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Receipts from London’s Oldest Ironmongers

May 19, 2013
by the gentle author

As any accountant will tell you – you must always keep your receipts. It was a dictum adopted religiously by the staff at London oldest ironmongers R. M. Presland & Sons, in the Hackney Rd since 1797 and still trading today as Daniel Lewis & Co Ltd – The One Stop Metal Shop , where this cache of receipts from the eighteen-eighties and nineties was discovered recently. One hundred and thirty years later, they may no longer be of interest to the tax man, but they serve to illustrate the utilitarian beauty of nineteenth-century typographic design and tell us a lot about the diverse interrelated  trades which once filled this particular corner of the East End.

The One Stop Metal Shop, Daniel Lewis & Son Ltd, 493-495 Hackney Rd, E2 9ED

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At London’s Oldest Ironmongers

3 Responses leave one →
  1. annie permalink
    May 19, 2013

    This and your previous article are fascinating. I have walked down Hackney Road but not noticed this shop, I will look out for it next time I am in the area! Amazing to think the business has been there so long.
    I see some of the invoices are from companies in my home city of Birmingham a major place for the manufacture of bolts, screws and other items a hardware shop would stock.

  2. Gary permalink
    May 19, 2013

    The large “Bought of” and “Dr. to ” (Debtor to) were still in use on invoices up to the 1940’s
    The Victorian stamps on the receipts are probably worth more now than the goods that they receipted at the time

  3. May 19, 2013

    Interesting to see all those fine decorated typefaces among the engraved ones, and also that they spelled colour without the U – clearly not as USA as the spelling nuts would have us believe!

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