John Dickinson and Company Limited

John Dickinson and Company Limited was founded by John Dickinson who set up as a stationers at 2 Walbrook, London in 1804, in 1805 he moved premises to 39 Ludgate Street, London. His ambition was to make paper rather than sell paper made by others and by 1807 he had taken out his first two paper related patents. In 1809 he developed a patent process for machine-made paper utilising an ‘endless web’ which was an ingenious perforated cylinder of metal with a finely woven wire covering. This revolved in a vat filled with pulp and produced a continuous sheet of paper of superior surface and appearance. From this time right up to 1855 he took out dozens of patents, and many of the pioneering discoveries of papermaking were his.

After rapid expansion, John Dickinson first bought Apsley Mill, Hemel Hempstead (1809), followed by Nash Mills (1811). He then built Home Park Mills near King's Langley (1825) and finally bought Croxley Mill near Watford (1830). He also established "half-stuff" mills at Batchworth and Manchester.

John Dickinson retired in 1859, and John Evans and Frederick W. Pratt Barlow became partners in the business, with Longmans still investing. In 1869 John Dickinson died. On 31st March 1886 the Company was incorporated as John Dickinson and Company Limited, Frederick Pratt Barlow was made chairman, as the senior partner, and Frank Pratt Barlow and Lewis Evans, directors. In 1892 Frederick Pratt Barlow resigned, and his brother Frank replaced him as chairman and in 1910 the Lion Brand was adopted as the company logo.

In 1918 the company acquired Millington and Sons Limited. Between 1917-1930 John Dickinson and Company Limited established companies in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, and ultimately a network of manufacturing sites and sales offices in 13 countries around the world. During the Second World War the Company concentrated on completing as much war work as possible, and as a result became a protected establishment.

In 1966 the Company merged with ES& A Robinson Limited to become the Dickinson Robinson Group Limited; 'the largest manufacturer of stationery in Britain.