Vincent Brooks, Day & Son
|Founded||1867London, United Kingdom,|
Vincent Brooks, Day & Son was a major British lithographic firm most widely known for reproducing the weekly caricatures published in Vanity Fair magazine. The company was formed in 1867 when Vincent Brooks bought the name, good will and some of the property of Day & Son Ltd, which had gone into liquidation that year. The firm reproduced artwork and illustrations and went on to print many of the iconic London Underground posters of the twenties and thirties before being wound up in 1940.
Company literature holds 1848 as the year that Vincent Robert Alfred Brooks (1815–1885) first set up in business. His father was the radical printer and stationer John Brooks of 421 Oxford Street. John Brooks has been described as the publisher of the Owenites because of his association with the early socialist Robert Owen. He was a member of the second council of the National Political Union and is probably most noted for his edition of the radicals and reformers favourite, Shelley’s Queen Mab.
After leaving school, Vincent Brooks spent time on John Minter Morgan's farm estate near Uxbridge before returning to London to join his father in business. Around 1840 John Brooks relocated to the Channel Island of Jersey where he continued to trade as a wholesale stationer and paper merchant. Vincent was left with the business in London. At some time during this period he was also associated with Charles Robertson, an artists’ colourman based in Long Acre.
It is not certain at what point Vincent Brooks first practised lithography. A number of his early pieces were shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851. The following year the business moved from Oxford Street to 40 King Street, Covent Garden.
Vincent conducted lithographic classes at Marlborough House during 1855 in what was destined to become the Royal College of Art. He was entrusted with the Princess Royal’s Dying Soldier on the Battlefield, which was reproduced and sold in aid of the Patriotic fund. The following year the Arundel Society commissioned a series of lithographs to be issued yearly to their subscribers. An effort described as ‘…the most important non-commercial application of chromolithography’ in the country at the time. However, the Arundel Society complained, maybe unjustly, about the quality or the lack of expertise in depicting religious subjects. The prints were also hampered by delays and by 1860 production had been switched to a German firm.
The Leighton Brothers, who would go on to produce the pictures featured in the Illustrated London News, left their Red Lion Square premises in 1857. Vincent Brooks is reported to have taken over the remaining plant.
Staying in the Covent Garden area of London, two years later, during 1859, Vincent Brooks moved to larger premises in Chandos Street. The street is now renamed Chandos Place. Work from this era is marked either as Vincent Brooks Lith. or Vincent Brooks imp.
London's International Exhibition of 1862 saw Vincent Brooks awarded a gold medal for his Lithograph of Mulready’s ‘Choosing the Wedding Gown’. The same year Vincent Brooks produced one of his finest works in the form of a chromo-lithograph of the Lumley Portrait of William Shakespeare. It is even reported that the reproduction was so complete that one was sold for forty guineas to a purchaser who thought he was buying the original portrait.
During the 1860s, Vincent Brooks acquired plant and premises of Messrs J.S.Hodgson & Son of High Street Lambeth and he embarked in letterpress and colour block printing. The firm also fought off competition from Day & Son and Messrs Hanhart Bros in reproducing one of John Leech’s cartoons of Jorrocks in a competition organised by Punch Magazine. The company’s winning entry was reproduced by one of their leading chromo-lithographic artists, William B. Bunney, and the firm’s success led to many years of work from Punch.
In 1865 Vincent Brooks became involved with the ‘inventor’ of colour printing George Baxter. He purchased many of Baxter’s plates and printed them using Baxter’s presses which he had lent him on the understanding that George Baxter Jr. took up the management of them and that George Baxter himself supervised the work. It was a complex process that required up to 20 blocks per image. The process failed to pay its way and Brooks sold the plant four years later to Abraham Le Blond.
1866 saw Vincent Brooks joined in business by his second eldest son Frederick Vincent Brooks who was to eventually take over after his father’s death. Vincent’s eldest son Alfred William Brooks had preceded his younger brother into the firm but ‘never had very robust health’ and by 1901 had left the business. Later that year the firm purchased William Willis’ remarkable Aniline process of direct photography, which reproduced engineering ‘blue prints’ keeping the original positive image.
