From the category archives:

The Collection

As you may have read, I was promised that the large collection of shipper’s tickets I sold to a rich Indian art collector were to be put into a new museum in Bangalore, researched by curators and made open access for all to enjoy.

hundreds of pages of original shippers tickets were documented
© Adrian Wilson

Unfortunately, I made the mistake of not getting that promise in writing as a condition of the sale. The tickets are still not in the museum and, after watching an opinion based video which is riddled with inaccuracies and bias, I am disappointed that this has turned out not to be the best place for this historically important collection. I have offered to buy back all the tickets six weeks ago but with no response from the collector, so that is that.

Fortunately, I professionally documented all the tickets before they left my archive and am now offering these high-quality photographs (which are my copyright) of a unique collection of Indian art for free to any institution that wants them. The photographs also documented original drawings, trademark applications and merchant names/ephemera related to the tickets.

If your institution or organization wants a free digital copy of this unique historic collection, just send me a DM, email me or leave a comment below and I will get right back to you. My only requirements are for a copyright credit, that they aren’t used for commercial gain and that access to the tickets for academics, students and other researchers is free.

In just a few hours I have already been contacted by an Ivy league university in the USA and a research archive in New Delhi, which has turned my major disappointment into potentially a much better result in terms of having these tickets academically and internationally researched. I’m looking forward to hearing from more interested parties I can donate them too as word hopefully spreads

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The Distortion Of Art History

by admin on 08/03/2023

A response to those who are using these textile trademarks to push their agenda and a false history

Original shipper’s ticket for the Indian market ticket from the Adrian Wilson collection
and a facsimile, hand-painted as decoration (including the merchant’s name) in India.
© Ilay Cooper

Manchester was unique as a city of Free Trade for all and as such, it attracted textile merchants from around the world, especially after the Levant, East India and Royal African monopolies expired. The city had more foreign consulates than London, where information and news was freely available from remote markets, plus the local cloth importers in far off markets would provide the exporters with accurate and relevant ideas as to what kind of images would appeal to specific buyers in their markets.

Textile trademarks were the largest and most specifically targeted branding exercise in history, carried out by a wide range of nationalities who really understood what type of images would appeal to their customers.

Photo of Indian child holding cricket bat sent by an Indian importer to Manchester and the resulting ticket
Tandil balanced rock in Argentina
Merchant Street in Rangoon
Idea chosen for India and final ticket design

It is important to understand that the worst thing that could happen to any merchant was that their potential customers around the world, mostly women, found the image unappealing, or even offensive. Unlike modern global branding by companies such as Nike or Coca-Cola, the images and designs chosen as brands varied immensely and were probably the largest concentration of “ethnic” art ever brought together in one place. In 1913, an incredible 250 million pieces of fabric were hand-stamped and ticketed for export. Of the 800 international merchants in the city, the biggest could have around 10,000 different trademarks for the specific markets they traded in. Merchants Stavert Zigomola, who sold in Latin America, had 2,500 different trademark designs.

Stavert Zigomola ticket celebrating independence from colonial rule by showing Liberty wearing a Phrygian cap and holding a length of pink “liberty satin” fabric

Many of the tickets I have seem bizarre or offensive to our modern eyes but they weren’t designed for us. What looks like KKK outfits in the Africa label selection is actually a traditional Nigerian costume and this ticket, executed in the locally recognized style of a traditional Chinese silk painting, would no doubt be banned by current social media algorithms in the west…

Manchester was the first industrial city and, like China today, created factories full of oppressed workers in order to manufacture fabric cheaper than anyone else in the world. Manchester cotton was world renowned as being cheap but good quality, capturing 80% of the world’s fabric markets in the 1880’s, partly because the merchants who sold it and the importers who brought it to market used these stamps and tickets to generate a brand loyalty amongst customers from Argentina to Belgium to China. Not by sticking a standard logo on it like Apple or Sony, (who curiously are never accused of patronizing commercial colonialism despite their intense government ties and local tax avoidance) but by respecting and appealing to the potential buyer’s local culture, even by adapting their well known brand to different markets.

A popular brand design, adapted to suit different markets
Dumbell Exercise brand adaptation

Manchester cloth was a standard in terms of quality, so a recognizable brand was also a seal of good manufacture, with strength, colours that wouldn’t run etc. If there was something new, such as a bicycle, steam train, building or ship, images of those things would be used as brands in order to be associated with that modernity. Current brands promote their product’s desirability by including any religious, aristocratic or celebrity associations. Merchant shipper’s tickets were already masters of this kind of branding 150 years ago but are now being criticized for the same thing modern marketers, including museums, do

A random selection of tickets used in African markets
A random selection of tickets used in Asian markets
The map of India was a common device for tickets there

The image of an elephants couldn’t be trademarked but they became a memorable brand if depicted doing unusual things and customers would collect them.

