Edwards of Halifax was a world-famous company of booksellers and bookbinders.
The bookbinding company was founded by William Edwards and situated in Old Market, Halifax.
The company later moved into bookselling and publishing. Their premises were said to be one of the finest bookshops in the country.
The business was continued in Halifax and in Pall Mall, London  by William's sons: James, Thomas, John, and Richard.
The company was famous for the rich and expensive bindings; some included paintings on the edges of the pages which could only be seen when the pages were fanned out – see Northowram Hall.
The firm developed many techniques, including:
The painting being on the underside of the vellum allows the covers to be cleaned when soiled.
This process was used in 1781.
The patent which James Edwards was granted for this process in 1785, refers to both the painting of the material and to the method of making the vellum transparent, but it is unclear whether the patent was granted for rendering the vellum transparent, or for the paintings themselves, or both
Examples of these can be seen at the links below.
They were at Old Market, Halifax . The company closed in 1???.
A collection of their publications was purchased by the Bodleian Library in 1966, after a subscription by the Friends of the Bodleian, in memory of L. W. Hanson, the eldest son of T. W. Hanson. The collection consists of primary material – their publications, catalogues, bindings, fore-edge paintings – and of secondary material.
Many of the family were buried at Holy Trinity Church, Harrison Road
Revised 16:07 /1st November 2020 / 5444
Page Ref: MME459
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