This early design depicting an image of Columbus dates from around the mid nineteenth century. Taken from Guy Christie, Storeys of Lancaster, 1848-1964, Collins, 1964.The mass production of table baize and oil cloth during the 1850s regenerated Lancasterís struggling economy. After 1870, demand for the product increased because of a rise in domestic working class living standards and a thriving export trade.

The table baize produced by the Storey Company was made from oiled cloth which originated in China over a thousand years ago. The legend goes that an umbrella maker painted his wares with oil to prevent them from being ruined by the rain. In Europe, the practice of oiling cloth was started in the fifteenth century and as the Storey brothers found out, it was a lengthy procedure.

The company had much success and in August 1856, expanded their workshop at the Quay to premises in White Cross and Moor Lane.

Lancaster University
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201