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James Ince and Sons, umbrella manufacturers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0372 INCE
Held at: Bishopsgate Institute
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Full title: James Ince and Sons, umbrella manufacturers
Date(s): 1780-2005
Level of description: Fonds
Extent: 16 boxes; 1 large box; 8 framed items
Name of creator(s): James Ince and Sons, umbrella manufacturers


Administrative/Biographical history:

James Ince and Sons, umbrella manufacturers, were founded in 1805 and remains a family business; originally, in the 1820s, main products included parasols for ladies, very often exclusive 'one-offs'; in the 1860s the firm quickly expanded into wholesaling and exports and, by the early 1900s, the company had started producing garden furniture, although in a limited way. Trade now lies in producing promotional umbrellas, golfing umbrellas and garden sun shades and furnishings. James Ince and Sons also produces umbrellas, both historic and modern, for film, television and theatre productions. The company was situated at 298-300 Bishopsgate for a number of years and also used business properties in The Oval and Norton Folgate. James Ince and Sons now resides in Hackney.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of James Ince and Sons, umbrella makers (1871-2005), including: accounts and account books, 1925-1998; miscellaneous account books, including wages books, stocktaking, petty cash, share certificate, insurance and sales/purchase books, 1931-1997; order books, 1972-1990; miscellaneous photographs of James Ince umbrellas, displays at trade fairs, properties and Geoffrey Ince and Wilfred Sears Ince at professional engagements, c1950-1995; promotional material, price lists, catalogues, brochures and umbrella material samples for James Ince and Sons products and other manufacturers, 1900-1995; scrapbooks compiled by Geoffrey Ince concerning his chairmanship of the Bishopsgate Ward Club, the Ward Club's centenary, business history and self employment/tax issues, 1984-1993; Geoffrey Ince's engagement diaries, 1987-1994; papers and correspondence regarding business properties at 298/300 Bishopsgate, 9/10 The Oval and 37 Spital Square, 1946-1986; business leases, wills and property deeds, 1871-1972; private account book of James Ince, Brighton, 1883-1900; copper printing blocks and copper logo plates, n.d.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The James Ince and Sons Archive is divided into the following five sections:

INCE/1: Financial Records

INCE/2: Property Records

INCE/3: Marketing Records

INCE/4: Personal Records

INCE/5: Correspondence

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Documents cannot be photocopied at present. Digital photography (without flash) is permitted for research purposes on completion of the Library's Copyright Declaration form and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Finding aids:

Adlib catalogue

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited with the Bishopsgate Institute by Richard Ince, 5 and 21 February 2007.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Entry compiled by Stefan Dickers

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
1 March 2007

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