J. Travers & Sons

J. Travers & Sons

Joseph Travers & Sons were wholesale grocers in London.

The company has a very long history; its origins going back to 17th century about the time of the Great Fire of London in 1666, at a shop under the sign of “The Cannon by London Stone.”

In the early 18th century the company was being run by Joseph Smith and in 1728 business was being carried out at the sign of “The Sugar Loaf” in Cannon Street. The main products handled at this time were tea and sugar, later spices and dried fruit.

Joseph Smith was succeeded by his son William who was head of the firm for many years. In 1743 Benjamin Travers married William Smith’s sister and their son was Joseph Travers.

By 1779 Joseph Travers had become partner in the company which was now styled Smith, Nash, Kemble & Travers. In 1819 the company became Joseph Travers & Sons.

The company owned and published The Produces Market Review which was one of the chief organs of the fiercely free-trader British commercial community.

In 1899 J. Travers & Sons opened a branch in Singapore for the purpose of exporting spices and tinned pineapple. Other agencies were subsequently opened in Malaysia, Indonesia and later in Borneo.

By around 1930 the company had developed to become a leading international trader in spices and tropical fruits. The company was still active in 1949 but but there seems to be no record of the business beyond this year.

J. Travers & Sons were one of the first companies to begin the overprinting of 1d fiscal stamps in the 1860s, though commercial overprints bearing the company’s name are hard to find.