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The Stationery Cupboard

It is often very difficult to source examples of Stationery, ie Letterheads, Bills, Brochures etc, even from the recent past. Examples that I have found of the Company’s literature I have included here but there are gaping gaps and the chances of being able to fill them are not good. I have, whilst trawling through the documents at the Record Office left there by Henry Holladay, quite an interesting selection of the Rubber Stamps and Embossed stamps used by the business - anything without the “Ltd” is pre 1925 and cross reference with the Timeline will help the enthusiast in this field to more accurately ascertain the period of each differing style.

Generally samples of letterheads, even post World War 2, are hard to source. I have examples from the 40s and 50s but the latest I have found to date is April 1973.

A variety of printers were used, some no longer exist; names such as W.V. Cole & Sons, Wheatons, William Pollard, Besley & Dalgleish Ltd & the Devon & Somerset Steam Print Works of Exeter appear over the years. Pollards are very much still in business in Exeter but unfortunately they have not kept samples of the printing that they performed for Garton & King since 1945 and the destruction of their premises during WW 2 destroyed any that they might have had for pre 1940 years but they were, over the years, the preferred printer and indeed the Pollard and Holladay families were friends in my father’s and grandfather’s era; indeed the Pollard family were offered by my grandfather temporary accommodation in 3 Pennsylvania Crescent after their home was destroyed completely during the bombing of Exeter in WW2, which they eagerly accepted.

As is often the case nobody thought of keeping examples of printed matter during the latter years of the business and the thought did not occur to anyone involved in the clearing of the Offices, Machine Shop or Foundry at Tan Lane on the closure of the Foundry to do so. This was 1979 / 80.

HOWEVER! - anyone reading this article is encouraged, particularly if their work is for an established local business, to keep a watchful eye open. The Company installed heating systems in all manner of locations, many in Devon, and supplied castings for many local authorities as well as performing Aga Installations and selling Kitchen Appliances. Machine Work was performed at Tan Lane - and of course any member of staff would have received documentation from the Company in the form of Payslips and internal mail and even Forms of Apprenticeship and matters relating to their general employment and conditions. All these operations would have involved paperwork of some description, whether in the form of a quote, an advice note, a bill of sale, a Tender Document, or just a run of the mill letter.

Please contact me if you ever come across any of these items - see the About Me section.

Notes for the rubber and embossed stamps

Because of the omission of the word “Limited” (Ltd) all the Rubber stamps date prior to 1925 - the description of the operations of the business vary. One particular stamp of interest is the one showing the business as “King & Munk” and this can be dated to approximately 1883 / 1885.

The photo of the Embossed Stamp is from the 1924 / 1925 Document confirmimg the status change of the business to a Limited Company.

Inked - King & Munk stamp 1883/5
Inked - King & Munk stamp 1883/5
       Garton & King hotwater,  hydraulic sanitary engineers
Inked - Garton & King hotwater, hydraulic, sanitary engineers
Garton & King manufacturing ironmongers
Embossed - Garton & King manufacturing ironmongers.
Garton & King engineers
Inked - Garton & King engineers.
Garton & King ironmongers & ironfounders, Exeter
Inked - Garton & King ironmongers & ironfounders, Exeter.
Garton & King Limited
Embossed - the first stamp for the newly Limited company.

Notes on examples of stationery

These are in rough date order - the earliest, 1788 is first. This is a small selection from the few examples that still exist. Much economy was exercised in the past and examples in the style of the Blue 1860s notepaper exist purely because they were torn in half and used as scrap or were written on or drawn on the reverse. Quite why blue was chosen as a colour for notepaper escapes me as the black printing does not stand out too well against this background colour.

Through my regular searching on a particular Auction Site I have recently (2018) come across a listing for a collection of material that I have acquired all relating to the same customer – as seen in the enlargements – they date between 1935 and 1941 and I have reproduced below seven examples, some may appear the same but are not. They actually cover an interesting period in the Company’s history and three are from the period when the country was at war. On this page is also an image of a Monthly Statement – not something one usually comes across, and an Account Rendered form. More information is shown below.

I recall that some headed notepaper was of particularly high quality with the words Garton & King in raised waxed lettering on a good quality paper. It may have been in use either just before but probably just after the Second World War. I am still looking for an example and it is now September 2018.

