Garton and King

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a history

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. What is, unfortunately, missing is the headed notepaper of the 30s, 40s, & 50s. I recall the notepaper was of particularly high quality with the words Garton & King in raised waxed lettering on a good quality paper - to date I have not found an example.


Very early paperwork from 1788
Very early paperwork from 1788.

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
Invoice for iron railling 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 head 1889.

A specification for a radiator circa 1900
A specification for a radiator circa 1900.

Garton & King invoice 1902
Garton & King invoice 1902.

An invoice for an Aga cooker - 1950
An invoice for an Aga cooker - 1950.

Garton & King quotation stationery 1970
Garton & King quotation stationery 1970.

An advice note from 1972
An advice note from 1972.

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