music in every quarter of the kingdom.

201, PICCADILLY (Opposite St. James’s Hall), W.

AMONG the notable exponents of the “sartorial” art, whose names have become closely and creditably identified with the best developments of the trade in the West End, there are perhaps few that can boast of as brilliant a record as the well-known house whose history furnishes the theme of the present brief review. Organised upwards of twenty years ago under the auspices of Messrs. Hammond & Tautz, this flourishing concern is now under the sole proprietary control of Mr. Tautz, a gentleman of recognised ability, whose extended experience as Mr. Hammond’s quondam partner rendered him perhaps more capable than anyone else of continuing the work with which he had so long been intimately associated.

As caterers to the nobility and gentry, the firm do not make any display to the public, their substantial-looking premises, as here represented, being free from any attempt at ostentatious window decoration. Within doors, however, the capacious shop is very heavily and methodically stocked with fabrics of the very best and most fashionable makes exclusively. Not only has exceptional care been exercised in the employment of artists of recognised skill and ability, but the work is all brought under the personal hypercritical examination of the principal before being permitted to emanate from the establishment, with the result that the work done by the firm has universally acquired a faultless reputation. Messrs. Tautz & Co. operate in every branch of gentlemen’s tailoring and outfitting, and have won an unsurpassed name for hunting, shooting, and military dress of every description, Indian and Colonial outfits, racing colours, and servants’ liveries. Among their specialities, they justly pride themselves upon the perfection attained to in the knickerbocker breeches suits, polo breeches, and Indian and Colonial garments made from a specially durable fabric known as Tautz’s patent drill; covert and driving coats, riding trousers, military overalls and pantaloons, and buckskin and other breeches. Estimates are given and contracts undertaken for hunt establishments, and the ably conducted business, its lengthy career, and high prestige, all bear ample testimony to the energy and ability displayed in its management by its talented and estimable proprietor.


It was in 1760 that Mr. Hamley, the ancestor, in the direct line, of the present proprietors of the firm, began business as a manufacturer of and dealer in toys, in Holborn. The present members of the firm are the brothers Messrs. W. H., F. J., and E. T. Hamley, who are specialists, and indeed, enthusiasts, in reference to all the branches of the very interesting department of commerce in which they are, in accordance with the excellent traditions of the family, actively engaged. It is now about twelve years since the increasing demands upon the warehousing space at the disposal of the firm rendered necessary the acquisition of the present commodious premises, which are situated in the best part of Regent Street. They occupy four storeys, each having a large floor area. A spacious show-window is on the ground floor, the contents of which are always arranged with much artistic taste! The firm make a claim to the possession of the largest stock of its kind in the metropolis. They have agents, both in Paris and in Nuremberg, constantly on the look-out for novelties in their particular line of business. Messrs. Hamley Brothers are thus enabled to be the first to introduce to this country anything new that is produced on the Continent.

The firm are, themselves, large manufacturers of certain classes of goods, both in this country and in Germany, where, for example, they make, in their factory, great quantities of Noah’s Arks of superior finish, and at prices considerably lower than other English houses. But many of their most interesting novelties are imported. A study of their copious and fully illustrated catalogue will, to most people, be a most interesting revelation of the unsuspected importance of the toy trade and of the close connection which it has with other industries which are generally regarded as of greater and more serious moment. The stock enumerated includes toys, dolls, games, scientific and amusing novelties, magic lanterns, model steam engines, conjuring tricks, mechanical figures, musical boxes, &c. The model doll’s houses, shops, kitchens, and miniature theatres are marvels of ingenuity and cheapness. They are manufacturers, on a large scale, of conjuring tricks, costing from 6d. to £20. They publish a special Catalogue of Magical Apparatus, puzzles, and electrical tricks. They always keep a large assortment of model engines and locomotives which are strongly made and warranted to work well. Here, again, a Special Catalogue is produced, with lists not only of engines, but of parts of model engines, which may be bought separately for the use of youthful mechanical engineers who are trying their hands at the business of “fitting” or “erecting.” Beautifully rigged model ships are present in abundance, warranted to sail, and supplied, when required, with such accessories as blocks, deadeyes, figureheads, davits, &c. Juvenile sportsmen will find much amusement in the novel miniature stables where the horses have real skin, and real harness which may be taken on and off. Chemical cabinets in great variety will be found appropriate to the tastes of scientifically disposed young people.

The dolls, however, of Messrs. Hamley are, and always have been, their great speciality. So far is the scientific study of dolls developed that their constitutional peculiarities are taken into account; and the firm announce dolls which are specially constructed to stand a sojourn in an Indian climate without ill events. En revanche, they import dolls from France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, America, and Japan. The study of the idiosyncrasies and domestic habits (some of which are costly) of Jumeau’s French Jointed Dolls, would of itself constitute a task as severe as that necessary to pass a matriculation examination. They are sold dressed and undressed. In the larger condition complicated questions arise, involving serious differences of cost, as to whether they shall possess long flowing hair, or skin wigs, or human hair; whether they shall talk, and whether their sweet eyes shall be moveable or fixed. Messrs. Hamley, who are special London agents for these charming French visitors, announce, almost pathetically, that they are so continually having arrivals from Messrs. Jumeau, of Paris, with the newest French costumes, that it is quite impossible to enumerate or give any idea of the immense variety of styles and patterns. There is much space necessarily devoted to the requirements of “dolly’s outfitting department,” which is sub-divided into sections for the accommodation of jointed dolls and of wax dolls respectively. In the “dolls’ hospital and convalescent home” old dolls are made new, and the professional staff employed by the firm can point to some wonderful examples of cures in cases which might have been considered beyond hope.

The firm supply their customers, on the best possible terms, with such specialities as Ayres’ lawn tennis and Jacques’s croquet. They are, likewise, the specially appointed West End agents for Brock’s fireworks. They have an immense stock of articles suitable for bazaars, fancy fairs, and charitable institutions, and allow a liberal discount to the promoters of such functions. The firm have, specially and solely attached to their establishment, a staff of the best artists, who attend evening parties to provide conjuring, Punch and Judy, ventriloquism, magic lantern, marionettes, juggling, performing dogs, dissolving views, piano music for dancing, &c. As might be assumed from the specialistic character of much of Messrs. Hamley’s business, their connection is a far-reaching one. They have an export trade to all parts of the world. At home, in addition to the large private and high- class business, in which many of their patrons belong to the most distinguished social circles, they have relations with the trade, throughout the United Kingdom, for wholesale purposes. The remarkable and increasing success of the firm is to be attributed to the close supervision bestowed by the partners upon every detail of the business.


ANY record of the representative commercial and industrial institutions of the metropolis would indeed he sadly deficient without due reference to the important and responsible place filled by the famous house whose rise and progress is here referred to. Organised in the year 1850 by the late Mr. Charles Hobson, who commenced business in a comparatively modest way as a military-cap maker at Woolwich, the subsequent progress of the house became so amazingly rapid, in virtue of the high excellence of its productions, and its extremely moderate charges, that, in 1872, the sons, Messrs. C. and E. Hobson (who now constitute the personnel of the firm), found it expedient, in order to give free scope to their expanding business, to migrate to London. They accordingly established their headquarters in St. Martin’s Lane; but the accommodation soon proving inadequate, they once more removed, this time to Lexington Street, Golden Square, and in 1888 were again obliged to extend their premises by the annexation of a large building on the opposite side of the street. In 1889, moreover, they opened another large accoutrement factory at Woolwich, and thus at the present day are possessed of one of the largest and most comprehensive concerns of the kind in the kingdom, calling into active requisition the services of upwards of three hundred hands in the various departments.

For the sake of conventional description these may be enumerated as follows-(1) Military tailoring and outfitting, the speciality here being officers’ outfits for every branch of Her Majesty’s Service. (2) Mufti clothing in all its branches. (3) Belts and accoutrements (dress and undress), horse appointments, harness, saddlery, and harness and boot leathers of every description, for every branch of Her Majesty’s Service. (4) Helmets, caps, and headdresses for every branch of Her Majesty’s Service. (5) Gold laces, braids, cords, and embroideries. (6) Clothing for rank and file of any regiment, for bands, police forces, and railway companies, made to order; as well as liveries for club, hotel, and theatre attendants. (7) Metal badges, ornaments, and buttons of every description made to order, and for which designs are submitted free of charge. (8) Foreign and colonial department.

It thus appears that the firm are prepared to undertake any kind of work in connection with military equipments, and their resources are so extensive that they are able to fill contracts not only for single officers, but for a whole brigade of artillery or battalion of infantry at the shortest possible notice, with expedition and high efficiency, these results being obtained through the splendid organisation in operation, and the constant supervision accorded to the business by its energetic and estimable principals. Messrs. Hobson & Sons have already carried out many large and most important contracts for the Army, Navy, Reserve, and Volunteer forces. They enjoy the distinction of contractors by appointment to Her Majesty’s Home, Indian, and Colonial Governments, and the Crown agents for the Colonies, and are contractors for clothing and every part of equipment for the Army, Navy, Reserve, and Volunteer forces. In addition to all this, they do a very substantial foreign business, and in each and every department of their vast undertaking the affairs are administered in a most masterly manner, and offer every assurance that their present remarkable prosperity shall not only be well sustained, but steadily enhanced and consistently developed in days to come.


THERE are some business houses, in London and elsewhere, whose reputation, extending to the ends of the earth, is relatively even greater than the volume of their commercial transactions would suggest. Such a firm is that of Messrs. Ryan and Nephew, saddlers and harness manufacturers. Nor have the good name and fame which this firm has gained been suddenly acquired. The reputation of the house has been gradually and steadily built up on sure foundations. For it was as far back as 1842 that the flourishing business which is still carried on in Spring Street was first established, and the firm has, therefore, just attained to the year of its jubilee. One of the two shops (No. 15), which form the premises of Messrs. Ryan and Nephew, is used as a show-room, and there a large stock of saddlery, carriage harness of all descriptions, and every stable requisite in full variety can be seen, of sufficient extent and variety to afford ample choice to the purchaser. All stable requisites, such as brushes, horse-clothing, pads, &c., are always kept in hand and ready for immediate use.

Saddlery and harness, however, are commodities in reference to which the widest possible differences exist in the ideas and the fancies of those who use them. Eminence in the business of harness-making can be secured only by those firms whose principals carefully study the several requirements of each of their customers, having, at the same time, ample appliances for fulfilling their instructions down to the smallest details. Mr. John Ryan, who is now the sole proprietor of the business, is fortunate in being in a position to comply fully with these conditions of success. He has the assistance of his two sons and a competent staff of workmen, some of whom have been in his employ for several years, and their united efforts have secured the present position of the firm, and the prospect of largely extending the business in the future. They have, in their possession, quite a manuscript library of unsolicited testimonials, from gratified customers, bearing witness to the style, the comfort, and the enduring quality of the saddlery and harness turned out by this firm. Many of these letters, too, speak particularly of the absolute accuracy with which special orders have been executed, even in minute particulars, where the customers have desired that certain ideas of their own should be carried out. These voluntary testimonials are dated from all parts of the world. Those who have seen anything of life in India and the British colonies are aware what an important place the horse, and all that belongs to him, holds in the estimation of the great majority of Englishmen abroad, whether they belong to the services or not, and whether they employ the noble quadruped for sport or for business. In distant lands, where horses are often more easily procured than good harness, to keep up an occasional correspondence with a perfectly capable and trustworthy saddler in London becomes almost a matter of necessity for those whose pride it is to have well-appointed equipages. And thus it happens that the name of Ryan and Nephew is almost as well known in India and in Canada, in Victoria, and in New Zealand, as it is in Belgravia and Mayfair.

In the rear of the showrooms are two spacious and well-lighted workshops, where a large staff of skilful and experienced saddlers and harness makers are constantly employed. The work which they execute is all done under the personal supervision of Mr. John Ryan himself, who carefully inspects every single saddle or set of harness before it is permitted to leave the premises. It is, doubtless, owing in a large measure to this unremitting attention to details, as well as to the high character which he deservedly bears as a commercial man of spotless integrity, that the firm of Messrs. Ryan and Nephew continues to increase in prosperity, and renown.


THE amalgamation of many businesses under one management and in one emporium stands out prominently as the most conspicuous of the many respects in which modern trading differs from that of bygone times. This method of supplying the daily demands of households and communities is not a mere caprice, or temporary displacement of old-fashioned routine, but a well-considered system of operations, based upon manifest public requirements of convenience and economy, and carried out in all its details upon methods calculated to meet those requirements in the fullest degree. The popularity of this system, in which the pioneer part has been played by the great “stores” of London, is amply evidenced by the substantial success that has attended its principal exponents, and among these there is none more worthy of the prosperity it has achieved than the flourishing institution named at the head of our present sketch. The Junior Army and Navy Stores, Limited, commenced operations on November 10th, 1879, when the doors of the spacious and stately building known as York House were first thrown open to the members and patrons of what was then the youngest of the London co-operative societies. To a good many people the enterprise may have seemed a hazardous one at that time, but those who projected it and inaugurated its active career had not undertaken the venture without giving it due consideration and careful study. The late Major Clench was the actual founder of the Junior Army and Navy Stores, and he had convinced himself, not merely of the possibility of success, but of its extreme likelihood, in view of the fact that the “stores system” generally was being regarded with steadily increasing favour by the public. Accordingly, this particular Company was formed in January, 1879, with a share capital of £100,000 in shares of £1 each. In a few months the subscriptions reached a large amount, and before the end of the year the concern was in full operation; in its fine premises at York House. Never from the first few weeks of its existence was the success of the institution in doubt, and to illustrate the steady progress it has made, we give here the figures showing the sales at York House during the first twelve years of the society’s existence:— November and December, 1879, £13,467; and for the years 1880, £229,705; 1881, £323,311; 1882, £355,779; 1883, £403,674; 1884, £447,711; 1885, £484,513; 1886, £515,460; 1887, £538,469; 1888, £576,069; 1889, £600,724; 1890, £603,338. From these figures it will be seen that the volume of business has steadily increased from year to year. The increase of membership has corresponded, for when the stores were opened the society numbered between 4,000 and 5,000 shareholders, whereas at the present day there are over 14,000 shareholders, in addition to about 16,000 life members and 5,000 annual ticket-holders.

The society’s object is “to supply the best articles of domestic consumption and general use at the lowest remunerative prices; and to introduce such additions and improvements as experience may find to be necessary and desirable.” The principles involved in this policy are carefully adhered to, and the whole scheme of the establishment has from the first been worked out upon lines conducive to the development of an extensive, substantial, and well-regulated business. It is universally admitted that the Junior Army and Navy Stores have done everything to deserve success, and their continued prosperity is therefore a matter upon which both the directors, the shareholders, and the members and ticket-holders are to be congratulated.

No better site could be found than Waterloo Place for such an emporium as this, and it would be difficult to surpass the accommodation afforded by York House. Yet the society’s business has grown at such a rate that even this immense five-storey block would barely have provided room for it had not certain judicious extensions of the premises been carried out as necessity arose. There are also branches in D’Olier Street, Dublin, and Union Street, Aldershot; while the society’s ever-growing export trade is conducted from King Street and Hart Street, Covent Garden. New stables have been lately acquired, with all the latest improvements, at Belvedere Road, Westminster. Reverting to York House, a brief survey of the various departments may here be given, though our limited space precludes the possibility of describing them at any great length. The stock in its entirety forms one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of general merchandise and domestic requisites to be met with in any business establishment in London, and the different classes of goods have been arranged in their several sections in a manner equally systematic and convenient. The basement of the main building is devoted to the sale and consumption of tobacco. The handsomely appointed sale-room is admirably served, and supplies goods of the finest quality, alike for the lover of the pipe, the cigar, and the cigarette; while a most comfortable lounge has been provided, where smokers can enjoy a few minutes’ dalliance with their favourite herb under highly luxurious conditions. On the ground floor the visitor makes acquaintance with two of the chief features of the society’s business, viz., the grocery and provision departments. To the former of these the entire north side is allotted, while the provision department with its fine display of poultry, meat, game, fruit and vegetables is opposite. As showing the high standard of excellence maintained in these departments, we may mention that the society gained the following notable awards at the Fourth Universal Cookery and Food Exhibition in London — gold medal for fresh fruit and vegetables; silver medal for meat, poultry, and game; bronze medal for preserved provisions, &c., and certificate of merit for butter, cheese, &c. The above awards embrace every class in which the society competed. On the ground floor also are rooms devoted to cut flowers, drugs, toilet articles, and aerated waters, with dispensary adjoining, besides coal, coke, and forage departments, well-fitted reading and writing rooms, and a box-office for the booking of theatre seats. At the western side of the building, and still upon the ground floor level, are located the transport and packing departments. The entresol floor contains the departments for sporting requisites, toys, trunks, dressing-bags, portmanteaus, and other articles of a similar nature, together with the principal business offices of the concern, including the rooms of the chief accountant, secretary, assistant manager, and managing director. The ladies’ special hair-dressing saloon, and also that for gentlemen, are on this floor.

Ascending to the first floor we reach the ladies’ boot and shoe, linen, drapery, and general ladies’ outfitting departments. Here also are; the attractive show-rooms for watches, clocks, jewellery, plate, optical goods, and the well-stocked mantles, costumes, and ladies’ tailoring department. There is a ladies’ cloak-room on this floor. The next story affords further evidence of the universal range of the society’s operations, for here we find such varied items as stationery, saddlery, stable and carriage fittings, music books, and an extensive department for uniforms, mufti, and gentlemen’s complete outfitting. Still greater attractions await us on the third floor, where there is a magnificent display of fine china and glass ware, among the varied features of which we note dinner, tea, and breakfast services at prices ranging from a few shillings up to hundreds of guineas. Ironmongery of every description, all kinds of household turnery, and a large variety of beautiful ivory goods also claim attention here; and the same floor affords space for the well-appointed dining-room, buffet, and oyster bar, all of which are largely patronised by visitors. The fourth floor contains vast stocks of dining and drawing room, hall, parlour, and library furniture, together with carpets, mats, and general upholstery. Finally, on the fifth and topmost floor are situated the departments for bedroom furniture, photographs, besides an admirably equipped photographic studio, and a watch-repairing workshop. Between these several floors, with their wonderful aggregation of useful and interesting wares, two fine modern passenger elevators afford swift, comfortable, and convenient means of communication. Altogether, upwards of six hundred hands are employed by the society, and the attendance in all departments is of the most efficient character.

A perusal of the bulky Illustrated Price List of the Junior Army and Navy Stores (a volume which has become quite a work of reference on all matters pertaining to domestic supplies) will show that the society’s operations comprise the furnishing of almost every known requirement, both necessaries and luxuries, and the scope of the business is not confined to meeting individual needs, but includes, also, large transactions with officers’ messes and regimental canteens in all parts of the world. Since the Company was established the original share capital has been increased, by a special resolution of the shareholders, to £200,000. For some years past the society has been paying very satisfactory dividends upon the paid-up capital, after providing for a redemption and reserve fund. The qualifications for shareholders proper are:— To be or to have been officers who have served in the Army, Navy, Auxiliary Forces, or Royal Naval Reserve; or wives, widows, sons, or daughters of such officers, or non-commissioned officers who are serving or have served in the Army, Navy, Auxiliary Forces, or Royal Naval Reserve; or secretaries of naval or military clubs; or representatives of naval and regimental messes and canteens. Friends of shareholders, being approved by the Directors, are, however, similarly privileged; and those desiring membership can join the society as annual or life ticket-holders. Deposit order and interest accounts are opened with members, and the society affords its shareholders, members, and ticket-holders such a wide range of advantages in all lines of business that its benefits are felt to be indispensable when once they have been enjoyed. The society’s transactions are practically world-wide, agents having been appointed at upwards of twenty-five of the principal foreign and Colonial seaports; and not only can goods of every description be sent abroad, but passages and berths in all the leading lines of steamers can be booked through the society’s export offices. There are three free deliveries daily of goods by the Stores’ own vans in London, and free delivery daily in the suburbs by Carter, Paterson & Co.

Of the administration of the society’s affairs it is possible to speak only in terms of praise. The Chairman, Major-General Hale Wortham, presides over an influential directorate, and the executive offices are filled by gentlemen of well-known ability, energy, and courtesy, Mr. E. Payton Clench as Managing Director, Mr. H. Laurence Peters as Assistant Manager, and Mr. John Bathurst as Secretary, all discharging their several important duties in a conspicuously skilful and judicious manner. The Junior Army and Navy Stores, Limited, are a standing testimony to the commercial and economical soundness of the principle of co-operative trading; and to simply credit them with the remarkable success they have achieved is to pay the highest possible tribute to the efficiency of their management, the completeness of their resources, and the perfection of their working organisation.


It is universally recognised in these days that the hat is one of the most important and indispensable articles of human attire. Whatever may be said to the effect that nature has provided a sufficient protection for our heads in the hair that usually adorns them, the fact remains that the laws of good taste and decorum are best obeyed by the habitual wearing of some description of headgear, and for this purpose civilised nations are at one in maintaining the superiority of a well-made hat. It would be idle to attempt any analysis of the motives which first prompted man to devise a covering for the head, and subsequently to retain it as part and parcel of his necessary apparel. Doubtless the requirement of some extra protection against heat and cold was the primary incentive; but, be this as it may, headgear in its various forms has come into such universal use that, by virtue of its constant association with the wearer, it seems in many instances to have imbibed something of his nature and peculiarities. Surely if “character” is expressed in any article of our everyday dress it is manifested in the hat! Berthelier, a popular French writer, was wont to assert that the hat makes, or completes, the man, and thousands will at once agree with him. What is a man without a hat “an unfinished pillar, a jar without a lid.” The same writer says:— “Show me your hat, and I will tell you what you are.” In short, “man and his hat are two elements which, apart, represent folly and chaos, and, together, make up an individual.”

A recital of the history of hats, of the various manners of wearing them, of the changing fashions relating to them, and of the laws of etiquette governing their use among different nations, would fill many a bulky volume, and make intensely interesting reading. According to history, hats properly so called were first made by a Swiss at Paris, in 1404; and about a hundred years later the manufacture was introduced into England by the Spaniards. In this country the industry has flourished, and been vigorously developed, and to-day the finest gentlemen’s hats in the world are made in London, while the markets of a hundred different lands, far and near, derive immense supplies of all kinds of headgear from the English hat factories. It was in the third decade of the present century, viz., about 1833, that the earliest attempt appears to have been made to replace the old-fashioned, heavy, and cumbersome “beaver” hat with some lighter, handsomer, and more durable article. This attempt resulted in nothing less than a complete bouleversement of the then-existing hat trade, and with that notable revolution we shall always closely associate the name of our most eminent firm of hat manufacturers, Messrs. Lincoln, Bennett & Co., of Sackville Street and Piccadilly.

It is the privilege of some great business houses to become so widely renowned that their name merges into a sort of synonym for the trade they conduct or the article they produce. To the ranks of such firms the one under notice here undoubtedly belongs, and there must be very few of our readers who have not frequently heard a hat termed a “Lincoln and Bennett.” This world-famous house originated as far back as the year 1807, under the auspices of Messrs. Stroud and Benjamin Lincoln, two brothers; and some years later the name of Bennett first became connected with the concern, by the accession of Mr. Joseph Bennett to the partnership. We have already referred to the introduction of the silk hat in 1833 as a substitute for the effete and unsatisfactory “beaver,” and the achievements of Mr. John F. Bennett, of Lincoln, Bennett & Co., in this connection have made his name and his house illustrious for all time in the annals of the English hat trade. His ingenuity and assiduous application transformed a pure experiment into an astonishing discovery, and under his auspices the silk hat gradually advanced to that state of perfection in which its success became assured beyond the possibility of doubt. Everything connected with this novel departure was, however, so unlike the surroundings and accessories of the old trade that the making of silk hats was virtually a new industry, and necessitated the special training of the workmen engaged in it. Mr. Bennett, having the real interests of the trade and the whole community at heart, and being quite free from mercenary motives, taught his new process in all its details to a large number of men, and gave them perfect and unrestricted liberty to disseminate the art wherever they chose. Thus Mr. John F. Bennett became a benefactor to hatters everywhere, and it is small wonder that his name is revered in the trade, both at home and abroad. Under his successors the house of Lincoln, Bennett & Co. has pursued a career of uninterrupted progress and prosperity, and stands to-day at the head of the English hat trade. This firm have achieved, unprecedented fame in the making of all kinds of high-class hats, and their productions exemplify the very perfection of the industry in design, finish, style, and quality of material. Especially, of course, do they excel in the making of the silk hat, which represents the aristocracy of headgear, and which is the “hall-mark” of respectability in every civilised land.

The silk hats produced by Messrs. Lincoln, Bennett & Co. are par excellence in every essential feature of genuine merit, and it would be superfluous to attempt in these pages any accentuation of the world-wide reputation they enjoy. Messrs. Lincoln, Bennett & Co. have gained altogether exceptional distinction in the trade they so worthily represent. They are hatters by special appointment to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, H.R.H. the Princess of Wales, and all the other members of the Royal Family; also to his Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Germany, and to the King of Denmark, the King of Sweden, and the King of Greece. At all the great exhibitions of the world at which they have shown their wares they have carried, off highest honours, including gold medals at Paris in 1878 and 1889, and similar awards at Philadelphia, Sydney, Melbourne, Calcutta, London, and Adelaide. The influence of this premier firm is international and the whole world takes its fashions in high-class silk and felt hats from the elegant and artistically modelled specimens displayed each season in the windows at the corner of Sackville Street and Piccadilly. Every hat made by Messrs. Lincoln, Bennett & Co. is carefully designed to suit some particular style of head, and in making hats to order this firm also take into consideration all peculiarities of visage and feature in the customer, thus producing a perfect ensemble and demonstrating that high-class hat-making is undoubtedly entitled to be termed an art.

The firm’s factories are situated in Nelson Square, Blackfriars Road, S.E., and give employment to hundreds of hands. These works are splendidly equipped for the purposes of the trade, and turn out an average of about 300,000 hats annually. Many of these are, of course, for the home trade, but many thousands of them are also for foreign markets, and are distributed throughout the world by the firm’s numerous agents in every quarter of the globe. One order recently completed was for no less than for 1,900 hats. We need not dwell upon the fact that Messrs. Lincoln, Bennett & Co. devote their attention exclusively to the production of hats of the very first quality; but mention ought to be made of their department for ladies’ hats, in which great success has been achieved. This department is entirely for bona-fide hats for ladies’ wear, including all descriptions of riding and walking hats.

The firm’s headquarters in Sackville Street and Piccadilly form one of the best-known and most celebrated business establishments in the West End. The spacious and commodious, premises are very handsomely appointed throughout, and contain a stock of great variety and magnitude, comprising superior hats of every description for fashionable wear. There are separate show-rooms, with female attendants, for ladies’ hats, and all the arrangements for the reception of customers are most complete. This establishment is patronised by the Royal Family, the nobility, and the elite of society in London and the counties. The sound policy and honourable methods that have always distinguished the conduct of this representative business continue to be closely adhered to by the present proprietory, and the administration is marked by every feature calculated to preserve the high reputation and prestige of a house whose name has become indissolubly identified with the growth, progress, and improvement of hat manufacture in England.


AMONG the busiest and most successful commercial undertakings of Mayfair must be mentioned the large and important establishments so favourably known in this aristocratic neighbourhood as Hayward’s Stores. It is now about ten years since Mr. Hayward opened the first of these establishments, and during that period he has steadily increased the volume of his business, and extended its scope, until he now has four fine shops in full operation, all within a stone’s throw of each other, the last of the number having been added about a year ago. Each of these shops represents a specified section of Mr. Hayward’s very comprehensive business, and is associated with one or more of the twenty departments into which that business is divided. Thus, groceries and provisions, including wines, spirits, and bottled beers, are supplied from Nos. 12 and 14, Shepherd’s Street; ironmongery, glass, china, earthenware, cutlery, and electroplate, from No. 1, Shepherd’s Street; brushes, turnery, mats, matting, toilet articles, and household and stable requisites, from No. 13, Shepherd’s Market; and stationery, fancy goods, perfumery, drugs, patent medicines, cigars, and cigarettes, from Nos. 12 and 14, Shepherd’s Street. The meat department is a special feature of this comprehensive business, and is most ably managed. A very large stock of the best qualities of meat is constantly held in readiness to meet the demands of customers, and the facilities possessed for maintaining this in the best condition are excellent.

The several shops are well organised for business purposes, admirably appointed, and possessed of every facility for the transaction of a very extensive trade. In their respective departments they contain stocks of great magnitude and variety, and it is the rule of these prosperous establishments (and doubtless the secret of their prosperity) that all articles sold are of the best and most reliable quality. The business in its entirety is conducted upon “stores” principles, inasmuch as it supplies first-class goods at moderate prices. It is a rapidly growing concern, and enjoys the support and confidence of a large and steadily increasing connection in the West End. Mr. Hayward personally superintends the routine of each department, and by his watchful management ensures the satisfaction of all his patrons. “Hayward’s Stores” form a fine example of a modern general emporium, and are a monument to the energy and enterprise of their esteemed proprietor.


ESTABLISHED at Paris in the year 1883, at Boulevard Malesherbes 29, and with a branch depot at Brussels, 8, Rue St. Jean, and at Nice, 5, Rue Garnier, this enterprising house made its advent in London about two years ago, by opening their elegant show-rooms in Wigmore Street. The modus operandi of the house may be explained in but a very few words as follows: At their headquarters in Paris, they employ a staff of no less than three hundred cunning needlewomen, who skilfully produce by hand, in the much-admired Russian cross stitch, and in the flat forms of embroidery invented by the firm, and called by them “Moldavian” and “Bulgarian,” a vast, varied, and exceedingly beautiful series of the firm’s original mosaic designs, upon fabrics of all kinds, which are fashioned into tea cloths, table covers, sideboard cloths, table centres, toilet covers, towels, counterpanes, curtains, sofa backs, cot covers, nightdress cases, comb and brush bags, sofa cushion covers, tea cosies, work bags, antimacassars, dessert d’oyleys, splashers, covers for sofa rugs, in a variety of widths, ladies’ lawn tennis and Russian aprons, children’s dresses, pinafores, and dinner bibs; infant’s nursery jackets, head flannels, three-quarter dresses, &c. All the cottons and silks used in the production of the interesting specialities of this house are guaranteed to stand washing; the linens, also, are of the very best quality. The embroideries above mentioned are not only kept in stock in their complete state, but they can be supplied to ladies who prefer to work them themselves, prepared in the most simple manner. A complete selection of these goods, most tastefully displayed in the show windows and shops, is always en evidence, and since their introduction have taken amazingly. The business seems daily to grow apace under the admirable system adopted; and it is manifestly Messrs. Friedberger’s resolution that the brilliant reputation they have already won shall stand but as an earnest of increased effort and augmented success in time to come.


THE superiority of Hungarian over all other flours, and of breads made from blends of those flours over all other varieties of the “staff of life” is now so universally known and generally admitted as to require no further word of recommendation in this place. The honour of bringing this bread, and the delicate pastry made from choice Hungarian flour prominently before the notice of the dwellers in the metropolis, belongs in a very large degree to the celebrated company whose rise and progress furnish the theme of the present brief historical sketch. Starting many years ago at No. 221, Regent Street, the company soon had to open No. 124, Regent Street, W., and to remove from 221 to more extensive premises, No. 215. The commercial progress of the company, under the vigorous policy of management adopted, has been simply amazing, and they have consequently found it imperative to make extensions by the opening of branch depots at 215, Regent Street, W., and 41, Old Bond Street, W. All these establishments are arranged on the Continental Cafe-Restaurant system, luxuriously appointed for the service of tea, coffee, chocolate, and light refreshments, with every convenience for the comfort of both ladies and gentlemen, the attendance being unexceptional and the charges moderate. A very considerable business, moreover, is done amongst the leading West End families, clubs, and hotels, in Hungarian bread and patisserie, while as to confections, bonbonnieres, and the like, in dainty boxes, the Company do a very brisk business all the year round, which at Christmas, Easter, and other festive seasons becomes simply enormous. The large and essentially high-class patronage accorded continuously to the house for so many years, speaks far more eloquently than any mere words can do in support of the high excellence of all their productions, and the constant support accorded to their cafes, which stand unrivalled in the West End, bears ample testimony to the high efficiency of the management, and unquestionably reflects nothing but the highest credit upon all those who are in any way concerned with the administration of its affairs.


MR. KLEIN first founded his popular and fashionable establishment in the year 1875, and his artistic skill and taste having quickly become widely known he has since enjoyed a very valuable reputation as one of the leading court coiffeurs. His spacious and elegant saloons are very completely and luxuriously fitted, and the sanitary arrangements are perfect. The establishment is supported by the warm and appreciative favour of a very extensive and influential connection among the ladies of the court, the. leading actresses of the day, and the principal members of the fashionable society of the metropolis, Mr. Klein’s skilful services being greatly in request on the occasions of the drawing-rooms, and other important social functions, as well as for balls, theatres, soirees, &c. Mr. Klein is the inventor and sole proprietor of a “hair lotion” which has been found a valuable specific and is very largely used, while his “Harema” is a most delightful face powder of which all ladies who have used it speak in the highest terms of praise.

It is, however, principally in connection with his great scientific discovery, the “Electro-prophylactic Hair-brush,” that Mr. Charles Klein’s name has attained a worldwide celebrity. This is a simple-looking brush, well made and finished, the outer part being of the best bristles, while the central portion is oval and made of metallic wires, ingeniously connected with the wires of an electric battery, which is entirely of Mr. Klein’s invention. The handle of the companion wire is placed in the hand of the person to be treated, and thus when the brush touches the head the electric circuit is completed, and as it is passed lightly over the hair a gentle, pleasing, and soothing application of electricity results which is entirely free from any disagreeable shock. Mr. Klein is one of our foremost authorities on the treatment of the hair, and he has published, under the title of “Electricity and Hairdressing,” a most interesting pamphlet which is a resume of a lecture he delivered at a meeting of the Hairdressers’ Guild at St. James’s Hall in 1882. He also won the first prize, a gold and silver cross, at the. Hairdressers’ International Exhibition in 1882, and a gold medal for inventions, Paris, 1892. Mr. Charles Klein, who is admirably assisted in the direction of the “Maison de Paris” by Madame Klein, is noted for his courteous and painstaking attention to all who entrust their hirsute adornments to his skilled care, and he is personally greatly esteemed by his fashionable clientele.


ELIGIBLY located in Duke Street, Manchester Square, W., but three doors distant from Wigmore Street, and ergo in the very centre of the most noted hunting-ground for connoisseurs and collectors of fine art treasures, this famous depot, which was opened in the year 1880 by its present able and enterprising proprietor, may, in spite of the glut of common Japanese goods now in the market, be regarded as unique among the fine art institutions of the metropolis, by reason of the special character of its exclusively high-class goods, which have been collected together by dint of untiring energy, perseverance, and the outlay of a large capital by Mr. Sparks; and doubtless the most effectual way in which to indicate the true character, scope, and aims of the undertaking would be to give a concise account of some of the superb series of goods there exhibited for sale, as typical of the general stock-in-trade. Here may be seen elegant vases of surpassing beauty, in red lacquer work, marked £75 each; copper enamelled vases, at £100 per pair; chaste bronzes, cunningly carved ivory, exquisite examples of pottery, magnificent cabinets of carved woods in gold lac, inlaid with carved ivory, mother-of-pearl, jade, &c., in the panels, some of the most handsome of which are valued at prices ranging from £100 to £500 each; and a vast variety of charmingly fashioned screens of different sizes, of which one recherche specimen, a chef-d’oeuvre, and the life-long labour of a talented Japanese artist, is valued at £2,000 sterling, and merits more than a passing review in this place.

The screen is composed of four panels, richly wrought, with carved figures of ivory, mother-of-pearl, jade, &c., on a gold lacquered ground, successively representing:— (1) The Empress of Japan in her state carriage, with attendants. (2) The Goddess Benten, who, according to the mythopoeic belief of the Japanese, is popularly identified with Wisdom, Learning, and Music, and is shown holding a single-stringed Koto, the emblem of Harmony. She is also always depicted as wearing a crown bearing the figure of a “Toni,” or Shinto temple gateway, and resting on a dragon. (3) “Susano,” the legendary lore concerning whom has it that Susano-no-Mikoto, the impetuous male, was the son of Izanagi, the creator of the sun and moon, the world, and all that appertains thereto. He was banished from Heaven for behaving in a highly unbecoming manner to the Sun goddess, and then descended to earth and founded the dynasty of Idzumo, in Japan, where, as portrayed on the screen, he performed the Perseus-like feat of rescuing the fair Kushinada from the jaws of an eight-headed dragon, having previously enticed the great beast to drink freely of sake, out of eight jars which he placed before it; and then plucking a sword from its tail cut off its several heads. This sword is still shown at the Temple of Atsusa, in the province of Owari, and forms one of the three sacred relies of Japan. (4) The last panel is decorated with a scene from the legend of Kiku-Jido. Kiku-Jido was a favourite of the Emperor (947 B.C.); but having one day offended court etiquette by touching the Emperor’s pillow with his feet, he was condemned to exile. The Emperor, however, had taught him a magic sentence received from the Goddess Benten, the utterance of which ensured protection from evil, and conferred the gift of long life. Jido, while in his exile on the mountain, was visited by the presence of the goddess, who inspired him with poetry, and, to while away his solitude, he wrote some stanzas on the leaves of a chrysanthemum, and then let them float away down the Stream. In time they floated to the capital, where they were discovered, and reached the Emperor, who, amazed at the beauty of the poetry, caused him to be pardoned, and brought back to his home and friends.

From what has been stated it will readily be gathered that Mr. Sparks’ collection of rarities from the land of the most grotesque artists on earth; is one of unusual interest and quite exceptional value, and it is not, therefore, surprising to find that he draws his patronage exclusively from the cultured classes of society, who come to his depot from all parts of the kingdom, assured of being able to secure genuine goods of value, ad to meet with the most courteous reception and prompt attention.


IT was about the year 1782 that the celebrated Genevois, M. Aime Argand, invented the hollow-wicked oil-lamp which bears his name, and which achieved such rapid fame that, ever a century ago, he came to London and founded the house whose business operations furnish the theme of the present review. Argand was joined in partnership with Mr. Bright, who ultimately succeeded to the sole control of £he concern, which is now under the direction of his sons. The premises are eligibly situated, occupying a prominent corner position, with a fine double frontage of plate-glass windows, which are fully availed of for a very grand display. The large and substantial building rises to an elevation of four floors and is entirely devoted to the warehousing of a very varied and valuable stock, specimens from which are exhibited in the show-rooms, and which include every form of duplex, safety, moderator, indicator, and other modern forms of oil lamps, fashioned as pedestal floor lamps in brass and copper, iron and copper, and polished brass; silver and plated bijou lamps in every style of manufacture, suitable for presents; gimbal ship cabin lamps, hall lanterns, chandeliers, candelabra, wall branches; globes, chimneys, shades, wicks, vestas, &c., in great variety; safety, crystal, colza, sperm, and other high-class lamp oils; and candles of every kind in pure sperm, wax, paraffin, palmatine, and the like. Adjoining these show-rooms and warehouses is the firm’s elaborately equipped factory, where a numerous staff of skilled and experienced hands is employed, not only in the work of production of the numerous commodities indicated, but in repairs of every kind. From its earliest days the firm have enjoyed the patronage of the leading West End families; they, moreover, contract for the careful lighting at balls and evening parties in either town or country; and send their lamps and other productions not only all over the United Kingdom, but to every quarter of the globe.


THIS firm established their business in London about twelve years ago as importers of foreign produce, particularly French and Italian, and by directly representing some of the leading houses in France and Italy, with all the facilities of supply that such a connection commands, have, in the comparatively brief period of their establishment, acquired a commercial position of very high repute. For the ordinary purposes of their wholesale trade Messrs. Costa have a capital base in their handsome premises in Ryder Street, and convenient storage at the Thames side for the larger demands of their import business. As Italians, in constant touch with the Italian market, it goes without, saying that their knowledge of the resources of Italy is of the most intimate character, and they are thus enabled to bring the best of Italian produce to English buyers. They are, without doubt, the largest sellers of preserved Italian vegetables in England, and their “Vesuvio” and “Monogram” brands of tinned and bottled fruits are a challenge to all other fruit-preserving countries to surpass, if possible, or at best to equal, the peaches, greengages, egg-plums, cherries, arid other luscious fruits of Italy.

While upon the subject of their “native” specialities, we must not omit to mention the plain and fancy chocolates of Moriondo & Gariglio, of Turin, which for delicacy, purity, and variety excel anything the best French makers turn out. But we are reminded by this that there, is a French side to Messrs. Costa’s business, and here are ranged the best of those luxuries of the table that French gastronomy is most fertile in devising. To those who have travelled in France the name of Messrs; Charles Teyssonneau fils, of Bordeaux, must revive recollections: of many an appetising snack and dainty hors d’oeuvres, and to such it will be a message of comfort to learn that Messrs. Costa are the sole agents in the United Kingdom for that celebrated firm, and that through them any of their articles de luxe may be had for the ordering.

The name of their luncheon pic-nic, and dessert dainties is legion, and includes the most delicate sardines in every known form of preservation, boneless, au citron, aux truffes, au beurre, a la tomate, &c., &c.; puree de foie gras, sardine paste, and the finest selected fruit in syrup. The celebrated Strasburg pates de foie gras of Louis Henry and Louis Hafner also find their medium of introduction to the British public in Messrs. Costa, and the monogram of the firm is at once the brand and seal of guarantee upon all that is best of French truffles and vegetables of every preserved kind. Last but not least, there is an unique speciality of this firm in their “Princess Plum Pudding.” Made from the recipe of a leading English chef, and packed in tins for indefinite preservation, it is, with its very simple preparation, not only a ready-made luxury for the table at home, but is especially and admirably suited, for shipment to India and the Colonies, where it has spread many an English, table in the wilderness by its perfect reproduction of the flavour of the richest home-made article.


This representative house was originally projected under its present style and title upwards of a century ago by Mr, Thomas, whose successors, following upon the lines initiated by the founder, have developed the concern into one of the most prosperous and progressive institutions of its kind in the West End of London, arid count among their patrons T.R.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales, T.I.M. the Czar and Czarina, arid many other exalted personages, their ordinary trade being cultivated principally amongst the aristocracy and wealthy classes of both town and country. Their premises, which are most eligibly situated in a commanding position, are in perfect keeping with the high-class character of the business carried on, and are constituted by a spacious elegantly fitted shop, grandly fitted up with large show-cases to hold and display a superb stock of great volume, variety, and value. The stock comprises everything incidental to the trade, being particularly rich in gold and silver plate, of elaborate workmanship, presentation plate, handsome artistic clocks and bronzes, gem jewellery and bijouterie of every description, and so forth. The great basement is reserved for strong rooms, in which a very large and valuable stock is always deposited, while the perfectly equipped workshops, where all kinds of repairs and special orders are attended to by expert crafts¬men, is located at the rear. Messrs. Thomas & Co. hold a position of prominence among the leading firms engaged in the trade they so well and thoroughly exemplify, and their valuable business, which increases both rapidly and substantially, has attained a condition which reflects the greatest credit upon the personal energy, ability, and talent that promote its development.


The production of perfumes of the rarest fragrance and toilet requisites of exclusively the best quality must not be sought for amongst the vast manufacturing houses who are able at short notice to supply the million, but rather amongst those firms who have made it their life-long study to supply the few, and where actual expense takes rank only as a secondary consideration — and such is the character of the above select house. Dating back in its foundation to the good old days of one hundred and thirty years ago, when the business was inaugurated by Mr. J, Floris, the commercial development of the concern became so rapid, that it early attracted royal recognition. Mr. Floris’s direct descendants now constitute the personnel of the house which still enjoys the favour of the throne, a special appoint-ment to Her Majesty the Queen having been ratified in 1885, and a large and continuously increasing patronage having been drawn from the leading social circles of both town and country. The firm’s premises in Jermyn Street are on a par with the high-class character of its patronage. They are appointed throughout in the most superb manner, and tastefully stocked with a very choice selection of perfumes, toilet waters, soaps, solid tortoiseshell combs, specialities in tooth and hair brushes, toilet and bath sponges, and kindred articles, all of which may be said to be unsur¬passable for quality, and no higher tribute can be paid to the managerial ability of the proprietors, than the, record of the fact that they have preserved in the most adequate manner all the creditable traditions of this old and representative house, and contributed conspicuously, to the continuous enhancement of reputation that has marked the later years of its: long and successful career.


Dating back in its foundation to upwards of a century ago, the commer¬cial development of the concern has throughout its long career been simply marvellous; and to-day it has reached the pinnacle of its fame, its list of Royal and distinguished patrons being perhaps more complete than, that of any other house of the kind in the world. Messrs. R. Thomas and Son hold drafts of special appointment to the late Prince Consort, H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, H.R.H. the Duke of Edinburgh, T.R.H. the Duke and Duchess of Connaught, H.I.M. the Emperor of Russia, T.I.M. the Emperor and Empress of Austria, and to the Royal Families of England, France, Germany, Russia, and Portugal. The premises occupied accord in character with the Splendid patronage enjoyed. They consist of a sumptuously appointed salon, at the corner of Jermyn Street and St. James Street, S. W., in which are displayed patterns of all the latest and most fashionable boots and shoes, faultless in quality, material, style and workmanship, and suitable for all occasions, from the daintiest ball-room slipper to the heaviest military boot. No stock is kept, all goods being specially manufactured to order. There is every facility for the convenience of customers for being measured and fitted. It must be mentioned that the firm entered into competitions upon only two occasions, viz., at the Great Exhibition of ’51, and at the Paris Exhibition of 1857, and upon each of these occasions they carried off the medal of the highest award. Their trade, very largely developed in military boots and spurs, extends to every quarter of the globe; and their goods are in as high demand in the Continent, India, and the Colonies, as they are in London and the United Kingdom generally amongst the aris¬tocracy and upper classes of the community. A very large staff of exclu¬sively skilled craftsmen is regularly employed upon the premises, the seasons making but a slight difference to their well-established trade; and the entire business is conducted in a manner and upon principles which reflect the highest credit upon the administrative abilities and business acumen of its worthy proprietor.


Connoisseurs and collectors of old and rare prints, and the modern beauties of pictorial art as illustrated by high-class engravings and choicely coloured photographs, have long made Piccadilly a favourite hunting-ground from which to capture their coveted treasures on account of the numerous specially qualified expert dealers there located, prominent amongst whom stands Mr. Albert, Wilson, the successor to a business which has been carried on in his family for close upon a century. Mr. Wilson’s premises are characteristically neat and artistically appointed, and in every point of character and situation exactly adapted to the select trade carried on. He has gained a well-merited renown, which extends to all parts of the world, for his ability and perspicacity as a collector; whilst as a practical colourist in both oil and water colours of photographs and engravings (in which art he gives lessons) he stands unsurpassed in London of to-day. Subsidiary to this business Mr. Wilson operates on a large scale as a mounter of pictures and a manufacturer of picture frames of every description, devoting the most careful and competent attention to the designing of frames to suit the individual wants of artists and others. In short, his business is a conspicuous example of substantial success worthily achieved, and all its characteristics are those of a house whose nature has been influenced and whose methods have been formed by a constant connection with an essentially superior class of patrons.


