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 148,143 pages of information and 233,681 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Perkins and Heath

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Printer of banknotes, of Fleet Street, London.

1819 Jacob Perkins arrived in England with Gideon Fairman and Asa Spencer; he had a plan for engraving banknotes on steel plates, which ultimately proved successful. Perkins started business with Fairman as Perkins and Fairman, steel plate engravers, at 29 Austin Friars, London.

Joseph Chessborough Dyer helped provide finance when Perkins and his men were "on the rocks"[1]

1820 Dissolution of the Partnership between Joseph Chesseborough Dyer, Jacob Perkins, and Gideon Fairman, carrying on the business of Engraving and Printing, in Austin-Friars, London, under the firm of Perkins and Fairman, when Joseph Cheesseborough Dyer withdrew[2].

1819 December (?): Charles Heath joined the business which moved to 69 Fleet St as Perkins, Fairman and Heath.

1821 Heath was made bankrupt.

1821 Dissolution of the Partnership between Jacob Perkins, G. Fairman, Chas. Heath., G. Thos. Heath, Marcus Bull, under the firm of Perkins, Fairman, and Heath, as Engravers and Printers, at No. 69, Fleet-Street, London, as far as relates to Marcus Bull[3]

1822 Dissolution of the Partnership in the business carried on at 69 Fleet-Street, under the style and firm of Perkins, Fairman, and Heath, Gideon Fairman who returned to the USA, having made over his share of the business to Jacob Perkins. The business would be carried on by Jacob Perkins and Charles Heath under the style of Perkins and Heath[4]. The firm later provided banknotes for many country banks, and postage stamps for foreign countries.

1823 Henry P. Petch, an engraver, was employed by the company.

1825 Jacob Perkins developed the Uniflow engine; the triple expansion engine was developed for use in the event of fuel becoming so scarce as to justify the added weight and complexity of a third cylinder[5]

1826 Dissolution of the Partnership between Jacob Perkins and Charles Heath, of Fleet-Street London, Charles Heath retiring from the said concern.[6]

Jacob Perkins took so much money out of the business to fund his development of the high pressure steam engine that it put the business in peril. It was rescued by Jacob's second son Angier.

Shortly afterwards Perkins ceased to share the profits as a partner, and his son Angier, having taught all the intricate stereotype processes at 69, Fleet-street, was no longer required on the staff of Perkins and Bacon.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1925/07/03
  2. London Gazette 19 August 1820
  3. London Gazette 20 October 1821
  4. London Gazette 3 August 1822
  5. The Engineer 1925/07/03
  6. London Gazette 28 January 1826
  • The Engineer 1931/06/19
  • History of Perkins, Bacon and Petch [1]