With literally hundreds of thousands of designs created, there is an undeniable proof that, in the Manchester textile trade at least, it was considered absolutely vital to respect your customer’s culture. If you offended them or they felt patronized by your trademark, they would simply choose the one on display next to it for sale by your competitor.

The problem now is that this idea of colonial powers actually being interested in local culture, albeit to make money by encouraging a purchase, goes against the perception and stereotype of the oppressor and the oppressed. It is one thing dismissing this work of countless indigenous artists as mere “commercial art” but far worse is how an ignorance of this `part of art history means it is being used to depict these images as patronizing and colonial. The complete opposite of what the vast majority were.

Not your stereotypical colonialist image

There are several things to note here once you look at the history. Manchester fabric was famous and popular across the world. Yes, it was sold in the colonies (and yes, Manchester textile workers were thanked by Lincoln for supporting the abolishment of slavery in the US) but, like the same fabric from China today, it was simply a globally successful good quality and cheap product. Like Chinese produced fabric sold now, Victorian merchants worked with whoever who ran the country where it was sold. If the British were being kicked out of a country and if Manchester merchants could increase their sales there by depicting that on a trademark, they did so…

Manchester merchant ticket depicting a Malayan Communist Party activist,
who overthrew the British in Singapore

As mentioned before, there were so many designs, it is easy to make selective and biased judgements, especially from our modern perspective. Again, if the image offended the customer, the merchant lost the sale, so to judge these images (often from a tiny sample) as offensive is the distortion of history to either gain attention or not appear contrarian. However, ignorance and agenda are no way to learn from past or present history. I watched an Indian museum promotional video recently where two employees, who are not researchers, describe the Indian images as “exoticized” when the images were in fact chosen and created by Indians 100 years ago to appeal to Indians and would only ever appear in Indian markets. Their opinion was based on two selective examples from just 300 in their collection. Click here to see just one of the 60 volumes I digitized from my collection from a ticket printer. I invite you to look through the hundreds of images and make your own mind up if they were respectful to their local customers, or not. Count the proportion of images that are stereotypical British colonialist, compared to the images that are Indian. Despite the curator’s naïve assumptions, the book shows that these were not “exoticized” images, chosen by a British merchant in 1800’s Manchester as his ignorant idea of Indian culture. The fact is, Westerners actually never saw these tickets because they were only stuck on cloth that went on display in the Indian markets, plus Indian artists created them, so who exactly were they being “exoticized” for?

To be fair, I do understand that it is good to look at history from different perspectives and with fresh attitudes but it is vital, especially if you are a museum or other academic institution, not to be selective just to prove a viewpoint that isn’t based on fact. For instance, it would be easy to draw different conclusions from the following two examples…

“Hindu With Child”

This ticket could easily be used to illustrate colonialism by showing a white, wealthy child riding on the back of an Indian. What a perfect allegoric image for those who want to see it that way. However, we do not know who the people depicted actually are, or any context.

Man Carrying Child

Conversely, during the colonization of India, why did a merchant take this very English looking illustration and not make the child white, depicting India supporting Britain like in the previous example?
The point being that anyone can select particular tickets, look at them from their perspective and distort the narrative to fit them to their agenda.

Indian deity scene

Even tickets depicting religious scenes are being criticized as wrong, when in fact the merchants would serialize tales such as the Ramayana or depict the local’s beliefs so that they could be used as free decorations in homes or places of worship, as explained in more detail by academic Ilay Cooper here and in this, one of his many photos of the supposedly negative tickets actually being appreciated by the local people.

A religious ticket forming the centerpiece of a mural in India
© Ilay Cooper

The image above takes us back to the first, which has been repainted, including the supposedly oppressive merchant’s name, by another local artist. No doubt because they didn’t find it patronizing, colonial, exoticized, misogynistic or offensive.

Courtesy Ilay Cooper

Here is a local Indian merchant importer or ‘dalal’, named Babu Shiv Bux showing the cloth he sells, with the shipper’s tickets attached. Before independence, India purchased textile machinery from Manchester’s mills and factories as they closed down following the 1929 Depression. Tickets also began to be printed in India and, apart from showing very British subjects such as Royalty, were not so different at all.