Corset-making and its allied branches of the ladies’ outfitting business is nowhere, perhaps, so perfectly exemplified as in the West End of London, and it would be difficult to indicate a more thoroughly repre¬sentative house, illustrative of the highest modern developments of the craft in question, than the one which, founded exactly three decades ago, is still vigorously sustained in its pre-eminent position by its accomplished proprietress, Miss S. J. Francis. Portman House, as her establishment is called, comprises an elegantly-appointed, show and sale room, in which a charming variety of goods is always most tastefully arranged and displayed. These include corsets of all kinds, for all occasions, principally fashioned upon the premises by expert couturiers and workers, to suit every style of figure. A very large and most carefully selected assort¬ment of corsets and jupons, from the leading French makers, are also en evidence; and ladies’ lingerie and ladies’ outfitting items of every con¬ceivable kind are also heavily stocked. Miss Francis prides herself, very justly, upon the high excellence of all her productions, and deals exclusively in the very best of everything. She has practically led the fashions in her own special department for very many years past, and enjoys one of the best and most aristocratic connections in the. West End, formed entirely in virtue, of the intrinsic merits of all her goods, and the promptitude and courteous care with which she fulfils orders entrusted to her keeping. In this there lies at once the explanation of her contin¬uously prosperous career, and the assurance of an enhanced reputation in time to come.


A business that has been established for nearly a century, and has during a great part of that time been in the hands of the same family, is one eminently worthy of particular mention in these records of the leading and distinguished commercial enterprises in the Metropolis. Such a firm is to be found in that of Messrs. Culverwell, Brooks & Co., the well-known brokers in Colonial and foreign hides, skins, leather, furs, tallow, &c. This is one of the most important businesses of its kind in London, and under able and vigorous management, it is still steadily growing in extent and importance. Premises are occupied at 27, St. Mary Axe, Leadenhall Street, E.C., consisting of a splendid suite of private and general offices, and two well-lighted and commodious sample-rooms, in which are on view, at various times, specimens of the furs and smaller skins on sale. The hides and other goods handled are shown at the firm’s warehouses and store-rooms at Sun & Topping’s Wharves, Bermondsey, S.E. Messrs. Culverwell, Brooks & Co. have established business relations with all parts of the world, and their consignments comprise the very best class of goods in everything they touch. Immense quantities are received, from the best-known markets and most reliable sources of supply, of hides, tanned hides, tanned skins, sheep, goat and rabbit skins, bones, horns, mimosa bark, pelts and kangaroo skins, Australian leather and basils, North American furs, sealskins, opossum skins, tallow, hair, &c. The influence of the firm is widespread and valuable, and their sales, which take place every few days throughout the year at the London Public Sale-rooms, are always well attended, and good prices are secured. All commissions placed in Messrs. Culverwell, Brooks & Co.’s hands are carried out conscientiously and honourably; and all settlements are promptly and satisfactorily met. The partners are business men of sound judgment and marked enterprise, and are the worthy representatives of the important branch of commerce with which they have been so long associated. They occupy a position of considerable prominence in commercial circles, and are respected by all the many that know them for their professional ability, integrity, and personal uprightness.


WITH the aesthetic revival in domestic decoration there has arisen a great demand for mural decorations of a more artistic character than were in vogue thirty years ago. This demand has been admirably met by the well-known firm here noticed. This high-class business was founded in 1862, and is now well known in every quarter of the United Kingdom. The premises of the firm are very centrally situated, opposite Cannon Street Station, where they comprise well-appointed offices, and spacious and well-lighted show-rooms. In the latter are exhibited many very beautiful specimens of mural decorations, including wall-papers of the latest English and Continental designs, Lincrusta Walton, Anaglypta, and other artistic appliances. Beneath the show-rooms is a commodious basement used for storage purposes, and an enormous stock is held, in readiness for all demands. Being themselves manufacturers, and having intimate relations with foreign firms of producers, Messrs. J. & H. Land enjoy special facilities for supplying goods of the very best quality at minimum prices. The firm’s connections lie among leading houses of decorators in all parts of the country.


MORE than two hundred years ago there lived at No. 2, Plough Court, Lombard Street, “an honest merchant, who dealt in hollands wholesale.” This worthy linen-merchant was none other than the father of Alexander Pope, and there, in 1688, was born the talented, though none too good-natured, author of the Dunciad. This event shed a lustre upon Plough Court which will not soon pass away, but things have changed greatly in that historic neighbourhood since the last years of the Stuart period. Pope’s house was demolished in 1872, but long prior to that it had become the headquarters of the old and famous firm of pharmacists, Messrs. Allen, Hanburys, & Barry, and the continuance of this distinguished house in Plough Court has added a new interest to the birthplace of Pope. For the origin of the eminent firm here under notice we have to go back as far as the days of Mr. Silvanus Bevan, who was admitted into the Apothecaries’ Company in 1715. A contemporary directory shows that he and his brother, Timothy Bevan (admitted an apothecary in 1731), were carrying on business in partnership in Plough Court in the year 1736. Thus, for more than a century and a half, the business now conducted under the widely known name of Allen & Hanburys has been inseparably associated with this old-time court.

After the retirement of Silvanus Bevan the business was conducted by Timothy Bevan, who was eventually succeeded by his son, Joseph Gurney Bevan, a man of learning and high mental powers, and the author of several religious works. He, in 1792, took into partnership William Allen, the son of a well-known Quaker silk manufacturer in Spitalfields. The name of Allen, it will be observed, still survives in the present title of the house, and rightly so, as we shall presently see. In 1794 J. G. Bevan retired, and the firm became Mildred & Allen, which partnership lasted for three years. Mr. Mildred then retired (1797), and Mr. Allen was joined by Mr. Luke Howard. Under this capable proprietory, both members of which became Fellows of the Royal Society, the status and prestige of the house were greatly enhanced, and the foundations of its world-wide reputation were securely laid. After ten years Mr. Howard withdrew from the Plough Court establishment, taking over the laboratory which the firm had founded at Stratford, and from this sprang the celebrated manufacturing firm of Messrs. Howards & Sons, universally known for the unrivalled excellence of their quinine. Some years later Mr. Allen, who had continued the business in Plough Court under his own auspices, was joined by an eminent trio of partners — Mr. John Thomas Barry, Mr. Daniel Bell Hanbury, and Mr. Cornelius Hanbury, the latter (who died in 1869 at an advanced age) being the father of Mr. Cornelius Hanbury, the present head of the firm. William Allen died in 1843, having attained a distinguished position in science and Christian philanthropy. He became chemical lecturer at Guy’s Hospital, and was noted as an experimentalist, demonstrating, among other things, that the diamond was pure carbon. He was active as a founder of the Pharmaceutical Society, and its first president; and among his many good works must be mentioned the founding of important agricultural schools at Lindfield, Sussex, where he died. Daniel Hanbury, eldest son of Daniel Bell Hanbury, also a Fellow of the Royal Society, was another distinguished member of this firm, and published in 1874, in connection with Professor Fluckiger, of Strasbourg, the standard work entitled Pharmacographia. He was also the author of several valuable papers in scientific journals.

Coming now to the present proprietory of the house, it is sufficient to say that it adheres with fidelity to every honourable tradition of a firm whose record has been one of unbroken integrity in all its professional and commercial undertakings. The firm, moreover, do not neglect the requirements of modern enterprise. They are always progressive, and in every advance movement of their trade they are found among the leaders. For example, they were pioneers in the manufacture of cod-liver oil, and have two factories on the coast of Norway, where, for many years, they were the only English manufacturers. The purity, efficacy, and palatable quality of the oil they place in the market are universally recognised and appreciated, and the trade controlled in this department is one of great magnitude and importance. Sixteen or seventeen years ago Messrs. Allen & Hanburys took up a prominent position as wholesale druggists, which they have since greatly improved, and during the last ten or twelve years they have made remarkable progress as manufacturers. The firm’s works at Bethnal Green are large and splendidly equipped, and are devoted to the extensive manufacture, of many important specialities. Connected with the works and laboratories are large warehouses, in which immense stocks are kept.

As we have already said, the old house in Plough Court, in which Pope was born, was demolished in 1872. It was, however, immediately rebuilt by Messrs. Allen & Hanburys in a style adapted to the modern requirements of their business, and these spacious and handsomely appointed premises now form one of the finest pharmaceutical establishments in the Kingdom. The dispensing and retail departments have very superior accommodation on the ground floor, and are amply stocked with everything appertaining to a first-class pharmacy. Beneath is a double basement of similar area, occupied as ware-room and storage, and a private telephone connects these premises with the laboratories and warehouse at Bethnal Green. On the right, from the entrance door, are the counting-house and private offices, and suspended in a conspicuous position on the intervening glass partition are preserved the arms of the Apothecaries’ Company, emblazoned on an ancient pane of coloured glass, which the Bevans had placed in the window of the old building, and where it remained unmoved for a century and a half. Mr. Cornelius Hanbury, the present esteemed head of the firm, is also a member of the ancient guild, or Company of Apothecaries. The house of Messrs. Allen & Hanburys, of which a dispensing branch has, in recent years, been established in Vere Street, Cavendish Square, is a grand type of that class of old-established business institutions in which the City of London is so remarkably rich. Its personal associations are uncommonly interesting, and no one can fail to admire the manner in which it has, from generation to generation, maintained its eminent position in the trade of which it is so worthy an exponent*.


PERHAPS the majority of wine consumers and bons vivants at the present day would still be prepared to declare, as did their forefathers in times gone by, that port is the very king of wines — the choicest of all the varied products of the grape. We have it in the words of Dr. Johnson that “port is the wine for men,” and most of us agree with that virile sentiment, despite the modern competition of less potent vintages, and despite the almost total disappearance from our midst of that fine old type of convivial humanity, the “three-bottle man.” The fact that “three (or even two) bottle men” are a rarity at this end of the century might possibly impress some people with the idea that our trade in port wine has fallen off, but to counteract this impression we have only to glance at the operations of such a firm as the one named at the head of the present article, and note how vast their dealings still are in this most important branch of the wine trade. The firm of Messrs. Morgan Brothers have been connected with the trade in port ever since the introduction of that wine into England, for they are successors to the old and celebrated house of Messrs. Dixon, Morgan, & Co., whose name has long been world-famous from its identification with the traffic in Oporto vintages. At the present day Messrs. Morgan Brothers still stand in the forefront of the same great trade; their operations have increased rather than diminished; and their old and time-honoured “Double Diamond” brand of port has lost none of the prestige which long ago gave it a supreme place in the favour of connoisseurs.

We can trace the history of this distinguished house back for more than a century and a half, its origin having been in a small wine business carried on by a Mr. Haughton, at St. John’s Gate, Clerkenwell. It was about that time that port wine first began to attract a large amount of attention in this country, and Mr. Haughton, believing that the then comparatively new wine had a great future ahead of it in England, went direct to Oporto, and started a business there for the shipment of port to London. He was joined by a Mr. Testas, under the firm-name of Testas & Haughton, and considerable success was achieved, which was soon increased by the accession of Mr. Langston, a gentleman of means, to the partnership. The enlarged capital thus secured enabled the house to come rapidly to the front in the trade, and the firm of Langston & Haughton soon became a noted one in wine shipping circles. Mr. Langston (who was a predecessor of the great capitalists of the same name now so well known in Oxfordshire) amassed a large fortune in the port wine trade, and, in conjunction with a Mr. Towgood, afterwards founded a bank. Mr. Towgood was subsequently joined in that enterprise by Samuel Rogers, the poet-banker, and the bank continued as Towgood & Rogers until a few years ago, when it became a joint-stock company. Down to the date of this latter event the house here under notice always banked with Messrs. Towgood & Rogers.

On the retirement of Mr. Haughton the flourishing port wine trade he so successfully founded was continued under the name of Langston & Dixon, and eventually it was carried on for many years by Mr. Dixon and his son. The latter gentleman introduced to the trade the now universally renowned brand of the “Double Diamond.” Seldom has Charles Dickens penned a more characteristic scene than that in “Nicholas Nickleby,” wherein we are introduced to the house of the Brothers Cheeryble, and told how Brother Ned ordered up a “magnum of the Double Diamond to drink the health of Mr, Linkinwater.” We all remember how the two worthy, kind-hearted merchants, with David their butler, expatiate upon the length of time that particular pipe of “Double Diamond” had been “laid down.” Needless to say that the vintage in question was of the famous brand originated by Mr. Dixon, and now supplied only by his successors, Messrs. Morgan Brothers. The first Mr. Morgan entered the firm as a partner of Mr. Dixon, who made one of the largest fortunes ever amassed in the wine trade, and died worth nearly a million sterling. The house then became known as Morgan Brothers, and it retains that title though it is now in the hands of the fourth generation of the Morgan family, the present principals being Mr. Albert C. F. Morgan, Mr. Augustus Morgan, the Hon Ivo Bligh, Mr. Arthur T. Morgan, and Mr. Aaron H. Morgan. These gentlemen divide the administrative duties between them, both in London and abroad, and direct the business in full consistency with its old-time traditions. Mr. Albert C. F. Morgan is resident partner at Oporto, and is a recognised authority on phylloxera and other insects, which do so much damage to the vines, oranges, trees, &c. An instructive paper from his pen on the breeding of winged phylloxera in Portugal was published in January, 1886, in the Portuguese Jornal de Horticultura Practica, This article has since been republished in "pamphlet form, the English translation being by Mr. Thomas Morgan. The last-named gentleman (now retired from the firm) became widely known in connection with archaeological research, and the literature of antiquarian science, of which he was a profound student, has been enriched by several valuable works from his pen.

Reverting to a consideration of Messrs. Morgan Brothers’ business, it may be remarked that this firm are among the largest shippers of port in London. But, although port constitutes their leading speciality, and they have branch houses in connection with this trade at Oporto and in the Douro, they have also an establishment at Port St. Mary, Spain, whence they ship large quantities of the excellent sherries for which they have long had a reputation. As brandy shippers this firm likewise do a very important trade, and act as London agents for the well-known house of Messrs. Planat & Cie., of Cognac. Messrs. Morgan Brothers’ extensive and commodious premises in Trinity Square occupy one of those fine old mansions which recall the days when this was quite a fashionable residential quarter for wealthy city merchants. The spacious offices and sample-rooms at once suggest the importance and good organisation of the business, and a fine general counting-house, with every modern convenience, now occupies the site of what was once an old garden connected with the building. In the private offices of the principals are still carefully preserved old ledgers and documents of the house dating back to the time of the second of the Georges. It goes without saying that large stocks (particularly of port) are held by this notable house; and the supplies are stored in Barber's Bonded Warehouses, Cooper’s Row; and at Fenning’s Wharf. These warehouses are said to be unsurpassed, perhaps unequalled, of their kind in London, and the portion occupied by Messrs. Morgan is additionally interesting in a historical and archaeological sense. Here may be seen the most perfect relic now remaining of the Old London Wall, comprising portions of both the Roman and the Norman periods. A window-like opening in the Norman masonry is unique, being the only remaining port or loophole now known to be intact in any part of the London Wall. In their bonded stores Messrs. Morgan Brothers generally hold a large stock of choice wines, conspicuous among these being a large number bearing the familiar “Double Diamond” brand. The firm are very careful to strictly fulfil the conditions set forth by our most eminent medical authorities as to the maturing of port wine in such a manner as to best meet the requirements of health. The “Double Diamond” port is thus allowed to mature in wood for many years, in order to develop its flavour, softness, and finish. It is then in condition for consumption, and calculated to maintain in every respect the matchless reputation that has been its heritage for so many years. Dixon’s “Double Diamond” is the perfection of port wine, and cannot be excelled for character and purity. In another bonded warehouse on Tower Hill Messrs. Morgan Brothers keep a large and valuable stock of selected brandies. Altogether, this is one of the great representative wine businesses of modern London, and its ramifications may be traced throughout all quarters of the globe. Both at home and in the Colonies the trade controlled is of far more than ordinary magnitude, and wherever their name is known Messrs. Morgan Brothers enjoy the confidence of an old-established and influential connection. Telegrams: “Degaya, London”; Telephone No. 4,135.

37 AND 38, MARK. LANE, E.C.

THE excellent organisation of the eminent wholesale wine and spirit merchants’ business which is conducted by Messrs. D. N. Abbott & Co., of 37 and 38, Mark Lane, renders the house thoroughly representative of the highest class of metropolitan firms engaged in this class of business. The business has been in active existence for upwards of a quarter of a century, and its history throughout that period has been a record of constant and important progress, the result of the thorough technical knowledge possessed by the principals, and of the methods by which they keep in constant touch with their customers and their requirements. Messrs. Abbott & Co. are always able to put before their clients excellent samples of every description of genuine wines and spirits which are sold upon the London market; and their relations with the chief sources of supply are so intimate and extensive that they are enabled to place their customers upon the best possible terms, with reference to quotations. They control a large trade in all parts of the United Kingdom, and possess the unrestricted confidence of a large number of high-class firms. The distinguished position which Messrs. D. N. Abbott & Co. occupy in the London trade is accentuated by the feet that they are the sole agents for the United Kingdom for the world-famous Cognac brandies of Messrs. G. & E. Lefebvre, whose house was founded in 1837, and who stand almost at the head of the list of shippers of French brandies to England. As a matter of absolute statistics, their sales of brandy now occupy the first place in Paris and the third place in the whole of France in the long list of distillers and wholesale merchants as regards quantity, while the standard quality of their brandies is too well known in the trade to require comment here; the fact of their having been awarded four gold medals, including the gold medal and diploma, Paris Exhibition, 1889, for the superiority of their Cognac brandy, will speak for itself, In their capacity as agents for this eminent house Messrs. Abbott & Co. have large dealings with many extensive wholesale houses as their clients. Their premises in Mark Lane comprise a suite of well-appointed general and private offices, which are furnished with all the requisites for the prompt despatch of the large amount of correspondence and other clerical work necessitated by the numerous and important commercial operations of the house at home and abroad. Adjacent is a conveniently furnished sampling-room. As the whole of their transactions are in bulk, their extensive stocks are, of course, always held in bonded warehouses, to the order of their customers.


BOTH as steamship agents and as shippers of the famous wines of Madeira, Messrs. Blandy Brothers & Co. rank among the best-known firms in London, and in the several departments of their business their name is identified with trading operations of much more than ordinary magnitude. It is now over fifty years since this notable house was first founded, and in the early days of its history it came into prominence in connection with general shipping and banking business. The scope of the concern has been extended in later years, and to-day Messrs. Blandy Brothers & Co. are not only very largely interested in shipping matters (being agents for the Union, Castle, Royal Mail, and numerous other lines of steamers), but they also carry on a very large business in supplying with coal all the ships that touch at the islands of Madeira and many of those calling at Grand Canary, having large coal stores at the ports of Funchal and La Luz. In addition to all this the firm are engaged on a very large scale in the Madeira wine trade, and those of our readers who have studied the history of viticulture and wine production in this beautiful island will remember that the name of Blandy has long maintained a close association, with some of the finest of these delicious vintages. The manner in which this reputation was gained by the firm is worthy of some explanation.

The originator of the house of Messrs. Blandy Brothers & Co. went to Madeira during the British occupation of the island (1807-1814), and founded the shipping business which has since been so successfully carried on by the firm. Doubtless considerable business was transacted by the house in its earlier years in the wines of Madeira, which were then in the height of their fame, and stood second to none in the esteem of fashionable society. The “Blandy Madeiras,” however, may be said to have become known under that name in 1851, a year ever memorable in the annals of Madeira as the one in which the disastrous “oidium,” or vine blight, made its appearance in the island with terrible, effect. The devastation caused by this plague almost entirely ruined the vine-growers of Madeira, but at the same time it impressed the then principal of the house of Blandy with the conviction that Madeira wines would be a profitable investment, in view of the great falling off in the supply. That gentleman (the late Mr. Charles R. Blandy, son of the founder of the firm) accordingly bought up all the old stocks he could obtain, and thus laid the nucleus of the renowned collection of Madeira vintages which has since borne the name of the “Blandy Madeiras.” The energy displayed by the late. Mr. Blandy in gathering these choice wines together may be understood when we say that, at his death in 1879, the firm’s stock of Madeiras was estimated at five thousand pipes, the value exceeding £200,000. These wines are stored in Messrs. Blandy’s interesting old cellars at Funchal, where they have a very large space at their disposal for the accommodation of a stock which, is truly unique of, its kind. But Mr. Charles R. Blandy did not rest content with buying up all the fine old-time Madeiras he could lay his hands on. He had an unfailing hope in the future of the island vintages, and was always firmly convinced that, the vine would once more be made to flourish in Madeira, and that its produce would again become one of the favoured wines of fashion. Towards this end he worked indefatigably, offering high premiums for the crops, subsidising the growers, and buying great quantities of their produce from season to season. His efforts were not in vain, and, though he hardly lived to see his hopes fulfilled, it was very soon after his death that the tide of public opinion once more turned in favour of Madeira wines. The production of bad imitations in Continental vineyards, and the palming off of these spurious wines as genuine Madeiras, had created a prejudice in England against the real article which was with difficulty overcome. Then, again, an attack of the phylloxera in 1873 opposed a new obstacle to the resuscitation of Madeira vine-growing which only the wise and united action of the vignerons could have surmounted. At the present day the industry is recovering its lost ground rapidly, and the public are drinking more Madeira than they have done for many years past.

All this is a matter for congratulation to the house of Messrs. Blandy Brothers & Co., who have had much to do with the revival of the trade, and who are largely depended upon for a reliable supply of the rare old Madeiras in which their immense stock is so rich. With great wisdom and foresight the present firm have held this old and valuable stock to meet demands for vintages laid down prior to 1851, and the increasing trade they are now doing in these wines amply attests the accuracy of their judgment. There is not a more honest wine in existence than a really good Madeira, and Messrs. Blandy Brothers & Co. hold some of the most perfect examples of the several growths of the island, notably the rich and generous “Boal,” the dry and delicate flavoured “Sercial,” and the peculiarly sweet “Malmsey” or “ Malvoisie” of ancient fame. There is also the celebrated “London Particular,” with an English reputation of nearly a hundred years’ standing, and the fine wine grown upon the mountain slopes of “Cama de Lobos.” Madeira wines have a special medicinal character, being very beneficial to dyspeptic persons, who cannot always drink sherry on account of the acidity it produces. They abound in natural salts and saccharine, and are unsurpassed for soft character and long-keeping qualities. In short, they possess every characteristic which should ensure lasting popularity among wine drinkers, and it is particularly gratifying to note their steady advance in public favour at the present day. Counterfeit Madeiras unfortunately are still often met with, but the trade can avoid them by entrusting their business to Messrs. Blandy Brothers & Co., whose integrity is well known, and whose wines obtained a high award at the Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition in 1876.

Besides operating so extensively as, Madeira shippers, coal contractors, steamship agents, and general import and export merchants, Messrs. Blandy Brothers & Co. do a large amount of business in various departments of the wine trade, and are agents for the following noted firms:- Hooper Brothers, Oporto; J. J. V. Vegas & Co., Jerez de la Frontera; Henriot & Co., Rheims; M. G. Yriarte, Port St. Mary; Meyer & Coblenz, Bingen-on-the-Rhine; and Dubos Freres, Bordeaux. The celebrated “Big Tree” brand of Californian wines is also included among their numerous specialities. The connection of this well-known and influential firm is world-wide, and its high commercial reputation and prestige are admirably maintained by the present principals, the head of the house being a grandson of the founder, and a thorough master of all the details of the comprehensive trade with which the name of Blandy has been so long and so honourably associated.
Telegraphic addresses: “Blandy, Madeira”; “Blandy, Las Palmas”; “Blandy, London.”


AMONG the representative wholesale firms engaged in the grocery, spice, wine, and tea trades of London there is none of higher standing, and probably none of older establishment, than that of Messrs. Samuel Hanson, Son & Barter, of Botolph Lane. This eminent house dates its history as far back as the year 1747, and was founded on the site of its present premises, Messrs. S. Hanson, Son & Barter are one of the largest wholesale dealers in the City in tea coffee, sugar, fruit, spices, and canned goods trade. The operations of this firm are conducted upon a large scale, as may be inferred from the fact that they employ upwards of five hundred hands all told, and have no fewer than sixty travellers on the road. In their spacious counting-house which is lighted by electricity, fully two hundred clerks are employed, and every member of this exceptionally large staff has his special duty to perform in the wonderful routine of the business.


To the promoters of the world-famed and prosperous organisation named at the head of this brief sketch is due that remarkable outcome of ingenuity and scientific skill whereby timekeepers of acknowledged excellence have, by the manipulation of machinery, been made available to the public on terms much beneath those which for many years rendered the acquisition of watches prohibitive to all but the most affluent. No undertaking has borne more creditably the reverses with which its earlier operations were assailed, and none certainly has acquired a greater hold upon public faith and reliance than the Waltham Watch Company. In common with those concerns whose records contribute wondrous interest to the history of British and American industry the Waltham business has evolved from small beginnings, and that with results that are nowadays practically immeasurable, and the greater development of which is already prominently and satisfactorily indicated.

The nucleus of the undertaking was actually formed at Waltham some thirty-five or forty years ago by a firm, whose names were Dennison, Howard, and Davis. Lack of sufficient capital prevented this enterprising trio from proceeding with the Smoothness they had expected, and the extreme vicissitudes of the industry were graphically portrayed in an address delivered some years ago by Mr. R. E. Robbins, one of the pioneers of watch-making, and who had an early and important connection with the concern, to which — as those familiar with its more recent records know — he rendered veteran service. With almost unparalleled determination the promoters of the Company, with many financial difficulties ahead, pursued their vocation vigorously in the quadrangle of four little mud buildings, then dignified by the name of “Factory;” and on such slender foundations was the now extensive Waltham watch-making industry laid. Against the strongly expressed prejudices of those who could not acknowledge the immense service which machinery was bringing to bear upon this class of work the Company operated bravely, and when the tide of adversity had reached its fullest there instantly sprang up a most agreeable reverse, and the successes which have almost continuously followed have demonstrated with gratifying clearness that the Waltham watches were “the children of adversity.” Even the trade paralysis caused by the American War had only a temporary effect upon the smooth progress of the Company. In one year the Company declared dividends to the amount of 190 per cent., and though envious firms endeavoured to imitate the methods of the Waltham Company the secret mechanism of their watches could only be divulged by what Mr. Robbins facetiously termed “a burglarious visit to Waltham.” The most sanguine predictions have been over-reached in the great magnitude of the firm’s output, approximating, it is believed, to some two thousand watches a day. The Factory at Waltham has assumed enormous outgrowth. Its general appearance is appropriate to its position as a centre of surpassing industrial importance, and to the visitor to Waltham it presents even more of the aspects of a great educational institution than of a mammoth structure enclosing an industry which throbs with the operations of two thousand nine hundred hands. Nor is the Factory — especially in the rear portion —wanting in impressions of the picturesque, to which the proximity of the water contributes, and there is everything to justify its commanding importance as the source and origin of the best timekeepers in the world.

Since the introduction, of the Waltham watches into England in 1872 they have created the natural sensation to be expected from timekeepers of rare merit procurable at the minimum of cost beyond production. With qualifications confirmed by exhibition awards at Philadelphia, Paris, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Liverpool, and New Orleans, the Waltham watches have caught the public fancy in a manner which nothing but real intrinsic superiority can induce. Of the celebrated “Riverside” Keyless Watch the Swiss Commissioner to the Philadelphia Exhibition said: “I am completely overwhelmed. . . one would not find such a watch among fifty thousand of our manufacture.” The Guards’ Watch has been selected by the Government of India for the State railways, and are largely in use on the most important English and Colonial. The Waltham watches have been found quite insusceptible to the most powerful electric influences, and for exportation and surveying purposes manifest a remarkable endurance. The entire charge of the English and Colonial business is in the hands of Robbins & Appleton (Mr. A. Bedford, Manager), whose establishment in Holborn Circus is very extensive, forming large show and sale rooms and offices on the first floor. It is here that the best illustrations of the diversity and unique excellence of the firm’s work are most attractively illustrated, and the almost incomprehensible range of designs in watches constitutes an example of the versatility of the Company’s industry, and the manner in which the needs of every class have been anticipated.


EVER since 1745, when the above firm was founded by Mr. Francis Newton, it has held a position of the highest distinction in the City of London, while in Funchal, the capital of Madeira, it has occupied a place of supremacy such as could belong only to a house which, as a rule, ships something like half the wine grown in the island. After 1748, when Mr. Newton was joined in partnership by Mr. M. Spence, the titles of the firm became, successively, Newton & Spence, Newton & Gordon, Newton, Gordon & Johnston, Newton, Gordon & Murdoch, Newton, Gordon, Murdoch & Co., Newton, Gordon, Murdoch & Scott, Newton, Gordon, Murdoch & Co., Newton, Gordon, Cossart & Co., and finally, since 1861, Cossart, Gordon & Co. Mr. Thomas Gordon became a member of the firm in 1758, and at least one Gordon continued in it down to 1857. The time-honoured name is still maintained in one of the praenomina of Mr. Webster Gordon Cossart, one of the present partners. The name of Webster first occurs in the annals of the firm in regard to Mr. J. D. Webster Gordon, who was a member from 1802 till 1850. Mr. William Cossart (senior), who brought that now famous name into the firm, dates from 1809 till 1823. This gentleman was grand-uncle to the present partners — Mr. Leland Crosthwait Cossart, Mr. Webster Gordon Cossart, and Mr. Charles J. Cossart, Mr. Webster Gordon Cossart being in charge of the London business of the firm, at their well-known house in Mark Lane.

The written records of the firm are full of interesting reading. Two bills of lading, for example, exist, drawn in 1780, for the shipment of three hundred and two hundred pipes of Madeira, respectively, by the ships Russel and Two Sisters to America; and one, dated 1793, for one hundred and twenty pipes, by the ship Providence, to His Majesty’s Commissary-General at Barbadoes. It is unnecessary to repeat in this place the well-known story of the blight in Madeira, which would for ever have destroyed its reputation and trade as a wine-growing island but for the large stocks held by a few firms, of which Messrs. Cossart, Gordon & Co. naturally ranked first, and for the energy which they exhibited in maintaining the high reputation of Madeira. It is needless to say that the wine has now, for many years, regained all its excellent qualities, and the shipments of the firm have been proportionately large. Messrs. Cossart, Gordon & Co. have enormous stores at Funchal, having a total superficial area of 118,992 feet. The stocks, which of late years have become very large, as a consequence of the magnificent vintages, include the rarest brands, which have made the reputation of the firm throughout the world. They are represented in every quarter of the globe, and have more than forty agencies in Europe alone. Their trade is entirely a wholesale one, and is conducted through the leading wine merchants of the United Kingdom and elsewhere.


No series of descriptive notices of the drug and chemical industries of London would be complete that did not include the house of Messrs. Burroughs, Wellcome & Co., the world-renowned manufacturing chemists, who have developed a business in new pharmaceutical products which are a considerable addition to materia medica and pharmacy, and to the business and profits of the general trade. Indeed, theirs is now a name honourably known in every town, village, and hamlet, not only in the British Isles, but in all quarters of the globe where civilisation and its too frequently accompanying ills have penetrated. We might go further, and say that no firm, either of this or any other country, has attained such celebrity among the exponents of modern pharmacy as the one which, under the style of Burroughs, Wellcome & Co., has during the past dozen years introduced to professional favour so many preparations of drugs and chemicals, in compressed and concentrated forms undreamt of by pharmacists of the past.

This firm has its headquarters, ware-house, and offices in the substantial and elegant line of buildings on Holborn Viaduct, London, which end at the top of Snow Hill. It is the commanding corner site, and is known as Snow Hill Buildings. This building, in the form of a semicircle, is constructed of red brick, now somewhat toned by age and London smoke, and relieved by stone facings and pillars of Peterhead granite, with capitals, frieze, and galleries elaborately carved, altogether making a handsome edifice, which for artistic beauty and excellent interior arrangements is extremely unique. It consists of seven floors in all. The firm’s works are at Dartford, a view of which we give in the accompanying plate. After a disastrous fire which completely burned down their works at Wandsworth, they purchased the new premises at Dartford, near London. The improvements carried out on these immense premises cost no less than £25,000. The buildings and surroundings in their present state have both charmed and astonished all who have seen them.

There are ten distinct buildings, four of which are shown in our plate. These are utilised for general manufacturing laboratories, “Tabloids,” malt extract, bottling, packing, shipping, &c., &c., departments; the principal building constituting the general laboratories has an internal floor measurement of one hundred and ten feet by forty-five feet. We are unable to give a detailed description of every part of these elaborate works; suffice it to say, everything has been done in the best possible manner, the machinery and apparatus being of the latest and best patterns. Says The Chemist and Druggist:— “Among the exponents of modern pharmacy, no firm in this or any other country has acquired a more world-wide reputation than the one which, under the style of Burroughs, Wellcome & Co., has become familiar to every reader of these pages within the last ten years. We have a number of old-fashioned friends (who will, we hope, be ever with us) to whom the new-fangled notions of this corner of the nineteenth century are an abomination and a terror, and to whom these pharmaceutical strivings after novelty and perfection in the manipulation of the raw material of the medical armoury have an odour of anything but scientific sanctity. Enterprise in pharmacy is the order of the day. The new generation of medical practitioners are eager for all the aid that skilled pharmacy can give them, and London is the market in which the best men win. Messrs. Burroughs, Wellcome & Co., since their establishment here, have set themselves not only to meet, but rather to anticipate, the demands of the medical profession, and it is fair to say that in carrying out their plans they have acted with the utmost loyalty to their pharmaceutical colleagues. They have found it possible to create an entirely new class of business in what seems to be a sufficiently crowded trade, and they have brought this about by methods and manners sufficiently novel to be worthy of record in these pages.”

The speeches made by the two partners at the opening of the new works are characteristic of these gentlemen, and are of sufficient interest to reproduce a portion of them. Mr. Burroughs amongst other things remarked:— “All he could say was that they had tried to conduct their business on such a basis as would please their customers, and on such a basis as would satisfy the medical profession that they were endeavouring to supply a good article at a fair price. Their business was conducted on correct principles, and the reason why they desired to share part of their profits with their employes was because they deserved it. They had been faithful and attentive, preventing waste, and endeavouring to utilise everything to the best possible advantage. Such employes deserved to have a share in the profits. They would be very glad to extend this system, for mutual benefit, and also the eight-hours system. They believed that human beings were not intended to work all the time God gave them, and they also believed that the earth was intended to be a foretaste of heaven; therefore those who worked had a right to rest and enjoyment.” Mr, Wellcome said:- “In respect to their business, which had been so flatteringly referred to by the various speakers that day, what had been said was very deeply appreciated by both members of the firm. Many had expressed the opinion before this that their firm had grown up like a mushroom, and could not be substantial, growing so rapidly; but the expressions uttered to-day partly corrected this, and the fullest evidence had been given to the world of the stability of their business. Theirs was not a mushroom growth, but though rapidly progressive, it was the result of untiring toil and thought, and every detail in the improvement of their products had been carefully studied. They had made it a point never to issue to the world experiments, but their articles were studied and tested thoroughly before being issued, and little things which many thought grew like the beautiful flowers, had cost them months of study and toil and preparation. He told them this to show that the firm took a deep interest in their business, and that its prosperity was due to something more than advertising, though they had not by any means neglected the use of printer’s ink. Application, toil, and thought were necessary to the institution of any business, but it was only few among many that ever succeeded; and the launching of a business was like the launching of a great ship — one never knew whether there would be success or failure until it had braved the stormy billows, and it was holding the helm through such days that tried men’s souls. He ventured to say that no business had been established in London with more trials or obstacles, but these they had met in a quiet sturdy manner, and the firm were proud of their success. A success it was, and a substantial success, and he thought they might congratulate themselves, and take as sincere the kind and hearty expressions of the several speakers. They were beginning a new era in the occupation of these works; with these increased facilities he hoped for even greater success. He would tell them one of the main secrets of their success: they had put their hearts, souls, and whole affection into this business, and co-operated with their employes, and had won sympathy from them in every step by showing sympathy, and in this way they had mutually reaped benefit. The relationship between the employes and firm had been so cordial that they rarely knew of such a thing as an employe asking for an increase of pay. That was one of the strongest evidences of satisfaction. The employes were always paid liberally and always stood by the firm. As the firm prospered they were united in the fullest desire to share their prosperity with their employes, and the result of this sympathy was mutual satisfaction. The employes regarded the firm’s interests as identical with their own interests, and not only gave mechanical work, but also intelligent thought. If employes were treated simply as machines, mechanical work only can be drawn from them. As to the manner of employes participating in a firm’s success, he was in sympathy with any-reasonable plan, either liberal payment or sharing of profits.”

The firm of Burroughs & Wellcome is too well known to need any detailed description; suffice it to say that they well deserve the success attained by honest and hard work, coupled with more than the average ability. They equip nearly every important exploring expedition that goes into Africa and Asia. They successfully carried out H. M. Stanley’s wishes in the production of a portable medicine-chest for his use in his African expeditions. It is chiefly fitted with their “Tabloids” of compressed drugs, which are the most portable of all forms of medicine, while all trouble of weighing is dispensed with. Surgeon Parke, of Stanley’s expedition, reports:— “The ‘Tabloids’ are superior to any form of medicine that I have tried, not only for efficiency and constancy of strength, as I have repeatedly noticed, but also for extreme convenience of transport and rapid dispensing. One man could carry a larger quantity and of more efficient medicine in the 'Tabloid’ form than ten can manage in the present cumbersome system (of other forms). The ‘Tabloids’ retained, their efficiency throughout the whole journey, and were of the utmost value by reason of their efficiency and portability.” Upwards of fifty gold and silver medals and diplomas have been awarded to this firm for their preparations in various parts of the world.


THE improved facilities that nowadays exist for the more direct shipment and importation of wines may be largely credited to those old-established and distinguished houses which have had their headquarters in London in the historic vicinity of Crutched Friars. The wine shippers of this district (close to Mark Lane and Tower Hill) have acquired a certain distinctiveness and individuality familiar to all who have occasion to review the trade records of London, and this character of exclusiveness and exceptional interest they largely owe to their commendable and long-sustained endeavours to render the limitations which divide the wine-producer and wine-consumer commercially more and more approachable. A recent illustration of the enterprise with which this aim continues to be followed is furnished in the extended operations of the firm of Messrs. H. & C. J. Feist, who, after half a century’s prosperous dealings, have established a branch of their valuable business at Oporto with the view of placing their constituents in more immediate touch with the growers of the famous wine-cultivating province of Entre Douro and Minho, of which Oporto is the chief city. It has been said that nearly three-fifths of the whole quantity of wine produced in the neighbourhood of Oporto is sent to Great Britain, and, commanding as Messrs. Feist do, the first fruits of a large wine import trade, the extent and capacity of their business may be imagined. Indeed, it has been placed on record by an authoritative publication treating upon the aspects of modern trade that Messrs. Feist’s stock of wines and spirits in bond is one of the largest in London. All the leading growers, not only of the Douro district, but also of Spain and Madeira, are placed under contribution to provide for the requirements of the business.

The circle of custom traversed by the firm is almost limitless, and on the Continent, as well as throughout the Colonial possessions, the ramifications of the house have assumed considerable proportions. In Jamaica and Demerara rum Messrs. Feist trade upon a most extensive scale. As purchasers they stop short of no enterprise likely to prove of service to their world-wide constituency. The abundant resources of the house represent the results of judicious foresight in the acquisition of stock, and with a keen perception for quality, and the command of a capital not shared by many firms, Messrs. Feist frequently secure the entire produce of an estate or vineyard at a most profitable outlay, enabling them to supply the same to their customers on correspondingly favourable terms. Their whole operations are such as might be conceived to belong to a house bearing a trade influence of almost inappreciable value, and a renown and prestige which nothing can diminish. Mr. Carl Feist is the London resident representative of the house, and he retains the confidence of its widely distributed clientele by consistent adherence to those principles of mercantile respectability and liberal dealing instituted at the inception of the business in 1836 by the original partners of the firm, with whom his father, Mr. H. Feist, was allied.
The telegraphic address of the house is “Prehendo, London.”


THE operations of the above firm were commenced upwards of two centuries ago in Leadenhall Street, and in that thoroughfare business has continued to be carried on during the whole interim, and to-day stands forward strong in its experience of the past, and more capable than ever of supplying goods of the latest, best, and most improved kind. The present representative of this time-honoured house is Mr. Arthur Titford, under whose intelligent control the standing and prestige of the establishment is being fully maintained. In 1885 this old-established firm absorbed the business of Messrs. W. Williams & Sons, which itself had been flourishing for over one hundred and sixty years. The premises occupied in Leadenhall Street comprise a well-appointed suite of private and general offices, as well as spacious show-rooms well fitted up with every requisite and convenience for the adequate and effective display of the various kinds of superior goods the firm keep in hand. The factory is at 35, Nightingale Lane, where a numerous body of skilled workmen is employed, and the place throughout is managed with exemplary skill. A large and high-class trade is being controlled in the manufacture of the various, specialities for the home and Colonial markets. By always supplying the most finished and improved article, a splendid reputation has been secured, and the name of the firm is accepted among the leading buyers, both in this country and abroad, as a guarantee for superior work and thoroughly reliable goods. The productive facilities of the house are such that it can turn out the best class of work at the minimum of cost. The firm are the makers of improved bank scales to the Bank of England and other banks, and special lines are made of tea-tasting scales and time glasses, as well as of beam scales, wrought-iron weighing-machines, for dock and wharf work, platform weighing-machines, and various kinds of special machines of best quality for exportation. Messrs. Vandome, Titfords, & Pawson are by special appointment scale makers to the dock companies of London, the Honourable Council of India, the War Department, Her Majesty’s Honourable Board of Customs, the Bank of England, &c., &c. Machines and scales are kept in repair by arrangement, and competent workmen are sent to carry out any description of work on the customer’s premises. The house has, during its longevous existence, acquired an extensive and influential connection, which time seems only to consolidate and expand.

25, ST. MARY AXE, E.C.

Messrs. Jones, Bridgman & Co. may be selected as one of those firms whose active existence is absolutely necessary to the successful business of the average tea retailer of the Metropolis and the provinces. Mincing Lane is too technical for the grocer who has to sell coffee and perhaps butter, and in fact a multitude of articles in addition to tea, and whose energies might be more advantageously employed with things that he is more “at home” with, than by vainly endeavouring to blend Indian teas with Ceylons, China, and other growths. Mr. Edward Jones and Mr. Alfred Innel Bridgman combine all the technical knowledge of Mincing Lane with a large and valuable experience of the particular requirements of their retail customers. They have brought to their enterprise, which they established several years ago, and which they have since successfully developed, an exceptional amount of organising power, with the result that they have obtained the unreserved confidence and support of a large circle of important and influential clients. Messrs. Jones, Bridgman & Co. control a large export trade in addition to their home business, because they know the exact proportions in which certain descriptions of Indian, China, and Ceylon teas should be blended in order to meet the requirements of foreign markets. The commodious four-storeyed building which the firm occupy in St. Mary Axe has been admirably adapted to all the requirements of the trade. There are all the facilities which the experience and technical knowledge of the firm enable them to utilise for popularising the teas of which they have a special command in the Mincing Lane market. There are many provincial tea dealers in the provinces who are at the present moment perishing through lack of knowledge who might at once materially increase their profits by putting themselves in communication with 25, St. Mary Axe.


THIS old and representative house is one of the best-known industrial concerns in the City of London, and its reputation in connection with sanitary and hydraulic engineering is of the most eminent character. Messrs. Tylor’s extensive business originated as far back as the year 1777, and had its headquarters first in Cripplegate, and later in the, old building of the College of Physicians, in Warwick Square, Newgate. That ancient structure, designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and enriched with carvings by Grinling Gibbons, was totally destroyed by fire in 1879, and Messrs. Tylor now have their show-rooms and warehouse in much larger and more modern premises; which extend through to Newgate Street, having their handsome main entrance in that thoroughfare, and a goods entrance in Warwick Square. A lofty tower, reaching an elevation of one hundred and seventy-five feet, surmounts the works, and from it the whole of Newgate Prison can be surveyed. At the request of the prison authorities, this tower is locked by Messrs. Tylor during the carrying out of death sentences, in order to secure absolute privacy. About two years ago (December, 1890) Messrs. Tylor’s business was registered as a limited liability company, but the shares are all retained by persons holding responsible positions in the concern, and by the four gentlemen who were partners at the time of the conversion. The company is, therefore, of a private nature, no shares having been offered to the public.

In March, 1891 the premises of the firm were visited by a second disastrous fire, which did considerable damage to the buildings, but the company were fully equal to the occasion, and made such arrangements that their business suffered only a short interruption, while the work of rebuilding and refitting was rapidly completed. Owing to the constant increase of the trade, however, the accommodation here has become insufficient for the firm’s manufacturing requirements, and Messrs. Tylor have accordingly erected large new works at Belle Isle, York Road, King’s Cross, and have transferred the industrial departments of their business thither. These new premises form one of the largest and most perfectly appointed establishments of the kind in England, and stand on nearly two and a quarter acres of ground, in an admirable situation, in close proximity to the fine railway facilities of this northern district. The buildings are of great extent, and comprise three principal structures, the largest forming the mechanics’ shops, testing department, and general stores. Of the other two buildings; one accommodates the general offices and ware-rooms for stock, while the other is the foundry. A very conspicuous feature of the establishment is the lofty testing tower, one hundred and fifty feet high. This is one of the great landmarks of the neighbourhood, and is built upon similar lines to the one at the Newgate Street premises.

It is characteristic of Messrs. Tylor’s methods that they devote the most conscientious attention to their testing department, making special arrangements for subjecting every article of their manufacture to searching and conclusive practical trials before allowing it to enter the public market. To this fact, coupled with the great care and skill bestowed upon the actual processes of manufacture at the works, is attributable the confidence and favour in which this firm’s productions are everywhere held. To adequately describe Messrs. Tylor’s new works at King’s Cross would carry us far beyond the space-limits imposed upon this article. The Belle Isle establishment is one which illustrates in a striking manner the advanced lines upon which modern industries are conducted, and one might fill many pages in commenting upon the many devices of mechanical ingenuity which contribute to the smooth progress of the work here carried on. For the purposes of the present brief review it is perhaps enough to know that the new works possess a complete and costly plant of the very best modern machinery known in the sanitary and hydraulic engineering traded; that they present an example of systematic organisation which clearly indicates efficient and diligent supervision; and that they afford facilities which will enable Messrs. Tylor to keep pace with the demands of an increasing trade, and to fully maintain the reputation upon which that trade has grown and flourished. Although Messrs. Tylor’s industry, in its practical phases, has found a new and more commodious home, the firm will not sever their connection with the City neighbourhood where they have so long been known. The Newgate Street Premises will be retained as a show-room and warehouse, and will continue to display one of the largest and most varied stocks of fittings and sanitary appliances to be met with anywhere. For these goods Messrs. Tylor have an international reputation, and their productions are unsurpassed in quality and finish. Perfect reliability is ensured by the great care exercised in manufacture all goods being made with interchangeable parts.

The lofty tower to which we have already referred has a huge water-tank upon it, and every fitting produced by the firm is tested with water pressure, nothing being placed in stock until it has satisfactorily passed a severe test. Messrs. Tylor’s manufactures embrace a great variety of water supply and sanitary appliances for domestic purposes, including patent “Waste Not” valves and fittings, waterworks fittings, hydrants and fire valves, street watering posts, fountain jets in many attractive designs, pumps, salinometers, and the firm’s famous water-meters, which latter obtained gold medals at the Exhibitions of London, 1884, and Calcutta, 1884, and prize medals at Paris, 1878, and Melbourne, 1889.

