Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 146,838 pages of information and 232,610 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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Advertising sign.
Advertising sign.
April 1893.
October 1893.
May 1894.
June 1894.
July 1894.
July 1894.
August 1894.
August 1894.

of City Road, London, EC1. Tea Planters of Ceylon. Telegraphic Address: "Liptonian, Phone, London." Codes: Western Union (5 letter. Western Union. A. B. C. (4th, 5th and 6th Editions)

1888 Thomas Lipton (1848-1931), who had begun business life with his own stores, entered the tea trade and opened a tea-tasting office, by-passing traditional trading and wholesale distribution channels (most UK tea-trading was focused in London's Mincing Lane) in order to sell teas at unprecedented prices to the untapped poor working class market. In order to provide his shops with goods, Lipton bought plantations and in doing so - amongst other things - he established the famous Lipton tea brand.

1890s Thomas Lipton visited Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and made business deals with James Taylor the man who introduced tea plantations to Sri Lanka. Lipton's company purchased good quality tea from Sri Lanka and distributed it throughout Britain in Liptons Stores and Europe and the USA.

1898 The company was registered on 3 March, to take over the provision supplying business in Great Britain of Sir Thomas J. Lipton, with tea growing estates in Ceylon and factories and warehouses in London and elsewhere. [1]

1914 Tea growers and merchants, provision merchants, naval and military contractors. Specialities: tea, coffee, cocoa, chocolate, preserves (jams, marmalade, bottled fruits etc.), provisions of every description, poultry, game etc. Employees 10,000. [2]

1922 British Industries Fair Advert as the 'Largest Manufacturers and Distributors of Food Products in the World'. Lipton's are the Actual Manufacturers of: Biscuits, Cocoa, Chocolate, Confectionery, Pickles, Sauces, Jams and Jellies, Marmalade, Sausages, Potted Meats, Coffee Essence, Cornflour, Farinaceous Preparations. By appointment to H. M. King of Spain; H. M. King George V; T. M. King and Queen of Italy. (Stand No. B.7) [3]

1929 Allied Suppliers was formed as a purchasing company for various tea interests; it acquired the tea blending and packing interests of Home and Colonial Stores, Lipton, Maypole Dairy Co, Meadow Dairy Co and Pearks Dairies and would carry on business as warehousemen and provision merchants[4]

1930 Allied Stores was registered to acquire Home and Colonial Stores, Meadow Dairy Co, Maypole Dairy Co, Pearks Dairies and the International Tea Company's Stores and also shares of Lipton Ltd[5] but the merger fell through

1931 Home and Colonial Stores acquired Lipton[6]

1971 Part of Allied Suppliers when it was acquired by Cavenham Foods

1972 The tea business was acquired by Unilever making its own tea business one of the largest in the world.[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  2. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  3. 1922 British Industries Fair Advert ccxxix; and p49
  4. The Times (London, England), Saturday, Dec 21, 1929
  5. The Times, Jul 12, 1930
  6. The Times, Mar 21, 1931
  7. The Times, Aug 24, 1972