Harrison and Sons

Harrison and Sons
Private Limited Company
Industry Security printing
Fate Acquired (1997)
Successor De La Rue
Founded 1750 (1750)
Defunct 1997
Headquarters UK, High Wycombe
Products Postage stamps, banknotes, passports and gift vouchers.

Harrison and Sons Limited was a major worldwide engraver and printer of postage stamps and banknotes.

The company was established in 1750 by Thomas Harrison; in 1839 Thomas Richard Harrison entered into partnership with John William Parker, creating Harrison and Co. It went through similar names and retained a link with the Harrison family until 1979 when Richard Harrison left the company.[1]

It obtained its first Post Office contract in 1881.[2] The company won the contract to print the single colour United Kingdom Edward VII stamps in 1911 after the Post Office decided not to renew its contract with De La Rue. Initially, using printing machines manufactured by Timsons of Kettering it went on to produce most of the British stamps over the 60-year period from the 1930s until the 1990s, including the first UK stamp using the photogravure method in 1934 and the first photogravure commemoratives in 1935 for the Silver Jubilee of King George V. The first UK Christmas issue in 1966, on the specially designed Jumelle press, was also printed at Harrison and Sons. They printed their last British commemorative issue, referred to as ‘Queen’s Beasts’ issue, in 1998. The stamps actually being printed one year before they were issued to the public.[3]

The company (abbreviation H&S) also printed stamps, banknotes, passports and gift vouchers for over 100 other countries from 1881 until 1997 when it was acquired by De La Rue security printers.[3] Some of its most famous publications were The London Gazette and Burke's Peerage.[1]

In addition to union related issues at Harrisons, rumours suggested that the sale was also prompted by the steady inroads being made by Harrisons into De La Rue's banknote business.[3]

Company names


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Harrison and Sons Limited, printers". National Archives. Retrieved 2015-03-04.
  2. Sanders, Malcolm. "Glossary H-M". King George VI - Great Britain. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 Glenn H Morgan, STAMPPRINTERS.info -- Sept.15, 2010
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