Besides the above Messrs. Tylor make improved forms of diving apparatus, with helmets fitted with electric light, soda-water fountains, and machinery for making all kinds of aerated waters, fruit syrups, and other beverages, together with plumbers’ brass work and steam fittings of every description. They also undertake the testing, reporting on, and execution of house drainage, all kinds of well, work, and the fitting up of hot-water apparatus, fire mains, laundries, and baths upon the most approved and efficient principles. The firm’s manufactures in all the departments indicated above are characterised by the highest excellence of material and workmanship; and in all their operations Messrs. Tylor display conspicuous scientific skill and the possession of the best mechanical and practical resources. In addition to the awards above mentioned this eminent house has gained prize medals at London, 1851, Dublin, 1853, Paris, 1855 and 1878, jurors’ medal at London, 1862, prize medal and four certificates of award at Sydney, 1879, prize medal and three certificates of merit at Exeter Sanitary Exhibition, 1880, seven gold, seven silver, and one bronze medals at Calcutta, 1883, three gold, two silver, and eleven bronze medals at the Health Exhibition, London, 1884, and many certificates of merit at the sanitary exhibitions held at Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1882, at London in 1881, and at Brighton in 1890. Sanitary engineering and general hydraulic work have been raised to a high state of practical perfection by this firm, whose numerous specialities are known and esteemed by architects, builders, manufacturers and the general public everywhere. An immense wholesale trade is done in plumbers’ and builders’ fittings and sanitary appliances, and large orders are constantly in hand for sanitary and hydraulic work for all parts of the world. The business is ably and energetically administered under the personal direction of the two managing directors and the general manager. Messrs. Tylor give employment at their London works to about four hundred hands, exclusive of those employed in ironfounding and earthenware in the country. It is interesting to know that this firm were probably the first in any line of trade to publish an illustrated catalogue, which they issued for the first time in 1853. Their present edition of the same is a remarkably complete and convenient publication, which we take this opportunity of commending to the notice of our readers.


ALTHOUGH established only about ten years ago, this business has been managed with so much energy and perseverance that a valuable connection has been secured and the resources of the establishment brought to a high state of perfection. Conveniently situated premises are occupied, which have been well arranged for the control of the business, and fitted up with plant and machinery of a modern and effective kind. A numerous body of workpeople is employed, under the direct control of the proprietor, who has had a long practical experience in every branch of the trade. An extensive business is being done in the manufacture of tins for tea, coffee, chicory, arrowroot, spice, confectionery, and half a hundred similar kinds of goods. The material used is always of first- class quality, and the workmanship and finish leave nothing to be desired. Every style and design of canisters is made for the trade, and much taste and originality are shown in the new patterns the able proprietor has now and again introduced to the trade. Mr. Curtis’s manufactures are well known in every part of London, and large and increasing sales prevail. A leading speciality is made by the house of the production of cigarette and tobacco boxes, both plain and decorated, and also of sample tea-boxes. These particular goods are turned out in great variety of styles and shapes, and are giving unqualified satisfaction to a large class of users. The business throughout is being conducted with skill and judgment, and an ever-increasing patronage has been secured among the leading buyers and large consumers in the metropolis. Mr. Curtis is an able business man, fair and square in all his dealings, and he maintains the reputation of his house solely on the basis of the superior merits of his productions, and the prompt and careful attention all customers receive.


THE several valuable food specialities with which the name of Messrs. Frederick King & Co., Limited, is identified are so distinctly useful and beneficial in themselves, and have gained such a strong hold upon public favour in this and other countries, as to merit our special consideration, for few products of the kind hold a more prominent place in the market. Messrs. Frederick King & Co., Limited, whose extensive works are in Belfast, while their London warehouse is in Camomile Street, E.C., control a business of great magnitude and importance which originated as far back as the year 1840, the founder being Mr. Edwards, inventor of the now world-famous Desiccated Soup and Preserved Potato. Mr. Frederick King was for some time a partner with Mr. Edwards, and eventually became proprietor of this important concern, which is now continued as a private limited company under his son’s personal supervision.

When the business was started Mr. Edwards had just perfected his valuable method of preserving that indispensable vegetable, the potato, and the original speciality of the house was, therefore, Edwards’ Preserved Potato, which is now known and esteemed in every quarter of the globe. This invaluable article achieved instant success, especially in shipping circles and everywhere else where a difficulty had previously existed in obtaining supplies of fresh potatoes. It may safely be said that nothing has had a more beneficial influence in the prevention of the terrible affliction of scurvy, once so common on long sea voyages, than this excellent preparation, in which all the healthful and nutritive properties of the potato are fully retained. If for nothing else than this, “those who go down to the sea in ships” owe a debt of gratitude to the inventor of Edwards’ Preserved Potato. So quickly did the article gain favour in high quarters that it was adopted in 1843 for the use of the Royal Navy, in the stores of which it has remained a prominent feature down to the present day, being the chief and almost exclusive form in which potatoes are consumed on board Her Majesty’s warships. In the commissariat of the army it has also found a permanent place, and we need only mention the fact that Lord Wolseley’s “Soldier’s Pocket-Book” contains directions for preparing it, in order to show how highly it is esteemed by the military authorities.

As an anti-scorbutic the potato has frequently been extolled by medical experts, and the Blue Book presented to Parliament on the outbreak of scurvy in the Arctic Expedition, together with the evidence then taken, shows the necessity of the potato element in diet if health is to be properly preserved. The same authority proves the identity of composition between Edwards’ Preserved Potato and the natural raw potato. We quote the following passage from the report of the medical members of the committee (page 22): “Among vegetable foods the potato at present occupies the highest place as a valuable component of dietaries. It affords much nutriment, and further it tends so to influence the process of nutrition that the special impairment of that process which renders itself obvious in the production of scorbutic symptoms is prevented, provided a sufficient, but by no means large quantity, be taken. The chemical examination of the preserved potato used in the recent expedition (Edwards’) shows that it retains all the chief constituents of the fresh potato in natural proportion. It is also agreeable and palatable, and is a conveniently condensed preparation . . . Advantage would, however, be derived from a daily in place of an interrupted issue.” Page 13:— “ It is interesting to find that the processes of preservation had in no respects impaired the nutritive quality of the moist preserved vegetables, such as the tinned carrots, nor of the dry preserved vegetables (Edwards’). The latter is of special importance, as the anti-scorbutic reputation of the potato in its ordinary form is great and fully established.” The analyses of other dried vegetables are then referred to as “not so satisfactory.” Edwards’ Preserved Potato is prepared from the best and soundest potatoes by a special and careful process, and by the peculiar method of its manufacture it retains all the valuable mineral salts (of such high anti-scorbutic worth), a large proportion of which is usually lost in potatoes as ordinarily served at table. While requiring little attention in cooking, Edwards’ Preserved Potato is fully equal in all palatable qualities to the best fresh mashed potatoes.

Having now spoken of the original speciality of the enterprising house under notice, we may proceed to consider briefly a production which is perhaps of even greater and wider importance than the preserved potato, viz., Edwards’ Desiccated Soup — an article that is esteemed in thousands of households where the lack of fresh potatoes is probably never felt. As a portable, convenient, economical, and palatable article of food this preparation has never been surpassed, and each year witnesses some expansion of its reputation, which is already almost universal. Edwards’ Desiccated Soup consists of extract of beef and choice vegetables so prepared and combined that the compound is perfectly dry and highly condensed. Thus it becomes especially valuable to travellers on account of its portability, while it is not less desirable in the home circle by reason of its economy and the ease and quickness with which it can be converted into a delicious soup. A one-pound canister of Edwards’ Desiccated Soup costs only one shilling and threepence, yet it will produce as much as six quarts of highly nutritious and palatable soup, fit to be placed on any table — and all this with practically no trouble whatever. It is not surprising, therefore, that it has achieved widespread popularity and that its sale is constantly increasing. Not only in this country, but also abroad, does Edwards’ Desiccated Soup meet with general favour, and we may here append a few out of many testimonials received by the firm from eminent medical men and others residing in the United States:— “Galveston, Texas, April 23rd, 1890. Dear Sir — The package of ‘Edwards’ Soup’ came to hand all right, and am highly pleased with it — think it the best of any prepared Soup I have ever tried. Whether you succeed in getting your goods placed here or not, I should like to know where I can procure what I would require for my own family. — Respectfully yours, E. E. Steger.” - “ Newark, N.J., April 18th, 1890. Dear Sir — Please send me twelve pounds more ‘Edwards’ Soup’ c.o.d. This will make about fifty pounds since January. My family thinks this equal to any homemade soup, the vegetable feature in a dry state, and that it don’t spoil on being opened, being so different from any other preparations I have ever tried. —Truly yours, Geo. W. Ranke, 96, High Street.” — “Southern Pines, N.C., July 20th, 1890. Dear Sir — In reply to yours of recent date, I would say that the samples sent me by you have been tested at my house, and I consider them all first-class. The Vegetable or White Soup is the finest of the kind I ever saw. I shall get in a stock of them this autumn for my trade, as well as for my own use. — Respectfully, J. H. Saddleson, jnr., M.D.” — “McDonough, N.Y., Aug. 8th, 1890. Dear Sir — The samples of ‘Edwards’ Desiccated Soups’ were received, and it gives me pleasure to endorse them as honest goods — making a soup far superior to any prepared soups that I have examined, and much more desirable than soup made from the crude materials in the usual careless manner. — Very truly, L. P. Blair, M.D.” — “Smithfield, N.C., July 21st, 1890. Dear Sir —Received the samples of ‘Edwards’ Desiccated Soup.’ Have tried it, and like it very much. Many thanks. — Very respectfully, &c., Geo. J. Robinson, M.D.” — “Savannah, Ga., Aug. 9th, 1890. Dear Sir — Your Desiccated Soup I find on trial to be everything you claim for it — cheap, healthful, nourishing, well adapted for domestic use — and should find its way into every household. — Very respectfully, A. J. Haile, M.D.” — “Neoga, Ill., Aug. 12th, 1890. Gents — I have used the sample of Desiccated Soup, and find it is a very fine preparation. It has good merits. — Truly yours, G. F. Dougherty, M.D.” — “Atlanta, Ga., Aug. 11th, 1890. I have carefully tested the samples of ‘Edwards’ Desiccated Soup’ which you so kindly sent me, and found them as you represented, entirely satisfactory in every respect. I shall recommend it in my practice. - Respectfully, T. J. Haile, M.D.” — “Eureka Springs, Ark., Aug, 12th, 1890. Dear Sir — The Desiccated Soup sent arrived safely. After use it proves to be as near perfect as can be — always ready, palatable, when properly made; nutritious, and fills a want among small families especially. — Respectfully, W. W. Johnson, M.D., Resident Physician.” — “ Sandersville, Ga., Aug. 12th, 1890. Dear Sir — I received ‘Edwards’ Desiccated Soups,’ and had them prepared in accordance with directions. I found them palatable, pleasant, and nutritious. That they are healthy I am well satisfied of, and certainly a great convenience. I can conscientiously give them my approval. I expect to order some of the Soups this fall. Respectfully, H. N. Hollifield, M.D.” — “Mascoutah, Ill., Aug. 19th, 1890. Dear Sir — Yours of 7th to hand. I cannot but highly compliment you for representing such delicious articles as ‘Edwards* Desiccated Soups.’ It is all that it is claimed for. I wrote you some week and a half ago to send me price list. Please send price list. — Respectfully, A. J. Feuchs, M.D.” - “Woodstock, Va., Aug. 23rd, 1890. Dear Sir — The samples of ‘Edwards’ Soups’ received. I find it delicious to the taste and highly nutritious. Their sales will increase when fully known. — Yours, &c., W. C. Cline, M.D.” — “Peter’s Landing, Tenn., Aug. 23rd, 1890. Dear Sir — The samples of your Desiccated Soups came duly to hand, thanks. In reply to yours of recent date, will say I think it makes a splendid soup. — Very respectfully, R, H. Strickland, M.D.” — “Schnellville, Ind., Aug. 28th, 1890. Dear Sir — The samples of ‘Edwards’ Soups’ came to hand all right. I am well pleased with it. I think it the best of any prepared soup I ever tried. — Respectfully, Scott Speedy, M.D.”

This favourable Transatlantic verdict is supported by that of some of our most prominent physicians in this country, and the press has been equally eulogistic in its comments upon Edwards’ Desiccated Soup. Encouraged by their well-earned success, Messrs. King, with characteristic enterprise, have provided for the requirements of vegetarians by bringing out their White Vegetable Soup, from which the extract of beef is excluded, and they are also adding to their reputation through their “Gravina” (Edwards’ Gravy Powder), which is a fine powder containing extract of beef of the finest quality and selected garden vegetables, the latter being grown mostly on the firm’s own lands. This excellent desiccated preparation can be kept in any climate for any length of time, and it contains no indigestible vegetables. Moreover, it is readily and quickly cooked, producing an excellent gravy soup of a character equally acceptable in the household and in the restaurant. Messrs. Frederick King & Co.’s latest novelty is the “Desiccated Soup Tomato,” which is largely composed of tomatoes, combined with choice garden vegetables, and forms a concentrated, delicious, and healthful article of diet. Its economy and portability will recommend it to the same favourable reception that has been accorded to the firm’s other productions, and the many who appreciate the tomato as an appetising and healthful vegetable will welcome this new and convenient means of obtaining an excellent tomato soup all the year round at a minimum outlay of money and trouble.

It should be mentioned that at Ballyherly, Portaferry, Messrs. Frederick King & Co., Limited, have a large potato farm, where they grow their supplies of potatoes for making the preserved potato, besides producing, other vegetables and supplying seeds to the neighbouring farmers. Their manufactory at the same place is splendidly equipped, and their important warehouse in Waring Street, Belfast, is a busy centre of distribution for the various specialities of the house. In addition to their large Irish and London establishments, Messrs. Frederick King & Co., Limited, have wholesale depots at Manchester; Glasgow; 30, St. Sacrament Street, Montreal; and New York. In conclusion we may say that the specialities of this well-known firm have gained the highest awards in their class at the Health Exhibition, London, 1884; and the Liverpool International Exhibition of 1886; and they have carried off the gold medal at Havre, 1887; the first order of merit at Adelaide, 1887; and the highest award at Paris, 1889.


THIS old and famous house was founded by the grandfather of the present principal as far back as the year 1824, and at that time the founder of the firm was the veritable “King of the Lamp Trade” in the City. He sold lamps, lamp glasses, and lamp oil, and the manufacturer who supplied him with lamp glasses also supplied him with table glasses, in which a considerable trade was soon developed. From selling lamps and glassware the business gradually developed new departments for china and porcelain, and the wares known as "Worcester,” “Derby,” “Coalport,” “Minton’s,” and others of similar renown. At the present day Messrs. Henry Greene & Sons’ splendid show-rooms display a magnificent assortment of the choicest productions of the potter’s art, including beautiful designs in vases, tiles, statuary, dinner and dessert services, and many other articles. The stock of glass embraces everything in this line for the complete furnishing of mansions, hotels, clubs, and other establishments requiring high-class goods in extensive variety. At the firm’s premises in Cannon Street there are two very fine show-rooms, the one on the ground floor being devoted to lamps, glass, and pottery, while one in the basement is chiefly stocked with all kinds of china ware. In the lamp or lighting department Messrs. Henry Greene & Sons have kept fully abreast of the times, and a leading speciality in this connection calls for special mention. This is the “Vertmarche,” newest high-power gas lamp (Greene & Walker’s patent), and it may be appropriately styled the climax of regenerative gas-lighting. Lamps of this class have been shown on high authority to give, for gas consumed, the highest illuminating power over all other methods of gas-lighting. The “Vertmarche” is a splendid development of the principle, and embodies all its advantages in a full state of activity, ensuring economy, and giving a brilliant and steady light, which is certain to compete very effectually with electricity. This lamp is a 280-candle-power lamp in its ordinary form (Class A in the manufacturers’ list), and has the great advantage of being perfectly shadowless. It is also made in several other styles, and in two other degrees of power, viz., 150 and 420 candle-power. The prices range from £2 15s. to £8 15s., and in each case there is excellent value for money, the lamps being made in England, of best materials, elegant in design and beautifully finished.

In connection with the “Vertmarche” patent a highly effective method of ventilating has been perfected, and this can easily be applied in any room where these lamps are in use. For lighting and ventilating (simultaneously) dwelling-rooms, offices, public buildings, billiard-rooms, &c., the “Vertmarche” system may challenge comparison with any other method now before the public, and we strongly recommend it to the attention of our readers who desire to study economy, efficiency, and good appearance in these all-important matters. Messrs. Henry Greene. & Sons are making a great speciality of the “Vertmarche” Regenerative Gas Lamp, and are having a very large and rapidly increasing sale for it in all styles and sizes. They continue, as of old, to supply every description of lamps and chandeliers for all purposes, and keep one of the finest stocks of these goods in London; and, altogether, their large emporium ranks with the most interesting and attractive in the City. A very large home and export trade is controlled, and the firm enjoy the support and confidence of a valuable and old-established connection in this country and abroad. At 25, Bush Lane, Cannon Street, Messrs. Henry Greene & Sons have supplementary show-rooms, and their works are also situated at the same address.


The operations of the immense wine trade of London are greatly facilitated by the eminent firm of Messrs. Claude Mandart & Son, whose head offices are at the above address in Crutched Friars, and whose extensive duty-paid warehouses and cellars are situated at the same place, while they have large supplementary cellarage at 15, 16, 17, and 18, Aldgate. This is the most important house of its kind in the trade, and as wine coopers, bottlers, and warehousers Messrs. Claude Mandart & Son have enjoyed the support and confidence of the leading wine shippers ever since their business was first established here in 1846. Both Mr. Claude Mandart and his son are experts, possessing an exceptional knowledge of the technique of the wine trade, and their skill and experience have enabled them to secure and retain the patronage of a remarkably extensive and valuable connection.

The bottling department is a very notable branch of this firm’s business, and its constant activity is a practical evidence of the esteem in which they are held. All kinds of wines are bottled and corked in three systems, and the various processes of fining, bottling, capsuling, packing, &c., are conducted under bond for export at the lowest possible rates consistent with efficiency. All wines for bottling receive careful attention, especially the light French and German wines, which require great care in treatment; and the firm’s warehouses and vaults are particularly well adapted for the bottling and laying down of large parcels of wines, as well as for the good storage and keeping of sparkling wines. With these facilities at their command, Messrs. Claude Mandart & Son devote special attention to duty-paid wines, and in all cases their receiving, delivering, and rent charges will be found strictly moderate. Wines and spirits are cleared from bond, warehoused, fined, bottled, packed, and delivered in town or country, thus saving shippers a great deal of trouble; while the known skill of Messrs. Mandart enables their clients to rely implicitly upon the most satisfactory results.

Particular attention may be directed to the great advantages offered by this firm in the prompt delivery of wines. For example, orders for forwarding which are received before five p.m. are despatched the same day. Messrs. Mandart’s vans and carts make two journeys daily to the west, south-west, and north-west of London, and all the railway companies’ vans make several collections daily, the last being from five p.m. to six p.m. The entire business is conducted in the most systematic manner, and everything comes under the personal supervision of the principals. These gentlemen are much respected in the trade for their high practical qualifications, and for their straightforward and businesslike methods. The senior partner, before coming to London in 1846, served his apprenticeship in the manipulating and disgorging of champagnes and other wines in a large house at Rheims, and consequently possesses the knowledge and experience of a lifetime, which he has certainly utilised to excellent purpose in building up the fine business of which he is now the head.


THIS is the London agency of the world-renowned house of Messrs. Moet & Chandon, and in it is vested the monopoly of supplying the trade in the United Kingdom, the Colonies, and South America with what is the finest quality and highest class of champagne that emanates from the favoured district of Epernay. One might write a volume about the house of Moet & Chandon, from the time when Jean Remi Moet practically, founded the present universal commerce in champagne wines, down to these fin de siecle days when the “Star” brand is known in every civilised land, and when over one thousand visitors from all quarters of the globe come annually to Epernay to make the tour of this firm’s enormous establishment, with its miles of cellars, its magnificent installation of electric lighting, which is considered one of the most perfect in France, and its many features of unique interest. The Moets (who come of a very ancient family, originally believed to have migrated from Holland to Champagne prior to the fifteenth century) have been associated with wine-growing in the Epernay district since the middle of last century. The champagne trade, as we now know it, virtually originated under Jean Remi Moet, who was born in 1758.

The archives of the house show that Messrs. Moet’s English connection has been gradually developing ever since the year 1788 — at first very slowly, owing to the difficulty of introducing the vin de champagne to the taste of Englishmen of that period. How the connection has grown since then is evidenced by the enormous demand for Moet & Chandon’s brand at the present day. When Jean Remi Moet retired from active business life in 1833 the firm changed its title from Moet & Co, to Moet & Chandon, and to-day, the acting partners in this great concern are Count Paul Chandon de Briailles and his two sons, Viscount Raoul and Baron Gaston Chandon de Briailles. The firm have upwards of two thousand five hundred acres of vineyards of the finest growths, under their own proprietorship, but these do not by any means yield a sufficiency of wine to meet the demands of their immense trade, and large purchases of grapes have to be made from the neighbouring farmers in the best districts of the Champagne. The various “cuvees” are blended in the most skilful manner to impart the true character of the Moet & Chandon brand, and any deficiency of body in one vintage is made up by incorporating a proportion of some previous vintage of high repute, vast reserve stocks being always held for this purpose. Thus a remarkably high level of excellence and uniformity is maintained from year to year, and this is one of the secrets of the great hold that Moet & Chandon have gained upon the market.

Alike at officers’ mess-tables, clubs, pic-nics, garden parties, dinners, soirees, and on the wine lists of every well-managed hotel and restaurant, this famous brand is conspicuous; and everywhere it is an accepted favourite. The “Dry Imperial” which the firm are now specialising is a splendid product of a very high-class grade, combining great vinosity with rare delicacy of flavour. It is the very perfection of champagne wine, and has scored an immense success. Messrs. Simon, Kingscote & Co., the monopolists of the brand “Moet & Chandon” in England, conduct the London house with great ability and enterprise, and occupy fine offices and sample-rooms in Water Lane, on the site of. Old Trinity House, which was built in 1718. The principals of this house are Messrs. Alfred and Faulkner Simon (whose father held the Moet & Chandon agency for over fifty years), and Mr. Thomas Kingscote. These gentlemen are specially experienced in champagnes, and also in the wine trade generally; and Mr. Kingscote holds the important appointment of Master of the Cellars to Her Majesty the Queen and H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.


IN an imposing structure of recent erection, whose handsome sandstone facade is strikingly relieved by the introduction of polished granite columns and buttresses, Messrs. Edenborough & Richardson have located themselves, and commenced business as cork merchants. The building occupied by this firm is known as No. 1, Colonial Avenue, and contains four spacious storeys, exclusive of a commodious basement; in fact, more suitable premises could scarcely have been found for their purpose. The stock with which the various rooms are fully stored is of the highest excellence in quality, and is held in great variety of size and form. The offices of the firm, comprising book-keeping and corresponding departments, and the private rooms of the partners, are conveniently arranged on the ground floor, while the remainder of the building is not found too large for the ample and diversified foreign products imported by Messrs. Edenborough & Richardson from Spain, Portugal, Algeria, &c., and awaiting distribution amongst their customers at home and abroad. The business is a new one; but the partners are not new to their business, and they have brought to bear upon their present enterprise the full force and energy of youth and health, backed by all the great advantages of ripe experience and accurate technical knowledge of the requirements of the different trades amongst which their custom is obtained. Wine and spirit corks, ale and beer corks, mineral water corks, vial and sample, corks, bungs, and many more varieties are dealt with.
The registered telegraphic address is “Ceremony, London.”

61, St. MARY AXE, E.C.

THIS influential concern is now under the sole proprietorship of Mr. Ernest Mathews, who has been connected with it for many years, and who is well known as one of our leading authorities on the matter of slate and its various uses. Mr. Mathews’s able and vigorous administration has been eminently advantageous to the house, and has had much to do with placing it in the forward position it now occupies in the slate trade. In such an industry as this, involving not only the quarrying and production of plain slate for ordinary purposes, but also the manufacture of enamelled slate for all the varied uses to. which that beautiful and serviceable material is now applied, special resources and facilities count for a great deal, and Messrs. Ashton, Green, Mathews & Co. are well equipped in this particular. They have large slate-mills and works at Aberllefenny, North Wales, and are thus enabled to quote very favourable terms for slab-work direct from the quarries. At London the firm have other large works, situated in High Street, Stratford, E., where they hold great stocks of slate in the slab, and have machinery enabling them to turn out tanks, lavatory tops, urinals, and all other slab-work at a few hours' notice. They also manufacture at Bristol, where they have well-appointed works at Temple Gate. Finally, at Payne Road Wharf, Bow, E., Messrs. Ashton, Green, Mathews & Co. have just built two furnaces for the enamelling of slate in the most perfect and durable manner. It is the object of the firm to maintain a high standard of excellence in this enamelled work, and thus to counteract the discredit which has been brought upon enamelled slate generally by goods made in poor and imperfect furnaces, and with cheap enamel. In the construction of their furnaces Messrs. Ashton, Green, Mathews & Co. have spared neither trouble nor expense, and they are now in a position to turn out in the shortest possible time a very superior class of enamelled slate, which is calculated to increase the popularity of a material that is unquestionably beautiful and durable when it is properly prepared.

The principal articles produced by the firm include: baths, battery slates, billiard-table slabs, brewery squares, butlers’ sinks, butter-blocks, cisterns, curriers’ tables, dairy slabs, dissecting-tables, dowells, electric bases, filters, flower-boxes, headstones, housemaids’ sinks, hot-house and larder shelves, lavatory tops, mangers, milk- vessels, orchid-beds, pickling-tanks, roll and ribbing, soil-troughs, ticket-slips, turned columns, urinals, vegetable washers, wine bins, &c, &c. Messrs. Ashton, Green, Mathews & Co. devote special attention to the use of slate in breweries, where it is found particularly satisfactory in the form of fermenting squares, skimming backs, settling and cleansing backs, yeast backs, &c., &c. Mr. Mathews has written a neat little brochure (which may be had gratis from the firm) on this subject, in which he displays a very exhaustive knowledge of all its requirements. Nearly all the principal breweries in the London district, at Burton-on- Trent, and many others have adopted Messrs. Ashton, Green, Mathews & Co.’s slate squares, backs, &c., with results that are eminently satisfactory in all cases.

The workmanship and quality of this firm’s productions are unsurpassable, and the very best slate only is used. Messrs. Ashton, Green, Mathews &Co. also make a speciality of slate for electrical purposes, and quote special prices for rubbed and enamelled slate bases, switchboards, and other electrical work. They are contractors to Her Majesty’s Government, and control a general trade of great magnitude and importance, having an old-established and valuable connection in all parts of the United Kingdom. Mr. Mathews, the sole principal, personally directs the entire business, and under his auspices the affairs of the house are administered in a manner at once enterprising, judicious, and thoroughly in keeping with the status of this concern as a recognised leader in an increasingly important department of industry.


A business which is rapidly attaining a position of high, importance in the wine trade of London is that conducted at the above address under the personal management of the Hon. Alfred Nelson Hood, who has been appointed by his relative, General Viscount Bridport, G.C.B. (the present Duke of Bronte), sole agent and consignee in the United Kingdom for the famous wines grown on the estate of the Duchy of Bronte, in Sicily. The connection of this estate with the great Lord Nelson and his successors is doubtless well understood by the student of history. It was after the battle of the Nile that King Ferdinand IV. of Naples presented to our invincible admiral the town and territory of Bronte, which he then and there created a Duchy, and which consequently invested its distinguished owner with the title of Duke. This particular estate, situated at the extremity of the province of Catania, has long been celebrated for its fertility and natural beauty, and has also had for many years a great local reputation for the excellence of its wines, the soil, here being as well adapted for successful viticulture as any in the favoured island of Sicily. The present Duca di Bronte (General Viscount Bridport, G.C.B.), recognising the possibilities of developing this fine property into a wine-growing district of the first importance, instituted many measures of improvement in its management, and adopted means calculated to bring its wines into favour in this country. He has spared no effort to ensure the production of a wine thoroughly suited to the English taste, and his endeavours in this direction have been crowned with complete success. Indeed, the importance of the position now held by the Duchy of Bronte among Southern wine-growing estates may be understood when we say that the number of vines exceed 1,000,000, while the annual output has reached the large figure of 200,000 gallons.

The wine grown on this splendid estate (which, in its present condition, is a grand tribute to the energy and enterprise that have been brought to bear upon its development and improvement since 1868) is of quite a special character, and must not be confounded with ordinary Marsala. Being produced under conditions calculated to obtain superior results, it has qualities which appeal to the cultured taste, and which make it a wine eminently suited for consumption in England. It is of a light colour, absolutely pure and unsophisticated, and entirely free from the acidity so frequently complained of in Marsalas, Madeiras, and sherries. Moreover, it is well matured, with a good natural body and great aroma, and a more pleasing wine to the palate it would be difficult .to find. Equally good for dinner or dessert, it is also a healthy wine for invalids, and possesses the advantage of improving greatly in bottle. In short, this wine combines the qualities of Madeira with those of a high-class sherry, and is quite distinct from any other produced. Intending buyers should, therefore, be careful to ask for Admiral Lord Nelson’s “Duchy of Bronte” wine. The wine obtained the grand diploma of honour (highest award) at the Italian National Exhibition, Palermo, 1892, and gold and silver medals at the Genoa Exhibition in the same year. It has been spoken of in high terms by the leading organs of the London press, and is supplied to the Royal cellars at Windsor Castle, Buckingham Palace, and Osborne, her Majesty the Queen having been graciously pleased to appoint the Hon. A. Nelson Hood special purveyor of “Duchy of Bronte” to her Majesty. H.R.H. the Prince of Wales has also extended to Mr. Hood the honour of a similar appointment. At the leading West End clubs the wine has met with great favour, and many noblemen and gentlemen have laid down large quantities in their cellars.

Owing to the large increase in the produce of the Duke’s vineyards, the wines can now be offered at a lower rate than, formerly, and the prices at present are: Thirty shillings per dozen bottles, or, for an older wine (specially recommended for invalids), thirty-six shillings per dozen. It is also supplied in wood (octaves and quarter casks) at twelve shillings and sixpence per gallon. None of the wine is under seven years old, and all the bottling is done in the large cellars of the agency of the Duchy of Bronte, under Leadenhall House.

We must not conclude this brief review without some mention of another speciality of the Duchy which merits the attention of the gastronomic world, viz., the “Purest Olive Oil,” now being extensively produced on the estate. For some years past the Hon. A. Nelson Hood has been devoting much care and labour to the cultivation of large olive plantations on the Bronte estate, and he is now beginning to ship to England some of the finest and purest olive oil that has ever reached these shores. A very expensive and highly efficient modern plant has been put down for the purpose of pressing the olives, and after being repeatedly fined, racked off, and ultimately refined, the oil obtained is stored in gigantic earthenware jars five feet high, the sight of which reminds one not a little of a memorable scene in the history of the “Forty Thieves” of “Arabian Nights” renown. After standing for a year to thoroughly mature (olive oil being unsuitable for use until it has attained this age), the oil is shipped to England and stored at the oil stores of the Duchy, No. 13, Great St. Helens, where, after a final filtration through fine cotton-wool, it is bottled in attractive style, and held in readiness to meet the large demand which is already springing up for an article so pure in quality and so carefully and scientifically prepared. This oil may be recommended as an unsurpassed salad oil, and the moderate price at which it can be offered (owing to superior facilities of production) is certainly not the least of its many recommendations.

There seems to be no limit to the enterprise displayed in the conduct of the Duchy of Bronte business. Another important department has now been inaugurated for the distillation of fine “Cognac” on the estate; but although the brandy thus produced has won two gold medals in Italy, and has been very highly commended by the press, it is being withheld from the English market for a while in order that it may arrive at perfect maturity. We can unhesitatingly predict a great future for all the products of the Duchy of Bronte, especially in this country, where a demand is always forthcoming for articles of sound quality and genuine merit. The present Duke of Bronte, who is Lord Nelson’s great-nephew, has done well to place the business arrangements of the estate in the hands of the Hon. A. Nelson Hood. This gentleman has manifested superior administrative powers since he undertook the management of the concern and the active supervision of its commercial interests in this country, and his own intimate acquaintance with the resources of the estate, coupled with a thorough knowledge of the requirements of the influential English clientele to which its specialities more particularly appeal, have enabled him to secure for these high-class goods a ready acceptance in the home market, with a bright prospect of increasing patronage in the near future.


THE above business was commenced in 1888, the partners being Mr. W. H. Anderson and Mr. A. C. Coltman, both gentlemen of long and valuable experience in this important branch of commercial enterprise. Operations were started in Fenchurch Street, but with the increase in the connection more commodious quarters became necessary, and the present address has just been occupied. The premises in Philpot Lane include a compact and well-appointed suite of offices, together with a spacious show-room admirably adapted to the effective display of the multifarious class of goods with which the house is occupied. A branch establishment has been opened at 64, Stanley Street, Liverpool, where an important business is in operation, the partners dividing their attention alternately between the two houses. The firm enjoy a good reputation for the efficient manner in which all business intrusted to them is carried out. They are thoroughly conversant with the markets and the wants of the public, and their connection is so large and influential as always to secure the ready and advantageous sale of everything they offer.

Messrs. Anderson & Coltman are almost the only firm in the Metropolis confining themselves exclusively to this class of goods, and their facilities for securing the most desirable consignments are practically unlimited. In all their transactions they are fair and straightforward, and equal regard is paid to the interests of consignors and buyers. The supplies they hold are always of great variety and value. They comprise some of the choicest productions that can possibly be obtained, and every opportunity is allowed to intending purchasers to make a full inspection of the goods at the firm’s show-rooms prior to the sale. Sales are held periodically at the London Commercial Sale Rooms, Mincing Lane. These are attended by the leading buyers in London and from the provinces, and vast quantities of goods are regularly disposed of. The principal lines handled comprise Elvas plums, condensed milk, canned fruits, pineapples, sardines in oil, lunch tongues, vegetables in tins, pate de fois gras, capers, olives, and corned beef, salmon, lobster, &c. They are the sole agents in the United Kingdom for A. Lusk & Co., of San Francisco, packers of Californian canned fruits and shippers of salmon, and for Gaskin’s Colonial chocolate and cocoa, manufactured by Gaskin, Pereira & Co., British Guiana. Also London agents for James Violett, Bird, and Guy-Moyatt, of Bordeaux. The principals are to be congratulated on the very able and successful manner in which they have exploited this difficult business. They are well known and respected in commercial circles.
The telegraphic address for the London house is “Fontanels, London,” and the telephone No. 4,423.


IN a stretch, of charming Hertfordshire scenery, along the valley of the Gade, stand the four important paper-mills founded or acquired by the late John Dickinson, F.R.S., and his successors in the firm of Messrs. John Dickinson & Co. These mills hold a leading position among the large paper-producing establishments of the United Kingdom, dating back as they do to the early periods of paper-making in this country; and at the present day they give promise of increasing and multiplying their output of all classes of printing papers, envelopes, notepapers, cards, and cardboards while time endures. The late John Dickinson, founder of the influential concern here under notice, was a man of no ordinary type. He was ever devising and carrying out great schemes in such completeness that every phase of the business as it stands to-day testifies to his strong character and personality, and gives evidence of his remarkable organising and administrative powers. Not content to be a great paper-maker only, he devised many things that could be got out of paper when made. At the age of twenty-five he took out a patent for a non-smouldering cannon cartridge paper, and in 1821 he patented the card-cutting machine now in general use for slitting cards. In the April of the same year he himself first commenced the manufacture of cards. By this time he was very actively and extensively engaged in paper-making, which industry he had commenced as far back as 1809, his first paper machine being erected on the roof of the printing office of Andrew Strahan, the King’s Printer. It was in 1809 also that he purchased the Apsley Mill, one of the four Hertfordshire mills above referred to. In 1829 John Dickinson invented and patented a method of reversing the paper at the second press, introducing coloured threads, lace, &c., into the body of the paper in the course of manufacture. Paper made under this patent, and an improvement on it (dated 1839) was extensively used to prevent forgery, notably in the Exchequer Bill and Bond paper, and later on for postage stamps and envelopes. In 1830 a method was introduced of making and combining two webs of paper at one machine. The revolving knotter was patented in 1832.

Among Mr. Dickinson’s other inventions may be enumerated (1) continuous drying by means of steam cylinders; (2) a method of joining one web of paper with another, and of making continuous cardboard; (3) the introduction of a second pair of press rolls, and of the circular or disc cutter now universally employed for slitting and trimming webs of paper. Few men have done so much for the paper trade, and the great business of which he was the founder is well worthy of more than passing consideration here. For nearly ninety years it has held a distinguished position among the representative concerns engaged in the British paper industry, and during that long period it has been closely identified with every progressive movement in this pre-eminently important branch of trade. The firm’s commercial headquarters are in London, their large warehouse and offices being very familiar features in the busy thoroughfare of the Old Bailey; and it is not too much to say that their various mills, extending over a stretch of nine miles in one of the most picturesque of Hertfordshire vales, rank among the English industrial wonders of to-day.

The late John Dickinson, on commencing this business in Walbrook, E.C., had for a partner Mr. George Longman, some time member for Maidstone. This latter gentleman died in 1822, and in 1830 Mr. Dickinson took into partnership Mr. Charles Longman, nephew of the aforesaid George Longman, and brother to the eminent Paternoster Row publishers of the same name. Mr. Charles Longman died in 1873, having been High Sheriff of Herts in 1871, and having done much, in conjunction with its founder, for the development of the house. Mr. John Dickinson himself retired from active business in 1859, and died on January 11th, 1869, at the advanced age of 86. From the manner in which he had applied his powerful energies and abundant resources of technical knowledge and inventive skill to the promotion of improved methods in paper manufacture, and from the great importance and practical value of the results he thus achieved, it can readily be understood that his death was felt to be a loss no less to the British paper trade at large than to the great house over whose fortunes he had so long and so successfully presided.

Reverting to 1840, and taking up the thread of the firm’s history at that period, we find that Mr. Dickinson was joined on the 1st of May in that year at Nash Mills (then the manufacturing centre of the business) by his nephew, Mr. John Evans, who was destined in after years to add special honour to the house by the eminence of his attainments in the scientific and literary world. This gentleman married, in September, 1850, Mr. Dickinson’s younger daughter, and in the same year became a partner in the firm. At Mr. Dickinson’s death in 1869, three partners were left as his successors in the guidance of the business, and of these three, Sir John Evans, K.C.B., F.R.S., is at present the only survivor. Distinguished in all circles by his personal talents, and famed in the commercial world by reason of the hearty energy with which he has entered into the promotion of every interest of the great industry with which he has now for over fifty years been associated, Sir John Evans is recognised as one of the most notable personages connected with the paper trade of England. Born at Britwell Court, Burnham, Bucks, and entered as a partner in this house in 1850, as already recorded, he has also made for himself an exalted renown in the world of science and learning. He was in 1849 elected a member of the Numismatic Society, the hon. secretaryship and presidency of the same distinguished body becoming his in 1854 and 1874 respectively, and in connection with the science to which that society is devoted he has for many years been one of the editors of the Numismatic Chronicle. In 1852 he was chosen a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, of which he became president in 1889, and in 1857, 1866, and 1874-76 respectively he was elected fellow, honorary Secretary, and president of the Geological Society. In 1864 Dr. Evans achieved the rare distinction of election as a Fellow of the Royal Society, and becoming in 1879 vice-president and treasurer of that illustrious body, he has remained so up to the present time. His works on archaeological subjects are widely known and esteemed, and he has formed many valuable and extensive collections. He is chairman of Quarter Sessions and vice-chairman of the County Council and deputy lieutenant for Herts, having been high sheriff of the county in 1881. The universities of Oxford, Dublin, and Cambridge have evinced their recognition of his talents and services to the cause of science and learning by bestowing upon him their honorary degrees of D.C.L., LL.D., and D.Sc., and this year (1893) her Majesty the Queen conferred upon him the honour of knighthood by creating him a Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

In connection with his commercial interests, and those of his fellow manufacturers, Sir John Evans strenuously exerted himself to obtain the abolition of the duty on rags, and he was one of the projectors of the Papermakers’ Association and the Papermakers’ Club, of both of which he is now president. Of the business of Messrs. John Dickinson & Co., Limited, it may truly be said that it ranks with the most important undertakings of its kind in Great Britain to-day, and has a reputation second to none of its contemporaries in the trade. The firm own four mills in Hertfordshire, named respectively the Croxley, Home Park, Nash, and Apsley Mills. Apsley Mill, which should be considered rather as three mills than as one, is occupied continuously in the manufacture of cards, stationery, and envelopes. The envelope department was first started in 1849, and has been phenomenally successful. Its output is now so vast that it has to be reckoned by millions of envelopes daily. Nash Mill has for the past sixty years been justly celebrated for the superfine plate paper which is made there, and Home Park Mill has more recently sprung into eminence from the excellent chromo-lithographic and art papers it produces. Croxley Mill has lately been very much enlarged, and has at present no rival among the paper-mills, of Great Britain, being thoroughly well equipped for its work upon the best modern lines, both as regards buildings, power, and machinery. Consequently, its output has increased threefold during the past few years, and maintains a remarkably high standard of quality.

If there is one speciality in which Messrs. John Dickinson & Co., Limited, particularly excel, it is undoubtedly in their celebrated manufacture of high-class printing papers. These they produce in perfection, and our readers must frequently have admired the beautiful finish and fine appearance of Messrs. Dickinson’s papers in many of the superb illustrated volumes and editions de luxe issued nowadays by leading British. publishers. Cheap and more or less inferior papers abound in the modern market, and are certainly sold at very low prices. It is not, however, every day that one meets with paper of such a high order of excellence as that which is the special pride of Messrs. John Dickinson & Co., Limited, and it is gratifying to note that the demand for this superior class of goods seems to be well maintained. Messrs. Dickinson produce nothing that will not sustain the high reputation they have so long enjoyed, and as their mills are always busy, it is evident that there is still a public to appreciate good quality, even in a matter of such daily familiarity as paper. Enormous and thoroughly representative stocks are held by the firm in their London warehouse in Old Bailey, and this large and well-organised establishment abounds in evidences of the steady and satisfactory progress of a vast and world-wide trade.

Messrs. Dickinson give employment to several hundred hands at their mills and warehouses, and they have many travellers and representatives whose time is fully occupied in consulting and ascertaining the requirements of a connection which now extends not only throughout the United Kingdom, but also to all the principal centres of paper consumption in the British Colonies and dependencies, America, and the continent of Europe. The business of this firm continues, as of old, to be administered in a fine spirit of progressive enterprise, and its present position and reputation constitute the best tribute that can be paid to the personal energies and talents and the sound practical and commercial principles that have been applied to its advancement from the first.


THE important scientific and technical trade with which the name of Messrs. Townson & Mercer has been so long and so creditably identified has come into special prominence of late years, and is filling a wider sphere of usefulness now than at any time in its past history. The general advance of science in every direction, and the increased prevalence of higher education, have created a large demand for the materials and appliances by which scientific problems can be best solved, and at the same time there has been a wonderful advance in industrial knowledge, so marked that nearly every manufactory of importance has its own laboratory and chemical staff. For educational purposes, too, it has become necessary to provide complete equipments of scientific requisites in our leading schools and colleges. All these causes have combined to raise a profession, always interesting and of special noteworthiness, to a very high level of general importance and utility. In fact, the skilled and trained manufacturer of chemical materiel and scientific apparatus is quite indispensable at the present day, and a firm in this line of operations possessing such a high reputation as that, of Messrs. Townson & Mercer consequently commands special attention.

For the origin of this distinguished house we have to look back as far as the year 1798. Subsequently the title was altered to its present form of Townson & Mercer, and this is still retained, though the business has for a number of years past been under the sole control of Mr. Francis Montier Mercer, C.C. This gentleman’s able and energetic administration has been productive of excellent results, and under his direction the business has made great progress, extending its connections at home and abroad, increasing the scope and volume of its trade, and more than maintaining its old-time reputation. The firm have few rivals in their particular line, and they are looked upon as leaders and experts in their trade. The extent to which their business has been developed may be judged by anyone who will glance through Messrs. Townson & Mercer’s illustrated catalogue, an exceptionally voluminous and interesting publication, containing no less than five hundred pages, and embellished with over two thousand woodcuts. In the large new edition of this catalogue recently issued will be found particulars of all the specialities of the house, embracing every description of scientific and chemical apparatus; and we must refer our readers to this interesting index to the resources of a trade whose productions we cannot possibly mention individually in the limited space at our disposal here. It will be obvious to all that the proprietor of such a business as this must be constantly on the alert, not only to keep au courant with every detail of scientific progress, but in many cases to look ahead of the knowledge of the day, for he may frequently be called upon to devise an apparatus without which it would not be possible to carry out some particular experiment or process leading to the discovery of a great truth. In this matter of watchfulness and ready inventiveness Messrs. Townson & Mercer keep pace with every requirement of the scientific world, and a perusal of their catalogue will show how fully “up to date” they are in every department of their profession.

Chemists and scientists everywhere have pronounced favourable judgment upon the productions of this eminent firm, and their verdict has been confirmed at the leading international exhibitions, for Messrs. Townson & Mercer have gained highest awards at the Madrid, Calcutta, and Medical and Sanitary Exhibitions, together with a first-class gold medal and diploma at the Crystal Palace International Mining Exhibition, and at the Kimberley Mining Exhibition, 1892. Their aim has always been to supply the best articles at as low a price as is consistent with sound quality, and a close adherence to this rational policy has given great and general satisfaction to a widespread connection. Messrs. Townson & Mercer enjoy a large amount of distinguished patronage, and have made many additions to their list of manufactures to meet the requirements of technical education, particularly in connection with chemical and scientific apparatus and requisites for bacteria cultivation, and instruction in electricity, heat, light, sound, mechanics, &c. Such apparatus have now been largely adopted in colleges, schools, and scientific institutions; and the London and Provincial County Councils having energetically taken up the important subject of technical education, the new schools which have lately been established have been supplied by Messrs. Townson & Mercer not only with fully equipped laboratories, but also with all necessary models, &c., for throwing light upon the various branches of science they are designed to teach. The firm are likewise makers of apparatus for the laboratories of Her Majesty’s Honourable Board of Inland Revenue and Customs, the Royal Mint, the Royal Arsenal, Royal Ordnance Stores, Royal Military Academy, Royal Artillery Studies, the Director-General of Stores for India, the Directors of Army and Navy Contracts, the Agents-General for Australia and New Zealand, the Crown Agents for the Colonies, the Privy Council Board of Education,, the Science and Art Department, and the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, London, Aberdeen, Wales, Toronto, and Japan, &c., &c.

Besides making and supplying apparatus, this firm are large dealers in all kinds of pure chemicals for experimental and other purposes. They conduct an exceedingly large and far-reaching wholesale trade, and the export department continues to receive that careful personal attention which is due to its great importance. Very extensive premises are occupied in Bishopsgate Street Within, the stock-rooms containing a large and varied assortment of the firm’s specialities, while the work-rooms are fully equipped for the manufacturing processes carried on. Other spacious premises in Bishopsgate Avenue afford additional accommodation for this important and steadily growing business. We ought to add that Messrs. Townson & Mercer have the sole agency here for Messrs. Becker & Son’s (Rotterdam) celebrated balances and weights for chemists’ use, and also that they are agents for Schleicher & Schull’s Rhenish filter papers, Muncktill’s Swedish filter paper, and Haldenwanger’s Berlin porcelain. Mr. F. M. Mercer, to whose energy and high scientific qualifications the house owes so much of its latter-day success, is a gentleman well known in the City, and has devoted a good deal of his spare time to the public service. For some years past he has been a representative of the Ward of Bishopsgate in the Court of Common Council, and he is also a churchwarden of the ancient parish church of St. Ethelburga, Bishopsgate. Messrs.
Townson & Mercer’s telegraphic address is “Townson, London.”

