Joshua Bacon 1790-1863

David Rowse

JOSHUA BACON was central to the events in Perkins, Bacon from 1821 when he joined the firm, to 1863 when he died. Yet extraordinarily little is really known about him. This is the story of Perkins, Bacon – the company behind the printing of so many of the early postage stamps and other high-security documents, and one of the great security printing houses of the 19th century. Their productions using intricate patterns engraved on steel by the rose engine, a machine invented by Jacob Perkins, are among the most attractive collectables of the period. Many of these are illustrated and show security printing at its best.

Joshua Bacon was the real energy behind making Perkins, Bacon the force that it was. His business trips to generate new orders; discussions with paper suppliers; relations with customers, government departments, the Post Office, the Crown Agents, and commercial bankers are all explored, as are his personal circumstances, family and ill health.

The author has a fine eye for anecdote and detail and brings us closer to the business life of the period and the people behind these attractive productions. This is a book that provides the human and historical background to the stamps and security-printed items of Perkins, Bacon that survive today.

This 74-page hardback book, illustrated in colour and black and white, has interest for all collectors of the stamps of Great Britain, the British Empire, and several foreign countries who had their early stamps printed by Perkins, Bacon & Co. It will also interest collectors of banknotes, labels, security documents, and share certificates.

Price £25 (GBPS members £22.50) ISBN 0-907630-15-4.