Vincent Brooks had started negotiating to take over the business of Day & Son Ltd during 1866. Financially assisted by the Mr. Henry Graves, the Printseller of Pall Mall, Vincent Brooks bought their property, name, and goodwill in an agreement dated 25 March 1867. The firm now became known as Vincent Brooks, Day & Son.
Day & Son
The firm of William Day, later Day & Son, has been described as one of the largest and most prominent lithographic firms of the second third of the nineteenth century. Company documents record William Day’s business starting in 1823 although the first known lithograph was produced the following year. By 1829 the firm had moved from 59 Great Queen Street to 17 Gate Street.
From the early thirties the company was often referred to as Day & Haghe. This was due to the popularity of the work of Louis Haghe a Belgian draughtsman and water colourist who worked for the company until 1852 when he left to focus on painting.
The firm was granted the status of ‘Lithographers to Queen Victoria and to the Queen Dowager, Queen Adelaide’ in 1837 although they were not the only lithographers to be awarded the Royal Warrant. William Day Senior died in 1845 leaving the business in the hands of his son William Day Junior. The company now became known as Day & Son.
The 1850s started with a prize medal at the Great Exhibition for their display of lithography. In the mid fifties the premises in Gate Street were enlarged and the Prince of Wales and Prince Alfred visited (probably the completed works) in 1856.
In 1851, Day & Son was commissioned by Matthew Digby Wyatt, known for his work as an architect, to produce the book The Industrial Arts of the Nineteenth Century, an imposing imperial folio in two volumes which illustrates a selection of items from the Great Exhibition of 1851. There are 160 chromolithographed plates. Wyatt himself stated that he had used 'the best means of graphic representation available'. Wyatt proudly drew attention to the previously unsurpassed scale and speed of production of the book. But what brought the entire project into being was the desire of Day & Son to demonstrate the potential of chromolithography. The firm was particularly associated with the process. However, as Wyatt himself explained, the proposal was not even formalized until after the Great Exhibition had opened. Such a grandiose production must have called into play a significant proportion of Day's resources, including skilled craftsmen and lithographers such as Francis Bedford, J.A. Vinter and Henry Rafter, as well as significant capital, and management. According to Wyatt, four or five of Day's staff were constantly engaged upon the business details of the operation alone.
In 1861 the firm printed a large run of bank notes for Lajos Kossuth, the famous Hungarian patriot and democratic. Kossuth was in exile from his homeland and this attempt at re-establishing a separate Hungarian currency lead to both him and Day & Son to be charged in the courts with having ‘levied war upon the Emperor of Austria’. The affair ended with Day & Son delivering the notes to the Bank of England where they were duly burnt.
The firm now started to experience financial difficulties. Many stock auctions were held, the first, of engravings, taking place in 1865. That year Day & Son became a Limited Company. This not only meant that capital could be raised by the sale of shares but also that, in some cases, employees could be paid partly in shares in lieu of real wages. Another auction, this time of illustrated books, was held in 1866. Hodgson & Co. would continue to sell off Day & Son assets up until 1873.
Despite their other business worries by 1866 Day & Son Ltd, as well as Gate Street, had premises at 43 Piccadilly and at The German Gallery, New Bond Street. These were show rooms and exhibition spaces for the company’s work. They also took on the well-known photographer Vernon Heath to manage the photographic department.
Since becoming a limited company, directorship was conditional on holding at least five hundred shares. Just two years after incorporation it was pointed out to William Day Junior that he no longer fulfilled this criterion. He refused to leave the board and after the resulting row he left the company and for a short time started business in Cockspur Street.
The firm now faced liquidation and was taken over by Vincent Brooks.
Vincent Brooks, Day & Son
Vincent Brooks now consolidated the new combined business in Day & Son’s Gate Street premises. A later obituary published in a trade journal praises Vincent Brooks’s handling of the situation stating that ‘the way in which he combined together the two businesses testified to his energy and experience, and the way in which they formed a harmonious whole, were a record of his remarkable tact and kindness.’