Very early paperwork from 1788
Very early paperwork from 1788
Goods bought from Samuel Kingdom.
     1831 Invoice from S W Kingdon
1831 Invoice issued by S W Kingdon.
Letter head from 1850 for Garton and Jarvis
Letter head from 1850 for Garton and Jarvis.
Early Garton & King , (late Garton & Jarvis) letterhead from circa 1860
Early Garton & King, (late Garton & Jarvis) letterhead from circa 1860.
Invoice for iron railling for Albert Terrace
1870 Garton & King Invoice
for iron railing for Albert Terrace.
King & Munk Invoice, December 1884
King & Munk Invoice, December 1884.
Memo for Mr Garton in 1887
Memo for Mr Garton in 1887 from Fred Cull to borrow his cost book.
Garton & King letter head 1889
Garton & King letter 1889.
A specification for a radiator circa 1900
A specification for a radiator circa 1900.
Garton & King invoice 1902
Garton & King invoice 1902.
1935 invoice
1935. This invoice confirms the Company offices and foundry are located in Waterbeer Street (behind and parallel to Exeter’s High Street) and show the Telephone Number as ‘104’ This is actually 1920s headed paper as you can see the number 2 on the date has been overwritten.
1935 invoice
1935. This example shows a different Telephone Number, ‘3904’ and the words ‘District Agents and Erectors for the AGA Cooker’ in red have been inserted. The names of the two directors are laid out in full as opposed to ‘Hugo & Edgar Holladay’ in the previous example. There is no mention whatsoever of the address of either the Works or the Offices.
1939 invoice
1939. This invoice has changed and reflects the opening in August 1939 of the new Foundry and Offices in Tan Lane and the new location of the Showroom. The date shown is barely a month after this significant occasion.
1941 invoice
1941. This example, shows virtually no difference to the previous image other than minor tweaking to the Showroom address but it is an example from Wartime, it being dated 31st March 1941.
1941 monthly statement
1941. This is a Monthly Statement dated 23rd June 1941, still Wartime.
1944 Account Rendered
1944. This is an Account Rendered for a Heating Boiler for Holcombe Rogus Church in the east of Devon. Note the Vicar’s complimentary comment! Dated the 30th December 1944 the outcome of the War by then would have been predictable.
1948 Letterhead
1948 Letterhead.
A letter from Henry Holladay to his brother Alec
1950 invoice
An invoice for an Aga cooker - 1950.
1967 Letter

An all embracing Letterhead from 1967 showing services available from the Foundry, though there's no mention of gears, but there's mention of well-known brand name products available from the showroom in North Street.

Garton & King quotation stationery 1970
Garton & King quotation stationery 1970.
An advice note from 1972
An advice note from 1972.
Copper printing plate & Proof for letterhead ca. 1865
Copper printing plate and printed prrof
for letterhead ca.1865
(Image courtesy Royal Albert Museum, Exeter)
1900 (post) - a copper printing plate
1900 (post) - copper printing plate and letter head,
 with an error.- proprietors names are upside down.
(Image courtesy Royal Albert Museum, Exeter)
1981 letter
1981. A letter dated 19th October 1981, the most recent on display which is from Garton King Appliances when still in family ownership and when their premises (apart from the Showroom) were for a while located at the Old Goods Yard off Richmond Road. This was part of the Central Station goods yard complex located to the west of Queen Street and to the north of the main tracks leading down to St David’s Station via the tunnel. At one time this area was the location of R W & F C Sharp, Timber importers of Exeter and Exmouth.

A Circular dated 1880

Circular Letter 1880I recently discovered this Circular which has been hidden away in the Company Archives for over ten years. It contains some interesting information and in particular with regards to the new facilities and machinery now (1st June 1880) operational at the Waterbeer Street Foundry.
Click the image to enlarge.

I presume the advantageous terms offered with the ‘recent reduction in the pig iron market’ together with the benefit of the favourable Discount Terms offered on Stove Sales, resulted in increased buying from customers abroad as well as from the domestic market.

I have searched the archives but unfortunately there is neither sign of the letter sent in November (presumably 1879) nor the sheets of illustrations that this circular refers to.

Saving paper

A one time member of the office staff at Tan Lane in the mid 1970s commented that Henry Holladay was, to use her words “… also very careful not to waste paper, his handwriting was very small and he would start any letter on the back of a letter received that he no longer needed. However when he had filled up one side, he would then write on the front, across the top, in between the typing if it was double spaced, or down the side, round the bottom and back up the other side if need be - if he was running out of space he would write even smaller, which as he used a fountain pen sometimes did not make easy reading - as a final resort, he would start on a spare piece of paper, keeping tight to the top and then on finishing he would take his steel rule, place it close to his last line and remove the rest of the page. He’s the only person I've ever known who could fit 3 lines onto a sliver of paper no more than 1.5cms deep!”

One might query the truth behind this but the evidence is here. Trawling through ledgers the odd bits of paper have appeared. The writing may well be Mr Henry’s. The information written refers to the Foundry, AGA and Heating but there is no date and quite what the amounts refer to I cannot tell. What perhaps is more interesting is the reverse of these bits of paper. They are the front of two brown envelopes that had been torn in half. I have sellotaped them together and I have posted below the front and back. The larger of the two is dated the 2nd September 1938 and address to E. (Edgar) Holladay. The address is incorrect as it refers to Waterloo Street and not Waterbeer Street. (There was a Waterloo Road in Exeter at that time and still is, but no Waterloo Street.)

The second, smaller envelope is correct in that it refers to Waterbeer Street, however the new Exeter Foundry and Offices in Tan Lane were by then up and running as it is franked and postmarked the 16th September 1939, barely 13 days after we had declared war on Germany – it seems HEEH was not that frugal as he hadn’t steamed off the stamps!!

Front of envelope dated 2nd Sept 1938
Notes on Back of envelope dated 2nd Sept 1938
Envelope dated 2nd Sept 1938
Front of Envelope dated 16th Sept 1939  Notes on Back of envelope dated 16th Sept 1939
Envelope dated 16th Sept 1939

Updated July 2021
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See also:
King & Munk
144 Years of Newspaper AdsBanking, Payment & Tokens
Waterbeer Street FoundryTwo Way TrafficAGA
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