Webb & Webb has created a set of stamps for the Royal Mail to commemorate the work of the early industrialists.
The eight stamps, designed by Brian Webb, James Webb and Dan Smith, and entitled Pioneers of the Industrial Revolution, will be launched on 17 March.
Webb & Webb has also designed the first-day covers and presentation pack.
Among those featured on the stamps are: manufacturer Matthew Boulton; inventor James Watt; Richard Arkwright, who developed the spinning frame; railway pioneer George Stephenson; machine-maker Henry Maudslay; canal engineer James Brindley; and John McAdam, inventor of the macadam road.
Brian Webb, founder of Webb & Webb, says the consultancy was appointed in summer 2007, having had a long-standing relationship with the Royal Mail. He says that one of the key challenges was selecting subjects. The consultancy had wanted to feature Abraham Darby, who developed the blast furnace, but discovered that it was impossible to find a portrait of Darby who, as a Quaker, didn’t believe in idolatry.
Webb adds that another challenge was to feature key figures of the Industrial Revolution who hadn’t already been on lots of stamps. He says, ‘My personal hero would have been Isambard Kingdom Brunel, but he has already featured on so many stamps. Where do you start and finish with the Industrial Revolution?’
Webb says one figure he was keen to include but had to drop due to space issues was printer John Baskerville, creator of the Baskerville font. He adds that the consultancy used the font on the presentation pack as a nod to Baskerville.
The stamps also feature Josiah Wedgwood (pictured), founder of the Waterford Wedgwood pottery company, which went into administration earlier this month.