61, MARK LANE, E.C.,

AMONG the notable houses whose names have become closely and creditably identified with the growth and development of the vast wholesale wine and spirit trade of the City of London, there are perhaps few that have attained to the high distinction, in its special line, of the above well-known business. Mr. Robinson entered upon his present prosperous career some twenty years ago in his capacity as an expert and shipper of special brands of wines and spirits, and to-day represents for England the following well-known firms:— MM. L. de Schryver, Neu, & F. Nicolau, one of the oldest and most reputable of Bordeaux houses for Clarets and Sauternes; MM. L. Jaunay & Cie. (F. C. Jaunay, of Reims), for Grands Vins de Champagne, whose present leading line is the vintage 1887, both See and Aglucose (brut); MM. Beauchamp & Cie., of Epernay, who are now shipping for laying down a particularly fine 1889 vintage champagne, both sec and extra sec; and also MM. Le Capelain & Cie., for their 1887 champagne, both sec and extra sec. Mr. Robinson has a personal interest in all these concerns, and accordingly makes frequent visits to Reims and Epernay, thereby keeping in perfect touch with current affairs in the Champagne country and its trade, and commanding facilities whereby he is enabled to supply firms, hotels, and other wholesale houses in this country with wines to suit the exact wants of their clientele.

A new agency which he has recently taken up is that of Herren H. Holler & Avenarius, of Coblenz, for Still and Sparkling Hocks and Moselles, and, in addition to all these Agencies, he has placed a famous old blend of Scotch Whisky of the finest quality on the market under his own “C. R.” brand of “Old Special Scotch,” and transacts an enormous general business in all the leading brands of popular wines, spirits, and liqueurs, vast stocks of which he holds in his extensive duty-paid cellars at 40, Seething Lane and 24, Mark Lane, the bulk being held in bond. All ordinary business is transacted at the office and sample-room at 61, Mark Lane, and it will be readily gathered from what has already been stated that he spares no effort to make the present and future reputation of his house fully consistent with all its past traditions of credit and renown.


AMONG the many great mercantile houses whose operations are centred in the immediate vicinity of St. Paul’s Cathedral there is none more noteworthy than that of Messrs. H. G. Porter & Co., whose specialities in the highest class of woollen textiles have gained an international reputation. The history of this eminent house dates back over a period of twenty years, and its conspicuous success and development have been mainly influenced by the special technical knowledge and commercial enterprise of Mr. H. G. Porter, the founder and sole proprietor, who is a thorough master of every practical detail of the trade with which he has identified his name. When Mr. Porter commenced this business he did so at premises in Gutter Lane, and subsequently sought increased accommodation at 41 and 43, Bow Lane, where he remained for many years, steadily building up the fortunes of a business which has now become one of the leading concerns of its kind in the Metropolis.

The rapid growth of the trade during more recent years made the necessity for more commodious quarters imperative, and, since 1890 Messrs. H. G. Porter & Co. have occupied their present handsome and extensive premises in St. Paul’s Churchyard and Godliman Street, as shown in our illustration. This fine block of buildings, standing upon an unrivalled corner site, and presenting to passers-by an imposing appearance suggestive of the importance and substantial character of the business to which it is devoted, was newly erected at the time when Messrs. Porter entered into possession of it, and was specially arranged and fitted throughout to meet the requirements of their trade. It is certainly one of the most commodious and conveniently planned warehouses in the City, every detail of the building having been designed and carried out upon the best modern lines, and it forms, perhaps, the most notable of the various structural improvements that have been carried out of late years in the neighbourhood of Doctors’ Commons. The warehouse contains five floors and a basement, with a hydraulic lift connecting from basement to top floor, and the internal arrangements are in every way excellent. The large floorage space at the command of the firm enables them to systematically classify their varied and extensive stock, and to arrange for the effective display of their celebrated specialities upon a large and complete scale. Rugs, shawls, and mauds are the features of the ground floor, and in these goods the stock is unsurpassed. On the first floor are plain and fancy dress goods in great variety; here also are several private rooms, lavatories, &c., which are specially provided for the convenience of buyers.

Woollen fabrics of many kinds take up the space of the second floor, and on the floor above we find the wide range of choice productions in special fabrics for ladies’ tailoring which have contributed so greatly to the renown of this house. Homespuns and cashmeres are among the leading textiles in Messrs. Porter’s comprehensive stock; and a particularly interesting department is that for genuine Harris tweeds, made by the people of the Western Highlands in their primitive huts, and famous for their unshrinkable, and wear-resisting qualities. For deer-stalking, fishing, shooting, and tourist wear these tweeds are unequalled, being entirely hand-made, hand-finished, and dyed with pure vegetable dyes. As an evidence of the extensive resources of this firm, they show upwards of a hundred different shades in a special class of cloth for ladies’ jackets. The great feature of the business may be said to consist in the production and supply of special and original designs in high-class woollen fabrics for ladies’ and gentlemen’s wear. A wonderful variety of new patterns are turned out annually in such goods, and these are all Mr. Porter’s personal productions, perfeotly novel and highly artistic, his strength being his marvellous knowledge and taste in colouring, blending the same, and calling into use all that he comes across in either nature or art.

The firm have their own mills at Paisley, known as the Abercorn Mills, where they have a numerous staff engaged in the manufacture of their unique fabrics, hand-looms only being used in the work. Furthermore, employment is given to a great number of hand-loom weavers who work at their own homes in the
neighbouring villages, and who produce textiles having that high individuality of character and finish which is so prominent in the goods found in Messrs. Porter’s stock. But even here the manufacturing resources of the firm do not end. Mr. Porter is one of those who believe that art is universal, and that skilled exponents of certain phases of industrial art may be met with in many lands. Wherever he finds a foreign manufacturer capable of producing some particular kind of fabric in a better style than can be obtained in this country, he places his order with the foreigner, remembering that his mission as a merchant is to meet the requirements of his customers in the most complete degree, and to ensure their satisfaction by every means in his power; consequently he has, as a rule, two or three small factories working for him constantly on the Continent. His productions are entirely of a high-class character, and such fabrics as those to be seen in the showrooms in St. Paul’s Churchyard are of a kind appealing only to the most cultured tastes.

A purely high-class trade, therefore, is cultivated by the firm, and they supply not only the great wholesale houses, but also the leading retail firms of drapers and ladies’ tailors in London and the other great capitals of the world. The connection extends literally from San Francisco to St. Petersburg, and few City firms possess a more influential clientele in the home and foreign markets. Special goods are, of course, supplied to suit the requirements of the different countries, and the firm undertake to furnish large customers with special and unique designs, to be their exclusive property. Something like sixty thousand patterns are mounted every season for the many travellers who represent the firm at home and abroad, and also for the use of their numerous agents in different parts of the world. The busy pattern-room and designing department form one of the most interesting features in Messrs. Porter’s splendidly organised London warehouse. Among the elite of the social world in our own and other countries this firm’s specially prepared and perfectly original designs in superior textile fabrics, tweeds, costume cloths, &e., enjoy remarkable favour and popularity; and one need ask no better evidence than this of the improved taste that now prevails in the daily attire of the fashionable world.

To say that Mr. H. G. Porter has contributed in a large measure to this improvement is simply to pay a just and well-merited tribute to his well-known talent and enterprise. After twenty years of untiring industry, energy, and prolific invention and production, he now stands at the head of a vast business which is admittedly a leader in its particular line, and has the satisfaction of seeing universal approval and patronage accorded to the textile specialities with which he has so closely and creditably identified his name. This and the support and confidence of an international connection in the trade form the appropriate reward of an honourable and painstaking commercial career. In all departments of their business Messrs. H. G. Porter & Co. are in a position to place their customers on the best possible terms as regards both prices and qualities. Hence the strength and influence of their home and foreign connection. They have opened fully-equipped branch houses in Paris and New York, and these have both been eminently successful. The popularity of the firm’s special fabrics among the ladies of Paris shows that the refined taste of “La Ville Lumiere” in matters of dress is still amply maintained. The prominence gained by these elegant goods in the Parisian trade is also, doubtless, due in some measure to the great success scored by the firm at the Paris Exhibitions of 1878 and 1889, when their homespuns gained the only prize medals awarded for that useful and stylish class of goods.


THE history of the renowned house of Messrs. Blades, East & Blades would form an important page in the records of the marvellous developments that have taken place during the last half-century or thereabouts in the methods and results of illustrative art. As far back as the year 1821 we find Mr. Joseph Blades becoming associated in partnership with Mr. Robson, who was notable as the founder of what is now called the Post Office Directory of London — a work long known as “Robson’s Directory.” The firm of Robson, Brooks & Co. were, however, in existence long prior to 1821, so that the real origin of the house can be traced to a much earlier date. It may be remarked that the Mr. Robson above referred to was the inventor of Robson’s patent cheque-paper and cheques, which, with various improvements from time to time, have held their own down to the present day, and are still very largely used in banking circles. On the death of Mr. Robson in 1823, Mr. Joseph Blades was joined by Mr. Joseph East (for many years chairman of the London Missionary Society), and subsequently Mr. Blades’ son, Mr. William Blades, the well-known author of the “Life of Caxton,” and other works on typography, &c., was admitted into partnership. Mr. Joseph Blades died in 1858, and Mr. Rowland Hill Blades, the present head of the firm, and the brother of Mr. William Blades, who had for many years been engaged in the business, joined the firm on the death of Mr. East. Mr. William Blades died in May, 1890, his son, Mr. Alfred Blades, together with Mr. Rowland Blades, junior, having just previously been admitted as partners. These two gentlemen render valuable assistance to the senior partner in the active management of this gigantic business, which is still carried on under the old and widely known title of Blades, East & Blades.

The Career of the house has long been one of distinguished success, and its reputation for artistic work in all branches of the printing trade has become international. During the last twenty years the business has developed and increased very largely. Some idea of the extent of the operations carried on by Messrs. Blades, East & Blades may be gathered from the fact that, at their works in Leonard Street, Finsbury, they give employment to no fewer than two hundred and fifty hands. These works are equipped in the most perfect modern style as regards plant and latest improved machinery, and afford every facility for the enormous output of work necessary to keep pace with the demands of the trade. Messrs. Blades, East & Blades devote themselves entirely to that class of work which, in one form or another, exemplifies the highest developments of the printing art. Special attention is given to the designing and engraving of bank-notes, bonds, share certificates, letters of credit, cheques, and bills of exchange; and in these lines the firm may almost be said to stand pre-eminent among their contemporaries. Certainly their work is of that character which it would be well-nigh impossible to surpass in any detail of excellence. Furthermore, they are printers of ornamental show-cards, and do a very extensive business in lithographic and process work, in which they avail themselves of the most improved methods. Their various productions in illustrative art work are pronounced by the best judges to be facile princeps in the trade. The manufacture of account-books of every description forms a highly important department in this great business, and Messrs. Blades, East & Blades are makers of such books to many of the largest banks, public companies, and private firms in the Metropolis.

The growth of trade unionism and friendly society movements has induced this firm to devote considerable attention to the manufacture of banners, and their artistically designed oil-painted work in this department is highly esteemed. Illuminated addresses and testimonials, produced in the most refined and artistic style, must also be mentioned as coming among the leading specialities of the house. For many years past Messrs. Blades, East & Blades have been employed by the Corporation of London to execute the specially fine art printing required for civic functions, and to produce illuminated addresses, invitation cards, &c., &c. Nearly the whole of the Lord Mayor’s and other cards of invitation issued in City circles have for a long period been of this firm’s production. Both in the splendid equipment of their Finsbury works, and in the special skill of their large staff of picked workmen and managers of the various departments, Messrs. Blades, East & Blades possess' practical resources which give them a great advantage over other concerns less completely organised; and they are thus enabled to turn out really high-class work not only with promptitude and the certainty of satisfaction, but also with that judicious economy which alone can make moderate prices possible in such cases.

At their spacious and commodious warehouse in Abchurch Lane (which is in telephonic communication with the works) the firm hold an immense and comprehensive stock of fancy and commercial stationery in readiness to meet all demands; and in these goods the characteristic standard of superior quality is carefully maintained. Messrs. Blades, East & Blades, besides doing a very extensive home trade, export to all the leading markets of the world, and everywhere their productions are held in the highest estimation. The business in all its operations is most capably administered by the present co-partners, and is conducted upon methods and principles that command the approval and retain the confidence of an old-established, widespread, and influential connection, both at home and abroad.


AMONG the leading port-wine shippers of the present day Messrs. Silva & Cosens, of Oporto and London, continue to maintain a pre-eminent position. No house in the trade is better known, and none has gained a higher reputation for the sterling worth and excellence of its specialities in what may be justly termed the king of red wines. It is now over two hundred years since port wine was first imported into this country. It speedily made its way into favour, and during the whole of the long period that has elapsed since its introduction it has never once failed to command attention on the market. This is prima-facie evidence of the fact that it is a wine specially suited by nature and properties to the tastes of the English people; and although the demand for various light wines has undoubtedly increased during recent years, even in this Country, there has been little or no falling off in that for port of a really high-class character. To the old and famous house of Messrs. Silva & Cosens we owe much for a careful and conscientious preservation of the prestige of this grand wine — “the wine for men,” as sturdy old Samuel Johnson called it. They have consistently adhered to the sound policy of shipping only the highest qualities of port, and have never lent the influence of their name to assist the sale of an inferior vintage. Consequently their brands enjoy universal confidence, and are eagerly sought after in the best circles of the trade.

Messrs. Silva & Cosens rank among the oldest of port-wine shippers with offices in London, and they have a most extensive establishment in that quaint suburban quarter of Oporto which is the great centre of the port-wine trade. Their warehouse, or “lodge,” as it is technically termed, is a particularly well-appointed one, indicating in its general arrangement the great care and practical skill brought to bear upon all the details of their business. The working facilities of the place are most complete, and the stock is a vast one, embracing every kind and class of port wine of a superior quality, from the fine white ports so highly esteemed in certain Eastern markets, to the rich, fruity wines beloved of the “three-bottle” men of a generation or two ago, and still greatly admired by the educated connoisseur of the present day. The stock also includes a large quantity of “tawny” port of that lighter character which has found favour in modern times, and which has been specially commended by medical men as a wine suitable for those who cannot drink the “regal purple stream” of the old bottled vintages. Among the many fine wines with which Messrs. Silva & Cosens have made us familiar a word of special praise is due to their celebrated W./DOW port, a brand acquired by them some years since, and of which they have jealously guarded the reputation. This brand has a special individuality, and is essentially a wine for the cultured palate, as its long-sustained popularity among the best judges amply proves. They deal directly with the trade only, in wholesale quantities, their supplies being drawn first from their “lodges” at Oporto, and subsequently from bond in London, as required. The business is a very large one, and is conducted upon those sound commercial lines which have from the first distinguished the policy of this old and greatly respected house.


THE specialities extensively popularised by the Liquor Carnis Company rank among the most valuable of the various contributions that have from time to time been made to those sustaining and nutrient preparations with which the public are already familiar. The Company’s products were for many years known in Australia, where they were originally manufactured. It was only in 1890 that the rights were purchased by the English limited incorporation under the above name, and during the brief intervening period the production and sale of these now famous products have been in every sense enormous. In order to secure the advantages of ready supply of the pure home-killed beef from which the Liquor Carnis is derived, the Company’s laboratories are situated in the heart of Buckinghamshire, England, where cattle is slaughtered fresh from the fields.

The Company’s stores are situated in Farringdon Street (Smithfield Works), quite close to the great meat market of Smithfield. From the very best English meat exclusively the Company make a careful selection of the primest parts. The meat is thereafter thoroughly scored and put under such enormous pressure that every drop of the meat juice is extracted, leaving nothing but the fibre. The juice in its raw state is then amalgamated with another food agent having preservative powers, such imparting that agreeable flavour characteristic of the Company’s popular dietary substances. By the above system the albuminoids of the meat are preserved, as there is no cooking process whereby the application of heat could destroy them. Caffyn’s Malto-Carnis contains liquor Carnis in perfect combination with extract of malt and cocoa, forming an agreeable, easily digested, and refreshing beverage, supplying the place of a stimulant without the presence of alcohol, and a concentrated beef extract without the monotonous taste of beef-tea, &c. It has been described by the Court Circular as being most, suitable for City and professional men, and equally invaluable to Cyclists and travellers. Caffyn’s Jelly Carnis is a literal jelly carnis, or raw beef-juice jelly, and is not the least important of the three allied products manufactured by this Company.

As to the therapeutic value of beef-juice foods prepared by Caffyn’s patented process, their wide and growing demand and the unqualified testimony of the medical press may be taken as the most substantial recommendation. Under the direction of the managing director, Mr. Shepperson, the practical and commercial work of the Company is zealously and intelligently advanced, and the City establishment at Holborn Viaduct is the centre of a business the interests of which have been cultivated with exceptional care. Virol, the invention of Mr. William Shepperson, has been commented on by the Court Circular as follows:- “There is one subject in connection with therapeutics upon which we venture to think all are agreed, and that is as to the inestimable value of cod liver oil, not alone for consumption and diseases of the chest generally, but for a variety of maladies, including rheumatism, gout, sciatica, and for the wasting diseases of infancy and childhood especially. . . . Many people cannot take cod liver oil, hence the numberless emulsions and preparations that have been introduced from time to time with a view to rendering its objectionable taste palatable, without eliminating the virtues of the obnoxious oil. . . It is with feelings of considerable relief that attention is drawn to a new remedy which has been occupying the minds Of scientists for some considerable time past, yclept ‘Virol,’ a positive substitute for cod liver oil, which possesses the additional advantage of being a thorough nutrient. Technically described, it consists of the proteids of beef and eggs, the fat of beef and eggs, the marrow of beef or essence of bone, the carbo-hydrate, extract of malt, and the salts of beef and egg (including the lime salts of the shell) in proportions carefully adjusted to diet formulae laid down by the most up-to-date physiologists. We have here all the essential elements of cod-liver oil in a palatable preparation which is highly digestible, and which contains nitrogenous elements in their most perfect form as at present known. From photo-microscopical diagrams published it is clearly shown that Virol is superior to cod-liver oil as a digestive, inasmuch as the division of the fat globules is much finer, and, as every part of the egg is used in its manufacture, including the lime salts of the shell, Virol is in reality a perfect food. Considering that in taste it is not only unobjectionable, but positively pleasant, its field in therapeutics would seem to be illimitable, while its price of half-a-crown for a half- pound pot places it within the reach of all.”


IN connection with the great wine and spirit trade of the Metropolis the names of Messrs. W. & T. Restell have been long and honorably known: and their business as sworn brokers and auctioneers is one of the most extensive in the City. The firm was established twenty-six years ago by Messrs. William and Thomas Restell, who acquired their experience in the office of their uncle, the late Mr. J. G. Winn; since the death of Mr. William Restell, Mr. Thomas Restell has been the sole principal. At 29, Mark Lane the firm have a suite of handsome and spacious offices, together with three commodious and well-fitted sample-rooms. The premises are equipped throughout in the most approved modern style, and are lighted by electricity. The registered telegraphic address is “Restell’s, London.” The firm hold sales of wine and spirits at the London Commercial Sale Rooms, which are attended by representatives of the most important buyers from all parts of the country and abroad. The Messrs. Restell have for many years been special brokers to the London and St. Katherine Dock Company, now trading as the London and India Docks Joint Committee, and number among their clients most of the largest importers of wines and spirits in the Metropolis. Mr. Thomas Restell is a gentleman well known in commercial circles, and is universally respected, alike for his eminent business abilities and for the principles of uncompromising integrity which characterise all his transactions.


IN connection with the printing and lithographing art industries, which are so extensively carried on in the City of London, a prominent position has long been held by the well-known firm of Messrs. Whitehead, Morris & Co., whose name is identified with the production of a large variety of high-class work. This eminent house was founded in the year 1857, and Mr. Whitehead being deceased, Mr. Edward S. Morris is now the sole principal. The business is one of magnitude, and in addition to the premises in Fenchurch Street, the firm have perfectly-appointed printing works situated on Tower Hill. Their operations embrace every branch of the trade, not only in English, but also in every other language in which printing is now executed for commercial and other purposes. Lithographing and artistic colour work are also specialities of the house, and engraving and die-sinking enter largely into the routine of the business. Messrs. Whitehead, Morris & Co. stand second to none in these several departments, and they enjoy the confidence and support of a particularly large and influential connection, embracing not only many great banking and mercantile houses, railway and insurance companies, &c., but also various Governments in different parts of the world. Some of their productions in cheques, banknotes, share certificates, &c., are specimens of fine workmanship and artistic design, and would be difficult to surpass. Account-books of every description, from the plainest to the most elaborate and costly, are largely manufactured, and the firm have very superior facilities for the execution of high-class binding. Messrs.

Whitehead, Morris & Co. are sole agents for the celebrated patent “STOUT BUFF” copying paper, which now stands so high in the appreciation of business men, solicitors, and others at home and abroad, and which is largely used in H.M. Government offices. This excellent copying paper, being strong and durable, is easily handled, and may be folded and filed, or used in books, as desired. It forms an excellent substitute for written duplicates, saving much manual labour, and always gives bright black copies. A special recommendation is that IT copies most writing inks, and will copy documents long after writing, and with almost any ink if sufficiently damped. Even correspondence received, which has previously been copied, can again be reproduced in the majority of cases. The “Stout Buff” Copying Paper puts an end to defective copies and torn letter-books, and with its many advantages it is not surprising that the demand for it increases ^continuously. Another speciality of this firm consists in the printing and ruling of all kinds of documents in copy able ink; and they also hold a large selection of type-writing papers, their special catalogue of these papers containing a variety of samples.

Messrs. Whitehead, Morris & Co. have a world-wide clientele, and to their foreign customers they supply every requisite of a business office, even to the desks and chairs. The affairs of the business are managed with conspicuous ability and practical skill, everything receiving the personal supervision of the head of the house; and in all departments of the comprehensive industry carried on at the firm’s extensive works in Tower Hill the best and most skilful workmen are employed. Mr. Edward S. Morris, the sole partner, is a gentleman well known and much respected in the City. He takes great interest in all local affairs, and has held a number of important offices in connection with civic and philanthropic institutions. Messrs. Whitehead, Morris & Co.’s telegraphic address is “Wemmel, London.” Their office telephone is No. 2028, and their factory telephone is No. 2371.


THIS great American house, to whose London branch the present brief sketch is more particularly intended to refer, stands out conspicuously among those gigantic undertakings which illustrate manufacturing chemistry and pharmacy. The extensive scale upon which this firm’s world-wide transactions are based, the magnitude and scope of its connections, and the vast and unrestricted field which its operations cover are comparatively well known; hence need not be repeated, except in general outline. Though the English branch was only opened in quite recent years, the house was established in 1871, and in 1875 incorporated under its present name, under the laws of the State of Michigan; and it had existence under other firm-titles, however, as early as 1867, but it was not until incorporated that it attained material eminence. Right here it may be emphasised that the success of the house has been in no small degree due to the policy which it has, from the very outset, adopted, abjuring any form of secrecy or control, by way of patent, trademark, copyright, or other means of monopoly or protection upon any drug or medical preparation; and has constantly kept its interests in accord with those of the medical profession. Parke, Davis & Co. recognise that pharmacy and medicine occupy a mutual relation in reference to the public, and alike are to be regarded from a higher plane than that of vocation merely — both deal with life and health; consequently both meet on the common ground of humanity. There are few things the reputable medical practitioner will not [and with this view it has been the aim of Parke, Davis & Co.] forgive more readily than the violation of those laws of moral and professional rectitude that are intended to serve as a bulwark against superstition and all forms of charlatanism. The modern pharmacist depends for standing upon his respect for the moral and professional lines of conduct laid down by his medical brother; to always strictly adhere to the principles of equity which are common to both professions.

At an early date they formulated a code for their own guidance, as well as for the full understanding of their relations by their patrons, which may be summarised as follows:— (1) The manufacturing pharmacist needs and values the respect of the medical profession, and should therefore study to conform to those principles of ethics which affect the production and marketing of medicinal preparations. (2) He should strive to maintain the highest standard of quality and excellence which is rendered possible owing to facilities now afforded for securing drugs; likewise in manufacture should be employed, only the best and latest machinery and the highest skill attainable. (3) Whenever permissible, the strength of every preparation should be determined by repeated assays, beginning with the purchase of the crude material, and ending only with the finished product. (4) It is unethical and dishonest to market any form of nostrum or preparation protected by copyright, patent, or trade-mark. Since medical men cannot fulfil the higher purposes of their calling except by full knowledge of the agents employed, all manufactures and formula should be open to the inspection of pharmacists and physicians. (5) It is highly improper to label or advertise products in any way that can possibly encourage or admit of their employment by the laity without medical advice. That any product or any mode of manufacture shall not be lost to science, it is demanded every preparation shall have a name admitting of definite place in scientific nomenclature, and its formula made free to all the world in such manner that anyone competent may readily prepare the same. (6) The manufacturing chemist should ever lend his superior resources to the advancement of both medical and pharmaceutical science. He should not act from selfish or pecuniary motives solely, but keep in view the general well-being of humanity, and, tending to this end, the continued progress of medical and pharmaceutical science.

Under such principles the business of the firm had so rapidly increased that in 1879 it was compelled to enlarge its laboratory in Detroit, Mich., U.S.A., which again required enlargement in the subsequent year. In 1883 a third building for crude drug stock and for printing purposes was also erected. In 1886 still another addition was necessitated, and still another in 1891, which brings the institution to the immense proportion, represented in the engraving as occupying the greater portion of two large blocks. In 1875 this firm became largely identified with and interested in the manufacture of empty Gelatine Capsules. Prior to this date these very useful aids to the administration of disagreeable medicines had been little in demand, because little known. It is in no small measure owing to the enterprise and energy of this firm that empty capsules have become a practical necessity to physician, pharmacist, and patient alike.

Parke, Davis & Co. now control the entire products of the laboratory located at the comer of Fourth and Abbott Streets, in Detroit, represented in engraving. In 1881, in view of the rapid increase of business in the east, and the necessity of establishing an agency through which the importation and exportation of goods might be facilitated, a branch office was located at New York. At the same time was secured a large warehouse for the storing of crude drugs. The New York branch has twice outgrown itself, necessitating removals, and is now located at 89, 92, and 94, Maiden Lane, in the building illustrated in engraving. The growing demand, and the almost prohibitory tariff imposed by the Dominion on American products, necessitated the establishment of a manufacturing branch in Canada. In 1892 the business had so increased that a new building was demanded, and erected (across the Detroit River, nearly opposite the parent laboratory), in Walkerville, Ontario. Recently a branch house, for the better handling of the trade of the western and southwestern portions of the continent, was also established in Kansas City.

The London house, first located at 43 and 44, Holbom Viaduct, though quite recently established has already made the firm well known throughout the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. Even this branch has outlived its limits. The facilities for handling the rapidly growing business soon became too small, and removal into larger and more, commodious quarters at 451, Oxford Street, together with large laboratory and warehouse buildings adjacent in North Row, will take place early in May. Agencies also have been established, not alone for the sale of products, but also for the purchasing of crude material necessary to their business, in all the principal marts of the civilised world — in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, South and Central America, Mexico, Cuba, Sandwich Islands, Australia, New Zealand, the Hither and Further Indias, and likewise in China and Japan.

The firm is constantly adding new and improved processes in the interest of progress, and has ever been foremost in advocating a standard value for drug products. Again, anything deemed an advantage from either a scientific or manufacturing standpoint is at once seized upon, for Parke, Davis & Co, have amply proved the value of the old motto, “The best is the cheapest.” In handling the vast quantities of material required, expense becomes a secondary factor — one entirely subsidiary to the interests of perfection. In consequence they are constantly employing a large number of skilled professional scientists — botanists, microscopists, chemists, physicians who are continually engaged in researches in therapeutics, and in studying the physiological application of remedies. On various occasions the firm had found it expedient to send expeditions to various parts of the world, including the West Indies, South America, Fiji Islands, Africa, &c., to examine local flora in the interests of therapeutical and pharmaceutical science. By this means the materia medica has been enriched by numerous new drugs, such as Boldo, Coca, Cocillana, Chekan, Cascara Sagrada, Quebracho, Jamaica Dogwood, Pichi, Manaca, &c., &c., all of which are now considered indispensable. The house has given particular attention to the study of the digestive ferments. Their Aseptic Pepsin, of a digestive power of 1 to 4,000 and upwards (1 to 20,000 or 30,000 as may be required) according to the U.S.P. test, is not excelled by any similar product on the market. This pepsin is perfectly soluble, free from animal matters or other contaminations, and every way permanent.

The firm is glad at all times to receive physicians and pharmacists at the home laboratory, or branch offices, and especially invite criticism of methods, processes, and products. Every department and detail is ever open to inspection and scrutiny. Finally, as this is the year of the World’s Fair and Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and doubtless many of our readers will be in attendance thereupon, Messrs. Parke, Davis & Co. tender a cordial invitation & to each and all to stop at Detroit en route, and inspect their home offices and laboratory. The London house is under the management of Mr. F. M. Fisk, who is a world-wide traveller, and who numbers his business and personal friends in nearly every country on the globe. Mr. Fisk is also General Manager for all the affairs of the firm throughout Europe. Physicians or chemists in London, resident there or abroad, are certain to feel gratified by a call at the London office of Messrs. Parke, Davis & Co.


THE financial soundness and high status of this old and influential Company are already so well established that any lengthy treatise thereupon might be regarded as superfluous, were it not that the notable distinction of the concern demands its inclusion in any work dealing with those great representative institutions which contribute to London’s prosperity and commercial greatness. The Company owes its unique position not less to the gigantic outgrowth of its funds than to the enterprise with which its present stability and independence have been secured. Its history is one of steady and graduated progress, for in 1869 its funds did not exceed two millions sterling. At the present day they point to a splendid aggregate of eight millions. Even within the past ten years the development of the total fire and life funds has been rapid, considering that, since 1881, they have advanced by some three millions and a quarter.

Judged by its income alone, the Company holds a position second to none in the Kingdom. The total revenue for 1891 amounted to £2,230,635, of which some £293,750 represented annuity considerations, interests, &c., and while the net premiums in the life department of the business registered £329,855, the fire premiums attained a magnificent total of £1,607,030. The Royal Company, in regard to its fire branch, stands pre-eminent among British incorporations, and the Fire Insurance Chart, 1891 (by which at a glance the relative positions of the country’s leading insurance companies are compared), acknowledges this fact by showing the Royal at the very head of its authentic and carefully compiled list. That the Company has not altogether relied upon its solid and unimpeachable reputation for the wide and worldspread business it commands is attested by the activity of its branch offices at home and abroad, and the assiduous care with which the interests of assurers are guarded. In no feature of the Company’s operations is this more clearly manifested than in the market value of its securities, which exceeds the amounts fixed by the balance sheets, and the Company is ever desirous of enhancing that basis of absolute safety upon which the confidence of the assuring community principally rests.

Of the distinguishing principles upon which both the life and fire business is regulated it only requires to be said that these comprehend all the best systems which modern ideas of equity and the Company’s long experience can suggest. Having in view the popular need of an ample assurance at the most moderate cost, the Royal tables show a standard of moderation all the more remarkable in that, in respect of participating policies, the bonus additions are very high. The last reversionary bonus declared was £7 10s. on each benefiting £100. A Royal policy is thus the best family provision that can be made in these times of business fluctuation and vigorous trade competition. As regards fire business the Royal’s position has been already alluded to. All facilities which commercial men and others are entitled to expect are brought into the transactions of the Company, which has long been distinguished for the honourable and prompt settlement of losses. The extensive London business is controlled by a board of eleven directors, of whom W. Livingstone Watson, Esq., is chairman. The secretary to the board is John H. Croft, Esq., and the position of assistant-secretary is ably filled by Charles Jackson, Esq. The Company occupies a very extensive and handsome block of offices in Lombard Street, affording the spacious accommodation necessary for the conduct of a business involving a very considerable and highly influential portion of the assurance activity of the Metropolis; and all matters are regulated with a precision and tact highly creditable to those upon whom the responsibilities of the Company’s affairs devolve,


THIS excellently organised industrial business was founded in 1836 by Mr. J. F. Clarke, who, until very recently, as the senior partner, continued to take an active share in the business of the house, notwithstanding his venerable age, and the enormous amount of administrative work which he has done in his time. His well-earned retirement has left his important business in the very capable hands of his two sons, Messrs. Robert and Alfred Clarke. These two gentlemen are accomplished practical engineers, and are thoroughly competent to direct what promises to be the very important new developments of the firm’s operations, especially in reference to electricity and other important new scientific departures. Mr. J. F. Clarke’s career, both in reference to the conduct of his own business and outside of it, has been one of notable activity. Like some other busy men who are possessed of exceptionally strong organising powers, Mr. Clarke, notwithstanding the heavy demands made upon his time by the extent of his own business, has been able to find time and energy to devote to the service of the public. He has thus filled in succession all the important parochial offices in his own district, and for twenty years and more has been vice-chairman of the Board of Guardians, and many years chairman of the Central London District School Board. He has been also Prime Warden of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths, and has always been a generous supporter of local charities. It is notable that Mr. Clarke, who commenced business just at the period when gas-lighting had firmly taken its position as a recognised institution in relation to both public and private life, and who in his time has executed many important contracts in gas engineering, should have retired at the moment when the firm whose valuable connection he has created is largely developing, under the guidance of his sons, the illuminant which has already become a strong rival to gas-light.

As engineers having their commercial headquarters in the City, Messrs. J. F. Clarke & Sons hold an advantageously unique position, inasmuch as they have, within half a mile of their well-appointed show-room, a series of large and thoroughly equipped workshops, with a foundry, covering nearly an acre of ground. This great industrial establishment, which is furnished with all the requisite labour-saving mechanical appliances, is in telegraphic communication with the offices of the firm in Moorgate Street. The principals are thus enabled at any time to summon without delay a large or small staff of their own skilled workmen for any emergency. Messrs. J. F. Clarke & Sons are prepared to fulfil contracts to any extent in gas and electric lighting, heating, and hydraulic engineering. Their business connection with the City Corporation and with many of its departments as contractors is of long standing. They have a high reputation for the production of fine wrought-iron work, and have also special facilities for designing and executing fittings in this material, and they have, therefore, been able to render excellent service in the ornamental department of electric lighting, while, at the same time, they have all the necessary appliances and a strong corps of thoroughly trained men for the installation of complete systems. They have supplied all the electric, lamps for the Smithfield Meat Market. In similar classes of work they have gained the complete confidence of the London School Board and the Commissioners of Sewers, as well as that of many proprietors of hotels and restaurants, and administrative bodies of clubs, banks, exchanges, &c. The importance of the work executed by Messrs. J. F. Clarke & Sons entitles the firm to be regarded, especially in its relations to the City of London, as a thoroughly representative one.

50, MARK. LANE, E.C.

THE important business conducted at the above address by Messrs. Schluter & Co. was founded in the year 1873, and its operations are mainly in connection with a number of notable agencies which have been secured by this firm as London representatives of several leading Continental wine houses. Messrs. Schluter & Co. hold an especially prominent position in the trade as agents for the great house of Baron Schlumberger, of Voslau, near Vienna, whose Austrian champagnes and still white and red wines are of high repute. The Schlumberger estate is one of the largest wine-growing properties in Europe, and is well known by name to all who have visited the Austrian capital. The wines grown here are of a very fine character, and are kept at all the principal hotels. They are regarded by many as superior to clarets, and are largely consumed because of their hygienic reputation, as well as by reason of their highly agreeable and palatable qualities. On the “Goldeck” estate (as Baron Schlumberger’s fine property is named) the culture of the vine is conducted upon scientific principles, and has reached a high state of perfection. The proprietor having devoted the labour of a lifetime to this work, and having achieved such high results, his services to viticulture, and to the wine-drinking public generally, were fittingly recognised by His Imperial Majesty, the Austrian Emperor, who raised Mr. Schlumberger to the ranks of the nobility. Many testimonials have been received according the highest praise to the “Voslau-Goldeck” wines, and showing their special suitability for persons of delicate health. They are very moderate in price, and the market affords no finer value in sound natural wines. The celebrated Dr. London, of Carlsbad, has spoken in high terms of Baron Schlumberger’s red and white Voslau-Goldeck wines, saying that they agreed well with all his patients who used them during their cure at Carlsbad for different diseases, such as indigestion, liver complaint, jaundice, and gout. The special correspondent of the Daily Telegraph wrote from Vienna as follows:- “Yesterday I paid a visit to the establishment of one of the greatest wine-growers in Austria (Mr. Robert Schlumberger) situated at Voslau, and was fortunate enough to see the process of wine-making ab initio — this being the vintage time. I have seen many interesting features in regard to this huge establishment, and have also tasted the different qualities of the red Voslau wines. They resemble the finer class of so-called Burgundy clarets, being rich, soft, perfectly pure and wholesome, and appear to me to be, by reason of their generousness, especially suitable to our climate.” In the Morning Post, not long ago, appeared the following tribute to the excellent qualities of these wines:— “The Austrian Voslau wines of Mr. Schlumberger, one of the largest growers in the immense wine-producing district of Austria, certainly take a high rank; they are widely different from other Austrian and Hungarian growths, having a superior smoothness and fulness of body. A proof of the soundness of the wine is shown by the fact that when the Austrian frigate Novara made her celebrated voyage round the world, what was left of the three thousand bottles stowed for consumption was found to have kept well and greatly improved.”

The Voslau-Goldeck wines are remarkably rich in phosphates, by which their medicinal value is greatly enhanced; and there is an absence of excess of tannin such as is not found in other wines of a similar class. The “Sparkling Voslauer” is an effervescent white wine of a delicious quality, rich, generous, and of extreme delicacy. While not claiming that this wine excels all the “grand brands” of Rheims and Epernay, Messrs. Schluter & Co. claim that it is superior to many of the medium brands of French champagne which are sold at very considerably higher prices. To cite the opinion of a great authority, it may be mentioned that Dr. Druitt, in his report on pure cheap wines (after speaking very favourably of other wines grown on the Voslau-Goldeck estate), says:— “The Sparkling Voslauer will hold its own against any champagne.” (Vide Medical Times and Gazette, No. 764.) Most particular care is exercised in the making of this charming Austrian champagne; in fact, every person engaged in its manufacture has had long experience in the large Rheims houses, and the process adopted is exactly the same.

The Voslau-Goldeck wines are now being very largely consumed in America, Russia, and Austria, and are prescribed by the physicians at the leading German spas. Under Messrs. Schluter’s energetic advocacy the demand in the English trade is rapidly increasing. As the taste of the public now runs in the direction of beverages that are light and wholesome, as well as economical, there should undoubtedly be a great future in store for this delicious Austrian wine. Messrs. Schluter & Co. are also agents for the well-known Hocks and Moselles of Messrs. Hinckel & Winckler, of Frankfort-on-Main; for the clarets and sauternes of Paul Charriol & Co., of Bordeaux; and for the still and sparkling burgundies of Felix de la Maillauderie, and P. Germain (late Poulet, Pere & Fils, of Beaune, Cote d’Or.) These are all brands of high repute, and on the principle that “good wine needs no bush,” they may be left to speak for themselves. They have certainly met with high favour in the English trade, and are in large demand. Mr. Henry Schluter manages this flourishing business with marked ability and success, and for the rapid supplying of clients’ urgent orders he holds a large duty- paid stock, ready for immediate delivery, in his cellars at 73 to 75, Lower Thames Street, E.C.


Located in the very centre of the soft goods trade, and within a few doors from where stood the famous “Embroiderers’ Hall,” is situated the house of Messrs. Freeman, Headon & Co., extensive manufacturers of every description of upholstery trimmings. For more than forty years this establishment has been prominently identified with the progress and development of the trade, and has achieved a reputation during that period of an unequalled character. The present head of the firm, Mr. N. B. Headon, was one of the founders, and his long experience, natural aptitude, and good taste have been employed in introducing many valuable designs which have obtained in the trade, and are in demand for their artistic attractiveness. The premises occupied in Gutter Lane are well fitted up and arranged for the business, comprising a handsomely appointed suite of offices and spacious show-rooms. The factory in Milton Street, E.C., is equipped with the most modern and improved plant and appliances, and employment is found for a considerable force of hands.

The business conducted by Messrs. Freeman, Headon & Co. is of almost world-wide extent, their articles securing ready and permanent sales wherever they are once introduced. Choice materials, novelty of design, and elegance of finish are the leading features of the firm’s productions, and in these three essentials of the perfect manufacture the house can successfully hold its own against all competitors. Particular mention should be made, in any case, of some charming art fringes the house is showing, which combine in perfect harmony lightness, beauty, and richness of colouring. There are also some unique specimens of cretonne ball fringes, and numerous desirable nouveautes in cretonne and tapestry edgings, as well as many pretty patterns in curtain-holders and bell-pulls. A word, too, should be said of the extremely handsome mantel-borders, made of plush, in the most artistic colourings. The designs are stamped in bold relief, producing a solid and substantial effect equal in appearance to that of Genoa velvet, while the cost of these tasty articles is hardly more than half what it would be if made in that fabric.

In upholstery trimmings for draperies, valances, curtains, suites, &c., the house is particularly strong. This department of their manufactures received high commendation at the Melbourne Exhibition. Goods can be supplied at once from the extensive and varied stock kept on hand, and special orders are promptly and satisfactorily filled by the perfect manufacturing facilities the house possesses. The export trade extends to the Colonies, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the Continent, and the home trade finds employment for a corps of travellers, who cover the whole of the United Kingdom. Mr. Headon is widely known and respected in the trade for his honourable and straightforward dealings, and his business capacity; and popularity are such that his fellow-citizens of the ward of Farring don Within have for the last ten years retained him as their representative in the Common Council of the City. He is a liveryman of the Needlemakers’ Company, a vice-president of the Warehousemen and Clerks’ Schools and the Porters’ Benevolent Institution, a governor of the three Royal Masonic Institutions, and of the Infant Orphan Asylum, the Idiot Asylum, and other philanthropic societies. It may be also noted that in 1871 he founded the Provident Association of Warehousemen, Travellers, and Clerks, an institution which has done most useful work, and Since its formation has paid in benefits to its members a sum of some £38,000. Mr. N. B. Headon was the originator of “The Great City” Lodge of Freemasons, of which he has also been treasurer for many years, and whilst occupying the position of Master of the Lodge in 1875, he had the honour of entertaining at a banquet the then Lord Mayor of: London (Mr. Alderman Stone), and the Sheriffs of London and Middlesex, besides many of the most distinguished members of the craft, the assemblage being the largest ever seen outside the Grand Lodge of England.
Telegrams should be addressed: “Headon, London.”


THE application of electricity to various scientific, mechanical, and domestic purposes has been carried to such a high point of comprehensive perfection nowadays that most people have learned to look upon this subtle agent as one of the indispensable factors in our modern convenience. The demand for the services of the “good fairy Electra” in various capacities has become very widespread and general, and in obedience to this demand there have arisen numerous firms whose object it is to supply public requirements in this respect, and to bring the benefits of electrical science within the reach of the great body of the people. Among such firms in London there is none better known or more highly reputed than that of Messrs. Appleton, Burbey & Williamson, who hold a prominent position in the front rank of the trade as electrical engineers and manufacturers. Founded at an early period in the history of the electric light, this house has always made that branch of the science a speciality, and at the same time has earned an eminent reputation in connection with general electrical supplies of all descriptions. The business has developed rapidly from the first under the influence of able and thoroughly practical management, and it is now one of the largest concerns of its kind in the Metropolis, enjoying the support of a very extensive London and provincial connection. Recently the firm have acquired new and enlarged works, known as the “Tower Bridge Electrical Works,” at Horsleydown, S.E.. and this establishment they have equipped with the best modern machinery, thus enabling themselves to compete in price with foreign manufacturers, and at the same time to supply a genuine English-made article, embodying the most reliable material and workmanship.

Messrs. Appleton, Burbey & Williamson supply all descriptions of electric-light fittings, these being all made at their own works upon the most advanced principle, and in every branch of the manufacture the well-tried skill of the workmen employed affords a guarantee of the excellence of the articles produced. In looking through the large stock of electric light accessories kept by this firm one recognises the possibility of executing almost any order with instant despatch, so varied and comprehensive is the supply held in readiness to meet all urgent demands. The excellent workmanship and superior finish of the goods are also conspicuous qualities, and in the department for electroliers, lamps, brackets, &c., our admiration is aroused by a splendid array of new and elegant designs, all artistically conceived and skilfully fashioned in polished brass and copper, and also in wrought iron. These goods are as beautiful in appearance and as chaste and decorative in style as any we have seen, and reflect great credit upon the taste and enterprise of the firm. Messrs. Appleton, Burbey & Williamson also show a fine stock of electric-light glassware in the form of globes and shades, all in richly cut and beautifully moulded designs, and tinted in a variety of colours productive of very pleasing effect. The completeness of this stock will be understood when we say that it includes fully two hundred patterns of glassware.

Besides electric-light fittings Messrs. Appleton, Burbey & Williamson supply everything in the shape of electric-bell fittings (embracing a wonderful list of novelties adapted to varying requirements), batteries, insulators, wires, flexible cords, and everything else that can be classed under the head of electrical accessories. It would be impossible in this brief sketch to mention even a tithe of these useful and interesting goods, but we may take this opportunity of commending to the notice of our readers Messrs. Appleton, Burbey & Williamson’s beautifully printed and profusely illustrated trade sheets and price lists. These are issued in a novel and very convenient form, admitting of the addition of new sheets from time to time, and they will be found very useful for reference, as they give particulars of almost every kind of electrical appliance to which the firm under notice devote attention. No firm in the trade is displaying greater energy or enterprise in the introduction of valuable novelties and improvements. At the show-rooms in Queen Victoria Street a remarkably large and comprehensive stock is on view, and in looking through its varied features one is astonished to note the progress that has been made of late years, and the ingenuity displayed in adapting electrical force to a host of useful purposes. Messrs. Appleton, Burbey & Williamson are to be congratulated upon the splendid business they have developed, and the wide and influential connection they have secured. Each of the principals is a thoroughly practical and experienced electrician, well versed in every scientific and industrial detail of the trade, and the active personal part taken by the firm members in the administration of the business is undoubtedly one of the chief causes of the substantial and well-merited success this house has achieved.


IN connection with the paper trade, which is represented in London by numerous firms of high standing and world-wide reputation, prominent mention must be made of the well-known house of Messrs. A. J. Brown, Brough & Co., of Warwick Lane. The extensive business now carried on by this firm was founded in London Wall about twenty years ago by Mr. A. J. Brown, and was soon afterwards transferred to Newgate Street, where Mr. J. R. Brough joined the business. In 1883 the trade had increased so considerably that it was found necessary to find larger premises, and these were secured in Aldersgate Street. Still the business continued to develop, and about seven years ago the firm came to their present extensive establishment in Warwick Lane. At the same time the title of A. J. Brown, Brough & Co. was adopted. Since then, owing to continued growth, it was again found necessary to add considerably to the warehouse accommodation, and 103, St. John Street, Clerkenwell, was secured, having a very large floor area, with hydraulic lift and every convenience for prompt despatch of goods, and a branch warehouse has been opened at Leicester. Besides trading upon a large scale as general paper merchants, and contractors to Her Majesty’s Government, this firm do a very extensive business as wholesale and export stationers, and they hold immense stocks in readiness to meet all demands with promptitude.

The premises in Warwick Lane comprise a spacious ground floor, with basement and sub-basement, and in Clerkenwell a large building of five floors is occupied. Messrs. A. J. Brown, Brough & Co. have a reputation for their specialities in brown, wrapping, and printing papers, straw-boards, wood pulp, and “middles,” in all of which they deal very extensively. They supply the larger City warehouses, and the wholesale trade generally, and deliver immense quantities to their regular customers. The Leicester warehouse is an important distributing centre in its district, and is chiefly concerned with the various classes of papers required by hosiery and shoe manufacturers, among whom the firm have a valuable connection. During the later years of their very successful career Messrs. A. J. Brown, Brough & Co. have cultivated the export trade with eminently Satisfactory results, and the great development of this department of their business in Australia is evidenced in the fact that they have now a branch office at Sydney, N.S.W. A considerable and growing trade is also carried on with Cape Colony, India, South America, the West Indies, and New Zealand. Both in the home, and export markets the goods supplied by Messrs. A. J. Brown, Brough & Go. are highly esteemed, and the careful maintenance of a uniform standard of excellence in every article has brought the house into general favour and confidence. The principals personally manage the business, and their sound, practical knowledge and broad experience are well applied in promoting its steady growth and progress. The firm are sole owners of the patent rights for Great Britain and Ireland of the Automatic Roll Paper Cutter and Printer, specially adapted for economic advertising (see accompanying sketch). Both Mr. Brown and Mr. Brough are gentlemen of especial energy and enterprise, and are recognised as holding a prominent position among the leaders of the paper and stationery trades in London.
Telegrams for this firm should be addressed, “Prescience, London.” Telephone No. 818.


