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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pictorial Tea Tour ...................... JOHN HORNIMAN (c.1826)

John Horniman
The National Portrait Gallery, London

John Horniman's claim to tea fame is that he was the first to sell pre-packaged tea, each of "guaranteed consistency and net weight." This was, at the time, revolutionary and caused some trouble with business competitors. Before 1826, only loose tea had been sold, opening the possibility to adulterate the tea by worthless additives. Dishonest grocers might have added hedge clippings or dust to increase the weight. Needless to say, Horniman's tea rapidly became a major brand name. In 1891, it was said to be the biggest tea company in the world.

(Purchase the John Horniman print here)
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