W.H. Smith & Son Ltd.

industry:
Retailer,
Wholesaller
Nationality:
British

Henry Walton Smith and his wife Anna open a newsvendors in London in 1792; Henry dies soon after, leaving the business to be run by his widow; Anna dies in 1812, with H W Smith now operating as a newsagents run by her sons Henry Edward and William Henry Smith; by 1828 the business is known as W H Smith (after William Henry, the more effective businessman of the two brothers; becomes W H Smith & Son in 1846; opens first station bookstall at Euston in 1848; by 1850 have developed a substantial newspaper distribution system across the United Kingdom; 1860 establish a lending library (which runs until 1960s); WH Smith diversify in the late twentieth century, becoming involved in music retailing, cable television, D-I-Y and travel.