One last point is that the curators at the Indian museum only has around 300 tickets and they never went to the Manchester warehouses, never spoke to the merchants, didn’t look at this free resource website. I have spoken with two renowned academics with decades of research between them on these tickets, one being the most revered Indian writer on this subject, and both were appalled at the way these tickets are being misrepresented by a museum that freely admits they are just putting out “opinion” videos to attract “young people”. Despite the museum claiming that they are Creating a culture of constructive feedback and openness to discussion and Working responsibly and being accountable they have blocked the comments section on the videos and had no interest in my free offer of describing the actual history of these tickets in a new video.

The museum’s YouTube video was in English, without any Indian language subtitles. It used what sounded like a copyright free “upbeat and inoffensive” western jingle in the background instead of Indian music. The video content was about one culture not really understanding the culture of market they were promoting their brand to – just giving them clichés and stereotypes of what they thought they wanted to see to attract attention.

Ironically, they didn’t even realize that their video was doing exactly what they were accusing the textile merchants of.

As a serious museum, not a Twitter feed desperate for attention, I hope they understand their responsibility to present the facts fully and invite experts to pass on their knowledge and put across different opinions. A museum should never misrepresent history just to increase visitor income, or for social media ‘likes’ and ‘views’.

Deity tickets pasted on walls in Fatehpur, India.
© Ilay Cooper

And I hope this website helps people understand that, although slavery and colonialism was and still is a stain on our lives, in Victorian Manchester, alongside the toxic, child-labour factories was the largest collection of ethnocentric art that ever existed, depicting cultures or traditions around the world that have long since vanished.

An image that is baffling to us…
…but instantly recognizable as a proverb in a region of Nigeria

It is a real shame if, because of ignorance and bias, people dismiss all that creative talent and the important lesson that it is to everyone’s advantage, both ethically and economically to respect and appreciate different cultures.

I did not name the museum or link to the video, which was so upsetting and one-sided that I posted this response, as I do not want the video to gain any popularity. However, I am always happy to share, either privately or via a talk, any of my collection, history or personal knowledge with anyone who is interested.

This post’s content has been checked by people across three continents, including India, who between them have nearly 100 years of practical and academic research between them but encourage anyone to add their direct or research knowledge or perspective to this fascinating but overlooked part of art and branding history.


New Stamps Acquired

by admin on 26/09/2022

Interesting collection salvaged years ago by a former worker at New Hey Mill, Rochdale, Lancashire

I was contacted by a relative of Bill Brooks, born in 1938 and who worked for many years at Lion Mill in Royton, Lancashire with his wife Maureen. Bill loved local history and managed to save 13 stamps from P.W. Greenbalgh & Co. (cotton goods bleachers, finishers and dyers) of New Hey near Rochdale. He had good taste, saving an interesting variety, from simple to ornate, figurative to typographic and even a Brazillian text stamp.

Most were made by Isherwood & Ikin of 19 Fold Street, Bolton which is a new name to me and I can’t find any business listings for them. The date of the stamps seems to be 1890 to 1910, with one dated 1895.

I cleaned, oiled and printed off the stamps…

Lord Brothers info:

The most interesting stamp was this one, mounted on a copper sheet with chains for hanging on a wall.

on closer inspection, the words “Prince of Wales” were removed, suggesting that this image of Edward VII was made before Victoria died in 1901.

Interestingly, it doesn’t have any stampmakers name but is simply marked OLDHAM PENDLETON

The illustration is clearly based off this portrait of The Prince of Wales dressed in his garb as Grand Master of Freemasons, along with many other Masonic symbols incorporated into the design. The stamp was likely framed and put on display, maybe at Oldham Freemason’s Union Hall after its life as a merchant’s trademark was over. Maybe the merchant, stamp maker or mill owner was a Freemason. All fascinating stuff and hopefully someone reading this knows the history of this collection of stamps.


First Zoom talk on my collection

by admin on 03/08/2020

Click here to watch a recording of the zoom on YouTube

At 4pm Eastern Time on 4th August 2021, I will guide you through the collection and its history with a live zoom webinar.

