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Feature March 2015

Baxter Licences

In 1849 Baxter found that his position in the colour printing field was being increasingly threatened by competition. In an effort to alleviate this threat, Baxter offered to the opposition, on the payment of a fee, the opportunity to take up a licence to print by his process, which was still protected by a patent.

Five printers took up this offer, and they were A. Le Blond, Jos. Mansell, W. Dickes, Myers and J.M. Kronheim.

The effect of issuing licences to Kronheim and the other licensee printers, as well as increased competition from other colour printers using different techniques, was to prove the death-knell for Baxter’s business. He refused to reduce the quality of his printing, which could have cheapened his production process, and he became increasingly uncompetitive.

This table lists Baxter’s annual output of new subjects before and after the issuing of the licences:

185438 including 16 Great Exhibition statue subjects
185516 including 11 Baxterotypes

Although this list indicates a reducing output, it does not cover further production runs of prints previously produced.