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Parkins & Gotto

Parkins & Gotto

Parkins and Gotto
William Parkins and Henry Jenkin Gotto formed the company of Parkins & Gotto principally as stationers but they quickly grew to sell a large variety of goods. They offered a wide range of items from dressing cases and luggage to sporting goods and toys. The 1852 London Directory lists them at 2 Hanway St. and 25 Oxford St. Although the 1846 Directory doesn't list them, their free Almanack & Stationery catalogue of 1853 advertised that it was in its 8th year of publication dating the start of the company at to as early as 1845. In 1860 The Society of Arts awarded them a silver medal for their writing case for its utility, durability and cheapness. By this date they had expanded to add 24 Oxford Street. Five years later 26 & 27 had been added to their address.

The stock lines had also increased in 1868 they advertised their ability to supply 1000s of presents to suit every purpose, taste and pocket. 3 years later they boasted the largest stock in Europe. These ranged from writing cases and tea caddies to library tables and prayer books.

Parkins & Gotto started off as printers and retailers of paper stationery and their 1853 Almanack illustrates the wide range they offered. It was the back bone of their business and in 1889 they noted they printed 1 million visiting cards annually. They received royal approval and were Court Stationers in 1893. Aside from their premises on Oxford Street, they also produced catalogues and sold a lot by mail order, offering free delivery for orders over £ 20.

In 1892, the company was led by Henry Gaisford Gotto but only 2 years later he died and Christopher Lamb Gotto ran it. By 1899, they had given up their premises on 24, 25, 27 & 28 and had moved to 54, 56, 58, 60 & 62 Oxford St. W. They also listed a factory at 56, 57 & 58 Rathbone Place, just around the corner. The company had excelled for over 50 years offering a wide range of high quality goods at an affordable price. They didn't last long into the new century though and the 1912 Directory does not list them.

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