Thomas Forman established a printing company at 14 Long Row, Nottingham, in 1848. The firm focused on newspaper and book production. In 1861 the first issue of the Daily Guardian appeared, followed in 1878 by the Evening Post.
In 1872 Thomas’s two eldest sons, John and Arthur were made partners in the business which became styled T. Forman & Sons.
The company expanded and in 1919 printing was moved to purpose-built new premises in Hucknall Road. By this time Thomas Forman of Nottingham was a renowned name in the world of printing. Customers included the Cunard Steamship Company. Prestigious brochures were produced for the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and other ships in the Cunard fleet, together with menu cards and programmes.
Catalogues were produced for mail order companies such as Littlewoods. Formans also printed 16 sheet posters for bill boards, and labels for many major companies. Formans printed timetables for Thomas Cook on a regular basis, race cards, and part of the Electors Register for Nottingham City Council. The Horticultural Advertiser was printed by Formans for 76 years until publication ceased in 1960.
In the 1920s T. Forman & Sons was headed by James Forman and his son Dudley Perry Forman. James Forman died in 1931 but the business remained in the ownership of the family until 1960 when it was acquired by Mardon, Son & Hall, jointly owned by the Imperial Tobacco Group and the British American Tobacco Co.
During the 1960s and 70s, Formans specialised in the production of cartons for the pharmaceutical industry as well as cosmetic cartons. The company was also involved in the toy industry, producing intricate designs for companies such as Denys Fisher and Meccano.
In 1984 Formans was sold on to Robert Maxwell’s British Printing and Communications Corporation. The business was sold again in 1989 to a London group of managers, and finally closed in 2000.