1870s /1880s Children’s Perambulator by John Ward, Leicester Square, London

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1851 Great Exhibition: Official Catalogue: Class V.: John Ward

John Ward, 5 Leicester Square — Designer and Manufacturer.

Four-wheel pleasure-ground Victoria chair, in framed carriage, upon C elliptic, and body springs, with patent vulcanized India-rubber tires; to be drawn by hand or pony. The chair is lined with blue figured satin, designed and woven by Messrs. Draper of Holborn.

Improved recumbent chair for invalids, spring stuffed, covered with Utrecht velvet, mounted on brass wheels, and adapted for a bed or couch; with shifting elbows, for the convenience of the patient; double action leg-rest, reading-desk, sconces, etc.

Spanish mahogany portable folding-chair, adapted for invalids, and easily drawn; covered in scarlet morocco; mounted on patent noiseless wheels, engine-cut cogs, silver handles, shifting foot-rest, cylindrical guide- wheel, etc.

– details from Grace’s Guide

John Ward entered into partnership with Thomas Griffin, invalid chair-maker at 6 Leicester Square circa 1845. By 1851 Griffin retired and Ward continued trading until 1903. John Ward had a display at the 1851 Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace (description above).

I believe he was awarded Her Majesty’s Royal Letters Patent for his Empress chair in 1855.

At the 1862 London Exhibition his display included: ‘Invalid pleasure-ground chairs, and children’s perambulators, to be drawn by hand or animal.’

The column below appeared in 1914: it states that his company was ‘established 180 years ago’ i.e. 1734


1870s/1880s Children’s Perambulator

Maker: John Ward, 5 Leicester Square




The above advertisement was used from 1858 to 1864. The one below appeared from 1872-1874.



John Ward, Patentee & Inventor of Invalid Chairs, Carriages etc, Tottenham Court Rd –This notable business was formed upwards of a century and a half ago. Mr Ward is engaged in this very scientific industry upon a very extensive scale and his productions for the relief of the invalid are esteemed all over the world – Modern London, The World’s Metropolis, 1888

Information and adverts with thanks to: Grace’s Guide – http://www.gracesguide.co.uk/John_Ward_(of_London)

John Ward shop engraving and info from 1888 thanks to: http://spitalfieldslife.com/2014/10/04/modern-london-1888/