Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,143 pages of information and 233,681 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

H. P. Gibson and Sons

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November 1952.

of West India House, 96/98 Leadenhall Street, London, EC. (1922)

of 101 Aldersgate Street, London, EC1. Telephone: Clerkenwell 5652. (1929)

of 22 Barrett Street, London, W1. Telephone: Mayfair 6886. Cables: "Gibsons Mayfair 6886". (1947)

1903 Harry Percy Gibson obtained an unsecured loan of £500, from the Royal Bank of Scotland in Bishopsgate, London, to enable him to start a business which, at that time, was called The International Card Co.

Trading from offices in Aldersgate Street, he supplied retailers with a range of products including card games and postcards. In those days most towns would had Stationers in the High Street and they became Gibson's first customers.

1919 The International Card business was sold to the Thomas De La Rue and Co company and H. P. Gibson and Sons Limited was formed. The International Series brand, continued to be used on some products, right up to the early 1980s.

1922 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Pictoria Card Games and Guides, Pocket Chess, Playing Card Cabinets and Accessories, Puzzles, Indoor Games, Bridge Scorers, Fortune Telling Booklets and Cards. (Stand No. F.29) [1]

1929 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of the "International Series" of Indoor Games. Puzzles, Dover Patrol and L'Attaque Games, Travelling Chess, Chess and Draught Boards, Loto, Tiddly Winks, Ludo, Halma, Snakes and Ladders, Auction Bridge and Patience Sets, Table Tennis (Stand No. B.53) [2]

1940 The company's premises, complete with all its manufacturing equipment was destroyed during the blitz. When the war was over, the firm had to start from virtually nothing.

H. P. Gibson and Sons made its name with the HPG brand of indoor games with old favourites such as L'Attaque and Dover Patrol which became very big sellers before and after the second world war.

Robert and Harry Gibson (jr.), sons of the founder, re-established trading from Barrett Street in London's West End. The company continued to sell its own family games and pastimes, alongside ranges from other established names, including Waddingtons and Chad Valley Co.

1947 British Industries Fair Advert for "HPG" - an entirely new series of Electrical Games and all their well tried favourites:- Dover Patrol; Solitaire; Tri-Tactics; L'Attaque; Aviation; Duck Shooting; Backgammon; Blow Football; Snap; Happy Families; Beetle Drive; Draughts; Pocket Chess, etc., etc. (Toys and Games Section - Olympia, 2nd Floor, Stand No. J.2275) [3]

1980s Late in the decade Gibsons (now known as Gibsons Games) started producing Jigsaw puzzles. They originally had only six pictures in their range, which has now grown to over 100 titles, of between 108 and 1500 pieces. They specialise in traditional scenes including paintings by many British artists. Gibsons use the deluxe materials for their puzzles and travel thousands of miles in search of the best pictures. Regular puzzlers will be familiar with their distinctive metallic blue boxes.

Gibsons, now run by the founder's grandson Michael, from Greenlea Park, Prince Georges Road, London, SW19, is the oldest British owned company in the industry.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] Gibsons Games Website