If you missed the webinar, it has been uploaded to YouTube here


Two Stamp Books Acquired

by admin on 15/04/2019

I recently purchased two rare books which were a record of the stamps held by merchants or fabric finishers. The stamps would be stored in shelves and each had a number on the side. Using this book, the stamps could easily be identified and pulled off the shelf to print the front of cloth pieces to attract buyers in markets across the world. The River Etherow Bleaching book is in the foreground, which is an amazing stroke of luck as it goes with other items I have from there. The other is from Buckley and Brennand Ltd., bringing my collection of these amazing items to 8 stamp books, containing thousands of original designs.
sample pages from the Buckley and Brennand book showing the full faceplait designs

sample pages from the Buckley and Brennand book showing the full faceplait designs
The River Etherow Bleaching book has hundreds of prints from their long gone stamps used for their customer’s markets around the world

The River Etherow Bleaching book has hundreds of prints from their long gone stamps used for their customer’s markets around the world
examples of multi colour stamp designs
A J King Ingersley Vale Bleach Works stamp book

A J King Ingersley Vale Bleach Works stamp book
Sun Bleaching stamp book no. 2
early R K Roberts Stamp Book

R K Roberts Stamp Book
Spruce Manufacturing Stamp Book

Spruce Manufacturing Stamp Book
Early Mersey Mills Stamp Book
Melland & Coward stamp folio

Melland & Coward stamp folio

Melland & Coward stamp folio


The Conestee Mill Stamp Collection

by admin on 12/01/2017

The internet is an amazing thing, with billions and billions of pages. However, it seems that anyone who Googles for information on trademark stamps or tickets always ends up on this site!
That’s exactly what happened when I got an email from someone who “found a few crates of stamps” while clearing out an old mill in Conestee, SC and, upon looking at some of the stampmakers’ names, found they matched the condor stamp I had purchased a couple of years ago.

I was sent some basic photos of the stamps

IMG_1617and was assured there were also some other ‘pictorial’ designs to go with this one of the Woolworth Building in NYC

20170111_182134Altogether I was told there were over 200 stamps and about 30 original bolt prints like below

20161221_153334As this was really a unique opportunity to create a whole section of American stamps in my collection and stop them being sold piecemeal, I bought the lot.

A few weeks later a pallet arrived with 6 large cardboard boxes containing 450lb of American stamps….

Though initially disappointed to discover that the seller  “didn’t quite know what you meant by pictorial” and that the Woolworth Building stamp was pretty much the only one that wasn’t just text, the collection is remarkable and I soon unpacked, sorted and started cleaning them

IMG_20161111_224911   20161226_194324

From thisIMG_20161111_220828to this


As I cleaned, fed the wood with linseed oil and then repaired (removing old nails and fixing bent metal) these forlorn objects, they revealed their history. I always feel like I am polishing long lost gravestones when I go through this process and  stampmakers’ names I had never heard of such such as Parsons & Mealey, Lowell, H H Manning, Lowell, Braidwood Stamp Co, Perth Amboy NJ,  C J Kimbell, J Cosgrove RI, William Yungmann, 46 Beekman St NYC and F Brockman ( at both 607 W43rd st and 440 W36th St NYC) start appearing from beneath years of dirt . 20170111_18231720170112_121014-1

The names of merchants who owned and marked their names on the stamps such Neuss Hesslein (Nehesco), Suffern & Suffern, Garner & Co., Watts Stebbins & Co., J A Doering, Hayward & Thurston, Ultramares Corp, Shall & Co., De Sola & Henriquez, San Salvador, A D Straus & Co, Hispanic Textile Co will all help in dating the stamps.20170111_181151 20170111_18111920170111_183322

What I do know already is that the condor stamp originated from this same collection. It has exactly the same “D.M.” badging that can be found on some of these stamps. I was told that the collection was amassed from different mills as they closed down over the years. “Clifton Mills” appears the most and was originaly built in the 1880’s in Clifton SC.20170111_181759

But there are stamps from other locations and companies such as Nutwood, Castleton, Adsco Mills, The Rising Sun Mf’g. Co., The Callerton Mf’g Co.  and Barnard which I need more time to trace the history of online.



The fabrics most often mentioned on the stamps are Sheeting, Drilling and Shirtings.

20170111_174919 20170111_175922 20170111_181009

There are quite a few Spanish language stamps and they reference Venezuela, El Salvador, Bolivia and Chile, so these merchants were definitely in the export trade…

20170112_115006-1 20170112_122150-1


As in the Manchester trade, individual letters could be used to create word stamps and although there were no small letters in this collection, they are evident in these carefully made word stamps…



After going through this collection, I would say that the American stamps match the English ones both in construction technique and standard height but the design and execution is definitely ‘good’ rather than ‘high’ quality.  Of course, what tends to happen with these collections is that all the best stamps are sold, leaving only the less attractive ones to gather dust as happened here.  Despite the cherry picking, the missing pictorial stamps that are printed on the bolt cloth samples pale in comparison to those made by their Manchester counterparts. That makes sense because the American fabric trade was not as competitive and  just focused more on cheaper fabrics (such as the aforementioned sheeting, drills and shirtings) for the domestic and nearby South American markets. As competition was less fierce, high quality distinctive branding between merchants was therefore not as important as in the Manchester trade.