THE great industry which is conducted by Messrs. Hopton & Sons at their extensive works in George Street, Euston Square, and also at Market Harborough, is of a very special character. The firm is well known by all the leading coachbuilders and wheelwrights in the United Kingdom for the specially prepared bent timber which they produce in many forms for use in these industries. Their works at both the above addresses cover a very large area, and include large blocks of buildings, used as offices, sawmills, workshops, and sheds for maturing the heavy stocks of timber which are always held in the commodious yards. Established in 1840, the firm for over half a century have held the first rank in their unique line of business. Their industrial departments are fitted up with all mechanical wood-working appliances which the latest applications of modern science have produced, together with specially designed machines for their own peculiar wood-bending operations. The offices in George Street are well appointed, and are provided with all the requisites for the rapid despatch of the extensive commercial correspondence entailed by the numerous transactions of the house at home and abroad. The telegraphic address (registered) is “Hoptons, London.”

The firm are the sole makers of their improved wicker carved panels. They also manufacture in large quantities phaeton and carriage seats, turned spokes, naves and spindles, panel and other boards, felloes and planks, sham cane, &c., while the reputation of Hopton’s patent wheels is universal. The excellence of the firm’s special productions has been specially emphasised by the award of the only prize medals for wheels and bent timber at the exhibitions at Vienna in 1873 and at Paris in 1878, while they also gained gold medals at the Melbourne Exhibition in 1881, and at that in New Zealand in 1882. The commendation thus officially expressed has been endorsed by the opinion of the most distinguished experts in the coachbuilding trades. As manufacturers of bent timber for such purposes as those indicated, Messrs. Hopton & Song are facile principes.


A PARTICULARLY interesting and historic site is that which comes under our notice in the present sketch. Bury Street is to-day the embodiment of all that is busy and energetic — a thoroughly typical City of London thoroughfare, wherein may be found more than one commercial house of international reputation. Things were very different here five or six hundred years ago, when the great Priory of the Holy Trinity flourished on this site; and it is interesting to note that as late as the eighteenth century the old religious atmosphere still remained about the place, for on this same spot, in the year 1712, were erected a meeting-house and minister’s residence for the celebrated Dr. Isaac Watts. At the present time the site is occupied by the extensive establishment of Messrs. Herbert Fitch & Co., a notable firm of manufacturing stationers and colour printers in the metropolis, and it is of the operations of this well-known firm that we shall speak briefly in our present article.

Looking back to the year 1870 we find this business originating under the auspices of Mr. Herbert Fitch on the first floor of No. 66, Bishopsgate Street Within, a very small staff being then employed, while the floor space occupied was only about seven hundred square feet. Within the next four years the limited accommodation thus afforded was outgrown by the steadily-increasing trade of the firm, and to meet the enlarged requirements of the business Mr. Fitch secured a fine freehold site at 9, St. Mary Axe, whereon he erected a building having a floorage area of two thousand feet. Still the business continued to increase, and the firm eventually resolved to make ample provision for its future growth by acquiring an available site at No. 30, Bury Street. Here, in 1879, they erected the noble structure in which their trade is now carried on, and which forms one of the largest and finest printing offices in the city, together with ample warehouse accommodation for the wholesale and export stationery trade. The floor space now at the disposal of the firm is upwards of
sixteen thousand superficial feet, or eight times the area formerly occupied in St. Mary Axe; and the premises have been equipped throughout with improved modern machinery of the best type, affording every facility for the conduct of the large industry engaged in.

From time to time new departments have been added to the business, and Messrs. Herbert Fitch and Co. are now famous alike for their commercial and artistic letterpress and colour printing, lithography and engraving, designing, gold-blocking, account-book making, and the manufacture of stationery for commercial and general purposes. In all these departments they have an established reputation for original ideas, artistic and highly finished style, and promptitude in the execution of orders. A world-wide celebrity has been won by this firm as specialists in the invention and production of advertising novelties, and we particularly commend to the notice of our readers their newest ideas in “presentation” advertisements, which include accurate thermometers mounted on gold bevelled cards, nickel mirrors, ivorite mirrors and paper-knives, tortoiseshell and card purses, &c., &c. All these goods are of the highest class in design and workmanship, and are intended to bear advertisements. They are not liable to be thrown away or disregarded as ordinary advertisements so frequently are, for they possess a distinct usefulness and beauty of their own which ensures their preservation, and thus renders them exceptionally valuable as an advertising medium. Articles of this class are undoubtedly much appreciated by the public. They form a recognised feature of modern business enterprise, and the firms who desire to distribute such effective souvenirs among their more valued customers cannot do better than send for Messrs. Fitch’s new designs, which are decidedly unsurpassed in style and appearance.

Special mention is also due to the firm’s fine assortment of artistic blocks suitable for embellishing catalogues, circulars, window cards, price lists and all sorts of business advertisements. Customers entrusting work of this description to Messrs. Fitch & Co. are allowed the use of these blocks without any charge whatever, and few business men will need to be told how greatly a pretty illustration enhances the effect of a circular or advertisement. As a rule, such special illustrations mean a considerable extra cost, but Messrs. Herbert Fitch & Co. give their patrons the benefit of this splendid collection of blocks gratis. They have issued a fine specimen-book containing impressions of all these blocks, thus greatly facilitating the selection of a suitable and pleasing design. A large proportion of the blocks are entirely original, and are the exclusive property of this firm.

In all departments of their comprehensive business Messrs. Herbert Fitch & Co. aim at producing the best class of work at consistently moderate prices, and in this endeavour they are supported by the experience of twenty-two years, as well as by the practical aid of many skilled workpeople and much costly machinery. That they give general satisfaction to their patrons is amply indicated in the large and still growing trade they control. Their connection is a thoroughly representative one, both in London and the provinces, and there are very few parts of the civilised (to say nothing of the uncivilised) world to which their productions have not been shipped, and in India and the Colonies they have many old and much-valued clients. Their methods command approval in those quarters where really good work, progressive enterprise, and sound commercial principles are duly appreciated. Mr. Herbert Fitch, the head of the house, is widely known in the trade, and thoroughly and practically versed in all its details. He continues to take an active and supreme part in the management of the business, which owes its success and advancement to his energy and foresight.


This is an old and highly important firm of sherry and port shippers;, deriving their supplies from their own large establishments at Xerez de la Frontera and at Oporto. The brands of Messrs. H. Matthiessen &: Co. in these two standard varieties of wine are widely and favourably known to all the leading houses in the trade, and enjoy a reputation which renders it unnecessary to comment upon their nature and qualities here. The history of the firm dates from 1857, when it was founded at Xerez and Oporto, and in the following year the London house was opened. In addition to the large volume of trade conducted in their own choice brands of port and sherry, Messrs. H. Matthiessen & Co. do a very extensive business as agents for several other, notable producing houses. They represent the famous cognac firm of J. Favraud & Co;, (Chateau de Souillac, Jarnac-sur-Cognac), whose fine brandies gained the highest award at Bordeaux in 1890. Messrs. Favraud’s establishment is situated in the very, centre: of the district which produces the finest crus, and the facilities they thus possess have been utilised to splendid purpose, as the sustained superiority of their product testifies. Until 1889 the brandies of this eminent firm were disposed of on the spot to the. leading shipping houses of cognac, but in that year they decided to do business direct with England, and to this end Messrs. H. Matthiessen & Co. were appointed their sole agents. This arrangement has been productive of highly satisfactory results. Fine old vintages of Messrs. Favraud’s cognac are now being shipped in bulk and in case, and the demand increases steadily as the sound quality and reliability of the brand becomes more generally known. Already it is one of the pronounced successes of the market, and is rapidly progressing in favour.

Messrs. Matthiessen are also agents for the following excellent specialities:- Spanish brandy of Messrs. Fernandez & Cantilio, Xerez de la Frontera; claret of J. M. Reddelien, Bordeaux (this firm, we may add, is one of the most important in Bordeaux, and they ship the finest and purest claret that comes to the English market); champagne of L. I. Luquet & Cie., Epernay; and hock of Aug. Quitmann, Geisenheim-on-Rhine. In these goods are found the materials of a widespread and substantial trade, the affairs of which are managed with much ability, energy, and sound, judgment. The handsomely-appointed premises in Great Tower Street afford every accommodation for general and private offices, sample-rooms, &c. Mr. William Thomas, the senior resident partner of the firm, has been connected with the house for upwards of thirty years, and is widely known and respected in the trade. The other resident partner is Mr. J. G. Webb, an energetic and experienced gentleman, who, apart from his active business life, has also developed a strong interest in matters of local government. He has been a valued and diligent member of the Middlesex County Council since the formation of that administrative body, and his services on the Licensing Committee are particularly appreciated.


The above-named firm dates from the year 1860, and was then founded by Mr. Adam Dixon. In 1878 Mr. Dixon admitted as a partner Mr. John T. Brooks. Some time after the death of Mr. Dixon, Mr. Brooks was joined by Mr. Matthew Walker, a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, and under the able administration of these two gentlemen the house has continued to make steady progress under the firm-name of Brooks & Walker. For the past ten years the concern has had its headquarters in London Street, Fenchurch Street, and here will be found one of the largest and most comprehensive stocks of steam fittings, engineers’ stores, and general mill furnishings to be met with in the Metropolis. Among the standard articles which are always included in this immense and varied stock are the following:- asbestos millboard, asbestos and rubber-woven sheeting for high pressure, asbestos rope packing, asbestos block packing, Tuck’s canvas core packing, “Eagle” packing, tallow packing, engine oils, cylinder oils, leather belting, split and other pulleys, sheet rubber, gauge glasses, needle lubricators,, brewers’ hose, india rubber hose, canvas hose, &c;. The firm make a special feature of superior steam fittings, such as gauges, valves, cocks, &c., in gun metal, all of the best make and finish, and in great variety. Feed pumps, injectors, and gas-engine fittings are also among the specialities of this house, and a large business is done in various kinds OF fittings for steam-ships, such as strong side scuttles, ship’s bells, engine-room gongs, Walker’s logs with indicators, &.

Messrs. Brooks & Walker act as general engineers and contractors, and pay special attention to supplying and generally catering to the requirements of all businesses employing gas or steam power. They publish a handsomely got-up catalogue of one hundred and twelve large quarto pages, which may be had on application. The business has an old-established connection in London and the provinces, and its affairs are directed with marked ability and enterprise by the experienced principals, who are thoroughly practical exponents of the trade in which they are engaged. London Street, in which Messrs. Brooks & Walker’s interesting establishment is situated, is opposite Fenchurch Street Station, and is easily accessible from all parts.


THE well-known firm of Messrs. Emil Pohl & Co. was established in London in the year 1863, First opening in Fenchurch Street, then Mark Lane, the firm eventually removed (in 1892) to their present commodious and well-appointed premises, where they have a handsome suite of offices, with electric light and all modern conveniences. The partners are the founder, Mr. Emil Pohl, and Mr. Edmund Dickinson, who joined the firm in 1884. The several specialities which comprise the principal items in Messrs. Emil Pohl & Co.’s extensive trade are all products of a very high-class character, enjoying an international reputation. At the head of the list stand the celebrated champagnes of Messrs. Wachter & Co., Royal Charter brand, for whom Messrs. Emil Pohl & Co. are general agents and sole importers in this country. These fine wines rank among the choicest products of Epernay, and the favour they have met with in high quarters affords an ample assurance of their excellence. Messrs. Wachter & Co. have been honoured by appointments as purveyors of champagne to Her Majesty the Queen and to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, and their “Royal Charter” brand is greatly-esteemed at the leading clubs, hotels, &c., and among connoisseurs generally at home and abroad. Hardly less important as a commercial speciality is the Liqueur Benedictine, for which Messrs. Emil Pohl & Co. are sole agents for the United Kingdom and the Cape Colonies. This famous liqueur, produced on the site of the ancient abbey of Fecamp, under the auspices of the “Society Anonyme de la Distillerie de la Liqueur Benedictine,” has gained a world-wide renown, and stands second to none of the many cordial preparations that now compete for the favour of the public. Its palatable qualities are, to many tastes, unequalled, while its constituent properties are eminently beneficial by reason of the fact that the liqueur is prepared with the greatest skill and care from selected ingredients which are of an exclusively vegetable nature. Benedictine is an ancient and historic elixir, first produced in the time of the Abbe Antoine II., of Fecamp, who was raised to the rank of cardinal through the favour of Francis I. of France. Thus for over three hundred and eighty years the Liqueur Benedictine has been prepared on the grounds of the ancient abbey in Normandy, and it is satisfactory to know that the old monkish recipe is still strictly adhered to, though, of course, great improvements have been made in the resources of the distillery to meet the immense demand which now exists for this delicious cordial. The universal reputation of the Liqueur Benedictine has been well earned and honestly maintained, and it has few serious rivals among products of its kind. Indeed, to quote the words of the. Vienna Medical Gazette, this liqueur occupies the front rank, in a hygienic point of view among the various liqueurs made in Europe. Each bottle of the genuine Liqueur Benedictine bears upon it the seals of the Prior and of the Abbey of Fecamp, and also has beneath these a rectangular label with the signature of the Directeur-General, A. Legrand aine, Chevalier Legion d’Honneur.

Messrs. Emil Pohl & Co. also specialise a very fine growth of Burgundy shipped from their own house at Gevrey Chambertin; and they are sole agents, likewise, for C. H. Schultz, Rudesheim and Geisenheim on Rhine, whose still and sparkling hocks and moselles have an excellent name; for Tricoche, Bonniot & Co.’s cognac; and for J. Michaelson & Co., of Bordeaux, a well-known claret house. The business in its entirety is a large and important one, and besides controlling an extensive wholesale trade in all parts of the United Kingdom, Messrs. Pohl & Co. export largely from bond to the Cape, Australia, New Zealand, India, China, and the West Indies. The partners are gentlemen of high standing and broad experience in the wine trade, and their commercial methods command the approval of a wide and valuable connection.


The renown attaching to the great wine-growing district of Rheims is shared by many eminent champagne houses, among which a prominent position is held by that of Veuve Max. Sutaine & Cie., an old and noted concern that is now in the proprietorship of Mr. C. B. Canney, of Rheims, and 3, Savage Gardens, Tower Hill. As far back as the year l823 the house in question originated, and its brands have long been deservedly ranked among the most esteemed in the trade. The firm have always made a point of sustaining the quality of their wines at the highest possible level, and the English market has been specially favoured, the taste of consumers in this country having been very carefully studied. To England and the Colonies the house now sends only one quality of wine — the “extra quality, extra dry” and this stands high in the favour of the best judges. It is a wine that commands respect wherever it is introduced, and consequently one meets with it in many places where appreciation is shown for a really good article. Max. Sutaine, who was not only an excellent wine-grower, but also a poet and a painter, was succeeded by his widow, under whose vigorous management the business made increased progress. Veuve Max. Sutaine actually came to London herself and opened up the valuable business connection here, which has since been so prosperously developed. Not long ago the business came into the hands of its present capable and experienced proprietor, Mr. C. B. Canney, who is to be congratulated upon his good fortune in securing this flourishing concern and its old-established and respected brand.

Mr. Canney has a large establishment at 3, Hue de Sillery, Rheims, which is conducted under his personal supervision. It is of comparatively modern construction, comprising a charming dwelling-house, with good stabling and gardens on. the left of the entrance gates. On the right are the porter's lodge, the offices, and the tasting-rooms. Across the spacious courtyard, and opposite the entrance, is the large cellier, or warehouse, where are stored the fresh “must” or new wines, furnished by the various first growths of champagne at vintage time. This cellier, which is capable of containing some thousands of casks, is also used for packing, labelling, and all that has reference to the despatch of wines for export. It is through this building. that the great cellars are approached by a spiral staircase. The first tier, some forty feet below the surface, contains three enormous arched vaults, which serve for storing the older operated wines, and for disgorging, liqueuring, corking, wiring, &c. In one of these cellars stands the large vat in which the wines are blended and the cuvee composed. It is placed here on account of its enormous size, and is served by means of a culvert in the flooring of the warehouse above, into which the casks are emptied, a funnel then conveying the wine into the cuve below. On descending still further by a spiral staircase to the second tier of cellarage, some eighty to one hundred feet below the surface, the visitor finds three avenues extending the whole length of the premises, excavated from the solid, chalk, with cellars running right and left to the number of no less than thirty. This vast subterranean domain contains enormous quantities of bottled wines in various stages of manipulation. Great stocks are held in readiness for exportation. The temperature of these huge cellars has no variation, summer or winter, and registers only about forty-six degrees, Fahr. Each cellar is perfectly ventilated from above, and in spite of the porous nature of the chalk the whole place is absolutely dry. Mr. Canney certainly has an establishment that is worthy, of the great business he is now so enterprisingly and successfully directing.
The London offices are conveniently situated at 3, Savage Gardens, Tower Hill, E.C.


The art of shirtmaking in the highest phases of its modern development is nowhere perhaps more admirably demonstrated than in the City of London; and in this connection there are few firms that are as well and favourably known as the one under notice. Nearly fifty years have now elapsed since the formation of this leading business by its present able and energetic proprietor, Mr. Richard Ford. Most desirably located for a first-class casual, as well as a sound City connection, the spacious double-fronted emporium is handsomely appointed throughput in the modern style, and most methodically arranged to hold and effectively display a thoroughly representative stock of exclusively superior goods illustrative of shirts of every description. Shirtmaking is exclusively carried on by a staff of skilled hands, under the able superintendence of an expert; and the garments thus made to order stand practically unsurpassed for scientific cut, perfect fit, and finished workmanship, and are, moreover, available at most reasonable prices. The high reputation of this typical metropolitan shirtmaking establishment has always been its best advertisement, and this, coupled with the efficiency and sound judgment that continue to mark the methods of its administration, has secured and retained for the house a widespread patronage, characterised by every attribute of desirability and distinction.


THIS important concern was founded in the year 1871, by Mr. Joseph Roura and Mr. Francis Forgas, two gentlemen of long and exhaustive experience in the trade, and under their energetic administration it has attained the leading position it now occupies. Messrs. Roura & Forgas have three large factories in Spain, situate at Calonge, Bagur, Province of Gerona, and Algeciras (province of Cadiz), and their resources are sufficiently large to enable them to supply the requirements of most of the cork-cutters, &c., in this country. The premises occupied in Seething Lane are, very extensive, and comprise an immense four-storey warehouse, built in the form of a hollow square, and enclosing a spacious quadrangle, with large entrance, gateway from the Lane. Here the firm have ample accommodation, and hold enormous stocks of corks and bungs, all packed in bales of a hundred, one hundred and twenty-five, and one hundred and fifty gross each, according to the size of the corks. The firm maintain upwards of five thousand of these bales constantly in stock. Besides the vast quantities of corks thus distributed, Messrs. Roura & Forgas always hold in stock some thousands of bales of corkwood in sheets. This is sold to manufacturers and cork-cutters, and is available for the many useful purposes to which cork is now applied, such as the making of cork soles, hat lining, bath corks, &c., &c. The various qualities of this curious and indispensable material range in price from 7s. 6d. to over £5 per cwt. Every size and description of cork required by wine and spirit merchants, beer bottlers, chemists, &c., comes within the scope of this firm’s dealings; and besides supplying the demands of the home trade in all parts of the United Kingdom, Messrs. Roura & Forgas do an immense export business. The business is admirably organised in every respect, and the manner in which it has been built up and developed in all its departments reflects the greatest credit upon the commercial skill and energy of the principals. These gentlemen are both well known and highly esteemed in the trade, and take an active part in the administration of the affairs of their house. They have acquired their extensive practical experience in the factories in Spain, where they now employ many hundreds of hands, and they continue to devote the closest attention to all the details of a business which owes its remarkable growth and substantial prosperity to their untiring industry and application in the past.


IN the busy district of which Aldgate is the main commercial thoroughfare, and which promises to become enhanced a hundredfold with the opening of the new Tower Bridge, it would indeed be difficult to indicate an abler or better-known representative of the pharmaceutical profession than Mr. William Smart, a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain and Registered Dentist, who in 1861 acquired the business, which had been founded as far back as 1750, and had been continued with credit as a chemist’s depot ever since. The commodious premises occupied consist of a spacious depot, well appointed throughout in the best modern style, and most methodically arranged to hold and effectively display a complete and comprehensive stock of drugs and chemicals of ascertained purity and standard strength, all the popular patent medicines of the day, choice toilet, nursery, and sick-room requisites, medical and surgical appliances of every kind, all manner of chemists’ sundries, and a large series of proprietary articles and pharmaceutical preparations, many of which have had their origin in Mr. Smart’s own laboratory. In his purely professional department Mr. Smart, with competent assistance, operates in every branch of practical pharmacy, devoting the most careful and competent attention to the dispensing of both English and foreign physicians’ prescriptions, the compounding of family recipes, and as a speciality the complete fitting and furnishing and replenishing of medicine-chests for large and small vessels under Board Of Trade regulations; and the large and liberal patronage he enjoys is ample evidence of the fact that his efforts have not failed to meet with deserved appreciation and support.

(TELEPHONE NO. 1,616).

MAINTAINING an eminent reputation among the best representatives of the stationery and printing trades of the City of London, this noted house took origin some fourteen years ago, under the conjoint auspices of Messrs. Prince & Baugh, who were formerly connected with the well-known house of Messrs. Edward Saunders & Son. The commercial development of the concern, which is now under the sole proprietary control of Mr. Edward Richard Baugh, has been both rapid and continuous from the very commencement, and doubtless the most effectual way in which to indicate its true character, scope, and aims would be to give a concise descriptive sketch of the establishment as it now stands, and to supplement this with a few observations upon the nature of the operations there being carried on. The premises occupied comprise the whole of a large and substantial five-storeyed building, divided into handsomely appointed offices, with show-windows and works elaborately equipped, barely two years ago, with a magnificent plant of modern machinery and appliances, driven by a powerful gas-engine, and calling into active requisition a large staff of artists, printers, clerks, and warehousemen in the various departments represented. Messrs. Prince & Baugh operate as exclusively high-class stationers and printers. In their mercantile department they supply only consumers such as banks and commercial houses, with all manner of suitable stationery, office requisites, and printed work. In the executive department the firm engage extensively as producers of account-books for all trades, and in the execution of the best and most artistic kind of lithographic and letterpress printing, devoting the most careful and competent attention to absolute accuracy, elegance, economy, and despatch in all their work. The connections of the house are of the most valuable and influential character, its name being favourably known in all parts of the home, eastern, and south coast counties, as well as throughout the metropolitan area, and the business in every detail is directed with all the ability and enterprise that have been so strongly instrumental in establishing its position and assuring its substantial success.


To the uninitiated an annual output of many million corks certainly appears an enormous aggregate. Yet Mr. William Ellis seemed by no means disposed to class it among his “record” experiences when he courteously, and at some inconvenience, conducted us over his factory. He succeeded to the old-established firm of J. Bulpitt & Son, who were at 61, Minories, but he subsequently removed to his present quarters, 8, John Street, Crutched Friars, E.C. It is interesting to note that Messrs. J. Bulpitt & Sons were the oldest firm in the trade. From that time Mr. Ellis has, year in, year out, marshalled his working staff of some sixty men and boys, including amongst the former many old and valued servants, and successfully carried on the business of a cork and corkwood importer. During the forty-five years of his business career Mr. Ellis has witnessed marked advances in the manner of producing good and marketable corks; indeed, various striking improvements owe their origin to his personal initiative, and to the facility with which he has applied modern methods and devices to the exigencies of his trade. From the brewer’s big bung to the tiny cork of a homoeopathic phial, all are now dealt with by machinery, machines for cutting, sizing, counting and branding having superseded the tedious manipulation of other days. True, the comparative quiet within the factory under the former antiquated system has given place to incessant whirr and rattle, but this discomfort brings its own compensation in a vastly increased power of production. Mr. Ellis’s travellers visit most of the large towns in the United Kingdom, and it is interesting to regard the busy hive in Crutched Friars as the link between the distillers, brewers, wine merchants, mineral water manufacturers, and chemists of these islands on the one hand, and those districts of Spain, Portugal, the Var, and Algeria whence the supply of corkwood is chiefly drawn, and where numerous peasant families find remunerative occupation in stripping the trees of their eight years’ growth and preparing the cork for collection by the local agent and despatch to this country. On arrival in the Thames these consignments are deposited at the Docks, where Mr. Ellis stores a large number of bales of corks from which the stock at the factory is from time to time replenished. In addition to his home trade the proprietor of this business exports largely direct and through certain City houses to India, China, and the Colonies.
His registered telegraphic address is “Lesil, London.”


THE firm of Messrs. Ramm, Son, & Crocker, which has already taken a leading position in the trade in which its members are engaged, was founded towards the end of 1891, under conditions which augured well for the success of the new enterprise. Mr. Ramm, senior, up to that date had been a partner in the well-known firm of Messrs. Warner & Ramm. As the result of certain negotiations, Mr. Ramm resigned his position as a member of the firm, and established himself as a furniture silk merchant, at 7, Newgate Street. Mr. Crocker, who had, for a considerable period, been discharging the important duties of confidential West End traveller to Messrs. Warner & Ramm, and who, consequently, controlled a very extensive and valuable connection, also quitted that firm, and, having a thorough confidence in Mr. Ramm’s business aptitude and technical knowledge of the trade, joined him as a partner. Mr. Ramm also assumed his son, Mr. C. A. A. Ramm, who had had some years’ experience of manufacturing on the Continent as well as in the service of his father’s late firm. The new firm, therefore, adopted the style of Ramm, Son, & Crocker, and the success which they have already achieved has amply justified the anticipations of the partners in the enterprise. All the members of the firm are well known in the trade, and they are in a position to command all the elements of assured success. Their premises are extensive, and have been admirably adapted to the requirements of the business. They comprise, on the first, second, and third floors, warehouse and stock-rooms, where is to be seen an excellently representative assortment of the beautiful and costly goods dealt in by the firm, which comprise silks of every description for upholstery purposes, tapestries, chintzes, cretonnes, silk plushes, silk Genoa velvets, Genoa frieze velvets, plain Utrecht velvets, silk, cotton, and merino linings, Madras muslins, &c. Their specialities, for the excellence of which they have already obtained a high reputation throughout the trade, are silk and tapestries of the very finest manufactures, of which they keep a very large and varied stock, and they control a large trade both at home and abroad of an exceptionally high-class character.


FOUNDED some hundred and fifty years ago, the widely known house of Messrs. Knill & Grant attracts attention as one of the principal concerns engaged in the trade of a green fruit broker. The founder of the house, Mr. Cooper, conducted it under his own name until his death, at an advanced age, when the title became Cooper & Knill. Subsequently this style was altered to Jackson, Blenkarn & Knill, again to Merrill & Knill, and afterwards to J. & W. Knill. Some time later Mr. William Knill, uncle of the present Lord Mayor, became sole proprietor, and in 1860, when he died, the large and prosperous business passed into the hands of the late Mr. Grant. In May, 1887, Mr. Grant died, leaving the concern by his will to his two sons, Mr. Richard J. Grant and Mr. Harry Grant. These two gentlemen now administer the affairs of the house in conjunction with Mr. Charles Florence Taylor. Extensive premises are occupied as offices, sale-rooms, and warehouses, and the firm has one of the largest and finest show-rooms in the trade. Here they display samples of the fruits in which they have dealings, and during business hours, the large concourse of buyers assembled here constitutes a scene of great activity and animation. Their sale-lists embrace particulars of shipments of green fruits from all parts of the world, and lemons, oranges, nuts, apples, tomatoes, grapes, pine-apples, olives, and various other fruits popular in this country come within the scope of their operations. Messrs. Knill & Grant enjoy the support of a widespread and numerous clientele, and are well known to all shippers and importers of foreign green fruit, besides maintaining a valuable connection in the wholesale trade throughout London and the provinces. Their public sales take place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and occasionally on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the large green fruit sale-room, Monument Buildings. It should be noted, as an evidence of the enterprise of this firm, that they brought to the hammer some of the very first consignments of Australian fruits (apples principally), the shipment of which to this country has now developed into a most important trade, furnishing an abundance of excellent fruit at a season of the year when supplies from other sources are not available. Messrs. Knill & Grant have acquired their high position in the trade by close adherence to the most honourable commercial methods; and they are eminently successful in upholding the status of a branch of London mercantile; enterprise which, in its comparative exclusiveness, is almost unique.


IN connection with the large and important wholesale dried-fruit trade carried on in the City of London, mention must be made of the notable firm of Messrs. Barrow, Lane, & Ballard, whose transactions in the chief departments of this important branch of commerce are conducted upon a very extensive scale. The firm in question was founded by Mr. George Gray and Mr. G. M. Barrow in 1864, and was continued by them alone until 1887. On the retirement of Mr. Gray, Mr. Samuel Barrow, Mr. Samuel H. Lane, and Mr. G. H. Ballard were assumed as partners. The two former gentlemen had for many years held responsible posts in connection with the house, and possessed every qualification of long experience and a minute knowledge of the trade in all its details. This enterprising firm have developed an immense business, and must be reckoned among the leading concerns in the trade. They supply vast quantities of dried fruits and nuts of every variety to all the principal distributing houses throughout the United Kingdom, America, and the Continent, and the widespread nature of their connection will be understood when we say that they are well represented throughout. At the above addresses Messrs. Barrow, Lane, & Ballard occupy commanding and very commodious premises, comprising spacious offices, and fine sample and sale rooms, the latter having the very important advantage of excellent light. Buyers are thus enabled to inspect the goods under the most favourable conditions, and to make their selections accordingly. This lane, in which an enormous amount of trade is daily carried on, is historic as having been the spot on which the Great Fire of London commenced its disastrous career in 1666. For facilitating business transactions with the northern counties Messrs. Barrow, Lane, & Ballard have a branch house at Liverpool. Their telegraphic addresses are “Pudding, London,” and “Pudding, Liverpool.” The four principals take an active part in the administration of the business, which owes its prosperity and high standing to their united energies and sound commercial judgment. Personally, the partners are well known and highly esteemed in the City and provinces, and are regarded as four of the most capable and enterprising exponents of the great trade in which they are engaged. They stand high in the confidence of a most extensive and influential London and provincial connection, and have always adhered to the policy of making their customers’ interests identical with their own.

69, ST. MARY AXE, E.C.

IT is difficult in these days, when universal attention is directed to the subject of sanitary science as it affects domestic economy, to attain special eminence as manufacturers of sanitary appliances. It might, therefore, be safely assumed, without any special knowledge of the question, that the various apparatus which have been introduced by Messrs. A. W. Reid & Co. are of peculiar merit. This assumption has been fully confirmed by the most careful tests made by experienced specialists under all sorts of conditions. To the establishment of the important industry in which they are engaged Messrs. A. W. Reid & Co. brought the valuable technical knowledge which they gained as managers of the well-known sanitary engineering business of Messrs. Capper, Son, & Co., of Gracechurch Street and Fenchurch Street, whose successors they are. Messrs. Reid & Co. are now generally recognised in the trade as eminent sanitary engineers, and as manufacturers of sanitary appliances of great utility and of notable economical value. They have all the facilities for the production of their specialities under the best possible conditions, and at prices which command a ready sale in all parts of the world. The export branch of the business has developed rapidly, Messrs. Reid & Co.’s appliances being specially in demand in the Australian, Indian, and South American markets. They also control a large staff of highly skilled workmen, by whose aid they are always prepared to execute the most important sanitary, plumbing, and drainage contracts. They have gained a high reputation for their “Aldgate” flush-down pedestal closet, specially designed to work with a siphon cistern, which is compact in appearance, and economical in price. Their baths, lavatories, sinks, and fittings are noted for thorough finish and for the efficiency and durability of the working parts. They are also the sole makers of Pearson’s patent “twin-basin” closet apparatus, which is remarkable for its simplicity and cleanliness, and the protection which it affords against sewer gas. These closets have been thoroughly-tested by many years’ use in hospitals, schools, railway stations, clubs, hotels, factories, warehouses, mansions, and cottages, with the very best results. The firm have also largely added to their reputation by the introduction of their patent folding lavatories for hotels, railway cars, steamships, billiard, smoking, and consulting rooms. These are highly recommended where space is of importance.


THE business of Messrs. J. R. Parkington & Co., established over twenty-five years, is conducted upon a large and comprehensive scale. They are in the first place specialists in high-class champagne, and in this connection they represent three of the most noted houses in the Champagne country, viz., Messrs. Deutz & Geldermann, Ay; Messrs. Roper Freres & Cie., Rilly-la-Montagne; and Messrs. Dupanloup & Cie. The leading speciality of the first-named firm (Deutz & Geldermann) is the celebrated “Gold Lack” (extra quality), which has won great favour in the best circles since its introduction into this country. It is largely used for public banquets and masonic and other festive gatherings, especially if royalty is to be present. Deutz & Geldermann’s “Cabinet” (Grand Vin) and “Carte Blanche” also show wonderful value considering their reasonable prices. Roper Freres & Cie., a firm who gained high honours at the Vienna and London Exhibitions of 1873 and 1874, ship some superb champagnes, and Messrs. J. R. Parkington Co. specialise their “First Quality” extra and medium dry (Gold Foil). This is a very popular wine, and sells largely, being well advertised and admirably maintained in quality. In fact, it is generally considered the best value in the market at a moderate price. The “Carte Blanche” (Frosted Gold Foil) Mitre brand of Messrs. Dupanloup & Cie. is another favourite as a cheap wine, worthy of the attention of the trade, and which secured a gold medal at the London Exhibition of 1874.

Messrs. J. R. Parkington & Co. also make a speciality of champagne with wine merchants’ own brands and labels. They have a variety of cuvees at very favourable prices, and can satisfy all requirements. Designs for brands and labels are submitted, and special facilities are afforded to merchants in this department. For clarets, Messrs. J. R. Parkington & Co. represent the well-known firm of J. Dutrenit & Cie., of Bordeaux, in conjunction with whom they frequently make large purchases of the leading growths. They secured the monopoly of several classified growths of 1888’s, and purchased the whole of the well-known “Chateau Latour” and “Chateau Citran” vintage, 1891, besides other growths of that year, both of which can be bottled at chateau, with full brand, &c. The famous cognacs of Messrs. Jules Duret & Cie., generally known as the Vine Growers’ Company, of Cognac, the fine ports and sherries of Messrs. Mambrino y Ca. (Oporto and Jerez), and some excellent qualities of red sparkling burgundy, sparkling hock and moselle, sparkling saumur, and sparkling Vouvray, are also among the specialities of this enterprising firm; and in all these articles an extensive and steadily increasing business is carried on. Messrs. J. R. Parkington & Co. are sole proprietors of the Lammermoor whisky, which they have been in the habit of shipping to India, Australia, and the Cape for many years.

Messrs. J. R. Parkington’s trade is essentially wholesale, and is conducted with conspicuous ability and unfailing judgment by their senior in person. This gentleman holds an eminent position in trade circles, and was for two years chairman of the Wine and Spirit Association. He is still on the committee, and is nominated one of the court of arbitrators of the London Chamber of Commerce, of which he has been a member for many years, and is on the South African section of that chamber; he is a recognised expert in the wine trade but more particularly as a champagne and claret taster. Associated in the administration of the firm is Mr. Harry Bennett, a partner well qualified to take an active part in the management of this thoroughly representative concern. The firm have excellent premises in Crutched Friars, with very commodious cellars; and they always hold large stocks in bond, as well as enormous quantities of champagne, in Boulogne. Telegrams should be addressed “Mambrino, London.” Major Parkington, the senior partner, holds a commission in the 3rd Battalion East Surrey Regiment (late First Royal Surrey Militia), and takes a great interest in military matters. He is on the court of several important City companies, and is the immediate past-master of the Worshipful Company of Fan Makers. Major Parkington is a fellow of the Royal Colonial Institute, Royal Geographical Society, and Imperial Institute, and is a member of the City Carlton Club, and United Service Club, Pall Mall. He resides at 6, Devonshire Place, Portland Place, W.


IN its own line of business the well-known firm of Messrs. George W. Share & Co., Iron, Tin-plate, and Metal Merchants, and Tank and Cistern Manufacturers, has few equals, either in the extent of its transactions or the facilities it possesses for filling large and diverse orders with promptness and completeness. The business has been in existence many years, and under spirited and able management has made rapid advances keeping well in the forefront of competing houses. The premises occupied at 72, King William Street consist of a neat and commodious suite of offices on the second floor of the building, affording accommodation for a numerous staff of clerks. The works are at Suffolk Grove, Blackfriars, S.E. They cover a large extent of ground, and comprise extensive machine-shops, rivetting-shops, and warehouses. The various departments have been arranged with a thorough knowledge of the requirements of the business, and the equipment includes the latest and most improved plant and machinery, being the result of the firm's long experience and progressive policy. Employment is found for a large number of skilled workmen, and in every department a system of management is in force eminently creditable to the ruling powers. The firm is extensively occupied in the manufacture of tanks and cisterns. In this line no house enjoys better reputation for the excellence of its productions both in material and workmanship. Their goods are well known all over the world, and always command good prices, being recognised as standard productions. A leading line with the firm consists of ships’ tanks, suitable for packing malt, seeds, hops, fruit, mustard, and numerous similar goods, and the increasing demand for these articles shows that buyers and consumers cannot be better suited elsewhere. The trade knows that Share’s Reliance brand of tanks are the very best of their kind. The immense, productive facilities the firm possess give them many advantages in making, and the prices quoted are as low as any in the market.

As iron merchants the firm hold many special advantages. They are controlling an extensive business in the superior goods they handle. Among these the leading lines are their Reliance brand of galvanised-iron, boiler and ship plates, sheet, bar, and hoop iron, nail rods, wire for fencing, telegraphic purposes, &c., iron and brass bedsteads, nails, lead, zinc, tin plates, hollow-ware, tin ware, leather machine belting, &c. A great feature is made of Orme, Evans & Co.’s stamped-steel light enamelled hollow-ware, and also of enamelled advertising plates of every description. Immense stocks, are held, from which orders of any magnitude can be promptly filled. Special quotations are given for large quantities for any and every description of hardware. Among the notable firms for which Messrs. G. W. Share & Co. are the sole agents mention should be made of J. B. & S. Lees, Albion and Nelson Iron Works, West Bromwich; Orme, Evans & Co., Elgin Works, Wolverhampton; Ramsden, Camm & Co., Wire Mills and Galvanising Works, Brighouse; Victoria Tube Company, Great Bridge, Tipton, &c. Another branch of this business is the purchase of all kinds of old metal, old rails, horseshoes, wire rope, &c., for which they are always prepared to pay the best market prices. The connection extends throughout the United Kingdom and to many foreign countries, where their commodities are accepted as of superior and thoroughly reliable quality. Mr. Share is a sterling man of business, and fully conversant with every detail of the branch of commerce in which he is so extensively engaged. He gives the business in its entirety the full benefit of his close personal attention, and to his unflagging perseverance, enterprise, and experienced ability the success of this extensive concern is mainly to be attributed. In all his dealings he is strictly fair and honourable, and he occupies a position of prominence in commercial and social circles which he has well earned by business integrity and personal uprightness. It may be added that Mr. Share is a member of the Constitutional Club, also a member of the Loriners’ Guild, a fellow of the Imperial Institute, and a member of the Iron and Steel Institute.
The telegraphic address of the firm is “Share, London,” and the telephone number 1,287.


AMONG the notable houses whose names have become closely and creditably identified with the growth and development of the wine merchants’ trade in its highest modern phases it would be difficult to indicate a better known or more deservedly popular firm than the one whose rise and progress furnishes the theme of the present brief review. Dating back in its foundation to 1829, this prosperous concern was for half a century conducted under the style of Messrs. J. W. Bridges & Sons, at 5a, Warnford Court, City, but on the demolition of the old court about ten years ago, the business was removed to the present eligible address, the style of the firm being then altered on amalgamation with Mr. Cyril Routh. The offices of the firm are in every way adapted to the requirements of a brisk and essentially superior class of trade, being located in the well-known premises called St. Michael’s House. Messrs. Bridges, Lloyd, & South are eminently reputed among their confreres in the trade, as well as amongst connoisseurs and the better classes of the community at large, as importers and dealers in liquors of exclusively the best brands, vintages, and blends. They always hold in their extensive cellars a large stock of the choicest wines, spirits, liqueurs, &c., of certified age and character, and are thus enabled to promptly execute orders, from a single bottle to the complete stocking of a private or a first-class club cellar. Careful and capable management maintains a thoroughly satisfactory condition in all the affairs of this house, and the well-known high principles and honourable methods of the firm fully justify the confidence reposed in them by a large and distinguished clientele.


THE Messageries Nationales are well known as the leading Continental carriers, and have held their prominent position now for considerably over half a century. This famous company is represented in almost every country, the agent for Great Britain being the gentleman whose name appears at the head of this article, and who had over twelve years’ experience in the business with his late uncle before succeeding to the management. Messrs. Stockwell have been interested in the forwarding' business close upon 25 years. The London firm began in a comparatively, small way, but by ability and well-directed enterprise the managers have raised the house to one of the most important and capable of its kind in the Metropolis. The experience of the present manager has been of the most varied and soundest character, and in every respect he is well fitted to maintain the most effective system of organisation in operation. The headquarters of the business are at 15, King Street, Cheapside, E.C., where the ample and commodious premises occupied consist of well-appointed private and general offices and spacious warehouses and sorting-rooms. The company, as may be imagined, employs a numerous staff of clerks and other assistants, and every department of the establishment is in perfect working order. The service is prompt and efficient, and charges are of the most reasonable kind. In London alone there are about forty railway and other offices that receive goods on behalf of the company, which, moreover, has properly appointed agents in all the principal towns throughout the United Kingdom.

In addition to his connection with the Messageries Nationales, Mr. Stockwell is sole agent for the United Kingdom under convention with the Swiss Federal Post. Two overland through services run daily in connection with the Federal Post, and parcels and goods are conveyed to or from England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland to Switzerland and Italy by the shortest routes at the most moderate rates. A system of charging by zones has been established, and senders can tell precisely what their parcels will cost, however remote the district or village to which they are addressed. Mr. Stockwell is also agent for various steam-packet companies running to various parts of the globe. He possesses facilities of an exceptional kind for transacting every kind of forwarding business. The success of this business is entirely due to the manager's administrative ability and enterprise, and its continued efficiency is guaranteed by his constant personal attention. This establishment in its resources and Reasonable and low rates is a boon not only to the industrial, commercial, and shipping world, but also to the community at large. Mr. Stockwell is an able and worthy representative of this useful and important business, and well merits the success he has achieved. The Messageries Nationales Express carry goods at “weight and measurement rates” to New York and Boston, Montreal and Quebec, at prices including collection in London, and all subsequent charges, with the exception of insurance, which, again, is effected at low rates. Goods are collected in any part of the United States on receipt of orders at the chief office in London.



THIS is a leading English house in the brandy, rum, and whisky trades, and its name is well-known throughout the United Kingdom and in the West of England.. There is a branch establishment at 44, Broad Quay, Bristol, in addition to the Chief offices at 5, Idol Lane, E. C. The firm was founded in 1874, by Mr. Johnson Woolsey Spackman, who was joined in 1884 by Mr. Stanley Marseille Dent. The Bristol branch was opened in 1890, and the affairs of the business in that city are looked after by a junior partner, Mr. A. J. Gosling. Messrs. Spackman & Dent having a large clientele in the western counties, the Bristol branch gives greater facilities to their customers in that part of the country. It is as shippers of fine brandies, rums, Scotch and Irish whiskies, and sparkling Saumur that this firm are celebrated; and while they make these their special lines, they also maintain a high reputation in every other department of the wine and Spirit trade. Messrs. Spackman & Dent are agents for many notable firms at home and abroad. Among these are the following famous producing houses:- Jules Robin & Co., Cognac, the second largest shippers of brandy; De Neuville & Cie., Saumur; H. M. de Pontaud & Cie., Bordeaux; James Stewart & Co., of the noted Saucel Distillery, Paisley; the Ord Distillery Company, Muir of Ord, Ross-shire; Mackie & Co., Glasgow; the Lagavulin Distillery, Islay; Laphroaig Distillery, Islay and Craigellachie Distillery, Glenlivet. Messrs. Spackman & Dent issue a monthly list which is one of the best-known organs of the trade. The firm enjoy the confidence of a wide and valuable connection among wine and spirit merchants and export firms, and are also valuers of stocks and businesses their clients may wish to dispose of. It may be noted that they make a special point of valuing stocks in bond or duty-paid. This fine business is conducted with conspicuous skill and judgment by the able and experienced principals, and large stocks are held in bond, ready for despatch on short notice. Mr. J. W. Spackman, besides being well known as senior partner in this representative firm, is a Freeman of the City of London, being a member of the Worshipful Company of Apothecaries. He is a master of the technique of the wine and spirit trade in all its details, and his colleagues, Messrs. Dent and Gosling, are also gentlemen of high qualifications in the same direction.
Telegraphic addresses of the firm “Cellarage, London;” “Cellarage, Bristol.” Telephone No. 2,126 (London).


Any record of the representative commercial and industrial institutions of the Metropolis would, indeed, lack completeness without due reference to the important undertaking whose rise and progress furnishes the theme of the present brief historical review. It was in the year 1867 that Mr. John Morgan Richards opened his vast business in this country, as a medium for the distribution of chemical and medicinal specialities produced in his great American factory, and his trade operations became so extensive and amazingly successful that, in expanding the business, he included the products of other great houses, both in the States, and from the Continent of Europe. As at present constituted, the agencies represented by the house include:— The Pharmacal Association of New York, U.S.; Messrs. Hall & Ruckel, New York; Messrs. P. H. Drake & Co., New York; the Carter Medicine Company, of “Carter’s Little Liver Pill” fame, New York; Himrod Manufacturing Company; —‘”Himrod’s Asthma Cure,” New York; the Holman Pad Company, New York; Mr. Clarence M. Roof, New York : Mr. B. T. Hoogland, New York; the Centaur Company, New York; Dr. J. D. Osborne; (Osborne’s Insufflator), New York; the Caulocorea Manufacturing Company, South Portland (Me), U.S.; Messrs. Perry Davis & Son, of “Pain-Kill-r” celebrity, Providence (R. I.), U.S.A.; Messrs. Eli Lilly & Co., Indianapolis, U.S.; the Dr, Williams Medicine Company (manufacturers of Dr. Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People); M. L. Eeckelaers’s toilet requisites and perfumery, Brussels; M. Ch. Delacre’s Cocoa and Extract of Beef, Brussels, and Herr J. D Stiefel’s Medicated Soaps, from Offenbach-am-Mame. The premises occupied, are very extensive, and handsomely appointed in form of a great counting-house, with private offices attached, and every facility for the rapid transaction of the vast wholesale business is in active operation. The trade controlled extends to every part of the United Kingdom, and the general characteristics of the house, the valuable and extensive connection it maintains, and the high principles and commendable methods upon which its business has always been conducted, all combine to render it peculiarly worthy of note among the great representative mercantile institutions of London.


