Search  
search tips advanced search
 
  Home     Themes     Timeline     Partners     Send an e-postcard  
 
   
Biscuits
 
Theme Sections
The First Biscuits
Biscuits for all Occasions
Advertising
Miniature Calendars
Famous Biscuits
World War I
Between the Wars
The Second World War
Shop Displays
Cakes
1950s to the Present
Bake a Biscuit
 
 
 
More Themes
The Wider Picture
Biscuits
Biscuit Tins
Factory
Global
Interactives
People
Reading Town
Huntley & Palmers Timeline
  Themes Homepage > Biscuits for all Occasions
 
Biscuits
Biscuits for all Occasions

go to first sectiongo to previous sectionprevious sectionnext sectiongo to next sectiongo to last section
Throughout the nineteenth century Huntley & Palmers adjusted prices almost entirely according to changes in the cost of ingredients, mainly that of flour, which accounted for over a third of total costs. Since demand remained buoyant the economic justification for the price cuts was limited but, as a good Quaker, George Palmer felt bound to pass on savings in costs to the customer. In 1849 Pic Nic biscuits were sold for 7d a pound and Ginger Nuts and Albert biscuits were 8d a pound. Ginger Nuts Advert, 1920s
Ginger Nuts Advert, 1920s
 
Morning Coffee Biscuit Stamp, mid-twentieth century
Morning Coffee Biscuit Stamp, mid-twentieth century

Afternoon Tea
In 1860 Huntley & Palmers produced 3200 tons of biscuits per year. However demand was to soar over the next few decades as the nations feeding habits changed from having a late breakfast and early evening dinner to taking a smaller breakfast, hot lunches and late dinner. This led to the custom of afternoon tea and by the 1880s restaurants and tea-shops were springing up in most towns.
 

Travellers Snacks
The growth of long-distance train journeys also led to an increasing demand for biscuits, which Huntley & Palmers used to their advantage. Every first class passenger departing from Paddington was handed a small packet of biscuits in a neat wrapper, with instructions to look out for their red-brick factory at Reading.
Huntley & Palmers small advertisement, 1890s
Huntley & Palmers small advertisement, 1890s
 
Catering for all Tastes
By the late 1860s the firm's hundred or so biscuit varieties catered for all tastes of those who could afford them. At the really luxurious end of the scale came the fancy Rout Cakes - these cost 2s per lb. Lemon and Orange Dessert and Raspberry Biscuits, Queen's Drops and Ratafias all sold for over a shilling a pound. More modestly priced biscuits included the Ginger Nut, Osborne, Abernethy, Digestive, Excursion, Gem, Nic-Nac and Tourist.
 
Advertising sheet, about 1900 Chinese booklet, 1900s Advertising Leaflet, 1900
Advertising sheet, about 1900 Chinese booklet, 1900s Advertising Leaflet, 1900

Other Biscuits Manufacturers
The unstoppable demand for biscuits led to the growth in the number of Huntley & Palmers varieties to over 400 by the turn of the century. This caused a sharp rise in production costs and other firms were beginning to make inroads into the British market. Jacobs, originally from Ireland, introduced the Cream Cracker in 1885 and the firm of McVities was started in Edinburgh at this time.
Seventh Wonder of the Commercial World, around 1910
Seventh Wonder of the Commercial World, around 1910
 
 
go to first sectiongo to previous sectionprevious sectionnext sectiongo to next sectiongo to last section
 
  Themes Homepage > Biscuits for all Occasions
 
    Working in partnership with New Opportunities Fund logo
  Copyright Info | Sitemap | About H&P Collection | Contact Us | Links Reading Museum Service logoSoPSE logo