Toppan, Carpenter & Company

City: Philadelphia

State: Pennsylvania

Toppan, Carpenter & Company was a bank note and postage stamp engraving partnership between Charles Toppan and Samuel Carpenter. Toppan established his own engraving business in Philadelphia in 1829, and in the 1830s, John Draper joined him to create Draper, Toppan & Company. Samuel Carpenter joined Draper and Toppan in 1845, and became the principle partner when Toppan and Draper dissolved their partnership. The new venture took the name Toppan, Carpenter, & Company. In 1849, John W. Casilear joined as a principle partner, and in 1851, the company became Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Company. In June 1851, Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Company, received a six-year contract to engrave and print for the U.S. Post Office all the postage stamps that the postmaster general might require under the Postage Law of 1851. The Post Office Department later renewed this contract until June 1861, when it expired and was not renewed. Casilear left the firm in 1854, and it reverted to Toppan, Carpenter & Company. Toppan left in 1858 to become president of the American Bank Note Company, but the firm continued to operate under the name of Toppan, Carpenter & Company, at least until as long as it printed postage stamps for the government.

"An Act to Reduce and Modify the Rates of Postage in the United States, and for Other Purposes," 3 March 1851, Statutes at Large of the United States 9 (1862):589-90; Carroll Chase, The 3c Stamp of the United States 1851-1857 Issue, rev. ed. (Springfield, MA: Tatham Stamp & Coin, 1942), 15-19; "Toppan, Carpenter, Casilear & Co., (1851-1861)," Arago: People, Postage and the Post accessed January 30, 2019,; H.R. Doc. No. 125, 32nd Cong., 1st Sess. (1852), 51-53.