As much as I am spoiled by already having such a huge collection, these hand-made possibly 100 year old American objects are still an incredible and beautiful find.

I feel so lucky to be in a position where people offer me things like this after seeing my enthusiasm for collecting and preserving on this website. Who knows what else is out there….? I am happy to hear from anyone with anything from objects to memories regarding this fascinating subject.

While you are here, please remember to be respectful and not copy any of the text or images on this site without my permission. I am always happy to share information but just consider how much time and money goes into bringing this information for you to enjoy before copying and pasting anything. Thanks!


The Midgley family of textile workers

by admin on 11/06/2015

One of the delights of this website is being contacted by those who have some personal link to the stamps, tickets and textile trademark business. The power of the internet, combined with serendipity, never ceases to amaze me.

I bought two stamps a while ago from an ex worker of the River Etherow Bleach works and as a bonus, he gave me a company ashtray depicting the textile mill. I posted it online, along with the stamps.


Lo and behold, I received an email a short while later from Brian Midgley, who proudly stated that he “worked in the engine house and had a bit of a talent for drawing, so the company used my picture for the ashtray.” Adding “I was 20 and they paid me five pounds and gave me two ashtrays for my drawing.” As someone who worked tending mill engines his whole life, he couldn’t believe his ashtray was on the internet.
We emailed and chatted for a while, so when I went back to England last month, I met the now 69 year old engineer and one time artist, and he gave me a set of photos he took of his family. So here is a pictorial history of the Midgley family’s long working association with the River Etherow Bleaching Company. These images are all Brian’s copyright and must not be used without permission.

20150611_165937This is the view of the Mill, on the right hand third of this photo of the Longdendale Valley.

20150611_165856Here is a close up of the mill itself. Note how they removed the top of the tower on the ashtray illustration for some reason unknown to Brian.

20150611_170139This is Brian’s grandfather, George Midgley (first on the left), who was an “ash wheeler” for the hopper fed Lancashire Boilers that they are stood beside.



And this is Brian’s father, George Midgley, who was the factory “Yard Man” (bricklayer and labourer), working on the factory roof.


This is Brian’s mother, Enid Midley (in centre), who worked in the Making Up room and can be seen here tying the ends of each cloth piece together before it was stamped. In the background are the folding or “Plating” machines.


Brian’s father hand tinted this photo of his wife, so there was definitely an artistic streak in this working class family



It wasn’t all work and no play. Here is Enid enjoying her birthday celebration with her workmates, photographed by Brian.


And here is a works outing, including:

John Revel, who had lost his legs in a train accident but worked at the mill; Walter Jackson, Electrician; Ronnie Clayton, Foreman Joiner who ended up Works Engineer; George Wilson, head of Wages Office; Thomas Cooper, Brian’s cousin who was a labourer; George Midley, Yard Man; Fred Goddard, in charge of Water Treatment and John Goddard who was the “Oiler & Greaser”, or Grease Monkey.


Last but not least, Brian wanted me to have this medal. It was given as recognition for long service to workers in the Bleacher’s Association and I will always treasure it.


It is amazing that all this came from posting a photo of an ashtray on the internet. I am very happy to be able to share the artistic photos and the obvious pride Brian has for his family. The factory is still there, though no longer bleaching cotton, and now part of its human story has been brought back to life thanks to Brian.





Chinese ticket book and translations

by admin on 30/01/2015

I thought it about time that I had some of the Chinese tickets translated.

The style and printing of tickets, or “Chops” as they were often referred to, was designed to replicate the silk paintings that were familiar to Chinese buyers.


China was a huge market for the Manchester textile trade and the diversity and care of how the trademarks were chosen was no different than that for the Indian or African market. To a western eyes that do not know the fables or spiritual references such as myself, the images can often look repetitive and indistinct. However, on having just a few tickets translated in the following (flash based) ebook….