A year after the merger, 1868, Gibson Bowles began planning his new Vanity Fair magazine. His new brand of society weekly was to carry satirical caricatures of the men of the day lithographed by Vincent Brooks. At a time when Punch magazine was still primarily using wood blocks this ‘process of chromolithography and wedding it to a new kind of visual humour helped to bring about a revolution in taste, preparing the way for the acceptance of less strictly representational art forms and breaching the fortifications of academic realism.’ The first issue to carry a cartoon came out in January 1869 featuring a portrait of Benjamin Disraeli. Later the magazine would claim that,
|“||Vincent Brooks...was a pioneering lithographer on whose expertise Bowles built Vanity Fair.||”|
Back in Chandos Street the firm had received a Command from the Queen to execute lithographs of Kenneth MacLeay’s watercoloured Highlanders of Scotland. These featured the principle clans and the retainers of the Royal Household at Balmoral and are known as the artist’s best works. By 1870 the originals had appeared at an exhibition at Mitchell’s Royal Library in Old Bond Street with the lithographs being sold in two volumes later that year.
Frederick and his older brother Alfred appeared in the bankruptcy courts in 1898 and on 14 May that year the company was incorporated as Vincent Brooks, Day & Son Ltd. During this time the firm's premises in Gate Street were badly damaged by fire. It started around ten o'clock in the evening of Sunday 10 April and quickly spread through the buildings. It is reported that 'the whole of the main building, containing about 40 printing machines and a great quantity of type, had been entirely destroyed'. As a result the run of Vanity Fair prints temporarily switched to colour offsets produced by P.W. Van De Weyer over in Holland and the firm moved to a new home in Parker Street just a couple of minutes walk west of Gate Street.
From January 1906 Vanity Fair used a number of other (probably cheaper) firms to produce their caricatures. This decision was reversed in 1911 with the arrival of editor Thomas Allinson who, struggling with the now failing magazine, wished to revert to the process whereby 'the most satisfactory results' had been obtained. Vanity Fair magazine finally ceased publication in 1914. It's forty-five year run of caricatures ended as Allinson absorbed it into his Hearth and Home magazine.
Frederick died on 7 August 1921 and the business passed to two of his sons, Wilfred Vincent Brooks and Frederick Allan Brooks. Two years later the firm celebrated their centenary. Wilfred remarked that ‘although there were older firms in existence that were now practising lithography, no other house had been established as lithographic printers for so long a period as theirs.’ During the evening’s celebration it was also announced that a former apprentice Thomas Edgar Griffits had been co-opted onto the firm’s board of directors.
During the twenties and thirties the art of the poster reached its pinnacle. Under the guidance of Frank Pick, the London Underground embraced the likes of John Hassall and Edward McKnight Kauffer. Artists were directly commissioned and it was believed that the influence of good design could extend to enrich every aspect of life. This was a common theme during the thirties. Wilfred Vincent Brooks served as chairman of the Commercial Printing Section of the Royal Academy of Art's exhibition ‘British Art in Industry’ held during 1935. He expressed his own sentiments in a speech soon after,
|“||The day, I hope, will come when quality and quantity will come together in happy alliance and the most ordinary commodities will benefit in form as well as in substance. Ugliness is at all times and in all places to be vigorously rejected; it is a coarsening and debasing influence, a clear sign of deterioration in a nations life. Since the products of industry are so widespread amongst the people, there influence for a good or evil condition of taste is immense. Hence the conquest of ugliness is of even greater moment in industry than elsewhere.||”|
During this period Wilfred was ‘a valuable member of the Colour Lithography Committee of the London Master Printers’ Association and was also a member of the London Central Districts Master Printers’ Association.’ He was 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 was an inspector of the London printing schools for the Board of Education.