HAVING had an opportunity of inspecting the factory of Messrs. H. B. Alder & Co., situated on the Thames, a few remarks under the above heading must be interesting to many of our readers. This firm can boast of being established nearly a century, and, owing principally to this long experience, appear able to satisfy the demands of any number of buyers of colours, oils, paints, and varnishes, their works giving them every advantage for the proper execution of large orders for export and home consumption. Their chief business lies in the former department, which, with ever-increasing demand for their manufactures for naval, military, and mercantile marine stores, permits them to employ a great number of men and women. Upon our inspection of this interesting factory we were conducted by the senior member of the firm to view his warehouse, kept principally for the storage of linseed and colza oil. From floor to ceiling we find on all sides immense iron tanks, each containing one to two thousand gallons of pale and dark boiled and refined linseed oil which are the main features of this business. It is explained to us that after the oil is boiled, it is kept in these tanks for some weeks in order that it may become perfectly bright and free from sediment before being packed for shipment. Passing the long range of boiled linseed oil tanks, we come to a further line for raw linseed oil and colza oil (this latter for burning purposes), they also being tanked for the above fining process.

From this warehouse we pass to another smaller room, containing some dozen tanks, this room being thoroughly heated for the proper protection of more delicate oils, such as olive, seal, cod, lard, and cotton oils, which are liable to become thickened by exposure to a cold atmosphere. The filling of drums and barrels is accomplished by short pipes attached to these tanks. We now pass to the floors above, which we find covered with casks of dry colours, all manufactured on the premises, and to give an idea of the stock of various colours this firm has at one time for the execution of orders, we may remark that these floors measure some two hundred feet by seventy-five feet. We are forthwith conducted to the colour works to see these articles in course of manufacture. This portion of the business appears to be much favoured with Mr. Alder’s attention, for he has a laboratory thoroughly fitted up for the striking and testing of colours. Principally women are engaged in this department, and we find a perfect maze of vats for washing the colours, filters, presses, mixing machinery, powdering stones, and lastly drying-rooms which strike us as perfect in every way. Here we have tier upon tier of the most splendid colours laid out upon trays, being gradually dried in a very warm atmosphere, which is obtained from many rows of hot-water pipes. From here we pass through the engine and boiler house; and are surprised at the amount of power required; and near attached to this house we find the great oil boiler, and though a cumbrous-looking object, it seems to work most perfectly, and, being permitted to see into it, we find in course of manufacture on a huge scale, the famous article, “Alder’s double-boiled linseed oil.”

Passing the tallow-melting machinery and white-lead stores, we are in the paint mills, and now we understand why the engines spoken of are so large, for, running almost the entire length of the premises is one long row of ever-revolving heavy granite stones, grinding out at an incredible pace those white zinc and coloured paints for which this firm has so great a reputation. After leaving these mills, in which some thousands of small iron kegs are being filled for shipment, we inspect the packing-rooms for varnishes, dry colours, chemicals, and all-the finer sundries; and in the centre of this pile of buildings are shown the varnish works, which are very complete in the matter of storage room for old tanked varnish; also testing appliances, which show the care that is taken in being assured that the quality of every tank is up to the mark before being drawn for the execution of orders. Here are also turpentine and lubricating oil stores, which space will not now permit of our describing. Messrs. H. B. Alder & Co. have also further works for the manufacture of coal-tar and pitch, upon which premises they store many cargoes of Stockholm tar and resin, and have also their grease factory. To these departments we promise ourselves a visit on some future occasion.
Messrs. H. B. Alder & Co.’s London address is 66, Fenchurch Street, E.C.


PROBABLY no other house of the same kind in the Metropolis is more widely known or more loyally supported by a wealthy and influential clientele than the one under notice. The business dates from the commencement of the eighteenth century, and originated under the name of Horton, Birch being his successor. His son, Mr. Samuel Birch, in his turn succeeded him, and it was he who achieved prominence as a poet and orator, and who wrote The Adopted Child, and several other noteworthy dramatic works. He also gained distinction in civic circles, and became Sheriff in 1814. In the following year he was elected Lord Mayor of London, and acceptably filled that high magisterial office. It is recorded in “Old and New London” that Samuel Birch annually presented to the Lord Mayor a splendid cake wherewith to keep the time-honoured festival of Twelfth Night. Members of the Birch family carried on the business until about sixty years ago, when it passed into the possession of Messrs. Ring & Brymer. The partners of that firm were the fathers of the three gentlemen who now jointly control the destinies of this noted establishment.

No one entering Cornhill from the Royal Exchange end is likely to overlook or mistake “Birch’s.” The premises at once command attention by their interesting air of antiquity — an aspect upon which the proprietors justly pride themselves, inasmuch, as it strongly distinguishes the establishment from the huge blocks of modern edifices that now line this famous City thoroughfare. In common with most other London coffee-houses, taverns, and other places of business a hundred years ago, “Birch’s” had its sign, and was known appropriately enough, under the name of “The Birches.” It is believed that a signboard, on which some birch-trees (emblematic of the firm’s name) were painted, formerly hung over the centre of the shop window, for there yet remains in that position an antique iron support from which such a sign might have been suspended. The original building on this site was among those destroyed in the Great Fire of 1666; but the present structure was erected very soon afterwards, and it is known that the shop door and window (which has never since been altered or moved) are at least two centuries old. On either side of the door frame there are two brass name-plates upon which the name of Birch can be faintly traced. These doubtless date from the commencement of the firm. Altogether, the establishment is a most interesting one in every way, and its proprietors are to be commended for their careful preservation of such a rare bit of Old London.

As to the business itself, originally it was that of a pastrycook and confectioner, and continued on those lines until comparatively recent times. For a number of years past, however, the firm have held a full licence for the sale of wines and spirits, and the establishment has become a favourite buffet as well as a high-class restaurant. The connection is entirely among the “upper ten thousand” of city merchants, bankers, financiers, &c., who turn into “Birch’s” for their glass of sherry and a biscuit, a bowl of soup, or a light lunch of some kind, with a diurnal regularity that bespeaks long-standing habit. The soups at “Birch’s” are a speciality “of credit and renown,” and from turtle downwards there are generally half a dozen different kinds on the menu, all perfect in their way. Everything served here, whether edibles or potables, is of the first-class exclusively, but beyond the soups no cooked viands are served on the premises. In this respect the establishment is unique, and in many other ways it is a place such as one might not see the like of in a long day’s journey.

Look into Birch’s at almost any time during “City hours,” and it presents a wonderful sight. It would be interesting to compute how much wealth is represented by the men who may be seen here in the course of a day, and who will be seen here to-morrow just as surely as they were here yesterday, and many a day before that. During the afternoon the place is crowded, and it is noticeable that no sitting or table accommodation is provided, doubtless because it is not required. At “Birch’s” it is the custom for everyone to stand at the counter, take the light refreshment in whatever may be his favourite form, and depart, making room for others who continue the procedure. We have said that no sitting accommodation is provided, but this must be taken as applying to the shop or buffet. There is a well-appointed “soup-room” on the first floor for gentlemen, and another on the second floor for ladies. In one of these rooms there is a portrait in oil of Lord Mayor Samuel Birch, who, it may be mentioned en passant, was a popular and energetic colonel of Militia in his day. Visitors to Birch’s will notice that every-thing pertaining to the equipment and fitting of the establishment is in keeping with the antique exterior. This is one of the special charms and attractions of a house which possesses an old-fashioned and substantial character rarely met with in these days of show and glitter. Behind the shop, on the ground floor, is the office, wherein are some interesting engravings — one showing Mr. Sheriff Birch taking the oath of office in the ancient Court of Exchequer; another is the card of invitation to the Easter Ball given at the Mansion House on March 27th, 1815, during the same gentleman’s tenure of the Lord Mayoralty.

There are splendidly equipped kitchens and bakeries at “Birch’s,” and these are arranged to accomplish a large amount of work with celerity, for this firm cater very largely for public and private entertainments of all kinds where the resources of the culinary art are called into recognition. They have supplied the Lord Mayors’ banquets for the last fifty years, and they provide civic banquets, companies’ dinners, wedding breakfasts, ball suppers, &c., &c. For such functions as these not only are the requisite viands supplied, but plate, glass, linen, &c., are lent on hire. The catering department is a very important feature of the business, and is admirably organised. A large trade is also done in wedding-cakes, for which the house is famous. These are always ready in stock, and can be sent anywhere at a moment’s notice. The management of the entire business is marked by the utmost system and regularity; and from the esteemed principals downwards everybody connected with the establishment shows a degree of courtesy, civility, and consideration to visitors which savours of the “good old school,” and which is fully appreciated by the many habitues of the house. What the City would be without “Birch’s” we must leave those to conjecture who know so well and with so much satisfaction what the City is with it. Happily, there is as little danger of the familiar “Green Front” ceasing to be a prominent object in Cornhill as there is of the patronage it has so long enjoyed becoming diminished in volume or degenerate in character.

14 TO 20, ST. MARY AXE, E.C.

MESSRS. Jacobi Brothers & Co. claim to have finally and satisfactorily solved a long-standing problem, and are now offering for sale to the trade an entirely new type of cigarette, which is incomparably superior to anything hitherto in the market, and appears destined to win its way to extensive popularity. The one fatal defect in the ordinary cigarette, and that against which medical opinion has long and loudly inveighed, lies in the impossibility of preventing saturation of the tobacco in the mouth and direct contact of the paper with the smoker’s lips. Of course a “holder” may be used, but this speedily becomes foul and unpleasant, and it is undeniable that a long-felt want has been the introduction of a cigarette which can be enjoyed with unalloyed comfort and perfect safety, upon its own merits. Messrs. Jacobi Brothers & Co. assert that they have, after years of labour, succeeded in obtaining precisely the article so long and vainly sought for. From their offices, situated at Nos. 14 to 20, St. Mary Axe, E.C., they have already issued immense quantities of this charming and most welcome novelty, “Sweet Cherry-tipped Cigarettes,” and the repetition of orders from all the leading tobacconists has fully confirmed the forecast that these cigarettes would so rapidly grow in favour that no tobacconist could afford to be without them. The “Sweet Cherry-tipped Cigarettes” have been fully protected by letters patent, and it may be explained that each cigarette is fitted with a mouthpiece of the finest selected growth of cherry wood, which, while preventing the paper touching the lips, promotes the inhaling of the full flavour of the tobacco; moreover, a Cherry-tipped Cigarette can be smoked to the end without any waste of tobacco. The patentees use none but the very choicest tobacco, both Egyptian blend and straight-cut Virginia, in the manufacturing of these cigarettes, and notwithstanding the great cost and infinite labour involved, they have endeavoured to bring them within the reach of all smokers. The trade journals have contained most flattering notices of the “Sweet Cherry-tipped,” and, from the astonishing rate at which London and provincial orders are pouring in upon them, there can be little doubt that the Messrs. Jacobi Brothers & Co. were fully justified in their expectation that this boon to smokers would be always used by those who had once been prevailed upon to test its virtues.


IN this special line of commercial activity perhaps no house in London is better known or enjoys a wider sphere of popularity than that of Messrs. James Imray & Son, of 89 and 89A, Minories, E., the extensive publishers of charts, works on navigation and nautical astronomy. A particular interest attaches to this business as being one of the oldest of its kind in 1he Metropolis, its origin going back to the year 1763. The house has thus been occupied for more than a century and a quarter with this important branch of commerce, and by well-directed and enterprising management has kept itself foremost among similar establishments. The name of Imray has become identified with the profession, and is everywhere looked upon as synonymous with reliable and high-class nautical works. The premises utilised are large in size and conveniently situated. They consist of a substantial block of five-storey building, having a fine frontage with ample means of displaying the various articles on sale. A large business is controlled by this noted house in charts for all parts of the world; these are recognised as most reliable and correct. Messrs. Imray have always endeavoured to keep pace with the rapid advances of hydrographical science, and their publications embody all the latest additions and discoveries. No effort or expense is spared to make these well-known charts as complete as they possibly can be in accuracy and utility, and new and improved copies are continually being issued as the results of hydrographical surveys carried on by our own or any foreign Government become known.

In addition to these valuable and unequalled charts, the firm is occupied in publishing sailing directories to accompany the various charts; also large directories for the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans, &c., as well as books On navigation, astronomy, rigging, and seamanship; also guidebooks for the Marine Board examinations, and, in fact, all kinds of works and pamphlets relating to nautical matters. These various books are accepted as standards of authority in their respective lines. It should be stated that the firm are agents for the sale of the Admiralty charts and sailing directions, of which a large assortment can always be inspected. Messrs. Imray are largely occupied in producing logbooks on the most approved plans; journals, cargo, and provision books; signals, flags, and all kinds of ships’ stationery. Among the new publications issued by the house under notice, special mention should be made of The Atlantic Ocean Pilot, by Messrs. J. F. Imray, F.R.G.S., and H. D. Jenkins, F.R.G.S. (with Notes on the Physical Geography added, by W. H. Rosser), as being a most reliable and valuable contribution to modern hydrography; and also of The Indian Ocean Pilot and The North Pacific Ocean Pilot, by the same able editors, as well as of The Bay of Bengal Pilot, by Mr. Imray alone. A leading speciality with the house is Messrs: John Bliss & Co.’s patent taffrail log, which is too well known all over the world to need any eulogium at our hands.

The proprietors of this notable house are men of high standing in trade circles, thoroughly conversant with the wide-reaching and important business they have on hand, and from their extensive connections possess every opportunity of executing orders in the most satisfactory manner, both as regards superiority of goods and reasonable prices. Messrs. James Imray & Son preside over a business which of its kind has no superior in the kingdom, and by their ability, enterprise, and strictly honourable methods, they fully deserve the distinction and success they are enjoying.


THIS notable business was founded in Bath by the present sole proprietor in the year 1878, and, after a successful development, was removed eight years ago to the site now occupied. The house has kept well in touch with the increased refinement and culture of the age, and exercised a beneficent and well-recognised influence in leading the taste of the people in the matter of the dainty articles which are the subject of their manufacture. The best talent available is engaged, and close and discriminate supervision is exercised by persons of superior artistic ability, among whom stands the energetic and able manager, Mr. Walker, who has occupied a responsible position with the house from the time operations were first commenced. The premises in Paternoster Row are centrally situated, and are adequate in size and convenient in their arrangement. The ground floor comprises a spacious shop, in which an attractive display is made of the many beautiful cards manufactured; the first floor includes the manager’s offices, and the packing, stamping, and printing rooms, whilst the third floor is set apart for the artists’ and designers’ rooms, and the private and general offices. A force of about fifty hands is kept constantly employed. In the upper room are fifteen young ladies engaged in painting by hand the various designs the manageress produces, and an outside corps, varying in strength according to the season, is kept employed upon the same class of work. Five blocking machines and several stamping machines are used, producing outlines to be filled in by hand. Two letterpress machines are kept going, and the die-sinking, a very important branch in this department of art, is done on the premises by experienced and competent workmen.

Mr. Hamilton has exhibited great taste, judgment, and executive skill in his work, which for novelty of designs, exquisite finish, and genuine artistic merit has very few equals in the market. The selection kept in stock is very comprehensive, including a numerous variety of cards in original patterns and styles, suitable for all tastes and all purposes. Among the many beautiful objects Mr. Hamilton has produced, the “Unique” playing-cards stand conspicuous for their charming originality. The court cards represent figures clad in the costume of the Georgian era, and much artistic skill and delicate fancy have been employed in bringing out the numerous picturesque points and features of that bygone time. The reverse of the cards is adorned with a series of floral designs, and altogether they well merit the popularity they have secured. All orders for current goods can be promptly filled from the large and varied stock kept on hand. Novelties and specialities are being brought out and introduced to the trade almost every day. The home trade extends to every part of the United Kingdom, and a valuable export trade is controlled with the Colonies and other foreign markets. The selling part of the business is conducted by travellers, both town and country. Mr. Hamilton is a man of marked ability in his profession, and no effort is spared on his part to keep his productions up to that high standard of artistic excellence and originality on which the success of the business is based. In business and social circles he is much esteemed for his genial character and personal worth.


Wide and favourably known in City commercial circles, the old-established house of Messrs. James Ashby & Sons attracts our attention as one of the leading concerns in the London wholesale tea trade. The business was founded in 1856 by Messrs. James and Walter Ashby, and on the retirement of the latter gentleman, Mr. James Ashby for some years carried on the business as sole partner, and eventually upon his decease the business was left in the hands of his two sons, Mr. James W. Ashby and Mr. J. S. Ashby. These gentlemen continue to direct the affairs of the house with conspicuous ability and success. They are highly respected on the market, and Mr. J. W. Ashby is a member of the London Chamber of Commerce. Messrs. Ashby’s business is that of wholesale tea dealers upon a large scale, their operations being extended over a wide area of country by the active agency of numerous travellers, who represent the house in various parts of the kingdom. The firm have also a large indirect export trade, being supported in this department by some of the leading City shipping and export houses. The business operations of Messrs. James Ashby & Sons are of a somewhat higher class than the general run. The name of the house is — and for many years has been — identified with fine teas, and these may be regarded as a speciality of the business, although a very large trade is done in teas of other qualities to suit a wide variety of tastes. Messrs. James Ashby & Sons have constantly moved forward with the times, making it a point to keep in the van of progress, and thus to hold their own against the keen competition of the present day. In the course of their career they have absorbed other concerns, the latest business to be thus amalgamated with their own being that formerly carried on by Messrs. Ingham & Darley. This latter firm gave great attention to the Irish tea trade, having a branch at 23, Eustace Street, Dublin. Messrs. Ashby are not departing in any way from Messrs. Ingham & Darley’s methods, and they retain the services of the late firm’s staff, all of whom are well known to the Irish trade. Altogether, Messrs. James Ashby & Sons’ business is one of the first rank, and it is conducted upon principles that meet with the unreserved approbation of a wide and representative connection.
The telegraphic address is “Congou, London.”


It is now over eighteen months since Mr. Everth first came to introduce the above-named beers to the British public, and the great success he has achieved in that time constitutes the strongest possible testimony to the excellence of the goods he has to offer. The “MUNICH BURGERBRAU BEER” is one of the most notable products of its kind extant, having been first produced as far back as the year 1654; and its merits have sufficed to win for it no less than six gold medals at important exhibitions. This beer is especially noted for its rich quality and agreeable taste, while its nourishing and strengthening properties are of a very high order. From this beer alcohol is well-nigh abolished (3.5 per cent.) The beer is specially fit for strengthening and may safely be given to children or aged in hospitals; and many celebrated physicians are beginning to prescribe it, with good results. By Mr. Everth’s active exertions the beers of the Burgerliches Brauhaus have already been widely disseminated in this country, and wherever they have become known they have met with favour. They can now be obtained at a goodly number of hotels, public-houses, and restaurants in all parts of the midland, home, and southern counties, and this number increases daily, being swelled by a large private demand. The Burgerbrau Beer is a strong dark beer, and from its character is calculated to become popular in England. Mr. Everth has also secured the agency for the superior Pilsener Lager of the ANTWERP TIVOLI BREWERY, which is a light beer. Thus he is in a position to suit all palates. Both beers are supplied either in cask or in bottle as required, and the prices will be found to compare favourably with those of other first-class beers. Mr. Everth has a large bottling cellar at his premises in Love Lane, and possesses every facility for the satisfactory conduct of the extensive trade he has so rapidly built up. Mr. Everth’s Munich beers can be obtained at the following amongst other places in London:— Mr, Weil’s lager beer halls at the Aldgate Hotel, 76, Aldgate High. Street, E.; Wedde’s Hotel, Greek Street, W.; Gambrinus, Basinghall, Street; The Daniel Lambert, Ludgate Hill, E.C. The celebrated Pilsener beer can also be obtained in perfection at the Aldgate Hotel, the Adelphi Stores, Strand, and the Cafe Baroni, Arundel Street, Piccadilly.


ORGANISED by its present able and energetic proprietor some six years since, for the production and widespread distribution of umbrellas for both ladies and gentlemen, and especially of umbrellas of the very highest grade and most fashionable forms, the commercial development of the above concern has been both rapid and continuous from the very commencement. Eligibly located at the Cheapside end of Milk Street, the premises occupy the whole of the third and fourth floors of the large building of which they fortunately form a part. The third floor is appropriately divided into a well-appointed office and admirably arranged warehouse, while the upper storey is capitally equipped as a workshop, which calls into active requisition the services of a full staff of skilled craftsmen, who produce the umbrellas from their initial to the final stages, under the constant and careful supervision of Mr. Attree in person, with the result that every article emanating from the establishment bears the unmistakable cachet of genuineness and superiority of workmanship, for which the firm has become so deservedly famous throughout the Metropolis and provinces. Mr. Attree is indeed well reputed among his many patrons in the trade as a manufacturer of goods of thorough reliability and excellence; and his house stands high in the estimation of a widespread connection, by reason of the sound principles and honourable methods which always characterise its business transactions.


THE importation and widespread wholesale supply of special brands of wines and spirits is nowhere perhaps more perfectly exemplified than in the City of London as a distributing centre of the whole of the United Kingdom, and in this connection it would be difficult to indicate a better known house than the one above named. Organised in the year 1851, the commercial development of this representative house has been continuous from the very commencement. In addition to their wholesale wine and spirit business, Messrs. Smith Brothers operate as the accredited agents for the following noted growers and distillers:— M. Alexandre Achard, of Bordeaux, for vintage clarets, MM. Ch. Navarre & Co. (C. Nourrey, successeur), of Cognac, for brandies; and MM. E. Thoreau et Fils, of Chateau Lacheze, near Saumur, for sparkling wines. The premises ocoupied are in every point of character and situation precisely adapted to the requirements of the business. They comprise offices, sampling-rooms, and cellars for the storage of a limited stock of duty-paid liquors, the bulk of the stock being held in constant readiness in bond. Messrs. Smith Brothers’ connections and facilities are of a superior order, enabling them to offer special advantages to buyers and to execute all orders in a prompt and satisfactory manner. The firm is well known and highly esteemed in City mercantile circles.


THE intimate commercial relations between the home and Colonial markets in connection with the soft goods trade finds admirable representation in the Metropolis at the hands of this old-established house. Organised in 1852 by the late Mr. Banks, of Wigton, a London centre was a few years later established for the purpose of supplying their market with the soft goods. In 1870 the development, of their trade necessitated the erection of the extensive premises in Flinders Lane, Melbourne, which they now occupy. Mr. Banks died in 1878, and his son, Mr. Edwin Banks, having retired from the firm in 1888, the personnel of the company as designated above consists of Mr. Robert Stroud — the London principal - and Messrs. Edward Tyson and Charles Faithful Criswick, who manage the business in Melbourne, all of these gentlemen being of recognised ability and extended, experience in connection with the important branch of industry to which their attention is now so vigorously and successfully directed. Their premises in Charterhouse Square comprise well-appointed offices, with warehouse attached, from whence goods are consigned to their Melbourne, house, after careful inspection by their respective buyers. The business connections of the house are of a wide-spread and influential character, extending amongst the leading manufacturers in every quarter of the United Kingdom; and its history is a record of success achieved and maintained by the pursuit of a policy, of commercial integrity and prudent enterprise creditable alike to the principals of the house and to the true dignity of a national trade.


AMONG the; notable houses whose names have become closely and creditably identified with the growth and development of the higher branches of modern tailoring in the City of London, there are perhaps few that are as well and favourably known and patronised by City magnates and merchants of substance and high standing as the one here referred to. Organised as far back as the year 1865, the commercial development of the concern has been both rapid find continuous; and doubtless the most effectual way in which to indicate its true character, scope, and aims would be to give a concise descriptive sketch of the establishment as it now obtains, and to supplement this with a few observations upon the nature of the operations there being carried on. The premises occupied are in every point of character and situation precisely adapted to the requirements of an essentially superior class of trade. They display a complete and comprehensive stock of the most fashionable and exclusive designs in modern fabrics. There is a well-appointed fitting-room on the first floor, affording every comfort and convenience for patrons. Naval and military uniforms, court, civic, and diplomatic dress; gentlemen’s fashionable attire for all occasions; Colonial and Indian outfits; Servants’ liveries, and everything incidental to a thoroughly first-class tailoring business, all are included in Mr. Hacker’s productions; and to every garment emanating from his establishment he gives an individuality of style, perfection of fit, and faultless finish that can only be imparted by a thorough master of the sartorial art. The workmanship is always the best that can be secured by the employment of the most skilful and experienced hands; and it is manifest to all that Mr. Hacker spares no effort to make the present and future reputation of his representative house fully consistent with its past traditions of credit and renown.


THE interesting art of the perfumer has for over half a century been admirably exemplified by the well-known firm named above. Messrs. Grossmith’s business was founded in the year 1838, and has been one of the most successful concerns of its kind in London. The firm are wholesale and export distillers of perfumes, and makers of toilet soaps, and occupy spacious and handsomely appointed premises in Newgate Street, the large and well-fitted show-rooms containing a most attractive and varied stock of perfumes, soaps, and toilet requisites. These goods are of the choicest quality, and among them are many specialities, the fame of which is international. Messrs. Grossmith’s celebrated “Blue Label Specialities” are particularly well known, both at home and abroad, as high class productions of a very superior character, and the increasing demand for them constitutes an indisputable testimony as to their excellence. They include many varieties of perfumes and bouquets for the handkerchief and toilet — musk, lavender, brilliantine, an exquisite series of pomades, and a choice selection of cosmetiques. All these goods are prepared with the greatest care and skill from the finest ingredients, and there are no articles of the kind which stand higher in public estimation. Special mention is due to this firm’s new “Japanese” Specialities, chief among which is “Hasu-no-Hana,” a concentrated extract of marvellous fragrance, embodying the beautiful and distinctive odour of the lotus lily of Japan. The firm also produce “Hasu-no-Hana” Soap, “Hasu-no- Hana” Dentifrice, and “Hasu-no-Hana” Satchet, for scenting stationery, gloves, cabinets, &c. The “Verus Naturae” Specialities (concentrated and true to nature) comprise a number of exquisite perfumes, the product of very choice and delicate flowers, such as lily of the valley, white lilac, mimosa, may blossoms, &c.; and Messrs. Grossmith show a number of new “Indian Specialities,” including their unique and fascinating “Phul-Nana,” the bouquet par excellence for ball-room or theatre. All kinds of flavouring extracts and fixed and essential oils are likewise among the productions of this noted house, and the stock held at the Newgate Street establishment is replete with attractive novelties in fancy toilet articles, &c. Many important awards have been gained by the firm at leading exhibitions, and the trade controlled may be said to extend to well nigh all parts of the world. A large staff is employed, and the distillation of the various perfumes, &c., is carried on under the most favourable conditions at the firm’s bonded factory at Red Lion Wharf, Thames Street, E.C. Conspicuous enterprise and ability are displayed in the management of this old-established and thoroughly representative business, which continues to maintain its accustomed position among the recognised leaders of a most interesting and scientific trade.


ANY record of the representative houses engaged in the metropolitan provision trade would be sadly deficient without due reference to the important part taken therein by its leading importers of dairy produce, and in this particular connection it would be difficult to indicate a better-known or more noteworthy example than the one here referred to. Projected as far back as the year 1834 in the famous town of Milan in Italy, by its present able and energetic proprietor, Mr. G. C. Ronchetti, the English branch of the house was opened in the year 1879 for the purpose of supplying the enormous demands created by Mr. Ronchetti’s superior goods, and doubtless the most effectual way in which to indicate the true character, scope, and aims of his undertaking would be to give a concise descriptive sketch of the establishment as it now obtains, and to supplement this with a few observations upon the nature of the operation's there being carried on. The premises occupied are most eligibly located in the very centre of the busiest part of the market district of West Smithfield, and consist of offices and extensive show-rooms on the ground floor of the building, with ample storage accommodation in the basement below. Mr. Ronchetti, with a numerous staff of hands, operates here as a direct importer of Continental eggs, butters, and cheeses for the wholesale trade only, and has won a widespread and well-merited renown for the superiority of all his goods, but more especially for the high and unsurpassed excellence of his Gorgonzola cheese, which is due to the careful maturing of the cheese in his caves in the mountains, these cheeses being handed over to his various depots in the mountains by the peasants in a perfectly green state, and afterwards carefully tended until fit for the English market. The house holds a position of prominence and high repute in a thoroughly representative branch of metropolitan trade, and all its business connections are of a character which speaks conclusively for the genuine merit of the productions with which Mr. Ronchetti has so successfully identified his name.


THE above business was founded originally by Mr. Edward White, the grandfather of the present proprietor, in 1800, in premises on the same site as those now occupied, and has had a record of unbroken prosperity. The premises in Cannon Street are well situated immediately opposite to the Railway Station. Mr. White is a manufacturer of brushes and baskets of various kinds, and an importer of sponges; consequently his stock is of a comprehensive and interesting character. It embraces household and domestic brushes, such as shoe, scrubbing, stove, bristle, nail, and other brushes, and brooms of all kinds; also stable brushes of an inclusive character, as well as stable sundries, such as sponges, wash-leathers, curry, and other combs, scrapers, harness pastes, and polishes, &c. An extensive variety of doormats, bordered mats, sheepskin mats, and matting of all kinds is a feature of the stock. In toilet brushes, handsomely mounted, in many cases, with tortoiseshell, pearl back, and ivory, the variety is exhaustive, and eminently superior. All kinds of toilet requisites, combs, sponges, ivory goods, toilet sundries, &c., &c., are well represented; while such goods as studs, cutlery, games, dram bottles, and picnic requisites, all tend to mark this emporium in a special and noteworthy way. Many of these goods enumerated are eminently suitable for presents, and both material and workmanship are of the best. Mr; White controls a large business, and has a widespread connection of many years’ standing. Besides, visitors to the Metropolis largely patronise both this and the branch establishment at 41, Gracechurch Street. Mr. White personally gives great attention to the management. He is a gentleman possessing large experience and business aptitude, his uniform courtesy having gained him the respect of a wide circle of friends.


Conspicuous among the many important houses in London occupied with the fish trade stands the time-honoured establishment of Mr. Edward Jex, of 23, Billingsgate Market, and 2 and 4, Love Lane, and with offices at 9, St. Mary-at-Hill. This house has special claim to notice as being the oldest engaged in this traffic, operations having been originally commenced over three centuries ago — indeed it can be traced beyond dispute that as far back as two hundred years the ancestors of Mr. Edward Jex brought fish from Great Yarmouth to the London market by means of horses and vans, and so continued this mode of supplying the metropolitan market till the institution of the Great Eastern Railway. For this lengthy period the business has remained in the same family, and the present proprietor has been at its head for over forty-five years. Thus we see that for years and years the family has been a prominent factor in the fish trade of the Metropolis, and under the vigorous and judicious control of the present representative a position is maintained of paramount importance and influence. A reputation has been established for the excellence and abundance of the supplies always on hand, and for the strictly fair manner in which all transactions are conducted. The offices belonging to the firm have been recently removed from 27, St. Mary-at-Hill to No. 9, and the present quarters are of a most desirable kind, with ample and first-class accommodation for a numerous clerical staff. The stand at Billingsgate Market is spacious and in every way adapted to the expeditious control of a large business of this description, while the depots in Love Lane are extensive in size, and fitted up with every requisite for the handling and keeping of stock. Mr. Jex’s consignments come from every fishing port in the world, and are amongst the largest and most valuable in the market.

Consignments of fish arrive daily from nearly all the fishing stations of the United Kingdom, and consignments are also received at varying intervals from Columbia and Fraser Rivers, Point Roberts, the Alaska coast, and many other foreign parts. In addition to the consignments just mentioned, large supplies are received almost daily by the firm per steam-carriers direct from the many fleets fishing in the North Sea. From his long connection with the trade he possesses facilities of the highest order for procuring supplies of the best kind, and his stocks include every kind of fish in season that can be found in London. His transactions are made direct with the fishing stations, his dealings placing him in a position to command every advantage in respect of price. He is, moreover, a ship and smack owner at various ports in England, including Great Yarmouth, Hull, and Scarborough, and thus procures many of his supplies absolutely at first hand. Consigners, who intrust their affairs to Mr. Jex’s care, can rely upon their interests being thoroughly well looked after, and upon getting prices as favourable as any prevailing in the market. Settlements are promptly and satisfactorily made, a very desirable thing in this class of business. The firm’s bankers are Barclay, Bevan & Co. and the London and County Bank, and remittances are made daily to consigners as soon as the transactions are finished.

The house numbers among its regular patrons some of the largest dealers in the Metropolis and in the provinces, and the rapid growth the business has experienced shows plainly that every satisfaction has been and is now being given. Mr. Jex is widely known and respected n the trade, and occupies a position of eminence in business circles. In all his dealings he is strictly fair and honourable, and he commands the confidence of all who have business relations with him by his straightforward and liberal methods. Mr. Jex is prominent in every philanthropical and benevolent movement, and he has devoted many years of his leisure from an absorbing business to public affairs, filling with great credit many important offices. For a very long period he has been the respected representative of the Billingsgate Ward in the Court of Common Council in the City of London, and he is also one of the patrons of that useful body, the Fishmongers’ and Poulterers’ Institution, as well as a hardworking member of several City guilds and of the Honourable Irish Society, and is chairman of the Great Yarmouth Co-operative and Ice Company, Limited, director of the Great Yarmouth Steam-tug Company, Limited, vice-chairman of the London Fish Trade Association, member of the executive of the National Sea Fisheries Protection Association; and was a juror at, and was appointed to open, the conferences of practical fishermen at the Great International Fisheries Exhibition, 1883, Mr. Jex being presented by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales with a Gold Medal in special recognition of his valuable work in connection with the Exhibition, in addition to the two Silver Medals awarded to him as Chairman of the two most important Juries of that great international enterprise.

As an independent proof of the esteem in which Mr. Jex is held by his brother councillors of the ward of Billingsgate, we give a short cutting from the Yarmouth Independent, by which it will be seen that this gentleman will probably serve the electors of Great Yarmouth in the highest position possible to be attained. “City of London Corporation — Mr. Edward Jex. — At the usual Annual Election of Councillors to represent the Ward of Billingsgate in the Court of Common Council for the City of London, held on Wednesday last, Mr. Edward Jex was for the sixteenth time unanimously elected one of the representatives of the Ward for the year ensuing. By a return just issued it will be seen that Mr. Jex has attended the meetings of the Common Council and the committee meetings a greater number of times than any other representative of the Ward. It is well known that Mr. Jex is a native of Great Yarmouth, and that he is largely connected with the deep-sea fishing industry of the United Kingdom, and especially at Great Yarmouth, and it is rumoured that at no distant date he will present himself as a candidate for the representation of his native town in the Commons House of Parliament.” — Mr. Jex was member of the West Ham Board for a period of seven years, and upon his retirement from that body he was presented with an address by the workmen of that district. He now resides chiefly at Springfield, Essex, in the famous old manor house called “The Duke’s,” and well known both to antiquarians and historians as the shooting-box of Henry VIII., and equally dear to poets as the once residence of Oliver Goldsmith, and it was while living here that he composed one of his sweetest poems, no other than the “Deserted Village.” Mr. Jex’s Great Yarmouth business place is situated at 1 and 3, Queen’s Road, and his private address in that town is 17, Camperdown.
The telegraphic address of the house is “Jex, London.”


AMONG the noteworthy establishments in the City in the cigar trade the house of Sharpe & Snowden occupies a prominent position. The business is old established (dating from 1848), and has always been conducted upon first-class lines, and under the proprietorship of the present energetic principal (Mr. Cavalier) it has acquired even more extended renown than formerly. The leading specialities may be briefly enumerated as follows:— The finest brands of cigars imported from Havana, including a special line manufactured for this firm by Tomas Gutierrez, of Habana; in tobaccos, Cavalier’s series of navy cuts, dark and gold Scotch flake mixtures, and Sharpe & Snowden’s special mixtures, cavendish, &c.; in cigarettes, “Ep-rahs,” “Omeriades,” “Zetland,” “Oxford,” “Cambridge,” “Maf-ta,” hand-cut Virginia, and Cavalier's straight cut. The general stock is extensive and varied, and embraces — in addition to the choicest and most popular brands of cigars, tobaccos, &c. — a splendid assortment of meerschaum and briar pipes, amber mouth pieces, tobacco-pouches, cigar-cases, and, in short, smokers’ requisites of every description, and of the newest designs and the best qualities manufactured. The firm’s prices will compare favourably with those of other first-class emporia in this line, which fact is largely, due to the circumstance that, being large importers and buyers, they have command of the best markets. The trade connection is both extensive and superior, and includes City merchants, professional gentlemen, tradesmen, and commercial men, and the establishment is also largely patronised by visitors to the Metropolis, particularly those from the United States, and Canada.

The premises are most eligibly situated, being at the corner of “Old Change,” in Cheapside, and they are within a stone’s throw of St. Paul’s and the General Post Office. The emporium has a neat yet very attractive appearance, and it may be added that the proprietor (Mr. Cavalier) is a gentleman possessing both business tact and enterprise, and he keeps pace with the progress of the times. In proof of this he has recently had carried out a very effective installation of the electric light, which adds greatly to the attractiveness of the establishment, both externally and internally. There are four fifty-candle-power incandescence lamps outside the shop, suspended by iron brackets, and fixed in a special fitting. Inside the shop the lighting has been very tastefully carried out, the chief feature of interest being, however, two cigar lighters, which are apparently a great attraction to the customers, and should prove considerably more economical than the ordinary gas-jet igniter, as the current is only used for the few seconds occupied in lighting a cigar or cigarette. There is a mercury contact switch in the cigar lighter, which switches on the current as the lighter is raised for use. In series with the cigar lighter is an incandescence lamp, which acts as a resistance, the cigar lighter taking only five volts.


A PROMINENT and well-known house in its special line of business is that of Messrs. F. W. Schreiber & Co., of 4, Bond Court, Walbrook, E.C., the eminent Manufacturers, Importers, and Exporters of Metallic Capsules, Tinfoil, Vegetable Parchment, Waxed Paper, &c, This business has been in existence since 1860, and has during the whole interim enjoyed a progressive and prosperous career, owing to the well-directed energy and enterprise of the management, and the uniform excellence of the articles handled. The premises occupied in Walbrook comprise offices and store-rooms. The manufactories themselves, of handsome elevation and occupying several acres, are situated on the Continent, from whence the goods are imported to London for distribution throughout the United Kingdom and to various markets abroad. Messrs. Schreiber & Co. were awarded Gold Medals for Tinfoil and Metallic Capsules at the Sydney Exhibition, 1879, and the Melbourne Exhibition, 1880-81. Every facility is possessed in the manufacture. The material, which is of the purest character only, is obtained from the best sources, and the labour employed, although thoroughly skilled, is considerably cheaper than it would be in England. The firm are, therefore, in a position to place their goods on the market at such prices as will favourably compare with those of any responsible house in the same line. Every kind of Capsule known to the trade is manufactured by the firm — in every size and shape, and for every purpose — business being done solely with wholesale houses and large consumers. For general excellence these goods occupy a high position, and the steady increase in the demand proclaims in unmistakable terms that complete satisfaction is being given both in quality and price. An important feature is made of the manufacture of Tinfoil in every conceivable quality, thickness, size, colour, and pattern, either polished, plain or embossed, for Tobacconists, Tea dealers, Chocolate and other sweetmeat manufacturers, Confectioners, Italian warehousemen, and many other trades. Their “Speciality Tinfoil” is manufactured from pure Tin, and is free from Lead, Antimony, or other admixture. No grease or other like substance being used during the process of manufacture, it is free from the objectionable smell and greased appearance peculiar to some tinfoil, and can therefore be used for articles of the most delicate aroma or taste, as well as for ordinary purposes. It has, on both sides alike, the appearance of real silver, and being most carefully manufactured, the sheets separate very easily, whereby much labour and material are saved. Messrs. Schreiber & Co. are also the Patentees of a Capsuling Machine, which has been largely adopted in the trade, and for which they were awarded a Prize Medal at the Melbourne Exhibition of 1880-81. They are also Importers of Lead Foil, Composition Foil, Gold Foil, Copper Foil, Vegetable Parchment and Waxed Paper, in different colours and thicknesses. A first-class and substantial connection has been established at home and abroad, and, under vigorous management, is annually being increased in extent and power. The proprietors are men of long and sound experience in the business with which they are so prominently associated, and every legitimate endeavour is used by them to extend their operations and to oblige their customers. They have a good standing in trade circles, and are held in the highest esteem for their integrity, enterprise, and personal good qualities. The prosperity they enjoy is the well-merited reward of years of close application to business, and the confidence created by always supplying a superior and thoroughly reliable article.


MESSRS. WILLIAM J. BIGGS & Co. control one of the oldest and, perhaps, the most important among the above class of typical productive undertakings. While the nominal date of origin of the business is 1832, yet it may be considered as having been long and firmly established before then, for the amalgamation of two already important concerns was the basis of its formation. These were the business of Mr. John Clarbour and the business of Mr. J. T. Dagnall, and during the intermediate space of sixty years the industry, first commenced at Walham Green in south-west London, has far outgrown its original capacities, and when acquired by Mr. Biggs some three years ago had attained a level of distinction due to its valuable contribution to the manufacturing resources of London, and its far-extending and eminently influential trade. In addition to the concerns above mentioned, about two years ago the firm acquired, by purchase, the business of the London Netting Company. Within one year from the acquisition of the business, with its many accumulations of interest, custom, and facilities, Mr. Biggs entered upon the possession of the present chief office and warehouse at 66, Farringdon Street, E.C., and to anyone who has occasion or is privileged to inspect the same at the present time, their equipment and appointment suggest the methodical care with which they have been adapted to serve the requirements of a business and industry of altogether exceptional importance. The whole of the ground floor forms a handsome establishment, replete with varieties of the numerous imports and manufactures of the firm, while the basement tends to supplement the otherwise ample and spacious stock-rooms, the capacities of which admit of the constant preservation of large and representative supplies, A considerable proportion of the winding; work is accomplished at this address, and there is practically no limit to the diversity of the firm’s productions from the finest twine, running two thousand yards to the pound weight, to the heaviest and strongest of ship’s ropes and cables. The firm have of late years devoted special attention to the making of ropes for fire-escapes, a branch which promises to increase extensively. Besides being manufacturers Messrs. Biggs also engage in the importation of approved Continental manufactures, including those from Italy, Germany, and Austria, and they add to their otherwise unrivalled supplies large quantities of nettings, tarpaulins, mattings, hessians, and that class of strong material known to the trade as forfars. At the present time the export trade of the firm has attained a magnitude equal to the facilities which have been developed with the view of meeting its most exacting demands, and the house is placed under contribution to provide for the needs of an immense trading connection in the Cape of Good Hope and Australia. As contractors to the Admiralty and to the Indian Government Messrs. Biggs hold a position that is the best compliment to the superiority and as yet unchallenged excellence of their manufactures, and to such honourable and enviable results the enterprise of the esteemed principal of the firm, aided by his able coadjutor, Mr. Alexander Deas, has manifestly contributed.


THIS old established and deservedly reputed business was founded originally by a Mr. Thomas Lund over a century ago, he being the grandfather of the present proprietor. The founder died forty-eight years ago. The business has been conducted on the present premises from the first. Both externally and internally these premises are of a unique character, and form one of the curiosities of Cornhill. Built on a narrow, irregularly shaped strip of land, and only of one storey, they thus have a long extended frontage to Cornhill, but of no great depth, the back wall abutting on the ancient Church of St. Peter, Cornhill, upon the site of which church it is asserted by some authorities the first London Cathedral was erected, long before the first St. Paul’s had an existence. The frontage of these premises is nearly all of glass, the panes being small and antique-looking. Surmounting the roof there are two dome-shaped cupolas which light up the premises also. The fittings of the shop are the same as were in existence seventy years ago, and which were designed and made by the grandfather of the present proprietor. These premises are well worth a visit, their antique character being so well preserved. The manufacture of cutlery was the original feature of the business, and in a glass case, or cupboard, let into the front of one of the counters may be seen a number of curious razors, which were made at least a century ago. The manufacture of cutlery is still carried on by the firm at their factory at 25, Fleet Street, but it is supplemented by the manufacture of fancy dressing-cases, jewel-cases, &c., in tortoiseshell, pearl, ivory, &c., of the most elaborate and costly description, the finish and general workmanship being of the very highest. The firm manufacture travelling and toilet bags, writing-cases, despatch-boxes, pocket-books, instrument-cases, ivory and wood chess and draughtsmen, &c.; and they are also manufacturers and patentees of the London lever corkscrew, London rack corkscrew, London letter-copying press, ever-pointed pencils in ivory, hard woods, &c., London letter-clips, and tubes, and, lastly, umbrellas with. durable double-fold silk covering. A very large and widespread home connection exists, but the firm are favourably known all over the world, notably in shell, pearl, and ivory goods, for which a demand exists in most European countries, even in Russia. Foreign consuls and distinguished foreign visitors patronise the establishment largely. The proprietor personally conducts the business with great skill and ability.


Few firms are better known in connection with the London trade in high-class wines and brandies than that of Messrs. Brown & Pank, of Mark Lane, whose extensive business originated nearly a hundred years ago, and has ever since maintained a position of creditable prominence. Besides operating largely as general wholesale wine and spirit merchants and importers, Messrs. Brown & Pank have four important and valuable specialities to which they are now devoting particular attention. These are as follows:— (1) Scotch Whisky, of the celebrated “Glen Tilt,” “Ten Blend,” and “Special Quality ” brands, all of which have gained the favour of connoisseurs,, and enjoy a well-merited reputation as pure and high-class spirits, especially well matured and mellow in character. These have a large and increasing sale. (2) Two excellent brandies — (a) the “Chateau de la Baune” brand, which gained the Gold Medal at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, and which is shipped without obscuration. For this brandy Messrs. Brown & Pank have the sole monopoly for the United Kingdom, and they are in a position to quote very favourable terms for quantities. (3) The famous brandy of “La Grande Marque” Vintage 1863 — one of the finest cognacs in the English market. (3) M. le Comte, de Francolini’s “Sec” and “Extra Sec” Champagne, 1884 vintage, the finest wines of the Marne, and for which Messrs. Brown & Pank are sole consignees. (4). The new liqueur, “Marquettine,” a delicious product of l'Abbaye de Marquette. A new and distinctly high-class liqueur is not an event of everyday occurrence, and Messrs. Brown & Pank anticipate a bright future for “Marquettine,” which is said to possess many virtues and elements of superiority, and the character of which will be very carefully maintained. Other notable specialities of this representative house include the fine old Spanish brandy of M. Misa, distilled from pure wine, the esteemed light dinner Hocks and Moselles of Carl Acker, Wiesbaden, who purveys these high-class wines to the German Emperor and several Courts, and a wide range of special selections in port, sherry, claret, Burgundy, Sauterne, Madeira, Australian wines, &e., &c.

At the time of writing Messrs. Brown & Pank are offering at special rates some very important parcels of standard wines and spirits to clear bins, cover advances, and close accounts. The opportunity thus presented to judicious buyers is one which ought to be eagerly availed of. We have already mentioned the name of Carl Acker, of Wiesbaden, in connection with Hocks and Moselles. It should be stated that this eminent German house holds the monopoly of the Duke of Nassau’s celebrated 1706, 1779, 1783, 1811, &c., Marcobrunner, Steinberger, Johannisberger, &c., at prices ranging from 96s. to 480s. per dozen, duty-paid, London. Herr Acker also holds large stocks of high-class fine hocks, from the Prussian Cabinet’s cellars (1868, 1883, 1885, &c.), including Hochheimer, Neroberger, Grafenberger, and other famous, growths, as from 76s. to 480s. per dozen, duty-paid, London. Messrs. Brown & Pank should be applied to for further particulars, of these choice specialities. Finally, Messrs. Brown & Pank are widely known as proprietors of the well-known brand of Richot & Co.’s cognac, which they have shipped for upwards of a quarter of a century, and of the brand of A. L. Pichon & Co.’s Bordeaux claret, of excellent quality, at medium prices.