(Click this book image or the link below for the ebook)

…it becomes more obvious that symbolism – such as a pearl in an oyster signifying a baby boy for instance, and locally recognizable figures such as warriors from stories, or Thunder Gods from fables again proves that Manchester merchants knew exactly what images would attract buyers to their particular brands.

The ticket book dates from around 1910 but the designs may have been created years earlier. I have no doubt after seeing original artwork for these tickets, that Chinese artists would have been employed as ticket illustrators by the big printers (B Taylor employed 20 full time artists) in Manchester, rather than train Western artists to draw in a Chinese style.

The ideas for the designs would have sometimes been suggested by the Chinese fabric importers and merchants, or by the agents and salesmen of the Manchester merchant firms, to ensure their local relevance.


American stamp found

by admin on 20/04/2014

After a 10 year search I finally own a trademark stamp made in America. The stamp is the exact standard depth of Manchester stamps and the 8 inch wide design depicts the Mexican national emblem of an eagle stood on a cactus holding a snake. Mexico Coat of Arms stamp

The coat of arms changed over the years and this design, by José Mariano Torreblanca, was used from 1823-64 and then from 1867-93, so the stamp was made during one of these two periods. stamp-3

The stamp was made by J Cosgrove, Providence, R.I. and a Census lists a John Cosgrove working as a stencil cutter (The American term for a stamp maker) in Providence in 1880.

This is where things get interesting. The census lists John Cosgrove as being English, born in 1833 with an English father and an Irish mother.

His wife Sarah is listed as Irish and his 4 children were born in various places:

Matilda COSGROVE, 18, birthplace, Ireland

Albert E. COSGROVE, 17 birthplace, Ireland, Occupation: Stencil Cutter

Alice J. COSGROVE , 12, birthplace, Massachusetts

John COSGROVE, 8 birthplace, Rhode Island John Cosgrove

Searching for a John Cosgrove who was born in England in 1833…….

A John Cosgrove, born in Lancashire in 1833, was listed as living in Manchester’s Ancoats textile district  in 1841  and 1861 censuses.
In 1880 the USA census states that his son and daughter was Irish and the youngest was 17, which means they must have moved to Ireland at some point.
They must have left for America before 1868 because his daughter Alice was born in Massachusetts.
There is a Thomas John Cosgrove who married a Sarah Mcmullon in 1859 (When John was 26) in Carnmoney, 7 miles from Belfast – the only ‘Sarah’ to marry a Cosgrove in that 20 year period. He is half Irish so he could have gone to Ireland to get married and  moved there just after the 1861 Manchester census, having babies Matilda and Albert (in 1862 and 1863) in Ireland.
He probably learned his stampmaking trade in Manchester and then moved to Belfast. Between 1861-65 there was the “cotton famine” because of over production and a restriction where they couldn’t get cotton from America because of the civil war so many Manchester factories shut down, so it would make sense to move to Belfast where the Irish linen trade was based and much less affected. There were linen trademark labels so I am presuming there were Irish trademark stamps being made in Belfast too.
The alternative is that he married Sarah when she already had children born in Ireland and went straight from Manchester to America, though that seems unlikely as his children are all listed as having an Irish mother and English father.
They emigrated at some point after 1863 and had their daughter Alice in Massachusetts in 1868. The family then made their way to Providence, which was the centre of “Stencil cutting” in the Northeast.
It is interesting that Albert was following his father into the stampmaking trade.
So what this single stamp has showed is that there was a direct link between Manchester stampmakers and American Stencil cutters. The stamps are identical in dimension and construction techniques.
The reasons why John Cosgrove moved from Manchester to Providence via Ireland will probably never be known but putting his name on the side of this stamp for the Mexican market has revealed a wealth of information about the trade and the Cosgrove family history.
The stamp itself would have been made no later than 1893 because the Mexico coat of arms changed in that year but cannot have been made before 1868 because John Cosgrove lived in Ireland at that point.
If anyone wants to add any more information, such as finding information on John Cosgrove’s father, the date when the Cosgrove family emigrated to America, or what happened to the Cosgrove children, I would love to hear from you.


New collection of letters acquired

by admin on 18/10/2013

Thanks to this site, a reader from Yorkshire, England contacted me to sell his collection of letter and number stamps, which doubles the size of my single character collection.They were in trays and random but have been since sorted and I share them here with you.

Copyright Adrian WIlson Copyright Adrian Wilson


Below is my existing collection of numbers and letters, with several complete alphabets. I hope some of the random spare letters match some of the fonts from the new collection.

I also wonder if missing letters could be made using a 3D printer?

copyright Adrian Wilson


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