[UK] Stevens, Shanks

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1. Overview

1933 - 1970s.

Millington (167) notes that in 1928 P. M. Shanks and Sons Limited [Patent Type Foundry] discussed the sale of their company to Stephenson, Blake. No sale occurred, after four years of discussion.

Millington (167) notes that at the end of that discussion P.M.Shanks and Sons Ltd. "amalgamated" with R. H. Stevens Limited [the Figgins foundry] The new firm was "Stevens, Shanks and Company"

Moseley, Howes & Roche (p. 30) identify the date of the merger of R. H. Stevens and P. M. Shanks as 1933. They give the name of the resulting company as "Stevens Shanks & Sons Ltd". They also note that R. H. Stevens (the person) was the grandson of Vincent Figgins I, thus identifying R. H. Stevens Ltd. with the Figgins foundry.

Moseley et. al. note that the firm moved in 1971, so it must have been in operation at least until then.

Finally, Moseley, Howes & Roche also note that the Stevens Shanks & Sons. Ltd. materials (including Figgins' punches and matrices) went to the St. Bride's Printing Library on the dissolution of the foundry (but give no date for that).

I suspect that Stephens, Shanks & Sons Ltd., in Southwark (London), is the same foundry identified by Benjamin Brundell as "Steven Shanks Ltd." in Southwark (London) ( http://britishletterpress.co.uk/type/type-founders). What he says of them is interesting. He identifies them as a Monotype-based shop (but not a Monotype-Thompson shop) "ancient foundry matrices". This is interesting for two reasons: first, that their Monotype casters must have been modified to handle foundry matrices, and second, that they were using Monotype casters at all (if indeed they were the heirs to the Figgins and the Shanks foundries).

Millington, Roy. Stephenson Blake: The Last of the Old English Typefounders. New Castle, DE and London: Oak Knoll Books and The British Library, 2002.

Moseley, James, Justin Howes, and Nigel Roche. Founder's London A-Z. London: The [European] Friends of the St. Bride's Printing Library, 1998.)

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