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Philip, Son & Nephew

Institution: Philip, Son & Nephew
Born in 1800 in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, George Philip founded a business as bookseller and stationer in London in 1834. Within a short time he moved into production, predominantly publishing commercial maps, atlases and educational books. He commissioned copper plate maps from well known cartographers from which he printed numerous copies for sale which he had hand coloured by women tinters. He also produced important scientific maps of North America, the Arctic, the Pacific Northwest and the West Indies.

In 1848 his son George (b. 1823) became a partner in the business. It is thought George Snr also took over the care of his nephew, Thomas Dash Philip (b. 1829), in 1837 after the death of his brother and Thomas' father, John.

In 1851 they opened a house in Fleet Street for the promotion of geographical and educational publications. Thomas also joined the family firm and in 1854 assumed control of the book-selling and school supply departments. In 1859 the company was renamed Philip, Son and Nephew.

The company continued to expand throughout the 1860s and 1870s as the demand for atlases, general school books and supplies was increasing not only in England but internationally as well, beginning with an atlas for Australian schools in 1865.

In 1879 George (Snr) retired from the business and died three years later. The company continued, under the direction of his son, to publish educational texts. They were listed exhibitors in 1929 and 1947 at the British Industries Fair and were continuing to sell cartographic and educational texts.

In April 1988 the firm was sold to Octopus Publishing Co, part of the Reed International Group of Companies, London, and continued to trade as George Philip Ltd.