George Palmer (businessman)
|Born||18 January 1818|
|Died||19 August 1897(aged 79)|
|Occupation||MP; biscuit manufacturer|
Palmer was born in Long Sutton in Somerset, the son of William Palmer and his wife, Mary, the daughter of William Isaac of Sturminster Newton in Dorset. His daughter Emily married the evolutionary biologist Edward Bagnall Poulton.
Palmer first became a partner in the firm 1841, when Joseph Huntley, the founder of the business, was forced to retire through ill-health and it became apparent that Thomas Huntley, his son, did not have his father's good sense of business.
Whilst it was Joseph Huntley's innovation in the introduction of the biscuit tin and in the sale of biscuits to stage coach travellers that created the business, George Palmer is generally credited with making it a major Victorian success through industrial manufacturing techniques, and by using the railways for distribution.
In addition to his business career, George Palmer served as mayor of Reading and represented the town in parliament. He served as Liberal Member of Parliament for the Parliamentary Borough of Reading from 1878 until 1885. His country estate was Marlston House in Bucklebury.
The statue of George Palmer which now stands in Palmer Park was by sculptor George Blackall Simonds and originally sited in Broad Street. It was unveiled in 1891, the same day that Palmer Park opened. However this was moved in 1930 to its current location as it caused traffic congestion.
- Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Courtney, William Prideaux (1901). "Palmer, George (1818-1897)". In Sidney Lee. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by George Palmer
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Sir Francis Goldsmid
|Member of Parliament for Reading
1878 – 1885
With: George Shaw-Lefevre
Charles Townshend Murdoch
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