Category Archives: Spotter’s Guides

A Spotter’s Guide to Traditional Chemists’ Shops

The Mortar and Pestle The mortar and pestle has been used by apothecaries, chemists and druggists for centuries to grind medicinal powders. It remains one of the chemist’s favourite symbols, depicted on shop signs to proclaim the nature of the … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to the High Street: Jewellers’ Clocks & Time Balls

Just as pawnbrokers signal their presence with three suspended balls, and barbers have their red and white striped poles, so jewellers, clockmakers and watchmakers have traditionally attracted attention with elaborate projecting clocks, turret clocks or time balls. Examples can be … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to Marks & Spencer

Conservative Neo-Classicism Marks & Spencer did not build shops until 1910, coinciding with Woolworth’s arrival on English soil (if, indeed, this was a coincidence – Woolworth was a direct rival!). The new and more familiar generation of M&S ‘super stores’ … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to W. H. Smith’s

The Newsboy W. H. Smith’s distinctive enamelled hanging signs depicted a newsboy crying his wares against a bright red background. The newsboy was designed for Smith’s in 1905 by the artist Septimus E. Scott (1880-1966). Scott had trained in his … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to Boots the Chemist

The Boots Scroll The Boots scroll – the distinctive signature logo – is familiar to everyone. Boots’ name is written in flowing cursive script, with a pennant flowing from the bar of the ‘t’ and an understroke emerging from the ‘s’. This … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to Montague Burton – the Tailor of Taste, Part 2

Art Deco Motifs Burton’s architect, Harry Wilson, had fully embraced art deco by 1930 and seems to have had great fun dressing façades in variants of this popular style. This involved the application of stylised geometric motifs, sometimes in profusion. By … Continue reading

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A Spotter’s Guide to Montague Burton – the Tailor of Taste, Part 1

‘The Tailor of Taste’ When Montague Burton became a limited company in 1917, it was registered as ‘Montague Burton the Tailor of Taste Ltd’. The slogan, as part of Burton’s name, formed part of firm’s logo, appearing on fascias, parapets, … Continue reading

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