Wolverhampton Printers

J. Bridgen

In 1831 we come across the first mention of a book printed by J. Bridgen of Wolverhampton, a firm which certainly became one of the big names in local printing.

Lawley says of Joseph Bridgen that he "was enterprising and ingenious. He did something towards improving the art, by printing in colours, and by the use of fancy types and blocks for everything which lent itself to display; and had the consequent satisfaction of seeing his business steadily grow and his influence reflected in the improved productions of his contemporaries. Some of his tradesmen’s business cards and circulars printed by him were real works of art, both with regard to design and execution." At another point Lawley remarks that "Coloured printing was almost unknown until Mr. Bridgen tried and succeeded in introducing a little display, with the use of colours and bronze".

Bridgen's imprint from Samuel Griffith's advertising leaflet, 1849.  (Lawley mistook this for a genuine report of a case).


His name can certainly be found on a wide variety of material from books to election posters and he seems to have done a good deal of commercial printing too. When his firm ceased operating or what became of it is not known.

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