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British Industrial History

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John Cassell

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John Cassell (1817–1865), publisher

1817 Born in Manchester, the youngest child of Mark Cassell, landlord, and his wife, Hannah Slingsby (d. 1865).

c.1833 apprentice joiner in Salford

1836 On completing his indentures he set out on a temperance lecturing tour

1837 he was an official agent of the National Temperance Society.

1841 married Mary Abbott (d. 1885), a cultivated woman some years his senior; they had one surviving daughter.

With his wife's patrimony he established a company selling tea, coffee, and cocoa in Budge Row, London.

1845 he started a separate business selling vegetable restorative pills.

1846 The first edition of the Teetotal Times was published - Cassell was the anonymous proprietor.

1848 Published the Standard of Freedom, advocating religious, political, and commercial emancipation. He also published for a short time the London Mercury and several spin-off publications. See Cassell and Co

1849 he opened a coffee establishment at 80 Fenchurch Street.

1850 he launched a new periodical, the Working Man's Friend, and Family Instructor, for which he claimed a circulation of 100,000 by 1851. It was followed by The Freeholder, the organ of a freehold land society.

1851 Marked The Great Exhibition of 1851 with the Illustrated Exhibitor, a four-volumed publication in which Cassell made his first large-scale use of illustrations; he also arranged an artisan lodging-house register for working-class visitors during the exhibition.

1852 Cassell's Popular Educator and Cassell's Magazine were both launched

1853 Cassell's Illustrated Family Paper first appeared in December, combining "instruction" with "amusement" in a publication which was intended to reach the middle as well as the working classes.

1854 Over-ambitious expansion led to bankruptcy because of his debts to his paper supplier. Thomas Dixon Galpin and George William Petter took over the business but retained the Cassell name; Cassell worked for them as editor

1858 Admitted as a partner in Cassell, Petter and Galpin. Cassell continued to influence the publication of new titles.

1865 John Cassell, of La Belle Sauvage yard, in the city of London, Publisher, has given notice in respect of the invention of "improvements in treating coal, peat, shale, wood, and ligneous products, and in obtaining fuel, oil, and other products therefrom."[1]

1865 Died at 25 Avenue Road, Regent's Park, London; he was buried in Kensal Green Cemetery

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette 7 February 1865
  • Biography of John Cassell, ODNB