It was later reported that business had been continuing with ‘fluctuating results up until 1919 and then had had a general upward trend in turnover. Dividends at the rate of 10% per annum were paid for each of the eight years to 1927. Dividends for the four following years were lower and no dividends were paid after 1931. From 1932 to 1940 profits were earned in only two years namely, 1937 and 1938. In an effort to raise funds the lease on the premises was sold in 1939 but this did little to bring in new business which had been affected by the start of World War Two. Finally a creditor petitioned the Companies Court and a Winding-up Order was made on 5 February 1940.
The official Receiver concluded his report stating that ‘the Receiver for the debenture holder is continuing the business in the hopes of disposing of it as a going concern, but he states that having regard to the specialised and somewhat ancient type of plant he doubts whether the assets will realise sufficient to discharge the debenture liability, particularly bearing in mind the somewhat heavy claims of the preferential creditors.’ Nevertheless, Sanders Phillips and Co. Ltd took over the company in the same year. Nine months later the Parker Street premises were destroyed by fire during an air raid, but the company, operating from London offices in Norfolk Street, Strand, son established Government contracts for reproducing maps for Bomber Command, plans for M.I.8, and, after ‘D’ Day, ‘communication maps’ which were collected by the R.A.F. and flown direct to France. When these contracts ran out at the end of the war, it was decided to specialise in the reproduction of town and country planning maps. Typical of this work was a new series of land utilisation maps for King’s College Geographic Department, which were produced in 11 colours. Later examples include motorways and transport maps for the Greater London Council.
Sanders Phillips and Co became a part of the International Publishing Corporation (IPC) in 1963 operating as a subsidiary of the parent company. The IPC were in turn acquired by the Reed Group in 1969 who created Reed International plc to control it’s UK subsidiaries.
In 1976 Reed International sold off Vincent Brooks, Day & Son to the firms chief draughtsman Sidney Reed. Up until his retirement in the 1990s Sidney Reed continued to run the company on a small-scale basis using outside printers, notably Round Square Ltd, to produced the work he had created. Round Square Ltd took ownership of Vincent Brooks, Day & Son after Sidney Reed’s retirement but went into liquidation themselves some time prior to 1999.
Ten years after this Sidney Reed’s son Barry revived the company name and, although not currently trading, is keeping alive the name of the company that his father dedicated virtually his whole working life to.
- Document from the company’s 1923 Centenary Celebration. Brooks Family Collection.
- Brooks, Frederick Vincent, undated, My Life’s Medley – an autobiography. Chapter 1, unpublished.
- Medwin, Thomas, 1847, The Life of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Vol. 1, p.102, Thomas Cautley Newby, London.
- National Political Union, 1833, Proceedings at the Second Annual Meeting of the National Political Union, held at The Crown and Anchor Tavern, Strand, on Monday, 4 February 1833. At the Office of the National Political Union; Westminster Review-office; and Effingham Wilson, (Packer, Printer, Albion Place, Walworth Road), London.
- Reiman , Donald H. & Fraistat , Neil, 2004, The Complete poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Vol. 2, 2nd edition, Johns Hopkins University Press, Maryland.
- British & Colonial Printer & Stationer and Booksellers’ Circular. Vol. XV, No. 17. Thursday, 22 October 1885.
- Refer to ‘The Brooks’ Journey to Jersey’, http://vincentbrooksnotes.blogspot.com/2009/07/notes-made-from-elizabeth-brooks-diary.html
- The 1841 Census shows Vincent Brooks living at 421 Oxford Street while John Brooks and family are now in Jersey. Census Returns of England and Wales & Channel Islands Census, 1841. Kew, Surrey, England. The National Archives of the UK: Public Record Office.
- Denvir, B., "The Loaded Image," Art & Artists (Sept. 1976), pp. 36–37.
- Art Journal, 1874, pp. 39–40.
- The Times, 11 August 1921, Obituary of Frederick Vincent Brooks, London.
- Ingleby, C.M., 1883, Shakespeare’s Bones.
- Lewis, C. T. C., 1908, George Baxter (colour printer) his Life and Work: A Manual For Collectors, Sampson Low, Marston, London.
