Egerton Smith was the son of Egerton Smith the elder (died 1788) and Ann Prescott. He joined his mother and then his brother in the family firm, making navigational instruments, and took out a patent for one invention in 1809. However, he increasingly turned towards printing and publishing. He founded the Liverpool Mercury newspaper in 1811, and a weekly magazine, The Kaleidoscope, in 1818. Smith was also active in founding mechanics institutes and became a well-known local philanthropist.
- Morison-Low, A. D., Making Scientific Instruments in the Industrial Revolution, 67-68
- 'F. S.', 'Egerton Smith', Notes and Queries, series 4, VI (1850), p. 458
- Obituary, Liverpool Mercury, 26 November 1841
- Perkin, Michael, 'Egerton Smith and the Early Nineteenth Century Book Trade in Liverpool', in Robin Myers and Michael Harris (eds.) Spreading the Word: the Distribution Networks of Print, 1550-1850 (Winchester, 1990), 151-64