The Stephens Collection

Avenue House, East End Road, London N3 3QE
(nearest underground Finchley Central)
tel: 020 8346 7812
Open to the public 2pm - 4.30 pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday only.
Admission free

The Stephens Collection aims to show

* Aspects of the life of Henry Stephens
* The history of the Stephens Ink Company
* The history of Avenue House
* The development of writing materials

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 people.

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.

writing ink inventor


The Stephens Collection - Registered Charity No. 1051384

Peter Marsh, Hon Chairman/Curator


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