The origin of The London Name Plate Mfg. Co. Ltd. goes back to 1810, when Thomas Malby founded Malby & Sons, globe makers and printers of maps and Admiralty charts.
In those days the intricate copper printing masters were painstakingly engraved by hand, a skill that Malby & Sons soon made further use of by offering engraved nameplates. In the late 19th century new photographic and acid etching techniques revolutionised master making and, adapted, these processes also proved ideal for manufacturing nameplates in much larger quantites.
Demand grew rapidly and in 1912 Henry Malby and his two sons launched The London Name Plate Manufacturing Company from new premises in Bedford Road, East Finchley.
The original litho printing business continued separately until .it was sold to HMSO in 1946. Meanwhile LNP had been incorporated (1920), moved to larger premises in Clerkenwell and established a small factory in Brighton. The Brighton factory was expanded during the 1930's and at the onset of "the Blitz" all production was transferred here from London. During World War II the company concentrated on making cockpit dials, bomb aiming devices, plotting and navigational instruments. Although the name remains unchanged LNP never returned to London, preferring instead Brighton's bracing sea air and the rolling Sussex Downs.
The 1950's saw the introduction of very thin, anodised self-adhesive aluminium labels (LNP's "Cal" products) and a further expansion of the Zylo Works. In the 60's traditional nameplate manufacture moved to a new site at Shoreham, 6 miles along the coast. Plastic label products were introduced in the 1970's.
Graphic overlays and roll-to-roll label products were added to the product range in the 80's and early 90's since when LNP has concentrated on computerisation, lead time reductions and quality system improvements.
Today LNP manufactures possibly the UK's most extensive range of high quality nameplates, self-adhesive labels and industrial graphics. It also makes many associated products, including prestige award plaques and badges, and supplies the Ministry of Defence with precision rulers, calculators and other manual plotting instruments.
With a staff of 100 in over 35,000 sq. ft. of factories and offices the company is still owned and managed by the Malby family, the 7th generation since Malby & Sons was founded nearly 200 years ago.