Charles Taylor Collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The Charles Taylor collection contains many examples of the work undertaken by the printers which highlight changes in printing techniques and fashions. Included are many colourful examples of posters for pantomimes and also posters for fairs and circuses. Many have space left blank for overprinting with show and venue details as the fairs, shows and circuses toured the UK. There are also smaller handbills and publicity matter in the collection.

Administrative / Biographical History

Taylor's of Wombwell began as a small local jobbing printer in the 1890s in the then small mining town of Wombwell in Southern Yorkshire. The founder, Albert Taylor, supplied the printing needs of this small community and surrounding area. Taylor's two eldest sons were responsible for catapulting the family business into the world of showbusiness.

Returning home from the battlefields of World War I, Taylor's two eldest sons had a lucky break when they managed, at short notice, to print the publicity for a London theatrical agent whose touring show was just about to open in Barnsley. In order to fulfil the order, the brothers had to saw up the kitchen table in the shape of a gigantic 'W' for the posters. Their effort so impressed the agent that he promised the brothers the bulk of his future business. He was true to his word and this proved to be the foundation on which the successful business was built.

By the mid-1920s they were one of the leading printers of entertainment industry advertising in the United Kingdom with music hall, fairground and circus showmen among their national client base. The firm became a limited company in the 1920's; and in the 1950s, Taylor's (Theatrical) Printers Ltd. was established to separate the commercial from the theatrical side of the business.

The beautifully-drawn chromolithographic pantomime posters in the collection provide a fascinating visual record of how travelling entertainment forms were marketed throughout the twentieth century.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is currently being listed. Please contact the NFA if you wish to see any of the items in the collection.

Acquisition Information

Donated to the NFA by Charles Taylor

Other Finding Aids

Items are currently being listed and this list will be avaliable in the NFA reading room.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Jane Donaldson

Personal Names

Corporate Names