- Lewis, C.T.C., 1920, The Le Blond Book, p.108, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, London and Edinburgh.
- The Baxter Society, 1921, Quarterly Journal, Vol. 1, Hall & English, Birmingham.
- The 1901 Census records Alfred’s occupation as ‘retired Lithographer’. Census Returns of England and Wales & Channel Islands Census, 1901. Kew, Surrey, England. The National Archives of the UK: Public Record Office.
- Further reading on Willis and this process can be found at: http://www.platinummetalsreview.com/pdf/pmr-v28-i4-178-188.pdf p.183
- British & Colonial Printer & Stationer, 13 January 1927, Volume 100, Number 2., Page 22. Who’s Who: WV Brooks.
- Lewis, C.T.C., 1924, George Baxter, The Picture Printer, P.195. Sampson Low, Marston & Co.
- The Baxter Society, 1923, Quarterly Journal, Vol. 3.
- Tidman, Kathy Kajander, 1997, Art for the Victorian Household, p.13, Online Originals, London & Bordeaux.
- Twyman, Michael, 1976, A Directory of London Lithographic Printer, 1800–1850. As cited by K.K. Tidman, Op. cit.
- Cited by: http://www.davidrobertslithographs.com/whoislh.html, Who was Louis Haghe?
- "Spotlight on Vincent Brooks, Day and Son", ‘INTO PRINT’ (house journal of Sanders Philips Corporation), n.d. pp. 2–3. As cited by K.K. Tidman, Op. cit.
- Day, William Jr., 1891, Notes and Queries, p.452
- Korey, M.E. & McLean, Ruari, 1995. Elegant Editions: Aspects of Victorian Book Design and Colour Printing, University of Toronto, Massey College, Canada.
- Illustrated London News, vol. xxviii, 1856, p.488. This wood-engraving has been reproduced in M. Twyman’s "The Tinted Lithograph" ‘Journal of the Printing Historical Society’, 1965, vol. 1, p.55. That the premises were enlarged around this time is indicated in the ‘Abridged Prospectus’ quoted below on p.280. As cited by K.K. Tidman Op. cit.
- Leathlean, Howard. The Archaeology of the Art Director? Some Examples of Art Direction in Mid-Nineteenth-Century British Publishing. Journal of Design History, Vol. 6, No. 4 (1993), pp. 229-245. Oxford University Press on behalf of Design History Society.
- M. Digby Wyatt, Industrial Arts of the Nineteenth Century, 2 vols., Day & Son, 1851-3, vol. 1, p. v.
- Colebrook, F., "A Fine Old Lithographer", ‘Modern Lithographer’, 1906, p.537. As cited by K.K. Tidman Op. cit.
- Hodgson, 1865, A catalogue of the first portion of the valuable stock of choice line engravings, important chromo lithographs, and other productions, of the eminent firm of Day & Son. Lithographers to The Queen: Which will be sold by auction, by Mr. Hodgson, at his new auction rooms, No. 115, Chancery Lane, London.
- Baxter Society, 1923, Quarterly Journal, Vol.3
- Eyre-Todd, ‘William Simpson’, p.176. As cited by K.K Tidman Op. cit.
- The Bookseller, 28 Feb 1866, p. 185. "Mr. G Hodgson will sell by Auction, at his rooms, 115, Chancery Lane, W.C., on TUESDAY, 13 and 3 March following days, at 1 o’clock, the whole of the following highly important books, being that portion of the Productions of the eminent firm of Day & Son, Lithographers to the Queen, not purchased by the Company "Day & Son (Limited),"
- Hodgson, 1873, A catalogue of fine illustrated books chiefly the productions of "Day & Son, Limited": Which will be sold by auction, by Messrs. Hodgson, at their auction rooms, No. 115, Chancery Lane, W.C. (Fleet Street End,) on Tuesday, 18 November 1873.
- The Bookseller, 31 Oct 1851, p.704. Advert gives company addresses as 6 Gate Street and the ‘German Gallery, 168, New Bond Street, W."
