John Sheldon

MASTER OF MANUFACTURE AND INNOVATION

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John Sheldon (1802-1863) was an outstanding toymaker, pencil maker and silversmith, who lived and worked in Birmingham during a period of dramatic industrial growth.

He went from humble beginnings to manufactory owner, increasing his fortunes by applying his ingenuity and inventiveness to a diversified and unique product range of writing equipment and plated tableware for home and overseas markets.

The first mention of John Sheldon in Birmingham is in Wrightson’s Directoryof 1820 as Sheldon & Co, 57 Lichfield Street. By 1835, having briefly entered into a partnership which he then dissolved, he had moved to larger premises at 38 Lancaster Street, Birmingham. He was forward-looking and keen to capitalise on an expanding world market for writing equipment, which was being created by rapidly increasing trade, literacy and travel.

He concentrated on manufacturing the complete range of portable writing equipment required by the lady, gentleman, businessman and traveller, which could be carried in the pocket or the handbag or used within the household. The key to his sales success lay in his offering wide variety to suit individual preference.

KEYWORDS: John Sheldon, Industry, Birmingham, Pens, Toys

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