John Heywood Ltd. was a publishing company established in Manchester in the 1830s by John's father, Abel Heywood. Abel Heywood was a radical strongly associated with the Chartist movement. He was passionate about increasing educational opportunities for working-class people and his company published educational, self-teaching, and self-improvement books. In 1866 Heywood noticed that working-class people were just beginning to use trains to travel for pleasure. Seeing no affordable travel guides, he began to publish a series of "Penny Guides", short travel guides that covered such places as Buxton, Southport, Bath, and the Isle of Wight.
When Abel Heywood retired, his son John took control of the firm. John continued the tradition of publishing educational and travel books and, by 1910, John Heywood Ltd. had over 100 titles in publication. The company expanded after the First World War becoming manufacturing stationers, office suppliers and advertising contractors in addition to the publishing business. John Heywood Ltd. continued trading into the 1970s.
by Mark Matlach
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