At the above address in Mark Lane, this firm occupies a large suite of offices; and here also are capacious and well-appointed cellars, containing a large and valuable stock, although by far the greater portion of the supply is kept in bond. The trade controlled extends all over the United Kingdom, and throughout India and the Colonies generally, and the firm command the respect and confidence of: a most influential and extensive connection. Mr. John L. Pank is now the sole principal of this noted house, and holds a high position in the wine trade, of which he is one of the most esteemed exponents in the City. He is likewise a valued member of the Herts County Council, and the excellent services he has rendered in that capacity procured him the honour of an unopposed re-election in 1892. In his public life, as well as in his business undertakings, Mr. Pank’s methods are of that straightforward character which meets with general approbation, and his work in both spheres of activity has been eminently creditable.


THE reputation achieved in this country by the fine silk threads of Carl Mez & Sohne, such as their machine and buttonhole twists and crochet and embroidery specialities, is the best evidence that can be desired of the superiority of the firm’s productions. The firm indeed is fast distancing every rival, and is steadily opening up an enterprise of the greatest importance. The Messrs. Mez Mills are situated at Freiburg, in Germany, and are equipped for both spinning and dyeing operations, having also a complete outfit of delicate plant for the processes involved in the manufacture of gold and other ornamental threads for crochet and embroidery work. The firm are honourably distinguished from others by not producing any medium or low class goods, but only the finest grades of their specialities are exemplified, the chief lines being as follows:— 1, Fast-dyed embroidery silks and “loosely twisted” filoselles, in which such a state of perfection has been attained in the dyeing that these goods will stand washing with soda, hot ironing, or exposure to sunlight, in all the colours, without fading. 2, Brilliant threads for embroidery and coloured crochet work, a new material of very silky appearance. 3, Extra light dyed machine and buttonhole silks, widely known for excellence, of quality and easy working. Of this firm’s artistic specialities in embroidery and other silks the leading fashion and society journals of the Metropolis have spoken in very high terms, indicating the esteem in which these goods are held in the best circles. “The Queen,” the well-known lady’s newspaper, says:- “One can think of nothing less than a succession of brilliant sunsets when attempting to describe the great range of hues to be found in the embroidery silks, of Messrs. Carl Mez & Sohne. These now number over five hundred, and all are fashionable art shades. Their great merit is in the fastness of the dyes.” Other well-known journals refer in equally laudatory terms to this firm’s productions, and specially commend their latest novelties for artistic crochet work, such as the “Original Glanzgarn” and the “Brilliant Crochet Twist.” Messrs.

Carl Mez & Sohne are large makers of crochet moulds, embroidery discs, and plain and fancy canvases for working upon; and they also have an eminent reputation for their rich and beautiful “golds” for embroidery and crochet, these being washable, and prepared with fine gold alone. It is much to the credit of the Messrs. Mez that they have given a great stimulus to hand embroidery and the manufacture of very artistic trimmings and ornaments by providing every requisite and full instructions therefor. Some of the designs we were courteously permitted to inspect were masterpieces of colour and, effect. The many improvements Messrs. Carl Mez & Sohne have introduced in the goods with which their name is identified have proved particularly valuable and acceptable. The discovery of “fast dyes” capable of standing exposure, to sunlight, and even of resisting the effects of washing with soda and hot ironing, must undoubtedly have been accomplished at the cost of years of experiment. The new filoselles of this firm are also a notable advance upon any that preceded them. Being very loosely twisted, they cover much better than tight twists, and give the embroidery almost the appearance of velvet. With such materials as these within easy reach, those who apply themselves to domestic art-work have every encouragement to progress in the interesting task of beautifying the home. The firm’s London warehouse forms a main centre of its distributive trade, and is admirably organised for the despatch of business. In London a very high-class and solid connection accords its patronage to the firm, while the provincial, shipping, and export connection is of the most flattering importance.


Taking the lead as wholesale dealers in corkwood, virgin cork, and manufactured corks for bottling and other purposes, Messrs. Hope Smith & Co. fully justify the high repute attaching to the house by reason of half a century of successful trade. The enterprise is in. the strictest sense wholesale. The imposing and substantial block of buildings, comprising Nos. 3, 6 and 7, Leman Street, E., which constitute the warehouses and offices, is packed upon every available inch of its four upper storeys with huge bales of virgin cork and corkwood, and canvas sacks filled with bottle and other corks. But even this immense stock is small as compared with the vast stores kept in reserve at the London Docks, whence the warehouse is re-stocked from time to time. Messrs. Hope Smith & Co. import large quantities of corkwood and virgin cork from the various sources of supply, but mainly Spain and Portugal, and also large quantities of ready-made corks, which, however, are very carefully sorted before being delivered to customers. They are also themselves very busy manufacturers of corks, which are issued to cork merchants throughout the United Kingdom, whose wholesale buyers make periodical visits to London to select their goods and make heavy purchases for provincial re-sale. The offices form a handsome suite of rooms on the ground floor, and a large staff of clerks and artisans will be found on the premises; The reputation of this business is altogether unimpeachable, and extends far and wide, while the stock is admitted to be perhaps the largest and most valuable in this country.


IT is almost a work of supererogation to attempt in this country a detailed description of that with which millions of English folk are tolerably familiar, viz., the vast and growing importation of delicious and invigorating wine from the Champagne district. Numbers — hundreds — of the inhabitants of these islands have journeyed over the Chemin de Fer de l’Est, whether visiting the Continent for purposes of business or recreation. In doing so they could not fail to be struck by the imposing and extensive establishment of Messrs. E. Mercier & Co., which flanks the railway at Epernay, and with which it is in direct connection by means of an elaborate system of sidings. In fact, few amongst the clients of the railway company bring them more important custom, a statement verified officially by reference to the Governmental returns for the fiscal year of 1891, by which it appears that during that period. Messrs, E. Mercier & Co. issued no fewer than 3,927,382 bottles of champagne to their agents and customers in various parts of the world. This is, indeed, a remarkable record, rendered the more striking by the fact that Messrs. Mercier distance all competitors in the most unmistakable fashion, the next house below them on the list having issued fully 1,000,000 bottles fewer, in itself a wonderful achievement. For the consumption of a vast proportion of this wine Great Britain must be regarded as directly or indirectly responsible. To meet the enormous demand in this country, Messrs. Mercier have a London house, whose interests are in the able hands of the resident partner, Mr. T. C. Stevens. Mr. Stevens is to be found at the firm’s offices, situated at No. 4, New London Street, E.C., where, with boundless energy and wise administrative capacity, he controls the important and far-reaching commercial affairs confided to him by his partners at Epernay, where, under the immediate eye of Mr. E. Mercier and his son-in-law, M. Lemaitre, are employed upwards of five hundred hands, and a staff of thirty-five foreign correspondence clerks. The cellars of this establishment are a sight never to be forgotten by any visitor whose good fortune has enabled him to traverse the many miles of subterranean vaults and galleries. The prodigious total of 10,000,000 bottles of wine of various vintages may here be seen in different stages of maturity. In addition to this the visitor is amazed to witness the interesting processes carried on by dexterous and busy hands and by means of which the queen of beverages passes from the vineyard to the winepress and on in turn to cask and bottle. He must be, indeed, unobservant and unimpressionable who is not immensely delighted by all that is here displayed, and must be struck also by the magnitude of Messrs. Mercier’s operations arid the thoroughness with which every detail is carried out under the personal supervision of the proprietors. To the natural advantages — and they are quite unequalled —-of soil and climate must be added the great benefits conferred by wise and experienced treatment of the vine, aided by the unsparing employment of unlimited capital. Thus absolute perfection of growth is secured; and skilful manipulation of the gathered fruit in this model establishment is the necessary and fitting corollary of its previous history.

So far as the London trade is concerned it is principally, nay, almost entirely, in the choicest and most costly brands of Messrs. Mercier’s Private Cuvee. There has, however, grown up during recent years a movement amongst wine merchants and hotel proprietors in the direction of supplying from their establishments champagne bearing their own name and label. It is a harmless deception, and it is no secret that Messrs. Mercier, in lending themselves to the gratification of this desire, have adopted a wise and clear-sighted policy, which goes far to account for the colossal output attained by the firm, an output still growing year by year to the satisfaction alike of the grower, the consignee, and the consumer. That quality and not mere quantity is fully taken into consideration by the Messrs. Mercier appears from the fact that they are prize medallists of numerous exhibitions, conspicuous among which are those held in Paris and Philadelphia. It should be noted, as a conspicuous instance of the methods which characterise this enterprising firm, that they did not hesitate to invade German territory; and their bottling establishment at Luxembourg, where a hundred and fifty hands are incessantly occupied in dealing with the wines destined for consumption by subjects of the Emperor, furnishes additional proof of the wisdom which dictates and the success which crowns their various new departures. It is only necessary to add that Mr. T. C. Stevens is in telephonic communication from his offices in New London Street with his metropolitan correspondents and customers, his telephone number being 4,314, while “Vigneron, London” is the appropriate telegraphic address of the firm.


Occupying a position of great prominence, as becomes a firm of such long standing, Messrs. Henry Johnson & Sons conduct an enterprise of considerable importance and extensive ramifications. Founded in the year 1814, the business was from the first ably and energetically conducted. Grasping the fact that the British public were developing more and more a desire to travel, and seeing that improved opportunities for the dispatch of baggage would obviate one of the most serious difficulties with which Continental travelling is beset, they undertook to supplement their already well-established agency for the conveyance of merchandise to and from the Continent by arranging an “Express Baggage Service,” which, rapidly becoming known since its inauguration some five years since, is of great assistance to travellers. Messrs. Henry Johnson & Sons are the Continental traffic agents to three important railway companies, viz., the Midland, Glasgow and South-Western, and London, Chatham and Dover Railways, and in this capacity, apart from their very large private connection, have charge of the conveyance of an extensive traffic in merchandise to and from all parts of the world both by fast and slow services. They are represented in no fewer than ninety-six Continental towns and cities by accredited agents with whom working arrangements have been perfected which ensure the greatest satisfaction in respect to economical transit and prompt dispatch. They undertake insurances with the most reliable companies against all risks, and a special feature in this respect is the insurance they effect against risk of robbery at an almost nominal fee. Messrs. Henry Johnson & Sons’ chief office is at 39, Great Tower Street, E.C., almost immediately adjoining which they have extensive warehouse accommodation for the storage of merchandise and baggage, and in the West End they have a branch office at Piccadilly Circus (1, Shaftesbury Avenue), where an inquiry department has been opened for the convenience of patrons whose business does not bring them into the City. An organisation which undertakes the conveyance of traffic to and from all parts of the world, and can be relied upon to execute in every detail the contracts it undertakes, requires at its head, not only a man of ability, but one with a thorough grasp of detail, persevering energy, and the capacity to select and train an efficient staff, and in these respects Mr. Henry Johnson, the senior partner, happily for himself and the extensive interests of his firm, possesses all these qualifications; hence the acknowledged success of the firm’s operations. The resident principal in Paris, Mr. Alfred Johnson, occupies very ^spacious offices at 57, Rue d’Hauteville, where he supervises many and important details incidental to the firm’s Continental business, and holds a position of extreme responsibility necessitating a special and intimate acquaintance with the laws affecting the transport of traffic through different foreign countries. The advantage of securing the services of Messrs. Henry Johnson & Sons for the transport of goods or baggage is thus only too obvious.


THE importance of the wine trade of France is strikingly attested by the statistics recently published in the Moniteur Vinicole, in which it is shown that the total output of the seventy-six departments in which, wine is made amounted in 1892 to the enormous aggregate of 654,348,015 gallons (estimated). In this great industry the growth and manufacture of champagne plays an increasingly important part, for the agreeable and exhilarating wines of the Champagne country are unquestionably the “wines of to-day.” Indeed, champagne has been justly recognised as the King of Wines, and every year finds it appealing to the tastes of an increased clientele the wide world over. To quote the words of an authority on the subject:— “Everything tends to show that Champagne is unique in itself. The charming picturesqueness of the hilly slopes known as the Mountain of Rheims, and the C6te d’Epernay, where are planted some 35,000 acres of vines, yielding that small black and white grape quite peculiar to the Champagne district; the minute details of an elaborate and rigid culture of a special plant; the preparation of the wine itself, so special and so interesting; the ancient, joyous, wealthy and busy towns whose architecture is so much admired—all these are characteristic of the finest wine produced.”

In considering the champagne trade as a great branch of commerce and industry, one’s thoughts instinctively turn to a select few firms whose names are inseparably and honourably identified with it. Among these stands the house of Messrs. Duval-Pougeoise, of Vertus-pres-Epernay, and the establishment of this eminent firm ranks with the most notable in the district. It is situated in the centre of the Champagne area of viticulture, built on the flank of the hill, and surrounded by flourishing vineyards, which are the property of the firm. The position is an exceptionally favourable one, and the handsome premises have a lofty and business-like aspect. They comprise a large rectangular main building of commanding height, with two wings at each extremity, forming with the main building a spacious courtyard. Nowhere in the Champagne does one obtain a better idea of the elaborate routine followed in the preparation of the charming wine of this favoured region than within the establishment of Messrs. Duval-Pougeoise. Here everything is reduced to an exact science, and all the technical processes of the industry (from the primary operations of the pressoirs right on through each successive stage of the complex art to the final gold or silver foiling and casing of the familiar bottles) is exemplified in a manner bespeaking the highest practical skill and the most complete working organisation. We would willingly linger over the many interesting details of this typical establishment but that it would be impossible to do it justice in the limited space at our disposal, and the affairs of the house in London claim a share of our attention.

It may be remarked that the firm of Messrs. Duval-Pougeoise was founded in 1857, and with the splendid resources at their command at Epernay they speedily made their way into the front rank of the trade, producing and supplying a class of wines whose high qualities and sustained excellence of character soon won for them a place of special favour among connoisseurs in this and other countries. Until 1888 the house was represented in London by agents only, but about that time Messrs. Duval-Pougeoise found their English trade assuming such important dimensions that they opened their own offices in Great Tower Street, Mr. Charles Duval (son of the founder of the firm) becoming resident partner in London. Within the last few months a move has been made from Great Tower Street to the address now occupied in Mark Lane, where the firm now have very convenient offices and sampling-rooms. Here also they have spacious duty-paid cellars, for Mr. Duval makes a point of holding in stock, ready for immediate delivery, a quantity of each kind of champagne shipped under the brands of his house. These comprise at present the following -Cuvee speciale, 1887 vintage; 1884-85 reserve cuvee, 1884 vintage; 1884 vintage first quality extra sec, this latter being a particularly fine example of the famous vintage of 1884. The firm are also now beginning to ship their extra quality 1889 vintage, the yield of that year having been one of the finest of modern times in the Champagne. The Duval-Pougeoise Cuv6e No. 50 (1889) is a natural brut wine of exceptional excellence, and we venture to predict that it will be heard of for years to come as one of the choice specialities of the trade. All the champagnes of this distinguished house are characterised by remarkable finesse and delicacy — the result of extraordinary care and skill in manipulation—and their good qualities are well appreciated in the best circles, as the demand among the leading hotels, clubs, and merchants amply testifies. Messrs. Duval-Pougeoise have received the important appointment of purveyors to the House of Commons, and they hold several high medallic awards, including the silver medal at Paris, 1889; medals at Toulouse, 1887, and Barcelona, 1888; and the gold medal, diploma of honour, and felicitation of the jury at the Bordeaux International Exhibition, 1892-93. A very large and widespread trade is controlled, and it should be mentioned that Messrs. Duval-Pougeoise also ship under buyers’ own brands when required. Mr. Charles Duval, the resident partner in London, directs the affairs of the business here with all the ability and success that might be looked for in the case of a gentleman of such special knowledge and technical skill. As an authority on all matters connected with champagne, Mr, Duval is well known, and among wine merchants in this country he occupies a position which might almost be termed unique, inasmuch as he has had practical experience in his father’s extensive celliers at Vertus of every process and operation incidental to the production and manipulation of fine champagnes. He has personally been through the entire routine of the industry, taking his share of the actual work as well as of the supervision thereof; and the knowledge and judgment thus acquired he turns to the very best account in maintaining the well-earned reputation and prestige of his house.


THE house now known to the public under the firm-style of Davison, Newman & Co, was old when many now gigantic mercantile concerns were in their infancy. It has witnessed the rise and progress of many of the principal metropolitan examples of trade aggrandisement, and by reason of its long career, covering a period of nearly two centuries and a half, it forms a most notable link with the commerce of modern London, and the old trading customs of the Commonwealth, the latter principles of respectable and quiet business being honoured by observance at the present day. Like several other of the historic houses of the City, the original establishment fell a victim to the Great Fire of London. But for that circumstance the appearance of the premises had been much the same during the whole term of its existence, until three years ago, when the old premises at 44, Fenchurch Street were demolished on the expiration of the lease, and the firm migrated a few yards further up the same street to No. 57. To litterateurs the establishment presents several very interesting associations. The “Dan Rawlinson” of “Pepys’ Diary” was no other than Mr. Daniel Rawlinson, the founder of the house, who was succeeded by Sir Thomas Rawlinson, Lord Mayor of London in 1706.

It was about the middle of the eighteenth century that the house was first conducted under the style of Rawlinson, Davison & Newman, and the present style has been retained for much beyond a century. The sign of the crown and three gilt sugarloaves above the doorway suggested to the author of “The History of Signboards” the inclusion of a brief and pointed notice concerning the house in that excellent work, and some three or four years ago the business was the subject of one of the most interesting of a series of descriptive sketches compiled by the publishers of “Modern London.” Various society journals have passed worthy comments upon the unique interest and eminent respectability of the house. From the Whitehall Review we learn that it was Messrs. Davison, Newman & Co. who introduced Java coffee into England. While it is delightful to regard this old concern as having been in important association with, and catering to, the tea-drinking proclivities of the fashionable London of long ago, it is also worthy of note that they took an initiative part in popularising what has been long looked upon as the companion beverage, coffee, and despite the competition, which cheap and inferior coffees have had a part in raising, the old and genuine commodity dispensed by Messrs. Davison, Newman & Co. finds & ready welcome on the breakfast-tables of the elite everywhere. Under the care and enterprise of the present principal, Mr. W. Tapply, the business is as extensive as it was a century back, and the local administration is in capable hands. He is a member of the Worshipful Company of Grocers, and evinces active interest in all matters concerning the prosperity of the trade to which his firm is so intimately allied. The warehouses at 7, Creechurch Buildings, close to the thoroughfare, are well arranged for storage, packing, despatch, and all the other operations of a large business, and they consist of a five-storeyed substantial building, fitted up with all the latest machinery for roasting coffee, nibbing cocoa, &c.


FOUNDED in 1850, and conducted from the very inception with notable energy and skill, the above concern has every year made large advances in the efficiency of its resources and the extent of its patronage. A splendid reputation has been secured in every department of this complicated and difficult business, and the house has established itself as in many respects superior to any of its numerous competitors. Ample and convenient premises are occupied as above, consisting of a suite of offices and show-rooms on the first floor, where is displayed an extensive assortment of the various high-class and improved articles manufactured by the firm. An immense trade is controlled in the manufacture of hydraulic, steam, and vacuum gauges, thermometers, pyrometers, thalpotassimeters, or tension thermometers, Richards & Thompson’s steam-engine indicators, engine counters, tachometers or speed indicators, Buss’s patent governors, injectors, steam-traps, reducing valves, and all kinds of steam fittings. Everything turned out is guaranteed of the best material and finished, workmanship, and also as embodying the latest and best improvements.

A numerous staff of skilled and experienced artificers is employed, and perfected facilities are possessed in the matter of productive resources. The leading specialities of the firm enjoy a great appreciation, and the continuous increase in the demand is conclusive evidence that entire satisfaction is being given. As showing the uniform and super-excellence of the firm’s manufacture, it should be noted, that they are the holders of no fewer than fifteen gold and a large number of other medals, and awards carried, off from the principal exhibitions at home and abroad. The firm are in possession of unsolicited testimonials from the highest officials of the German Admiralty. The correctness and high standard of the various gauges manufactured is testified to by the fact that they were ordered directly from the firm by the German Government, without being thrown open to public tender, there being no other firm in a position to compete with Messrs. Schaffer & Budenberg as regards the quality of these gauges.

Large establishments are maintained at Manchester and Glasgow, at the former of which the firm have an extensive factory for the manufacture and repair of their specialities, and the connection extends to every part of the United Kingdom as well as to the great centres of commerce and industry throughout the world. The London business is under the management of Mr. Frank Hiller, a gentleman thoroughly well acquainted with the various ramifications of the trade and courteous and business-like in all his transactions. The members of the firm occupy a position of considerable eminence in trade circles, and are widely known and everywhere respected for their ability, strict commercial integrity, and public usefulness.
The telegraphic address of the house is “Pyrometer, London.” The firm have also extra works in America, Russia, and large depots in other parts of the world.


THE above-named firm control one of the oldest and most noteworthy of the great wine businesses of the City of London, their house dating its history from the year 1765, when it was founded by that remarkable man, worthy merchant, and munificent philanthropist, Benjamin Kenton. The long life of the founder of Messrs. Standring & Drake’s business (he died in his eighty-second year) was a continuous record of active industry and well-directed benevolence; and his name is associated with liberal benefactions, not only to the Vintners’ Company, but to a great many excellent charitable and educational objects. At his death, which occurred in 1800, he left no less than £60,500 to various schools, charities, &c., including Hetherington’s Charity for the Blind (£20,000), Christ’s Hospital, St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, Bridewell and Bethlehem Hospital, the Foundling Hospital, and many other institutions. Several streets in London commemorate the name of this benevolent merchant, including Kenton Street, W.C., and Kenton Road, Hackney; while Kenton Ward in St. Bartholomew’s Hospital is another standing testimony to his philanthropy.

The firm founded in 1765 by Mr. Benjamin Kenton has traded since then under various titles, the following being a complete list, with the dates:— 1765, Benjamin Kenton; 1785, Watts & Whalley; 1796, Watts & Aislabie (the latter gentleman having been hon. secretary to the Marylebone Cricket Club from 1826 to 1842); 1801, Aislabie & Eade; 1808, Aislabie, Eade & Standring;; 1814, Aislabie & Standring; 1840, Aislabie, Standring & Standring; 1842, Benjamin Standring & Son; 1848, Benjamin Standring & Sons; 1853, Standring Brothers; 1859, Standring Brothers & Turner; 1870, Standring Brothers & Co.; 1877, John Standring & Son; 1892, Standring & Drake. Messrs. Aislabie & Eade received in 1802 a letter from Lord Nelson in which the great naval commander spoke well of their hock, and announced his intention of having a fresh supply of the same. The original of that letter, signed “Nelson and Bronte,” is still in the possession of the house, and Messrs. Standring & Drake are proud to show it to their patrons. Benjamin Kenton was an honoured member of the Vintners’ Company, and it is interesting to note that the house still preserves an association with that ancient guild in the person of its present senior partner, Mr. George Standring, who is a descendant of the original Mr. Standring whose name first appears in the firm in 1808. With Mr. Standring is now associated Mr. Charles Drake. Both are on the freedom of the Vintners’ Company and liverymen, and are gentlemen well known as experienced masters of their trade and worthy upholders of the prestige of their ancient and respected house.

The old-fashioned but commodious premises at 152, Minories remain as they were more than a hundred years ago, and over the doorway may still be seen the curious wrought-iron monogram of Benjamin Kenton, while the quaint old metal inkstand once used by him, with its little drawers for “Wafers” and “pounce,” has an honoured place in the firm’s offices. Here also may be seen the original sign of the “Magpie,” once appertaining to the old tavern in Aldgate High Street, where Benjamin Kenton early in life held the position of waiter and “drawer.” This old sign is beautifully carved out of solid pearwocd. The cellars are more than usually extensive, comprising two tiers, a basement and sub-basement, all in massive old sixteenth and seventeenth century work. Here are thousands of dozens of rare old port, a wine for which this house is famed throughout the whole of the United Kingdom. Sherries, champagnes, clarets, burgundies, hocks, and all other standard wines are also in stock, a large and very select variety. But it may be truly said that the chief fame of the firm at the present day rests on their magnificent ports, of which they hold a supply of fine old vintages that may fairly claim to be unsurpassable in quality and character. Besides the bottle cellars, in which are huge port-wine bins, some of which contain as many as ten thousand bottles, this firm have a very extensive cask vault and a large sampling-room where over four hundred different growths and vintages of wines are always on hand. An enormous safe is also provided for the reception of small “reference samples” of all wines and spirits sent out in bulk. This shows in a striking light the business-like methods of the firm, who can always produce, in case of need, sealed samples of their output. Large quantities of wines and spirits are kept in bond, so as to amply meet the requirements of an immense business. Messrs. Standring & Drake have an international connection, and their vast and widespread trade is marked by continuous increase under the able and energetic administration of the present principals, who personally direct the business upon the highest commercial lines. One graceful act of this eminent firm seems worthy of special record, particularly in view of their great celebrity in the matter of rare old port. This was the sending of a bottle of port one hundred years old (vintage 1784) to the late Sir Moses Montefiore, as a present on his hundredth birthday. The act in itself was probably unique, and the veteran philanthropist expressed himself highly delighted with such an exceptional birthday gift.


WE name at the head of this article a house that has long been favourably known for its manufactures in fancy leather goods. Mr. A. Garstin, the founder of this important concern, commenced business during the progress of the Franco-Prussian War. That desperate conflict temporarily put an end to the French fancy leather industry, from which English dealers had previously drawn their supplies, and Mr. Garstin, at once seizing the opportunity thus presented, embarked in the manufacture with which his name has since become so creditably associated. He may therefore be regarded as the pioneer of the fancy leather goods trade in England, and the secret of the great success he has achieved therein is found in the fact that, while his goods have always been characterised by the elegance of the French articles, they have added thereto the sound quality and durability of English manufacturers. From time to time Mr. Garstin has found it necessary to add to his premises and increase his working resources in order to keep pace with the growth of his business, and at the present time he occupies a large block of buildings in Queen Square, where he carries on one of the largest industries of its kind in the Kingdom. Besides this extensive establishment Messrs. A. Garstin & Co. have admirably equipped leather-dressing works at Bermondsey, and they give employment altogether to about two hundred hands. The goods produced are of the most varied character, the following being some of the leading specialities:— Watch wristlets and watch and clock cases, watch hangers, the “Excelsior Giant” watch holder, the world-over eight-day clock in pigskin case, an immense variety of purses, pocketbooks, wallets, money bags, waist belts, wrist straps, ladies’ web belts, leather watch-guards, leggings, pocket belts, braces, various styles in fashionable waist belts, all kinds of hand-bags and satchels, Gladstone bags, dressing-bags both for ladies and gentlemen, shawl straps, &c., &c. The firm make a prominent feature of dog appliances, among which are included many novelties in collars, leaders, whips, muzzles, &c. Messrs. Garstin’s muzzles have gained great favour everywhere, and their humane prize dog muzzle, a most excellent article, was the only one which gained a prize medal at the Animals’ Institute in August, 1889. The regulation registered all-leather dog muzzles have also been greatly approved. They are designed to prevent the dog from picking up injurious food in the street. At the same time they allow the animal to open the mouth, breathe freely, and drink freely, and are in every respect easy fitting and durable. Messrs. Garstin & Co. have many attractive and saleable novelties in rug and book straps, school satchels, and music cases, and we recommend the trade to refer to this firm’s illustrated lists for particulars of new and popular goods. Excellent manufacturing facilities are possessed by this enterprising firm, and nearly everything they supply is made on their own premises. A widespread and influential connection is maintained, and the house holds a high place in the confidence of the trade. Mr. A. Garstin, the principal, personally supervises the entire business.


AMONG the great industrial firms which, by the extent of their operations, and the enterprise which characterises their management, have established for themselves more than national fame, a prominent position is occupied by the celebrated house of Messrs. Whitmore & Binyon, whose works are at Wickham Market, Suffolk, and London offices at 64, Mark Lane, E.C. This business has been in existence for a long period (being established in 1780), and has been developed by slow degrees into what is probably the largest and most capable establishment of its kind in the three kingdoms. The partners in this large concern are Mr. William Whitmore, who controls the works, and Mr. George Binyon, who is the London and general commercial representative. The offices at Mark Lane are ample in size and handsomely fitted up throughout. Accommodation is found for a staff of clerks and every convenience is possessed for the adequate control of a business of this kind and magnitude. The works cover a considerable area of ground, and find employment for some hundreds of hands, whilst the equipment embraces all the most modern plant and machinery, together with many special mechanical contrivances, the invention of the firm themselves. An effective system of discipline is in force, and under the most favourable conditions, an extensive trade is done in the manufacture of roller-mills, engines and boilers, improved waterpower machinery, windmills and fittings, and various descriptions of engineering plant. The articles turned out by Messrs. Whitmore & Binyon are regarded in their line as the perfect productions of modern mechanical ingenuity and skill. They are well known not only in the United Kingdom, but in every part of the British. Empire, in India, and wherever civilisation has effected a footing.

In a brief article like this it would be impossible to give anything like an adequate idea of the many superior machines manufactured; it must suffice to mention the great leading specialities. Foremost among these is the erection of complete flour-mills on the new roller system, or the re-modelling of old mills in accordance with this, the latest and most effective system in use. A very large business is being done in this direction, and a splendid name is held for the perfect adaptability, strength, and efficiency of the various machinery turned out. The firm are the sole manufacturers in the United Kingdom of Goodall’s patent, the “Best Purifier.” This is the most perfect machine of the kind that has yet been introduced for separating and collecting the impurities from the “middlings” and other material. They are made by the firm of various dimensions and capacity, indicated by the numbers one to seventeen, the prices ranging from £67 to £135 each. Another important feature with the firm is the manufacture of cement-manufacturing plant and diamond-washing plants, the latter having been supplied to nearly all the principal mines in the world, and notably to those at Bultfontein, De Beers, and Kimberley. The firm are also largely occupied with roller- mills for various purposes, rice-milling machinery, turbine water-wheels, &c. Every facility is possessed for fulfilling the largest orders with promptness and efficiency, absolute satisfaction being guaranteed in every respect. Under spirited and able management, the connection is annually increasing. The proprietors are men of high standing in the mechanical world, and are well known and respected in trade and commercial circles for their skill, just and liberal methods, and strict personal integrity. Mr. Binyon is an able, courteous, and straightforward business man, and relations with him. will be found no less pleasant than advantageous.
The telegraphic address for the City is, “Accelerate, London,” and for the factory, “Works, Wickham Market.”


A business that has been in existence for more than a century, and has during all that time been carried on in the same premises, is one calling for particular notice in these records of the leading industries and commercial houses in London. Such a one is to be found in the time-honoured establishment of Messrs. Brockbank, Atkins, & Moore, of 6, Cowper’s Court, Cornhill, E.C., the celebrated manufacturers of chronometers and watches. This notable house was founded in 1778 by Mr. John. Brockbank, one of the pioneers in the manufacture of the chronometer. His descendant, Myles Brockbank, was joined in 1815 by George Atkins, grandfather of one of the present principals. In 1884 an amalgamation took place between the firm and one equally old established, dating back from 1800 — Messrs. George Moore & Son, the successors of the firm of F. B. Adams & Sons — and the title then became the same as at the head of this article. During its long career the house has always maintained a high position among kindred establishments, and been noted for the superior and high-class character of everything manufactured. The manufacturing premises are situate at 21, St. John’s Square, Clerkenwell. The firm produce every description of marine and pocket chronometers, and all kinds of high-class watches, repeaters, chronographs, mercurial regulators, chiming clocks, and bracket clocks and timepieces, The articles turned out by this responsible firm are well known in every part of the globe, and the workmen employed are amongst the most skilful in the trade. The degree of perfection attained by the firm in their chronometers and watches has gained for them the prize medal at London, 1862, for mechanical excellence, and also the prize medal at Paris, 1867, for excellence of workmanship, whilst among their patrons are to be found Her Majesty’s Government, the Lords of the Admiralty, the Board of Trade, the Hon. the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, the Hon. Corporation of the Trinity House, and the principal steam shipping companies.


To the enterprise of such firms as the Great Tower Street Tea Company, Limited, the public are indebted for a very marked and widespread improvement in the teas now available to the great majority of consumers. Twenty or thirty years ago really good tea was a luxury, and could be indulged in only by people of comparatively ample means. To-day a new order of things prevails, and it is possible for even the poorest families to enjoy a tea that is at once palatable and pure. The Great Tower Street Tea Company was founded in 1877 as a private limited company, with an influential directorate. It was the pioneer of the “packet tea” trade, which has been so beneficial in its operation; but although an enormous business continues to be done in these packet teas, the firm have also a vast output of blended teas in bulk, that is to say, in chests and half-chests. They have between three thousand and four thousand agents in all parts of the United Kingdom, so that there is every facility for conducting and further developing a trade of extraordinary magnitude. Furthermore, there is a remarkably extensive export trade in progress with the Continent, the Cape, Australia, &c., and lately the Company have opened an important branch establishment at Toronto, Canada. It was the Great Tower Street Tea Company, Limited, who conducted the wonderful “Indian Pavilion” at the Paris Exhibition of 1889, supplying tea to the whole of the Exhibition, and receiving a gold medal and a silver medal — the former for the “Indian Pavilion,” and the latter as the highest award for tea. Such an instance of English enterprise in a foreign capital deserves recognition and commendation, and of course, it has resulted in a great increase in the sale of the Company’s superior teas in France generally and in Paris in particular. The Lady's Pictorial said at the time of the 1889 Exhibition that the Great Tower Street Tea Company said to have “formed a nucleus of tea-drinkers in the gay capital,” and unquestionably tea drinking in Parisian society circles has greatly increased since then.

A few sentences may here be quoted from the journal referred to in order to show how important was the step taken by the Company in establishing themselves at the last Paris Exhibition. The writer in the Lady's Pictorial alludes to the fact that the Company took up their headquarters in the “Indian Pavilion,” and then proceeds:— “ This magnificent structure was erected at a cost of over £4,000 by the Indian Tea Districts Association of Calcutta, the bulk of the guarantee fund being Subscribed by the Great Tower Street Tea Company. All the tea dispensed in the English sections emanates from this enterprising firm, and Frenchmen now have the rare opportunity of carrying away packets of delicious Bohea, upon which unmistakable directions are given concerning the process of brewing the invigorating draught. In addition to this the Company are distributing a series of elegant pamphlets and books upon tea and tea-making, so that we confidently expect that tea will before long take its place in the estimation of the people by the side of coffee and chocolate, and Frenchmen will learn to look upon the Great Tower Street Tea Company much in the same way as we do now, in the light of public benefactors.” As a result of the good work done by the Company at the great Exhibition of 1889, visitors to the land of our neighbours across the Channel may congratulate themselves upon the fact that the old-time difficulty of obtaining a cup of good tea in France is now in a fair way of being abolished. Besides the honours awarded them at the exhibition above referred to, the Company have gained other important awards, including a gold medal at the Paris Exhibition of Foods, 1890; a gold medal at the Champs Elysees International Exhibition, and a diploma of merit (highest award) at the Military Exhibition, London. The success of the Great Tower Street Tea Company at Paris, in 1889, is a subject upon which much more might be said, but for further particulars in this respect reference may be made to the voluminous printed matter issued by the Company.

The necessity of opening up new markets for British teas is one of the requirements of the trade that have been specially recognised by this enterprising concern, but while the Company have been extending their operations far afield, they have never neglected the home markets, and their teas are at the present day well-nigh unrivalled in popularity in this country. The art of blending (in which the secret of success in the modern tea trade undoubtedly lies) has been studied and practised by this Company upon an exclusively scientific and practical basis, from which the very best results have sprung up. By the exercise of skill and experience and the intelligent employment of large capital and superior commercial facilities, the Great Tower Street Tea Company have produced and maintained in the market some of the finest blends of high-class tea known at the present day, and these, under the generic name of “Tower Tea,” are known and esteemed in every quarter of the United Kingdom, not only for their purity and well-sustained excellence of flavour, but also for the remarkably moderate prices at which they are sold by the Company’s agents. Where the retail prices are so low as to meet with universal approval, it might be thought that there would not be much margin for the dealer. But there is an ample margin, and the trade will find it greatly to their interest to deal with a firm who can supply quick-selling teas at prices beyond the influence of competition. The Great Tower Street Tea Company, commanding such large resources at the great centres of tea production, can assuredly save money both for the trade and for the public, and a glance at their list of blends will show that in every item the utmost value is given. The enormous trade controlled by the Company, the steady growth of their wholesale connection, and the constant expansion of their widespread system of agencies, all point to the fact that their teas enjoy an increasing popularity which only genuine quality and merit could have won.

In Jewry Street, E.C., the Company occupy a very fine stone warehouse of six storeys. The basement contains a printing office where the Company do all their own printing. On the ground floor are the offices, with warehouse at the rear, hundreds of chests of tea being daily received here. This influx of tea is speedily absorbed by the blending and other departments on the upper floors, where also are the weighing-out and packing departments. Numerous young women are employed in making up the well-known packets of “Tower Tea,” each packet being securely tied up, and impressed with the Company’s registered trade-mark. The weighing scales are examined and tested regularly by the makers, and such care is exercised in making up the packets that in the whole fifteen years of their career the Company have received but one complaint of underweight. Very few houses in the trade can point to such a record of accuracy, for, in sending out millions of packets of tea it is very difficult indeed to avoid some slight errors in weighing. A special department is provided for the making up of Ceylon teas in lead; another for packing teas in bulk; and another for making packing-cases and repairing old ones. All the machinery in use in this interesting and extensive establishment (including blending machinery of the most modern type) is worked by two powerful gas-engines, and the warehouse in its entirety presents an example of practical and systematic organisation which attests good management and careful supervision.

The success that has attended the operations of the Great Tower Street Tea Company is so marked and decisive that its causes will perhaps readily suggest themselves. Certainly one of the chief factors in this success is found in the care taken in blending the teas, all formulas being the result of exhaustive experiment on the part of experts, of high technical attainments. The various grades and qualities thus produced (of which the Company have a very comprehensive list) are always maintained at the same level of excellence, so that customers can rely upon uniformity in the character of every blend. Thus confidence is inspired, and confidence is the keystone of prosperity in commerce. The Company have their own vans for cartage purposes, and have stabling for about twelve horses. The whole business is conducted upon the soundest practical basis, under the superintendence of Mr. A. Horatio Jones, the esteemed managing director, who is ably assisted by a large and efficient executive staff. Telegrams should be addressed: “Limitless, London; ” and it may be said that this word well typifies the extent of the Company’s enterprise and resources, and the probable range and scope of the world-wide trade they are so vigorously building up.


THIS noted house, which has attained to the position of the largest consumers of and dealers in mica, was established in 1840 by Mr. Frederick Wiggins. It is now carried on by his sons, who have for the last fifteen years devoted all their energies to perfecting their works, and are now possessed of novel and ingenious machinery for shaping, turning, boring, and polishing the delicate material which is so extensively used for philosophical and scientific work, and which requires careful and delicate handling. Constant improvements are being effected, the most recent being the erection of a novel-principled and powerful press of one hundred and seventy-five tons for commutator sections and plates built up to a uniform thickness. The firm supply mica for the Government to the Admiralty, India Office, and War Department, and number amongst their other patrons all the leading electrical firms in this country and abroad. In addition to this Messrs. F. Wiggins & Sons have had the honour and distinction of furnishing some of the finest mica work to the Science and Art Department at Kensington, Cambridge University, Leeds College, &c. Besides the mica work this firm are also specially noted as nautical-instrument makers, their spirit compasses having obtained an enviable notoriety, being splendid samples of perfect workmanship, which, coupled with the scientific principles of their construction, make them invaluable when extreme accuracy and durability are necessary. The mica employed in the construction of these compasses peculiarly fits them for hot climates, as they do not warp. Besides these special departments Messrs. F. Wiggins & Sons are largely occupied in the adjustment of iron ships’ compasses, the manufacture of nautical, philosophical, and mathematical instruments, as well as ships’ lamps, and the supply of charts, nautical books, and guide-books. At the recent Electrical Exhibition at the Crystal Palace the firm was fully represented, and the contents of their stand excited great attention among the leading scientists of the day, and received high commendation in both the general and scientific newspapers. The works are at 10, King Street, E., and Hammet Street, E.C.; and, the telegraphic address is “Wiggins- Minories, London;” Telephone No, 2,248.


THE annals of the above house show that it was established as far back as the year 1764, by Mr. Robert Donne, the great-grandfather of its present senior partner, Mr. Lewis Donne, who conducts the concern with the able co-operation of his son, Mr. Morgan Donne, and enjoys the full confidence and liberal support of many of the City magnates and great commercial houses in the trade. The firm have always been renowned for the high excellence of all their work, and to this day there stands in their fine emporium an eight-day clock, in an upright case, which was made by the founder of the house, and bears his name, Robert Donne, on a white ivory plate, with the date 1764 upon it; and this venerable piece of mechanism is still in excellent going order. Messrs. Donne & Son are possessed of every facility for the execution of work of the highest order of merit, and employ none but picked and expert craftsmen. Whilst operating on a large scale as manufacturers of all kinds of watches and jewellery, they devote special attention to the making of high-class and complicated watchwork, and to the execution of all kinds of repairs. They received the high distinction of the honorary freedom of the Turners’ Company in 1872, and highest award medals at the Exhibitions of Calcutta, 1884; Edinburgh, 1886; and a diploma of honour at the memorable Inventions Exhibition, 1885; and the freedom of the City of London. Their premises in Birchin Lane are of exceptionally elegant appearance, and are always very fully stocked with a vast, varied, and valuable selection of watches and clocks, jewellery, bijouterie, and the numerous items incidental to a thoroughly first-class establishment of the kind. Every branch of the business receives the personal supervision of the principals, and is conducted with a careful competence that is well calculated to preserve all the creditable traditions of this old and well-reputed house, and to sustain it in the public favour it has so long and so deservedly enjoyed.


THE business founded in 1807, and now so ably controlled by Mr. Robert Taylor, has had a career of substantial prosperity, which has been considerably enhanced since it became the sole property of this gentleman. Mr. Taylor is himself a thoroughly practical past-master in the printing art, and gives his personal attention to the execution of every order entrusted to the house, thus ensuring, not only excellence of workmanship, but also promptitude. The premises are equipped with the most approved modern machinery and appliances, and afford every facility for the exemplification of the art of printing in all its developments. All descriptions of printing are undertaken, including letterpress and lithographic work. Special attention is devoted to mediaeval and other artistic styles of printing. The firm have executed the printing for the Lord Mayor’s and Sheriffs’ banquets upon several occasions. The house some little time ago produced a very valuable work on “The Smelting of Copper in the Swansea District of South Wales, from the time of Queen Elizabeth to the Present Day.” This exhaustive work was dedicated, by permission, to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, by the author, Colonel Grant-Francis, F.S.A., and is an excellent specimen of the typographic art. By giving close personal attention to the work, Mr. Taylor is able to effect substantial economies, of which his customers reap the benefit by the exceptionally low quotations which it is possible for him to make. Mr. Taylor has a very important department devoted to the manufacture of account-books* and he also deals extensively in law and general stationery.


IT is now just half a century since the foundation of the well-known and reputable house of Messrs. Richard Flint & Co. During the interim it has been developed with persistent application, and it now ranks as one of the largest and most important of its kind in this quarter of the Metropolis. The premises occupied are at No. 49, Fleet Street, and are conspicuously situated nearly opposite the new Law Courts. They comprise a handsome shop, with double front and central entrance, the windows being specially noticeable for the selection of stationery goods they contain. The interior of the shop is spacious, and fitted up with everything requisite and desirable for the expeditious despatch of the business, and the comfort and convenience of purchasers. The manufacturing premises are in Sergeant’s Inn, where a numerous staff of skilled hands is employed. An extensive and superior business is controlled in the manufacture of everything implied in the term stationery. Whatever emanates from this house is of the best quality, and all their productions are well known among better-class buyers, being looked upon as standards of excellence in their respective lines. The firm possess ample facilities for printing, and every class of work is turned out in a superior style, and at most reasonable prices. Account-book making forms an important branch with this house, and one in which it has gained an enviable reputation. A leading line, too, is what is known in the trade as “companies’ stationery,” and consists of books specially suited and arranged for keeping the complicated accounts of joint-stock and other companies. They also make on a large scale companies’ forms and seals and presses. Every kind of engraving is undertaken, and carried out in an exceptionally able manner, the principal articles for which the house is best known in this branch being superior share certificates, debentures, bonds, and bankers’ cheques. The stocks held by the house are fully representative in their character. All the leading lines and the latest novelties and specialities are included. There are well-selected and varied supplies of inks and ink-stands, letter scales, mourning stationery, pencils and penholders, writing papers of every description, brief paper, blotting papers, tourists’ writing-eases, steel pens of all the best known kinds, letterboxes, copying-presses, letter-copying books, envelopes, date-racks, drawing-papers, and cutlery. The connection of the house extends to every part of the Metropolis, the business being wholesale and retail. A large trade, too, is done with houses in the country. The proprietors are men of large experience in this important branch of industry, thoroughly conversant with every department of their business, and occupy a high position in trade and commercial circles.


WE are indebted to the Americans for many valuable remedies for the cure and prevention of disease, but of all the many preparations given to us by our cousins, none have, so thoroughly and deservedly entered into favour as Pond’s Extract. The medical profession, generally so slow to recognise patent medicines, have for years made a notable exception of this marvellous healer, and have endorsed its merits without stint. Pond’s Extract has been prominently before the public for over forty years, and to-day is more prized than ever. It is the invention of Dr. Theron T. Pond, and is the result of much time spent in keen experiment. Perfectly harmless, whether taken inwardly or applied externally, its value for the cure of a great number of distressing and painful complaints has been proved without a doubt. The highest medical authorities can be quoted in substantiation of the above statements, while hundreds of genuine testimonials from grateful patients may be seen at the offices. It is the only proprietary curative that is honoured with general Royal patronage, and is supplied direct to the following illustrious personages: Her Majesty the Queen of Roumania, Her Royal Highness the Duchess of Cumberland, Her Highness Princess of Nassau, Her Serene Highness Princess of Weid, His Serene Highness Prince Nicholas of Nassau, and Princess Camporeale of Italy.

The English house was opened in 1872, at 482, New Oxford Street, and was continued at that address until 1887, when a removal was made to 64, Great Russell Street. After Dr. Pond’s death the rights of his invention were purchased by Mr. Hurtt, also deceased, and the firm is now a limited liability concern. The Great Russell Street premises, the Company’s' chief European depot, are under the efficient management of Mr. J. W. Kempston, who is a native of Dublin. The manufactory, which is in America, is of great extents is counted among many large industries of that country. Within the limits at disposal it is impossible to do justice to a medicament that has been the means of accomplishing so much good. Luckily Pond’s Extract is a household word in all parts of the country, those taking the precaution to be prepared for any sudden illness or accident always having a supply in the house. “Pond’s Extract” has come to stay, and will be as popular with future generations as it is with the present.

Sole appointment to Her Majesty.
By appointment to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.
Telegraphic addresses— “Perfect Cushions, London”; Eastern Extension, Indo-European — “Cues, London.”

IN the billiard-table making industry, which has attained enormous development during the course of the present century, the house of Messrs. Thurston & Co. occupies a distinct and unchallenged leadership. From the foundation of their now extensive business in 1814 down to the present day the firm have taken that initiative in all the various stages of improvement which, apart from their being the oldest established billiard firm in the Kingdom, entitles them to be regarded as the parent concern in this line of trade, and their name is still suggestive of all that is excellent in the domain of art in which it has been their fortune to excel. Mr. John Thurston, by whom, as far back as 1814, the first operations of this now distinguished house were carried on, has been from time to time succeeded by gentlemen in whose specialistic abilities and regard for the advancement of the trade the prestige of the house has been best preserved. On his death, in 1850, Mr. G. J. Atkins assumed the direction of the business, in conjunction with Mr. Samuel Pitts, and subsequently the entire management became vested in Mr. G. D. Stevens, whose acquaintance with all its practical and commercial departments justified his position as one of the heads of a manufacturing business that has its clients in various parts of the world.

