Period: Late Nineteenth Century
Height: 10 inches
Width: 12 inches
The show card, in attractively simple bold font, within a ruled border is an extract from 'Fun' magazine July 1st 1885. Fun was a Victorian weekly magazine, first published on 21 September 1861 and was founded by the actor and playwright H. J. Byron in competition with Punch magazine. It cost a penny and ceased publication in 1901. The magazines close connection with popular theatre meant that this extract was written in a more dramatic and poetic way than it perhaps would’ve been otherwise.
Frank Sidebotham Rippingille and Henry Viliers Rippingille had gone into business to make oil stoves and between 1893 and 1896 had patented various original designs of lamps and stoves that were to form the core of their new business. They worked in Birmingham as sheet metal workers, pressmakers, machinists and iron founders to make their range of different stoves. However, competition from other firms led to falling sales, and even the mortgage of the factory did little to prevent the appointment of a receiver. During December 1903 the Stove Works, plant, gas engines and stock in trade was offered as a going concern. With no buyer coming forward the works were advertised for sale during March 1904.
During trade Rippingille's were always direct with the way they chose to advertise and they continued to associate their product with the global appeal of the Empire and its peoples. It's feeding off of the idea that Britain was the workshop of the world, and that the industrial power that Britain could bring to bear was to the benefit of all those who came into contact with it. This card boldly and chirpily states amongst other things that “You will do well to haste and try them, you can’t do better ‘cept to buy them”. There is a nice touch to the center bottom with a pencil hand written ‘for sale here’, obviously the fair hand of the shopkeeper whose sign this was.
The years have taken some toll on the overall condition with a peel to one corner and fraying around the edges, but all is consummate with age with a card that has been in use for exactly one hundred and twenty five years.