Stephenson Blake Type founders, Sheffield, 1830.


The now defunct, but still fam­ous name of Steph­en­son, Blake was cre­ated when James Blake and John Steph­en­son signed a part­ner­ship agree­ment on 25 Septem­ber 1830 to last until 1840.
The agree­ment was renewed, and the name per­sisted, absorb­ing many other type foundries in the inter­ven­ing years.
The foundry had always been based around Upper Allen Street in Sheffield
The foundry had been in Shef­field in one form or another since around 1797 when a local book­seller (John Slater) and a bookseller-printer (Wil­liam Bower) joined forces with a printer (Clay Bacon) to cast type, issu­ing their first spe­ci­men in 1809.
That found­ing work had per­sisted under many names until taken on by Gar­nett and Blake, and then becom­ing Steph­en­son, Blake.
Since the earli­est times Stephenson, Blake had worked to 1/5000th of an inch as a mat­ter of course: the type they foun­ded was con­sidered the most pre­cise in the United Kingdom.
A Lon­don ware­house was opened in 1865 to sup­ply the demands of Fleet Street news­pa­pers.
Busi­ness was so good that they removed to lar­ger Lon­don premises on Alder­sgate Street in 1871.
The next major change was the move to the Amer­ican Point sys­tem which had been adop­ted by Amer­ica in 1886.
Some firms in the United Kingdom were quick to adopt this change, Stephenson, Blake renewed their moulds and matrices to work on the new American point sys­tem.
via Stephenson, Blake | British Letterpress.

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