Magic, Gizmos & FUN

Magic, Gizmos & FUN

The Largest Mail Order House for Novelties in the World

Location: 246 High Holborn, WC1

Description: 'Ellisdons' seemed to be on the back page of almost every comic back in the day...

'Established in 1898', Ellisdons literature used to claim, but that was in Australia, dealing in somewhat more practical merchandise.

Then, in the early 1930s, for reasons unexplained, three generations of the Ellisdon family arrived in England and acquired premises in High Holborn. Within four years they were issuing wonderful catalogues and claiming to be 'The Largest Mail Order House for Novelties in the World'.

And it is on this spot that the company worked from.

At its peak, the business was mailing 100,000 catalogues, as well as importing from Europe and the Far East. It employed a large workforce preparing and manufacturing at various sites in London and, later, Bedford.

The decline, when it came in the '70s, was rapid, sparked by an assortment of factors, prominent amongst them, as is so often the case, the retirement of the last member of the founding family.

Themes: QuirkyQuirky Theme  RetailRetail Theme
Magic, Gizmos & FUN

The Largest Mail Order House for Novelties in the World

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But not far away, on Clerkenwell Road, near the corner with Leather Lane, theres a shop still selling certain kinds of novelties, magic related items anyway. And well worth visiting it is too. (PJ)
Posted by PJ on 2011-05-10

Other places nearby:

The Highbury Clock», 2.5km

Hanging Gardens of Paddington», 2.4km

Wanstead Park's Grotto», 7.8km

Spring Heeled Jacks 1st Victim», 3.7km

Colonel Elliott's Magic Home», 1.3km

Frank Buckland's Menagerie», 1.2km

Anthony Hopkins Odd Coincidence», 0.6km

London: Tornado capital?», 4.7km

Aleister Crowleys Den», 0.2km

Cartoonist Phil May lived here», 3.8km

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