- ‘Art Journal’, 1866, p.62. As cited by K.K. Tidman, Op. cit.
- Eyre-Todd, ‘William Simpson’, pp.175–76. As cited by K.K. Tidman, Op. cit.
- Vanity Fair, 18 September 1912, p.364, from the text accompanying Frederick Vincent Brooks's cartoon.
- Appelbaum, Stanley & Kelly, Richard, 1981, Great Drawings and Illustrations from Punch 1841–1901, pp.x-xi. Dover Publications, New York.
- Weil, Thomas E., 2005, Beauty and the Boats: Art and Artistry in Early British Rowing, Illustrated from the Thomas E. Weil Collection, pp.46–47, River and Rowing Museum, Henley-on-Thames, England.
- National Portrait Gallery, Disraeli and Gladstone in Vanity Fair, Past Exhibition Archive, Victorian Galleries 8 July – 12 December 2004. "The leading society magazine Vanity Fair was founded in 1868 and introduced a distinctive type of satirical portraiture new to British journalism. Appearing every week for over half a century, these caricatures were reproduced by the revolutionary new process of chromolithography and included many of the best-known personalities of the late Victorian and Edwardian periods. This display brings together the original drawings for the first two caricatures to be published in the magazine. The first of these, Carlo Pellegrini's Benjamin Disraeli shown on the left, appeared in the issue of 30 January 1869. This landmark work in the history of nineteenth-century graphic satire was recently acquired by the Gallery. The second caricature to be published – also by Pellegrini – was of Disraeli's great political adversary, W. E. Gladstone. The original drawing for this has been part of the Gallery's collection of Vanity Fair watercolours since 1923 and is shown alongside. Born in Capua in 1839, Carlo Pellegrini moved to London in November 1864 where he became the protégé of the Prince of Wales and his set. Joining the magazine as an amateur without any professional experience, Pellegrini's caricatures were none the less brilliantly successful. Both these drawings are signed 'Singe', subsequently to be anglicised to 'Ape’."
- National Galleries of Scotland, on-line artist biographies, Kenneth MacLeay (Scottish, 1802–1878). http://www.nationalgalleries.org/collection/online_az/4:322/?initial=M&artistId=5779&artistName=Kenneth%20MacLeay&submit=1
- Brown University Library, Focus on the Collections, Number 9; Queen Victoria’s Christmas Gift to John Brown, 1870. On-line: http://www.brown.edu/Facilities/University_Library/libs/hay/focus/victoria/
- The 1871 Census records Alfred’s occupation as ‘retired Lithographer’. Census Returns of England and Wales & Channel Islands Census, 1871. Kew, Surrey, England. The National Archives of the UK: Public Record Office. Vincent Brooks is listed as ‘Lithographer (employing 148 men and 40 boys)’.
- Charles Thomas Courtney Lewis, 1928, The Story of Picture Printing in England During the Nineteenth Century, p.87.
- Boase, Frederic, 1965, Modern English Biography: Containing Many Thousand Concise Memoirs of persons who have died between the years 1851–1900, with an index of the most interesting matter, Frank Cass, London.
- Wakeman and Bridson, ‘Guide to Colour Printers’, p.18. As cited by K.K. Tidman, Op. cit.
- The London Gazette, 11 February 1898, First meetings and public examinations listings.
- High Court of Justice, 24 June 1940, Chancery Division, Companies Court, Summary of Statement of Affairs in the matter of Vincent Brooks, Day & Son, Limited. "2. The Company was incorporated on 14 May 1898, under the Companies Acts, 1862 to 1893, with a nominal capital of £10,000 in £1 shares and was formed to acquire and take over as a going concern the business carried on at 48, Parker Street under the style of Vincent Brooks, Day & Son and to carry on the business of printers, lithographers, etc."
- The Times, Monday 11 April 1898, pg.4.
- Matthews and Mellini, 'In Vanity Fair', p.204, 1982, London, Scolar Press
- Vanity Fair, Article by Jehr Junior, Aug 1911.
