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John Lewis Ricardo (1812–1862), entrepreneur, was the son of Jacob Ricardo, financier, and nephew of David Ricardo, economist.
On the death of his father, John abandoned plans for a career in the Army and took over the financial business of his father.
1841 MP for Stoke upon Trent.
1846 Ricardo took a leading part in the promotion of the electric telegraph. He established the Electric Telegraph Co, and was its chairman for ten years (four of the eight shareholders were Ricardos).
1858 The company introduced franked message papers and the employment of female clerks.
1861 Left the Electric Telegraph Company and proposed to the Treasury the nationalization of the telegraph system, and its administration by the Post Office.