Note: I am not researching this family - this is part of a transcription project for the RIGenWeb list.Beth Hurd, Johnston, RI.
History of the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
NY: The American Historical Society, Inc.
pp. 141 - 142:
"JOHN HOPE --The name of Hope is inseparably interwoven with the history of textile printing, and more especially with the art of engraving rolls for use in the calico printing industry.The House of Hope was founded in Manchester, England, in 1810; was established in Providence in 1847; incorporated there in 1890; and now exists bigger and stronger than ever as John Hope & Sons Engraving and Manufacturing Company, the officers being at this time (1918) Charles H. Hope, president, and William H. Hope, secretary and treasurer.
The English history of the family business dates back to the time of Sir Robert Peel (about 1780), the father of calico printing in England.Three generations of Hopes have been connected with engraving rolls for calico printers.The great-grandfather of the members of the present house, John Hope & Sons, was associated with Sir Robert Peel.The founder of the American house was John Hope, who passed away in his ninety-second year.
John Hope was born in Salford, Manchester, England, December 30, 1820, son of John and Catherine (Roberts) Hope.He was educated in the schools of Salford, and at the age of fourteen years entered upon an apprenticeship of seven years duration with his father, John Hope, Sr., under whose direction he learned the art of roll-engraving.In 1841, in partnership with his elder brother, Edmund Hope, under the firm name of John & Edmund Hope, he took over the old Manchester establishment of his father, and within a short period had so successfully developed the business that its products were known in the calico printing industry throughout the world.John Hope was a genius of the highest order, and the delicate engraving done by the firm was under his personal supervision, some of it done by himself.
In 1846 Philip Allen, then a well-known manufacturer and printer of calico, of Providence, R. I., visiting Europe, made the acquaintance of John Hope, and was given an opportunity to inspect the Hope plant and familiarize himself with the work of the firm.Realizing the vast field which the textile printing industries of New England offered to a man of the ability of John Hope, Philip Allen urged him to transfer his business to America.In 1847 the firm of John & Edmund Hope, with the machinery of the English plant, and an English working force, was established in the city of Providence, and began the manufacture and engraving of copper cylinders in the old Durfee Mill, which was located at the corner of Cranston and Dexter streets, on the site of the present State armory.The unsurpassed excellence of the work of the new firm brought it a large clientele among the huge mills of New England, and its success was insured from the very outset.In 1850 larger quarters were necessary and the firm leased the Livsey building, at the corner of Point and Richmond streets.In the same year Edmund Hope retired from the partnership and his place was taken by his brother Thomas, who always took a lively interest in the business, looking after the financial end.
Around this period John Hope brought to perfection his greatest invention, the pantograph engraving machine for the engraving of copper cylinders for printing all grades of textiles.The pantograph, representing the highest development of machine engraving, revolutionized the business of roll-engraving.It had been an idea of the senior John Hope that machine-shop would be a good adjunct of the engraving business, and when the new plant was opened at Point and Richmond streets the sons had carried out the idea of their father, and a machine shop was a part of the new plant.It was here that John Hope finally brought to completion and gave to the world a machine which engraved most accurately textile rolls and which is used to-day by the governments of the United States, Canada, China and Japan for the finer branches of steel and copper plate engraving.Other machines from the 'House of Hope" followed the pantograph machine; among them were the machines for graduating, numbering and lettering steel rules and finely-graded tools, and for engraving dies, and others of the pantograph group.In each of these machines the genius of John Hope was paramount.Until 1865 the firm was styled John & Thomas Hope.During the Rebellion, Mr. Hope visited the industrial centers of Europe, where he introduced his machines.On his return to Providence it was again necessary to enlarge the facilities of the firm, and in the latter part of 1865 the business was removed to the corner of Dorrance and Dyer streets, and subsequently to No. 158 Cove street.At this time the late Heber LeFavour, then adjutant-general of Rhode Island, was admitted to partnership, the firm name becoming Hope & Company, which it remained until the death of Mr. LeFavour, when the old title of John & Thomas Hope was reverted to.In 1882 they purchased a desirable site on Mashapaug street, and erected the factory where the business is now located.In 1890 the business was incorporated as John Hope & Sons Engraving and Manufacturing Company.
John Hope ranks among the leading inventors who directed their genius to textile machinery in the latter half of the nineteenth century.He was the inventor of the first pantograph engraving machine which possessed any real merit, and in developing his invention to the highest point of efficiency did away with the former tedious and expensive process of hand work.The pantograph system of engraving was more generally assimilated in the United States than in Europe at the outset, but is now used throughout the entire world.The business enterprise founded by John and Edmund Hope in the city of Providence in 1847 is now the largest of its kind in the world.John Hope possessed, in addition to his talent in mechanical lines, great ability as an executive and organizer.He was widely-known in business circles in Rhode Island, and was active in the management of the John Hope & Sons Engraving and Manufacturing Company until ten years prior to his death, when he retired to private life.
In 1854 Mr. Hope married Emma Cordwell, daughter of Joseph and Rachel Cordwell, of Manchester, England.They were the parents of ten children, eight of whom survive:Emma Cordwell Hope, died in Providence, R. I., July 17, 1878.John Hope, died on September 8, 1912, at the venerable age of ninety-one years.He had lived to see the machines he invented penetrate every part of the civilized world, and to know that the projects to which he had devoted his genius and strength for three-quarters of a century had revolutionized an industry."
see next biography of Charles H. Hope, son of John and Emma (Cordwell) Hope.
illustration on facing page:
photo, John Hope