Dr. Henry Stephens was the inventor (in 1832)
of the famous "Blue-Black Writing Fluid", later developed
into ink. The family firm manufacturing the ink and various
accessories lay the foundations of a considerable family fortune.
His son, Henry Charles
Stephens, continued the development of the family business.
He was a member of Parliament and during his lifetime fought
numerous battles on behalf of local interests. His involvement
in local affairs, and his nickname "Inky" Stephens
have since remained familiar to several generations of Finchley
Henry "Inky" Stephens bought Avenue
House in 1874, altered and extended it, adding, among other
things, a laboratory, where he carried out his experiments in
writing fluid. The grounds were landscaped and many rare trees
planted, still here for us to see and admire.
Hands-on experience for primary schools
Groups of up to 15 are offered "hands-on"
writing with steel pens, ink and blotting paper. Also with quill
pens! A slide presentation on the life of Henry C. Stephens
is available to schools. Discovery sheets are also obtainable.