The firm’s factory at Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, presents a splendid model of the billiard-table making industry under the most advanced conditions which modern skill and the unlimited resources of the firm offer. The results attained, after seventy-eight years of continuous improvement of the high standard originally adopted, represent a perfection consistent with the enviable repute which Messrs. Thurston sustain, and the large show-rooms in Catherine Street — extending a long way rearwards from that thoroughfare — submit to view one of the finest collections of billiard-tables and billiard-room accessories to be found in the country. The “perfect” low cushion, patent “adamant” block improved bottomless pockets, billiard-room platforms, and fauteuils, marking boards, stands, and overhead lamps, are all prominently noted, besides the magnificent range of billiard-tables, which the extensive capacities of the show-rooms enable the firm to exhibit to the best advantage. In respect of the firm’s precedence in the trade, they are permitted to select all their ivory balls - rejecting sometimes sixty per cent, of those submitted — the result being that none but the pick of the market are stocked, and can confidently be relied upon being free from any defect, uniform in density, and thoroughly seasoned. It is an endorsement of their exclusive standing that they are the only makers who hold the warrant of appointment to Her Majesty the Queen, and are the only London firm appointed by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales. They are contractors to Her Majesty's Government, and makers of the original “Standard” table, recently adopted by the Billiard Association of Great Britain, and the antiquity and distinction of the firm are emphasised in the fact that the Marquis of Anglesea has in his billiard-room a table made by Messrs. Thurston for his grandfather — the first Marquis — in 1816. Now that billiards is becoming a fashionable recreation among ladies, a splendid medium for acquiring a knowledge of the game is presented in Peall’s drawing-room, where billiard entertainments are provided, all the leading professionals being engaged during the season (October to May). These unique “shows” are given by Messrs. Thurston purely for the purpose of demonstrating the excellence of their “perfect” low cushion and “adamant” block, and the charge for admission to the magnificently-appointed billiard- room is so limited that, with every seat occupied, the expenses of the entertainment are far from being covered. The apartment in which the entertainments are held is a most attractive one in every respect. It is lit by electricity, and furnished in the most luxurious style appreciable by the select company to whom it affords a centre of constant interest, while it is conveniently close to the Gaiety Theatre.


THIS business was founded by Mr. Swabey in 1858. Bringing to the development of his enterprise large experience, joined to energy and determination in laying the foundation, a good name was early secured for the excellence of the work turned out, as well as for the care and promptitude with which all orders were filled. Operations are conducted in large and commodious premises as above; they consist of several floors of an extensive block of building and comprise spacious warehouses, well arranged for the despatch of business, and workshops fitted up with plant and machinery of the latest and most efficient kind. Steam is employed as the motive power. Here is carried on a large and important business, employment being found all the year round for a good number of skilled hands. Mr. Swabey was brought up as a printer and stationer, and the practical knowledge he acquired of the trade has been of great advantage to him in his present business. Every description of labels and direction-tags are manufactured in parchment, linen, and other materials. The articles are always well finished, and are regarded among experienced buyers as thoroughly standard goods. The complete resources possessed by the house place it in a position to produce work at the minimum of cost, and, while always maintaining the uniform quality, Mr. Swabey offers every inducement in the matter of prices. The connection established by the house is of a large and influential character, extending to every part of the Metropolis and the surrounding districts. The firm numbers among its patrons many of the largest and best-known stationery houses in the City. Mr. Swabey’s attention is bestowed upon the business in every detail. He is highly regarded in trade circles for his straightforwardness and energy, and his house affords a noteworthy example of an honourable and prosperous career.


WONDERFUL improvements have been introduced by rival typewriter manufacturers. The leading qualities or points of the “Hammond” may be summarised thus: As to speed it has proved to be, in open competition, capable of more dexterous manipulation than any other in the market; as to alignment it is perfect and permanent; the type is instantly interchangeable (all styles and languages); the impression is uniform, being independent of touch; it takes in any width of paper, and as much as twenty yards in length; its keyboards are adapted to the requirements of all operators; it is light, weighing only eighteen pounds in case; it is beautifully and strongly made, being plated throughout; while, lastly, as to durability, so solidly is the machine constructed, and its wearing surfaces so well protected, that, with an occasional exchange of the worn or injured part, the machine is practically indestructible, and with ordinary care may last a lifetime. The inventor of the “Hammond” has, since he first produced his machine, laboured incessantly in the improving of its component parts, and personally organises and develops its manufacture at the Company’s large factory in New York. The Company place upon the market, consequently, what is really a gem of mechanical skill and simplicity, and the remarkable demand for it is satisfactory evidence of the satisfaction it gives. Already twenty-one thousand are in use, and the sale increases annually. With reference to the speed which can be attained in the manipulation of this machine, after the Company discovered that the machine was capable of being operated at a rate unapproachable by any previously-made public record, they determined upon a public contest to establish their claims. Consequently one of their operators (a Mr. Manning) was selected to contest against an acknowledged champion of a leading contemporary firm, with the result that the “Hammond” reached the speed of one hundred and sixty-nine words per minute, against the one hundred and nineteen per minute of his rival. The result was a surprise to the public. The “Hammond” ever since has for speed brooked no rival, and a noteworthy fact is that Mr. Manning has since reached the remarkable and record speed of one hundred and eighty-one words per minute. The scope of the “Hammond” is also simple. It has only thirty keys, each of which, by the use of two shift keys, controls three characters, so that from ninety to one hundred and twenty characters can be printed with these thirty keys. It is easy to learn and manipulate consequently, and from this standpoint has a great deal to commend it. Numerous awards have been secured for it, such as the Paris Exhibition gold medal of 1889, the New Orleans of 1884-85, the London Exhibition of 1887, the Birmingham Trades Exhibition, 1892, and numerous others. The premises at 50, Queen Victoria Street form the European head offices, and there an intelligent and courteous staff are both able and willing to demonstrate its advantages, and to give practical lessons in the use of the machine.


Houndsditch is one of the great markets of the world, supplying an infinite variety of merchandise (particularly fancy articles) to dealers at home and abroad; and among the many notable firms in this busy thoroughfare it may safely be said that there is none better known than that of Messrs. Hyman A. Abrahams & Sons. At the above address this important firm, whose business was founded in the year 1854 by Mr. Hyman A. Abrahams, occupy immense premises, four storeys high, and having a total floor space of over fifty thousand square feet. The building extends through into Camomile Street, and is unquestionably one of the most interesting warehouses in the City, for it is literally crammed with an assortment of fancy goods and popular novelties, the like of which, for variety and completeness, can hardly be seen elsewhere in London. Like many another gigantic concern whose name is famous in English commerce, this great house originated in a comparatively small way, and has attained its present eminent position entirely through the industry and enterprise of its principals. The founder was joined in partnership in the year 1886 by his two sons, Mr. Arthur A. Abrahams, and Mr. Lewis H. Abrahams, and both these gentlemen brought to bear upon their work as partners the fruits of long experience and careful training in the business, acquired under their father’s personal supervision. A masterly knowledge of the fancy goods trade in all its branches is displayed in the general management of this concern, and no firm in London is more familiar with the great British and foreign sources of supply, or possesses better facilities for securing the “pick” of the leading markets.

As we have already stated, enormous stocks are kept at the warehouse in Houndsditch, also at the docks, and among the numerous specialities with which the name of the firm is associated we note papier-mache goods in great variety, combs, brushes, purses and card cases, pocketbooks, photo frames, albums, ladies’ bags, glass and china goods in useful as well as ornamental shapes and forms, writing-desks, work-boxes, dressing-cases, work-baskets, and an astonishing variety of dolls, toys, and games. These are all “leading lines,” in which an immense business is done; but besides the articles just enumerated Messrs. Abrahams hold vast stocks of clocks and bronzes, fans, screens, gold and silver watches, jewellery, scent bottles, ladies’ belts, perfumery, cutlery and electro-plate, optical goods, pencil and pen holders, shell goods, pearl and ivory goods, Scotch fancy articles, inkstands and paper-weights, bread plates and knives, paper-knives, travelling bags and portmanteaus, hat cases, ladies* companions, olive-wood goods, papeteries, gilt and brass goods, majolica-ware, Japanese lacquer and china ware, brackets, musical instruments, lawn-tennis and cricket requisites, and all kinds of hardware for exportation. Everything new and saleable in Sheffield and Birmingham novelties and foreign fancy goods speedily finds a place in this great emporium, and the various departments are all admirably arranged, so that visitors in the trade find no difficulty in thoroughly inspecting the stock and making their selections — unless it be the difficulty of choosing from such a multitude of attractive and desirable wares. Messrs. Abrahams control a home trade which extends throughout the United Kingdom, and they also do a considerable export business, being well and favourably known in all the foreign and Colonial markets. The principals of the firm are highly esteemed in commercial circles for their enterprising and straightforward business methods; and their illustrated catalogue will well repay perusal, and afford an invaluable guide to buyers who are resident abroad and are unable to pay them a personal visit.


THE material from which the Company under review takes its name has now been before the public for more than four years, and this lapse of time has proved that the advantages claimed for it as a substitute for galvanised iron, &c., are very real and considerable. There is, of course, no novelty in paper or papier-mache as a building material. It has been largely used in America for many years, and in China and Japan for centuries. It has been employed also to some extent in Great Britain, and its good qualities are well known. It is very light and easily manipulated, it may be kept quite weatherproof, and is a non-conductor of heat and cold. In comparison with, galvanised iron (with which, and with tarred felt it principally competes) it has another great advantage in its comparative silence as a roofing material in storms of rain and hail. But hitherto it has always been severely handicapped in its race with the two materials named by two serious defects. It is weak, especially when wet, and unable to resist high winds or blows unless supported by boards underneath. Boards, of course, add very considerably both to the weight and the expense of a roof. The second disadvantage is its habit of “buckling” from changes in the atmospheric condition. This latter drawback is inseparable from all the old forms of paper roofing, and the unsightliness it causes puts buildings which are covered with paper almost on a par with the dreary vulgarity of corrugated iron from an artistic point of view. There was, in fact, no cheap and light roofing material which was capable of satisfactory adoption in cases where the eye has to be satisfied as well as bodily comfort secured.

Five years ago Mr. D. Allport, the present Managing Director of the Company, conceived the idea of incorporating a steel-wire gauze with sheets of papier-mache, by which means great strength could Be obtained in a very thin substance, and at the same time the tendency to “buckle” could be counteracted by the stiffness and rigidity of the metal. Its other characteristics are:- Firstly, it resists the action of sun in hot climates far better than iron, which is a powerful conductor and radiator; secondly, it has far more strength and substance than “Willesden” or other temporary roofing, being practically unbreakable and incapable of stretching or “buckling;” thirdly, it is cheaper in the end than felt, as it does not require boards under it, and does not need to be repainted for many years; fourthly, its weight is only about two-fifths that of twenty-four gauge galvanised iron, and it is so easily packed that the saving in freight and carriage is always worthy of consideration, and sometimes most important; fifthly, wind-stripping is rendered impossible by the special method of fixing with steel bands; sixthly, salt spray, steam and vapours, which frequently corrode iron very quickly, do not affect it; and lastly, it is so non-inflammable that a shovelful of hot cinders may be scattered on a roof without any danger of setting it on fire.

For building or roofing a comparatively light framework is all that is necessary, the sheets being laid with a lap on the rafters or uprights. Mainly for appearance’s sake a good coat of paint is advised, and a sprinkling of fine sand over the paint when wet is an advantage, giving to the surface the texture of terra cotta in various colours. This treatment of the sheets is a very important factor in the success of the buildings. It takes away all the temporary appearance of the structures, making them utterly unlike any other portable buildings. When “half-timbered,” as many of the more decorative instances are, it would be impossible to tell by any visible evidence that the building was not one of the old-fashioned “rough-cast” and “half-timbered” country houses, which are so artistic that they are being constantly reproduced by modern architects. This material is used and is well adapted for numerous purposes other than those of building construction. Its permanence, imperviousness to damp, freedom from liability to warp, the impossibility of breakage, and the readiness with which it takes oil paint, make it, par excellence, the material for wall decorations, panelling, screens, &c. It is also in use for the roofing and lining of tram-cars, railway carriages, the saloons of steamers, and the backing of parquet flooring.

The London works are at Old Ford, where steam machinery is used for the extensive manufacture of portable buildings, and the premises in Queen Victoria Street comprise the registered offices, show-rooms, and headquarters of the Company occupying the ground floor of this building with a wide double frontage to the street. Specimens of the material, with designs for and photographs of various buildings which have been erected by the Company, are exhibited in the windows and in the show-rooms. Occupying one side of the window is a small model roof upon which a copious spray of water has been falling nearly every day and all day long for about three years, giving in this period, it is calculated, the equivalent of about twenty years of average rainfall. The roof seems to be totally unaffected by this test, and to judge from appearances, will continue unaffected for a lifetime. Particulars concerning the materials and buildings of every sort, permanent or portable, are courteously given at the headquarters, and every facility is offered to visitors to test the qualities we have enumerated. Needless to say, wherever once introduced, its use is extending, and the Company are now able to. refer to successful examples in all quarters of the world. An important fact we would mention is that, although the Company originally intended to confine their operations to the manufacture and sale of the material, expecting little but an export demand for the Colonies, they have found a large demand at home for their buildings. There are, at the present time, many picturesque little bungalows in various parts of England, Scotland, and Wales occupied all the year round by families who find them even more free from drawbacks than the ordinary type of brick buildings, while they are far cheaper and more healthy. Mr. Allport ably superintends the business. He is a gentleman of large experience and business aptitude. He has published a small book entitled “Inexpensive Holiday Homes,” wherein he explains how portable bungalows made of this material may be used to advantage. Thus briefly we have referred to the salient features of the Company and of the material. We shall watch with interest the certain development of the concern.


MR. ALDER has for many years been prominently identified with the trade, and has had a long and valuable experience in some of the most important City firms. He did not commence business on his own account till 1891, but, bringing to the development of his undertaking great practical skill; and indomitable perseverance, combined with sound commercial principles, he has already got together the nucleus of a connection which promises to become before long one of much importance and value. Ample and conveniently situated premises are occupied, and the equipment includes the latest and most improved plant and machinery. An adequate staff is employed in every department, and throughout the whole establishment a sound system of management is in force. In the letter-press department the firm possesses every facility, and the work turned out will stand comparison with that of much more pretentious houses. Price lists, invoices, circulars, memorandums, cards, and programmes are turned out in large quantities, and thorough satisfaction is being given in every respect. Lithographic work of every description is done in a very superior style. The great speciality of the house, however, is designing and printing all kinds of labels, plain and in colours, particularly those used by confectioners, druggists, oil and Italian warehousemen, &c. In this branch the house has gained a widespread repute, and its productions are looked upon as of a very high-class character, and in originality, suitability, and attractiveness the articles Messrs. Alder send out well merit the high estimation in which they are held. Special designs are prepared for [any particular purpose, and estimates are supplied free for all kinds of work. The business is managed with ability and enterprise, and the proprietor is well known and highly respected for his integrity and liberal dealings.


THIS business has been established now for a number of years, and has been very successfully conducted. Mr. Knight is a gentleman of much experience and ability, and many buildings, both public and private, in the City have been built from designs conceived by him in competition with the profession. The latter beneficent system explains ofttimes the rapid success of young architects, and it seems to us that in the architect’s profession this condition of things is much in evidence. In stating, therefore, that Mr. Knight has duly proved worthy to command appreciation in his plans and designs we can give emphatic testimony to his skill and ability. As a surveyor he has met with equal success, and in combining both professions, influences very materially the sphere and scope of his labours. His premises, which he occupies in conjunction with his father, Alderman Sir Henry E. Knight (Lord Mayor, 1883), comprise commodious and suitable offices conveniently situated in the very heart of where he has built up his connection. Personally Mr. Knight is much esteemed by all with whom he comes in contact.

Telegraphic address: “Addressers, London.”

THE development of trade in modern times has greatly increased the routine work of most business establishments, and duties which could formerly be easily performed by the ordinary clerical staff of a commercial house can now be much more conveniently and economically attended to outside the establishment. To this class of work belongs the addressing of circulars and envelopes, which has become quite a large and important industry in recent years. All enterprising and “up to date” tradesmen send out circulars through the medium of the post, and it is the purpose of Messrs. Irvine & Co., of Buckingham Street, Strand, to facilitate the distribution of this class of advertising matter by folding, enveloping, addressing, stamping, and despatching circulars to innumerable destinations in all parts of town and country, and also the Colonies. For the past fifteen years the firm have been engaged in this line of business with conspicuous success, and through their useful agency hundreds of traders have been enabled to place themselves in direct communication with thousands of probable, or at least possible, customers in every quarter in the United Kingdom. Messrs. Irvine & Co. rank as one of the very largest firms of circular and envelope addressers in England, and they occupy commodious premises (about fifty-four thousand feet) in Buckingham Street, Strand, where a very numerous and highly efficient staff is employed. These offices are open day and night, and always-present a busy appearance, indicative of the extent and importance of the business done. Some idea of what is made possible in such an establishment as this may be gathered from the fact that Messrs. Irvine are in a position to turn out two hundred thousand circulars within the space of twenty-four hours — all addressed, stamped, and ready for the Post-Office vans which call at the establishment regularly for despatches of circulars. In their addressing work Messrs. Irvine & Co. use only the latest directories, thus avoiding a great deal of waste through non-delivery; and, while their charges are moderate, they guarantee all work to be done in the best manner. They hold hundreds of testimonials expressing complete satisfaction with their work, and can give over a thousand references to leading merchants, secretaries of public companies, secretaries of institutions, and many others. Experienced clerks are sent out by the day or week to assist customers requiring their services. The firm also undertake all kinds of printing and lithographing with economy and despatch, and supply envelopes and wrappers at the cheapest rate. The whole of this very extensive business is personally managed by Mr. William Irvine, a gentleman whose indefatigable energy is well known to the business world of London. Mr. Irvine has made this concern not only a great success in itself, but an inestimable convenience to the mercantile community, and its continued prosperity will be a source of gratification to all who have tested its capabilities and profited by the valuable services it is in a position to render.


To this famous firm of cycle manufacturers, established in 1877, belongs the advent of the “safety,” which has done so much to revolutionise that cycling industry in which Messrs. J. K. Starley & Co. have become the acknowledged pioneers. The works of the company are centred at Coventry, and are appropriately styled the Meteor Works, the industry which those powerfully equipped works enclose affording employment to a staff of one thousand hands. There is also a depot at 52, Rue de Dunkerque, Paris, and the London depot at Holborn Viaduct, under the management of J. R. Hamilton, Esq., has become a valuable source and headquarters of a large proportion of Messrs. Starley’s extensive English business. The show-room and offices here are very handsome and extensive, the collection of machines presenting a most diverse range of choice. “The Rover bicycle,” says Mr. Starley, “was designed several years before the demand for safeties arose, and it was our original intention to launch it as a rival to the ordinary bicycle, but its absolute safety induced us to add the word ‘safety’ to its name.” Messrs. Starley have consistently adhered to the high basis of excellence which has marked all their productions; and the wisdom of this principle is substantiated in the upward turn which prices of cycling machines have assumed. Making as they do only first-class machines, and expending upon every part of their productions a specialistic art and ingenuity only attainable by years of experimentation and study, the firm produce a range of cycles that cannot be eclipsed. To ascertain accurately the technical perfections of the Rover machines it would be necessary for cyclists to avail themselves of the interesting particulars contained not only in the pamphlet from which the above words are quoted, but also in their illustrated list, which is published in French and German editions. All advances in modern cycle construction are here exhaustively detailed, and the introductory treatise of the firm may be read with profit alike by the amateur cyclist and the “demon” whose acquaintance with machines of all classes is of many years’ growth. Considering that the future of cycling rests very much with the continued popularity of the “pneumatic,” Messrs. Starley, by the use of the Dunlop tire, are enabled to warrant to purchasers of this class of machine all those features of excellence which alone can render the pneumatic a veritable luxury. To those buying for cash they return an entire fifth of the price, and at the same time offer exceptional advantages to those who desire to extend the period of payment.

The company’s repute in connection with the Coventry chair is well sustained in the luxurious machine whereby invalids can be driven over the worst roads at a pace conducive to healthy and recreative employment. Some reference is due in passing to the royal and aristocratic connections of the house, including the Prince of Wales, the Sultan of Turkey, the Ameer of Afghanistan, the Earl of Albemarle, &c.; and the position of the firm is in every respect one that is the envy of all who pursue the industry in which Messrs. Starley have had the special honour and fortune to win distinction. The press notices accorded to the firm have been almost legionary. It was Bell’s Life which said: “The Rover attracts a great amount of attention,” and it was the Cyclist winch made the famous utterance which by this time has become a proverb, “The Rover has set the fashion to the world.” The extreme ease and pleasure to be derived from the Rover were emphasised in Cassell's Family Magazine; the Star facetiously referred to the various broken records as “Dick Turpin’s ride beaten by a Rover and the following passages from Wheeling may form a fitting termination to this sketch as best summarising the qualifications of the Rover:- “But for the Rover where would this great (cycling) trade be? . . . The Rover has rejuvenated and expanded the trade in a really stupendous manner. . . Just as we owe a debt to Mr. James Starley, senior, for his original invention, so we are indebted to Mr. J. K. Starley for the rear-driving safety, which has made cycling a world’s pastime and trade.” It may be necessary to add here that the members of this firm are cousins to Messrs. Starley Brothers, Cycle Manufacturers, of 11, Holborn Viaduct, but have no business connection with that house.

7, 8, 9, 10, & 11, HOLBORN BARS, AND 2 & 3, FURNIVAL STREET, E.C.

THIS vast undertaking, popularly known as “The Holborn Silk Market,” was established in the year 1868 at Holborn Bars, and has grown to be one of the largest and best known institutions of its kind in the Kingdom. Messrs. Lewis & Co. now occupy the enviable position of the largest job buyers in the metropolitan silk trade, and hold an enormous stock of every class and grade of goods of both English and foreign manufacture, from the richest silks, valued at thirty shillings per yard, to materials which will not cost more than 2s. 11 and a half d. for a complete dress. The firm deals in materials exclusively, no made-up goods of any kind being held in stock, and some notion of the magnitude of their operations may be gathered from the statement that their great silk-room covers an area of no less than four thousand square feet, and contains one of the largest, if not the largest, most varied, and valuable stock of its class to be found under any single roof in London; while a staff of no less than one hundred and thirty hands is fully employed. A brisk retail as well as wholesale business is in operation, and every facility is afforded for the general convenience of customers. During the minority of the future proprietor, who, under his late father’s will, does not come of age till he has attained his twenty-fifth birthday, the business is held in trust under the able management of Mr. Phillips as manager, Mr. Wyett as director of the Manchester goods department, and Mr. Saer as controller of finances, and the entire concern is conducted in a manner and upon principles that are well calculated to preserve all the creditable traditions of the house, and to sustain it in the full confidence and favour of a very large, influential, and still rapidly growing trade and general connection, drawn from all classes of the community, and extending practically to every quarter of the country.


THE house of Whyte, Ridsdale & Co. has been established, for over twenty-five years, and during all this period has been engaged in the business of preparing, collecting, and distributing British and foreign fancy goods. They have been compelled more than once to increase their accommodation, and a few years ago they pulled down and rebuilt their premises. Still, however, the increase of their business outstrips the room the enlarged premises afford, and the present year is to witness a further large addition to the building they occupy. Whyte, Ridsdale & Co. are known wherever fancy goods are produced, as large and enterprising cash buyers. Their own representatives keep close touch with the principal centres of manufacture both at home and abroad, so that their customers have the assurance that their samples are always “up to date.” To buy with a full knowledge of the markets, to buy largely, and to buy for cash — this puts them in a position to do business so that their customers are actually better served than if they went round the manufacturers for themselves, which they could only do at great cost, and with a vast expenditure of time.

The fancy trade has many peculiarities. One who desires to keep abreast of it needs the eyes of Argus. He can never tell from what country of Europe a novelty may appear, and yet he must secure the novelty while it is still new or lose prestige. Then of the hundreds of makers working for it in England, in France, in Germany, in Austria, in America, and elsewhere, he must know what each does best; otherwise he will find himself “out in the cold” with the right goods, but bought too dear. And again, for any home or Colonial buyer to develop a satisfactory and remunerative trade in these “etceteras” of fashion, he must show immense variety, even though the total value of the stock held in this department. is necessarily comparatively small. These considerations lead to the conclusion that in fancy goods more than in any other branch of business one needs an agent, competent, honourable, whom one may trust to earn his commission by skilled and faithful service. It is, we believe, because Messrs. Whyte, Ridsdale & Co. have understood these conditions, and so conducted their business as to satisfy them, that they have built up so large a business on so solid a basis. They know their business thoroughly, and have intimate and, in many cases, quite special relations with the best makers of the goods they deal in, both at home and abroad. They buy largely and for cash, and they sell at a profit which is a mere commission on the maker’s prime cost. It is thus the interest of dealers with a fancy department to buy their goods through such a house; and the self-interest of customers is a pretty secure basis on which to build up a business.

Messrs. Whyte, Ridsdale & Co. show in all their departments specialities made expressly for themselves, as well as all the leading lines current in the trade generally; and a feature of their business is that they are always willing to be intermediaries for the direct importation of goods between the wholesale buyers in England or the Colonies and manufacturers abroad. Space forbids to go into details respecting the many classes of superior goods the house is occupied with. Some idea of their extent may be gathered from the fact that the premises are subdivided into the following departments:— A, jewellery, watches, fans; B, optical goods, cutlery, electro-plated goods; C, combs, brushes, perfume, mirrors; D, leather goods, plush goods; E, cabinet goods, papier-mache goods, pictures; F, dolls, mechanical goods, games, toys; G, china goods, glass goods; H, musical goods, docks; and I, beads, coral, &c. Among the infinite variety of articles handled, special reference deserves to be made to the imitation jewellery always kept on band, which in variety of selection and value for money cannot be surpassed. In cheap but thoroughly reliable watches the firm have several leading lines, manufacturing themselves under the best conditions for turning out a good article at the lowest price. The house is also well known in connection with the briar-pipe trade, and has placed many popular shapes on the market. Hair, cloth, tooth and other brushes are represented by splendid selections comprising the best goods of the best makers, both in London, the provinces, and foreign countries. The latest novelties in toys and mechanical goods of every description are to be found in their warehouse almost simultaneously with their appearance in Paris, Berlin, or Vienna.

The proprietors of this responsible house are business men of wide experience and indomitable perseverance. They are unceasing in their endeavours to secure the best possible goods, neither skill nor labour being spared. The trade-mark adopted by the firm I — “Ingenio et labore” — is very apropos, Messrs. Whyte, Ridsdale, & Co. occupy a position of considerable prominence in the trade and commercial circles of the Metropolis. The connections of the firm are large and influential, extending to all the great centres of commerce abroad, but notably to our own Colonies, special study being given to the requirements of these markets. By their straightforward and honourable methods of dealing, they have secured the confidence of all their patrons. They have built up a business of noteworthy importance, and they well deserve the success they have attained.
The telegraphic address of the house is: “Whytsdale, London.”


This noteworthy business was organised in the year 1876, and is still vigorously carried on by Mr. D. Marcus at 40, Charterhouse Square, EC. The commercial development of the concern has been both rapid and continuous from the very commencement. Eligibly located in the very heart of the City, the premises are in every respect precisely adapted to the requirements of a very brisk business of the kind. They consist of a large and substantial building of handsome external appearance, rising to an elevation of four floors. The basement is reserved as a show-room for Oriental carpets and furniture; the ground floor is divided in front into a splendid show-room, and at the rear forms the well-appointed office; while the upper floors are fully utilised as show and stock-rooms. Mr. Marcus operates on a very large scale as an importer and agent for all kinds of Eastern manufactured goods, such as superb and rare specimens of Satsuma, art metalwork, gold lacquer and other choice Japanese ware, Canton and other rare ware and ivory carvings, Indian mats, matting, blinds and carpets, old Oriental embroideries, handsome ornaments in jade, blue and white Nankin china; and, as a Speciality, perhaps the largest stock of white silk Japanese handkerchiefs to be found under any single roof either in this country or in “the land of the rising sun.” Energetic and enterprising in following up every innovation, Mr. Marcus decidedly deserves the distinct success that has attended his representative house.


THE special interest that always attaches to old institutions, whatsoever their nature, is clearly manifested in the case of Messrs. Goad, Rigg & Co., of Mark Lane, who can claim the distinction of being the oldest firm of produce brokers in London. It is now over a century and a half since this well-known house first became associated with the Mark Lane trade, for it was founded in that historic thoroughfare in the year 1740, by Mr. William Thomas Goad. That gentleman was the great-great-great-grandfather of the present members of the firm, Messrs. William Thomas Goad, Edwin H. Goad, and Francis Edward Goad, who} succeeded their father, Mr. Edwin Curtis Goad, three years ago. The leading and distinctive features of, the firm are the sales of all descriptions of hides and skins from all quarters of the globe; hides from Australasia, Africa, South America, East India, the Straits Settlements, China, and, in fact, from every centre whence these articles are exported. Sheep skins from our Colonies and the River Plate, rabbit skins from Australia and New Zealand, tanned goat and sheep skins from the East Indies, and leather and basils from Australasia are all important items in the comprehensive business done by Goad, Rigg & Co. Another very important feature of their business is that of tallow, of which they sell very large quantities yearly, and of which they hold weekly public sales at the well-known Baltic Sale-rooms in Bishopsgate Street.

The hides and skins are mostly sold at their auctions, held at the equally well-known centre for the sale of Colonial and foreign produce, the London Commercial Sale-rooms, Mincing Lane. These sales are obviously of high importance to the trades interested in the various articles, and are numerously attended by buyers, local, provincial, and foreign. Tanning materials of all sorts, bones for manure, cutlery, or other uses, bone-ash for the manufacture of pottery, or for fertilising purposes, horns of every description, all come within the scope of the extensive transactions of the firm. Perhaps the most important and interesting branch of their business is that of furred skins, of which they are undoubtedly the largest brokers in London, if not in the world, primus inter omnia. The various kinds of furs in which they deal embrace all the principal descriptions known to the, trade, from the costly sea otter, silver fox, sable, or seal-skin, down to the cheap musk-rat or musquash, by which name it is more commonly known. At the above address in Mark Lane, Messrs. Goad Rigg have a commodious suite of offices, and well-lighted sample-rooms, in which specimens of goods entrusted to the firm as brokers may be inspected. All goods in bulk are kept at public wharves. The firm hold a high place in commercial circles, and their well-known influence and honourable methods secure for them the continued respect and confidence of importers and buyers alike, to both of which classes of traders their services are of appreciable value. The many clients of the firm will not need to be reminded of the ability and sound judgment that mark the conduct of all its undertakings.
Telegrams should be addressed; “Goads. London.”


THIS time-honoured and distinguished house is the oldest existing establishment of the kind in London, and is, perhaps, the only one in the world that has been handed down in a direct line from father to son for such a length of time. The founder, Mr. William Webster, was the great-great-great-grandfather of the present worthy possessor, Mr. R. G. Webster. The business was founded in 1711, the original location of the firm being in Exchange Alley, the establishment being removed, first to Cornhill in 1810, and then to the present address, 5, Queen Victoria Street, E.C., Mr. Webster being one of the first occupants of this thoroughfare when it was opened. The following interesting and quaint trade notice taken from the London Gazette dated “from Nov. 24 to Nov. 28, 1713,” is incontestable proof of the antiquity of this famous house:— “On the 20th Instant, Mr. Tompion, noted for making of all Sorts of the best Clocks and Watches, departed this life: This is to certify all Persons, of whatever Quality or Distinction, that William Webster, at the Dial and Three Crowns, in Exchange Alley, London, served his Apprenticeship and served as a Journeyman a considerable Time with the said Mr. Tompion, and by his Industry and Care, is fully acquainted with his Secrets in the said Art.”

In its nineteenth-century aspect this establishment is one of the most important of its kind connected with the metropolitan watch, clock, and chronometer manufacture and trade. The premises occupied are exceedingly attractive in appearance, and comprise a commodious and handsomely appointed double shop and show-room, with workshops adjoining. The show-room is of spacious proportions, and is replete with a magnificent stock of ladies’ and gentlemen’s gold and silver keyless and key-winding watches, foreign watches and clocks, chronometers, chronographs, clocks, chains, and other appendages. Everything shown by the house is of a high-class character, the exhibits exemplifying in a marked degree the remarkable state of perfection, artistic and executive, to which this valuable branch of skilled industry has been brought. They have secured several international medals, and three prizes from Government. Mr. Webster’s most recent invention is a non-magnetisable watch, which is of great service to electricians and those attending to dynamos. As a recognition of the worth, of this invention, it was awarded a medal at the Crystal Palace Electric Exhibition. Mr. Webster is chronometer maker to the Royal Navy, and to the London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway, the Indian, Australian, and South American railways, the East India Company, and the Crown Colonies. A large and valuable connection has been developed, both at home and abroad, lying among the most influential class of buyers in the Metropolis and the United Kingdom generally, and extending to the Colonies and many foreign countries. It is a striking testimony to the quality of the work turned out that this valuable and extensive business has been built up without the aid of advertisements. Mr. Webster is well known in the commercial circles of the City, and is everywhere held in the highest estimation for his honourable methods of transacting business, his strict integrity, and eminent personal worth.


THE old-established and well-known firm of Messrs. E. Jonas & Brothers dates back from 1809. The firm holds one of the two prize medals of the 1851 Exhibition, and ranks among the leading importers of the finer brands of Havana and other superior foreign-made cigars, and are very large importers and dealers in Eastern and Western tobaccos of the highest quality. The numerous special brands of the firm are old favourites alike with the trade and public, and comprise a variety sufficiently great to meet all tastes. Messrs. Jonas hold an immense stock under bond, and devote their fine premises at the above address almost entirely to official and sample departments. The firm’s trade relations with home buyers are on a scale of the largest magnitude, and there are few houses of standing and importance in London or the provinces whose names do not appear on their books. Sparing no effort or expense to maintain the quality of the goods supplied, and being naturally in their varied capacities the best-posted and best-stocked leaf-dealers in their markets, and possessing intimate relations with the best foreign growers and makers, the Messrs. Jonas are in a position to meet all legitimate competition. No house enjoys a more flattering reputation for genuineness of brand and splendid judgment of tobaccos, or is more eminent for honourable commercial methods. In the circle of the foreign trade the firm’s position is equally assured.
The address for telegrams is “Paducah, London,” and for cables, “Jonas, London.”


THIS time-honoured business has special claims to notice as being, probably, the oldest house of its kind in London, its inception dating back for considerably more than a century. The founder was Mr. Axtell, and it is a curious and interesting fact that the first number of the London Times, which was issued on the 1st January, 1788, under the title of “The Times or Daily Universal Register, printed logographically, Tuesday, January 1st, 1788,” and consisted only of four small pages of printed matter, specially appoints Axtell, of No. 1, Finch Lane, Cornhill, agent for the receipt of advertisements and the sale of the newspaper. About fifty years ago the present proprietors acquired this business, and during the whole period of its existence it has been carried on in the same premises, which are the freehold property of the firm. These premises consist of a block of four-storey buildings with basement. They are admirably located in the centre of the busy life of London, being contiguous to Cornhill. The interior of the establishment has been fitted up with every requisite and convenience, and a numerous clerical staff is kept constantly engaged. As advertising agents and newsvendors, the relations of the firm extend to all parts of the globe. They are prepared to quote prices for the insertion of advertisements in all newspapers and periodicals in London, provincial, Colonial, Indian, and foreign, as well as to furnish every information as to the expediency of advertising in certain quarters, and the special advantages possessed by particular papers. From the condition of their contracts with the leading newspaper proprietors, they can place their clients on an eminently satisfactory footing, and that everything is being carried out in a thoroughly efficient manner is shown by the constant and valuable increase in the business. The firm are likewise controlling a large trade in English and foreign newspapers, and as passport agents, their wide and intimate connection with foreign countries giving them special facilities in effecting subscriptions to all newspapers published abroad. A heavy stock of sheet music, of both English and foreign origin, is kept on the premises, and anything required that is not in stock is speedily obtained. The proprietors by their energy and enterprise fully maintain and enhance the reputation and influence of the house over which they preside. They number among their patrons the great banking and commercial magnates, including the Governors of the Bank of England and the Rothschilds, while valuable relations are successfully sustained with various parts of the world. They occupy a position of eminence in trade and commercial circles, and command the respect of all who come into business connection with them for their unimpeachable commercial integrity and personal worth.


BEFORE commencing operations at the above address, Mr. Rasmussen had graduated in every part of the trade, and brought the result of his sound and wide experience to bear in the foundation of his business. Already he has succeeded in establishing a considerable connection among City houses, which is rapidly increasing in every direction. The premises occupied are ample in size and perfect in their convenience of arrangement, while the equipment of the establishment is the combined result of the proprietor’s long experience and his liberal method of management. Every description of letterpress printing, lithography, and engraving on wood, steel, and copper are executed by a skilled staff of workmen. A speciality is made of foreign printing, and for the effective carrying out of this department splendid founts of foreign types have been provided, and every facility is possessed for turning out this class of work in an unequalled style. Printing in French, German, Spanish, and Italian is done of every description, commercial and literary, and particular attention is given to the Scandinavian languages. Mr. Rasmussen is an accomplished linguist, and is ably assisted by proficients in languages, perfect accuracy being fully guaranteed. A very valuable business is being done in this direction, and no effort is spared to merit the high-class patronage the house is securing. In addition to this a considerable trade is controlled in the manufacture of account-books. In material, sound workmanship, and handsome appearance the productions of the firm will stand favourable comparison with the best work of far more pretentious houses. Ledgers, day-books, journals, and invoice-books are made in large quantities, and offered at such prices as cannot fail to give satisfaction. The proprietor is a thoroughly practical man, and his close personal supervision is given to every branch, thus insuring to customers the best class of work and prompt and careful attention.

Telegrams: “Vectatio, London;” “Regalia, Manchester.”

THE importation, manufacture, and wholesale distribution of cigars of every class and grade from the City of London as a centre of supply for the whole of the United Kingdom finds admirable representation at the hands of the noted firm of Messrs. Albert Levy & Thomas, of No. 62, Leadenhall Street, E.C., and Bull’s Head Chambers, Market Place, Manchester, where they hold a branch sample depot. The headquarters of the firm at 62, Leadenhall Street, consist of well-appointed offices, and large heavily-stocked warehouse, replete with every facility and convenience for the rapid and effective transaction of business. The firm engage on a large scale as direct importers of all the leading brands of Havana, Manilla, Mexican, and other cigars; are sole consignees of the well-known Havana brands, El Imogen (of A. Lopez, Havana); and Lord Nelson (of Joaquin Ortiz, Havana); and they are also manufacturers of several special brands of British cigars; and enjoy an unsurpassed reputation for the excellent quality of their cigars, and the moderate prices of all their goods, which allow of substantial profits being realised, when sold to the public at popular prices. The connections and facilities of the firm are of a distinctly superior character, enabling them to offer special advantages to buyers, and to execute all orders in a prompt and satisfactory manner; and it is manifestly their resolution that the high reputation they have won shall not only be well sustained, but steadily enhanced in time to come.


IN addition to being office fitters and furnishers, the above firm are also carpenters and builders, and dealers in new and secondhand furniture, safes, and copying presses. The origin of this representative house goes back to 1840, when operations were commenced in a comparatively small way. The firm occupy large and commodious premises which extend through from Lime Street to Beehive Passage, Leadenhall Market, covering a considerable area, and having a good frontage in each instance. At the rear in Leadenhall Place are extensive workshops wherein are employed upwards of one hundred hands. The establishment throughout is thoroughly well fitted up with every requisite and appliance, and a numerous staff of skilled workmen is kept regularly employed. Here is controlled a valuable business in the manufacture of office fittings, and in every description of joinery and carpentry. Everything undertaken is carried out in a careful and well-finished manner, and perfect satisfaction is guaranteed in material, punctuality, and charges. The spacious show-room attached to the premises contains a large and superior assortment of office and library furniture, including writing, board-room, and other tables, office fittings, desks, bookcases, pigeonholes, and counters, a special feature being their large and varied stock of fire-resisting and burglar-proof safes, articles so necessary in all offices and private houses; besides all these the firm keep on hand a host of copying presses in all sizes and patterns. In addition to the high-class business done in furnishing and fitting-up offices, committee-rooms, and public buildings, Messrs. Carter are occupied in the execution of building contracts, a branch of business in which they have achieved a well-merited reputation. The connection extends to various parts of the Metropolis, among the principal tradesmen and merchants, and under vigorous and well-directed control it is steadily increasing in extent and influence. The founder of this noted house is dead, and the present proprietors are Mr. George Bird and the representative of the late Mr. Albert Bird. Mr. Bird is a thoroughly able man, fair and honourable in all his dealings, and any contracts placed in his hands are sure to be carried out in a conscientious and thoroughly satisfactory manner. He occupies a position of some considerable importance in local trade circles, and has fully maintained the reputation of the old-established house over which he presides for superior and reliable excellence of work.


SMOKERS are a notoriously conservative, race, and the strength of the eminent firm of Messrs. Alfred I. Nathan & Co. lies in the fact that they have not attempted to push any new-fangled principles of pipe manufacture on the market, but have devoted their whole energies to the production of the good old briar in perfection. The head of the firm, Mr. Alfred J. Nathan, is well known among connoisseurs to be one of the best, if not the best living judge of pipes, both ancient and modern, and his perfect taste is evident in every department of their largely increasing business. Their “Anchor” brand is familiar to every wideawake smoker. These pipes are made of specially selected wood, which is thoroughly seasoned for at least twelve months before it is allowed to go in the turner’s hands. It is then put through another complete and severe test by the aid of a process only known to Messrs. A. J. Nathan & Co., after which it is well-nigh impossible for the pipe to crack or burn. They are light and graceful in design, and are finished in the most elegant manner. Although upwards of two hundred and forty gross were sold within the space of six months, only seven pipes were returned as defective. Some smokers say that buying a briar is like taking a share in a lottery. If so, the purchaser of an “Anchor” briar is in the position of a shareholder in a lottery where there are five thousand prizes to one blank; and, even if he is unfortunate enough to draw the blank, is so happily placed as to have his money returned. As every pipe is guaranteed, both as regards the bowl and stem, it is the purchaser’s own fault if he does not take advantage of the offer the firm makes in the printed guarantee, placed in the bowl of every pipe sent out, and of which the following is a copy:— “ All our pipes and other goods which bear our ‘Anchor’ brand are guaranteed and are of the finest quality. Should the bowl crack or burn the purchaser may demand a new bowl to be fitted to the mouthpiece entirely free of charge. Any tobacconist in the United Kingdom is empowered to send the pipe to us for that purpose. This guarantee need not be kept as the brand on the article is sufficient. — A. J. N. & Co.”

The anxiety of the trade to put upon the market a pipe similar to the “Anchor” briar was shown recently by a Continental house who actually infringed the trade-mark in a most audacious manner. Owing to the loyalty of the firm’s customers, this was soon discovered, and the culprits made to pay dearly for their venture. Messrs. Nathan & Co. produce these pipes in an almost interminable variety of designs, and in their well-printed and illustrated catalogue upwards of two hundred varieties are represented. Among these one of the latest novelties is the “Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race Pipe.”. This pipe was chosen by Lord Ampthill and the members of the Oxford University Boat Club, and was described by them as “one that leaves nothing to be desired, either in quality, shape, or convenience, for boating men.” The firm also supply elegant show-cases and window-blocks, and, as an example of the enterprise of the firm, it may be stated that they supply these free to each customer who may give a moderately large order, as an inducement to them to give the public an opportunity of judging the “Anchor” briars on their merits. On the first transaction of this description the firm stand to lose not less than £5; but they are speedily recouped by the rapid extension of business which follows an effective display of their goods. The above is a representation (one-tenth actual size) of one of Messrs. Nathan & Co.’s show-cases, made of solid mahogany lined with superior velvet, and blocked with best English gold leaf, with nameboard on top, and plate-glass air-tight doors, made by one of the best London makers. Another distinct advantage gained by retailers who deal with Messrs. Nathan & Co. is that each has a monopoly of the sale of “Anchor” briars in his own neighbourhood or town, thus preventing unnecessary “cutting.” Messrs. Nathan & Co. are well known throughout the trade as straightforward and honourable business men, with whom it is alike pleasurable and profitable to be brought in contact. We may add that the “Anchor” pipe is registered universally, and it is said of it that where the English drum is heard to beat there will these pipes be found.


THIS well-known firm control what is assuredly one of the smartest and most successful businesses of its class in the City. Mr. West is sole proprietor of the concern, and from unpretentious beginnings in the year 1879 he has, by the exercise of business qualities for which he is known, developed this fine undertaking. Under the title of West & Co. he appeals to the public as well as his private connections, and this with considerable success. The firm, who are makers to the Corporation, do an inland, foreign and Colonial trade, their goods being specially well known in Germany, Holland, and India. As regards home trade, it is the pride of the principal that he has derived much of his business through the recommendations of his customers and disinterested parties, which he considers the very best form of advertisement. There is scarcely a bank, including the Bank of England, insurance office, or public company in the City of London where the firm has not many supporters, and in the cloak-room of the Stock Exchange “West’s” hats may be counted by the dozen, one of the chief reasons of the demand being the fine quality and smart and fashionable character of the goods sold. From 29, Cheapside, the firm control principally the wholesale and shipping departments, although here also they have a very handsome and spacious retail shop, where a good-class general trade is done. At 30, Poultry, hats, helmets, and umbrellas of the highest possible manufacture are retailed, the shop being correspondingly inviting. Telephonic communication exists between the two establishments and the manufactory, whereby special orders are put in hand within two or three minutes of receipt, thus expediting delivery to the utmost. It is worthy of mention that the stock is most comprehensive in its character, comprising headgear suitable for every figure and every climate. In addition to the ordinary run of hats, Messrs. West & Co. have exclusive specialities, such as their “Aegis” ventilating hat, which they claim is the only one of its kind which is scientifically ventilated, being true to principle. Another speciality is the “Electrotonic” Magnetic hat, specially designed for that large and unfortunately increasing number of persons who suffer with nervous diseases. In short, an endless variety of silk, felt, and cloth hats and caps in the latest styles are always on view at these establishments, and no better display can be witnessed elsewhere in the City than is to be seen in the windows of Messrs. West’s premises. This house is patronised by all classes of the community, perhaps more especially by “le beau monde,” and those in search of the latest mode. It must not, however, be supposed that other sections of society are overlooked, as amongst others the clergy are especially catered for, the firm’s clerical hats being much sought after. An important feature we would not feel disposed to omit in this brief notice is that although Messrs. West & Co. supply goods of the very highest class both in workmanship and material, they do not ask prohibitive prices; on the contrary, their figures place their goods within the reach of all. The firm know the value of the goods they offer, and can safely rely upon their patrons’ recommendations to increase their business.

Branches — Ranelagh Road, Ealing, and Horn Lane, Acton.

THIS business was established some fifteen years ago at a time when the neighbourhood was in a somewhat primitive condition as compared with its present flourishing and populous appearance. During all this interim the proprietor has catered for the wants of his numerous patrons in an eminently successful manner, every year as it passed adding to the importance, capability, and prosperity of the house. The premises in Ealing are well situated for business, and are now, after divers enlargements and improvements, ample in extent and] excellent in convenience for the control of a large concern of this description. They consist of an extensive shop, in the windows of which are displayed samples of the stock held, and extending a considerable distance to the rear. The interior is thoroughly well arranged, comprising a compact suite of offices, large warehouses, and sample room, together with a long range of bottling stores, which are well equipped with all the latest plant and appliances used in that industry. Recent additions and alterations in the cellars have made them the largest and most suitable of the kind in the neighbourhood. A good number of hands is employed, and everywhere the visitor is str