Friday, 23 November 2007

Introducing Captain Wilfred Vincent Brooks

Vincent Brooks, Day & SonAfter Frederick's death on the Seventh of August 1921, control of Vincent Brooks, Day and Son passed on to Wilfred Vincent Brooks (centre) and Frederick Allan Brooks (right). The latter of these two has been described by his nephew as a bit of a lay about and it is perhaps for this reason that Wilfred seems to have played the major role in the continuation of the firm.

Below are two 'Who's Who' articles from trade journals that give some insight into the man.

Who’s Who
In the
Printing & Allied Trades

A prominent London Lithographer.

Captain Wilfred Vincent BrooksCaptain W. Vincent Brooks, M.C., who has consented to take the chair at the concert of the Lithographers’ Auxiliary to be held at the Cannon Street Hotel on the 17th inst., in aid of the funds of the Printers’ Pension Corporation, is the managing director of Messrs. Vincent Brooks, Day and Son, Ltd. This well-known establishment, now in its 104th year of existence- can justifiability boast of many interesting historical connections with the evolution and practice of lithographic printing. In spite of its long association with the industry, however, it retains a foremost position among firms devoted to this branch of the graphic arts. Amongst the many outstanding happenings in this firm’s long history, it may be mentioned that it was granted a Royal Warrant by Queen Victoria in 1837, whilst in 1855 the grandfather of Captain Brooks held a class for the teaching of lithography at St. James’s Palace, at which class the Princess Royal, Empress of Germany, was a pupil. This celebrated pupil sketched her own originals, which were afterwards transferred on to the lithographic stone, then printed by the firm. In 1867 Messrs. Vincent Brooks, Day and Son secured a gold medal at the Paris International Exposition for the excellence of their productions, and in 1921 and 1925 were successful in gaining awards for chromo and offset printing at the exhibitions held in London. It is also interesting to mention that Messrs. Vincent Brooks, Day and Son hold the original plates for the illustrations for the Chapman and Hall’s editions of Charles Dickens’ works, and for over forty years printed the Vanity Fair cartoons. As indicative of the progressive nature of the business, it may be stated that a factory comprising 2,000 square feet has recently been acquired in Parker Street. Captain Brooks has much meritorious war service to his credit. Though he received eight wounds during his period overseas, he, fortunately, to-day feels no ill effects of the strenuous years of war. He joined up as a private in 1914 in the Seventh City of London Regiment, and when to France in 1915 as a Lieutenant. He was taken prisoner in May 1916, at Vimy Ridge, and afterwards spent two years as a prisoner of war in Germany, being eventually exchanged in Holland in 1918. Captain Brooks is a valuable member of the Colour Lithography Committee of the London Master Printers’ Association and is also a member of the London Central Districts Master Printers’ Association. Though he has no outstanding hobbies, except it be[sic] his absorbing interest in his own particular craft, he is a believer in open air exercises, and finds time occasionally to indulge in a game of tennis. He is looking forward with pleasure and anticipation to the laudable task he is setting himself in raising funds for the Lithographers’ Auxiliary, and hopes that the occasion may prove in every way successful.
British & Colonial Printer & Stationer
British & Colonial Printer & Stationer
Volume 100, Number 2. January 13th 1927
Page 22.

Printer’s Who’s Who
W. Vincent Brooks
Managing Direct, Vincent Brooks, Day & Son, Ltd.

Captain Vincent Brooks is best known in the printing industry for his activities in the allied spheres of lithography, art and education. Head of a firm of lithographers which specialises on poster work, he is closely connected, as a Chairman of the Education Committee and member of the Advisory Sub-committee, with the London County Council School of Photo-Engraving and Lithography in Bolt Street, Fleet Street, and has been an inspector of the London printing Captain Wilfred Vincent Brooksschools for the Board of Education. He represents the London Master printers’ Association on the Federation Lithographic Committee, and the Federation itself on the Industrial Art Committee of the Federation of British Industries. He as acted also as Arbitrator and has frequently given expert evidence in legal cases in which lithographic questions have been involved. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the London Master Printers’ Association.
Educated at Merchant Taylors’ School, he joined the 7th London Regiment in 1914, went to France the following year, was taken prisoner in May 1916, and retired at the end of the war with the rank of Captain and the Military Cross. His clubs are the Eccentric and the Royal Automobile.
World's Press News and advertising facts
World Press News
Vol. 4, No. 81. September 18th, 1930
Page 47.

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