The Ironmonger & Metal Trades Advertiser
The Ironmonger & Metal Trades Advertiser was the first trade newspaper. It was first published as Morgan’s Monthly Circular & Metal Trades Advertiser on May 31, 1859 and soon changed its name to The Ironmonger & Metal Trades Advertiser.
It began as a monthly journal and by 1878 it was switched to being published weekly, every Saturday. They also published the yearly volumes capturing the 52 weekly issues in 2-4 large volumes per year. I recently acquired a set of these yearly volumes that cover the years of 1879 – 1903.
There is a wealth of information in these related to the hardware and metal trade across the United Kingdom. They had weekly stock performance, tabulated results on UK exports to the US, foreign news and intelligence, reviews of agricultural shows and other exhibitions, articles about guns and ammunition, listing of patents and trademarks applied for, information on liquidations and bankruptcies and advertisements; many many advertisements.
I like to have original documentation related to items in my collection and one notable piece of information contained in here is the earliest mentions of John Hall’s Clock Guns he debuted at The Royal Agricultural Society of England’s show in both 1892 and 1902. The Ironmonger gave a short review on both.
This set of trade journals was originally owned by The United States Patent Office in their Scientific Library. Their stamps are found periodically throughout the issues and most have the above label at the front of the book as well.
As any reader of my blog knows, I have a significant interest in early guns and ammunition. Though it’s not the primary focus, these journals contain many ads and information about some of these early British manufactures of guns and ammunition. I’ll be posting what I find in future posts.
Very little research has been done on these journals as there are very few copies remaining in research libraries. It seems that no one has digitized them either so it is hard to find information without just reading straight through all of them. But there is a wealth of information available in them on this this important time period in Britain’s history.
The 75 volumes in my library take up a lot of space and it will definitely be fun digging into all of this history!
Feel free to contact me for any research requests you may have in any of these issues. I have the following volumes:
Aaron, very nice article, and I wish I had those in my ‘library’!
[BadgerJack on IAA]