- What happened to Vanity Fair magazine? Vanity Fair: The Early Years, 1914–1936. An on-line article by the current owners of Vanity Fair. "Once upon a time, before the income tax, the Great War, and Prohibition, Mr. Condé Nast bought a magazine called Dress, a potential rival to his four-year-old Vogue. A few months later, in 1913, he paid $3,000 for a musty British social, literary, and political review titled Vanity Fair, named after both the sinful place in John Bunyan's 17th-century allegory The Pilgrim's Progress and William Makepeace Thackeray's 19th-century satirical novel. Crossbreeding his two acquisitions, Nast created Dress and Vanity Fair, a hydra-headed flop. To salvage the situation, Nast sought advice from the most cultivated, elegant, and endearing man in publishing, if not Manhattan, Frank Crowninshield. The upper-crust aesthete—who, earlier the same year, had helped organize the landmark Armory Show, a succés de scandale which introduced Cubism to the American public—offered a remarkably simple solution. "Your magazine should cover the things people talk about," Crowninshield told Mr. Nast. "Parties, the arts, sports, theatre, humor, and so forth." Nast at once anointed Crowninshield editor, and agreeing to ditch the first half of the old title, the publishing tycoon launched Vanity Fair in January 1914."
- Matthews and Mellini, 'In Vanity Fair', p.36, 1982, London, Scolar Press
- Brooks, Frederick Vincent, 1907, Draft for Encyclopaedia Britannica entry on Lithography. Brooks Family Collection.
- Pennell, Elizabeth Robins, 1929, The Life and Letters of Joseph Pennell, Vol.2, p.77, Little, Brown & Company, USA. The source puts the firms involvement around early 1909.
- Death Certificate of Frederick Vincent Brooks. General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England. No. 245, Seventh August 1921, 27 Hornsey Rise Gardens, Male, 72 years, Lithographer, Cause of death:(1)Hodgkiss disease [Hodgkins] (2)Asthenia, Informant: F A Brooks, Son present at death 27 Hornsey Rise Gardens Islington.
- The British & Colonial Printer and Stationer, Vol. 93, no. 25, 20 December 1923.
- London Transport Museum, on-line; Stories behind the collection: Frank Pick and the modern graphic poster. http://www.ltmcollection.org/posters/about/behindthecollection.html?IXstory=all
- Brooks, Wilfred Vincent, 1935, Speech made to the Lincoln branch of the National Council of Women at the Great Northern Hotel, Lincoln, Monday 29th 1935. From the Brooks Family Collection.
- British & Colonial Printer & Stationer Volume 100, Number 2. 13 January 1927, Page 22. ‘Who’s Who in the Printing & Allied Trades; A Prominent London Lithographer’.
- World Press News, Vol. 4, No. 81. 18 September 1930, Page 47. ‘Printer’s Who’s Who, W. Vincent Brooks’.
- A Walk In History, The blitz. Online blog: http://awalkinhistory.blogspot.com/2008/05/friday-30th-may-blitz.html "The Blitz was the bombing of London between 7 September 1940 and 11 May 1941, although there were of course sporadic attacks until the end of the war. In the old borough of Holborn, 650 buildings (that one seventh) were destroyed, 426 people were killed and 621 were seriously injured. This was the highest rate per capita in the whole of the country. A total of 282 high explosive bombs fell on Holborn and, in 19944 V1 and V2 rockets also fell here. There were no specific targets in the area, but because Holborn is very central, close to Kings Cross and Euston with their rail links to the north, and night bombing was not an exact science, Holborn suffered a great deal of damage. Theobalds Road, Red Lion Square, Red Lion Street and High Holborn suffered the worst of the damage, the worst two raids being on 16 and 17 April 1941 and 10 and 11 May 1941."
- Kathy Kajander Tidman, 1997, Art for the Victorian Household. Available to download from Online Originals
- My Life’s Medley, The autobiography of Frederick Vincent Brooks, and articles regarding the firm and events mentioned in the autobiography
- Frederick Vincent Brooks’s entry on Lithography for the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica