J. Spicer & Sons were manufacturing and wholesale stationers and paper merchants established by James Spicer at 50 Upper Thames Street, London, in 1864.
With just eight employees the firm exploited new markets for printing and writing paper by acting as an intermediary between paper manufacturers on the one hand and retailers and consumer organisations on the other. The company developed a regional branch house system and acted quickly when new markets, such as school boards or county councils, appeared. Foreign markets, mostly in the British empire, were also actively pursued.
In 1886 the company established a factory in Southwark, south east London, and began the manufacture of envelopes. In 1910 the business was incorporated as a limited company.
Following a slump in trade after the First World War, James Spicer & Sons Ltd. merged with the paper company run by their cousins called Spicer Bros. The merged company was called Spicers Ltd. and had a paper mill in Kent and one in Cambridgeshire, two factories in Southwark and a new factory in Brimsdown, Middlesex.
In the 1940s Spicers were described as manufacturers of printing, writing and drawing papers, stationery, account books, toilet rolls and plastic tubes for electrical insulation.
In 1963 the business was acquired by Albert E. Reed & Co. which is now part of Reed Elsevier, an Anglo-Dutch multinational publishing and information company headquartered in London and Amsterdam.