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Gale & Polden Military Catalogue (1910)

Gale & Polden Military Catalogue (1910)

Price $142.00 Sale


Gale & Polden Ltd

GALE & POLDEN LTD, Wellington Works, Aldershot, 1910

A very rare 1910 Gale & Polden Ltd catalogue of military books, forms, supplies and stationery. An invaluable reference work for anyone collecting military books from the Victorian and Edwardian eras. This catalogue is well illustrated throughout and includes details, prices and specifications for Gale & Polden's many military publications and other products in the years just before the First World War

Gale & Polden Ltd: was a British printer and publisher, founded in Brompton, near Chatham, Kent in 1868. James Gale had opened his bookshop there at No 1 High Street, Old Brompton in 1868. Soon Gale acquired his first printing press, which he set up in a wooden shed in the garden at the rear of his house. Through his contacts with the Headquarters of the Chatham Military District Gale obtained a printing contract for the printing of the Garrison Directory. By 1880 the bookselling side of Gale's business was very successful, largely due to the work of Ernest Polden, who had progressed from serving in the bookshop to working in the printing works where he gained an extensive knowledge of different printing processes. Polden went out from Chatham to the garrisons or dockyards at Gravesend, Dover, Canterbury and further afield, publicising the name Gale and Polden to the British Army and Navy. At that time most official military forms were written out in longhand by orderlies, and Polden saw an opportunity to extend the firm's business by printing standardised forms. His scheme resulted in large orders for the forms being placed. Polden, by now the senior partner in the business, then decided to establish a London Office. At that time Fleet Street, St. Paul's Churchyard and Paternoster Row were the centre of publishing in London, and it was here that T. Ernest Polden looked for an office for the growing company. In 1892 he found suitable premises at No. 2, Amen Corner. By this time the company were supplying printed forms and other stationery to about 400 military canteens, 100 officers' messes, 200 sergeants' messes, and 250 libraries, recreation rooms and regimental institutes throughout both the Army and Navy. The well-known Gale & Polden Military Series and other educational works were in use by Military Educational Department and by the London and other school boards, and in the colonial forces. On 10 November 1892 the company was incorporated as Gale & Polden Ltd. Polden suggested to the board of directors that it was necessary to build a new factory at Aldershot, then the largest British Army base in Great Britain, and close the Brompton Works. By September 1893 the first wing was complete, and two high-powered gas engines with electrical generating plant were installed. In 1916 Gale & Polden were granted a Royal Warrant for producing Queen Mary's Christmas card. In 1918 a fire at the firm's Wellington Works destroyed one of the building's four wings, which temporarily halted printing. In 1956 Gale & Polden acquired a number of smaller printing firms including Know Publications, producers of the Woking Opinion newspaper; Paines of Worthing and John Drew Ltd, an Aldershot-based rival. In 1963 Gale & Polden was taken over by the Purnell Group, and in 1964 Purnells merged with another printing company, Hazel Sun, to form the new British Printing Corporation (BPC), the largest printing company in Europe. The company ceased trading in 1981.


In good condition, with general signs of use, some marks and some wear to the edges and corners. The stapled binding is secure. The text and illustrations are in good condition, with a few marks.

Published: 1910
Illustrated card cover
Illustrated with line drawings and photographs
Dimensions: 200mm x 310mm
Pages: 33