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Archive for January, 2007

A mechanical engineer and management consultant who is most famous for developing the Gantt chart in the 1910s. These Gantt charts were employed on major infrastructure projects including the Hoover Dam and Interstate highway system and still are an important tool in project management.
Source: wikipedia.org

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William Gant – Bookbinder, Bookseller, Stationer
Trading Dates: 1748 (date of apprenticeship) – 1781
Biographical Dates: 1733 (date of christening) – 1781 (date of death)
William Gant was apprenticed in 1748 to his aunt Mary, widow of George West a bookbinder and bookseller. He was freed in 1756. Assisted in the business by his wife, Elizabeth Gant née House, (from 1760 or before) and was succeeded by her. Master (jointly with his wife) of John Harris 1760, John Thorbran 1774, George Bourne 1777. Sun Fire Insurance policy: 424582 (1779/80).

Transcribed Wills
William Gant, Stationer of Bristol, Gloucestershire
Elizabeth Gant, Widow of Bristol, Gloucestershire
Ann Gant, Spinster of Duke Street, Old Artillery Ground, Spitalfields, Middlesex (William Gant’s sister)

William Gant : Subscribed to Antiquity of the Wise Instructer. Being a Collection of the most Valuable Admonitions and Sentences, Compendiously put together, from an infinite Variety of the most celebrated Christian and Heathen Writers, Divine, Moral, Historical, Poetical, and Political., 1770, BROOKS, J.. Bristol
Printed for J. Brooks, the Editor, By S. Farley, in Castle-Green, 1770.

Felix Farley’s Bristol Journal, 12 January, 1782:
Gant’s Circulating Library 1775 [William Gant]
Succeeded by John Thorbran
Thorbran’s Circulating Library 1782 [John Thorbran]
Succeeded William Gant.

Sources:
Eighteenth Century Short Title Catalogue
Plomer, Henry R. et al, A Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers who were at work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1726 to 1775 (London, 1932)
Maxted, Ian, The British Book Trades 1775-1787: an index to insurance policies (Exeter Working Paper No. 8 )
Society of Genealogists, Lists of Masters and Apprentices, c.1711-1762
R J Goulden, ‘An Obscure Stationer of Bristol: William Gant’, Factotum, 11, April 1981, pp.8-11.

William Gant was also listed in Bailey’s British Directory [for 1784]; Merchant’s and Trader’s Useful Companion for the year 1784 … in 4 Volumes … Volume 1. London; Volume 2 The Western Directory; Volume 3 The Northern Directory; Volume 4 The Eastern Directory. The First Edition, 1784, BAILEY. London
Printed by J. Andrews, Little Eastcheap, and to be had of the Author, No. 53, Basinghall-street; No. 4, Queen-street, Cheapside; Mr. Long, Optician, Royal Exchange, and of every Bookseller in Town and Country

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I’ve downloaded three very interesting Wills from the National Archives, those of William Gant a Stationer of Bristol (dated 1781), Elizabeth Gant a widow of Bristol (dated 1792), and Ann Gant a spinster of Spitalfields (dated 1809). I’d already correctly guessed that William Gant and Elizabeth Gant were husband and wife, but it appears that Ann Gant of Spitalfields was the sister of William. William and Ann were the son and daughter of William Gant, a weaver of Spitalfields.

They seem to have been a very well-to-do family judging by their possessions and apparent wealth. Incidentally, William Gant, the weaver of Spitalfields, was a direct ancestor of the surgeon Frederick James Gant, the author of the book I purchased from eBay.

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