W.H. Smith

Book-sellers and stationers.

Founded as Johnston & Company in 1819 and taken over by W.H. Smith in May 1850, the first Eason was appointed by Smith as his Manager in Dublin in 1856. Eason and his son, Charles, acquired the business in 1886. A branch was opened in Belfast in 1868. The firm prospered in both the 19th and 20th centuries, supplying firstly its railway bookstalls and subsequently its shops with the printed word in all its forms, newspapers, journals, books, stationery and writing requisites for the home and school, postcards, Catholic prayerbooks etc. Through the travelling representatives, stationery sales helped to secure orders for new products, and to build up the small town newsagent, who was usually a bookseller and stationer or a general merchant. Today the Belfast arm of the company is listed amongst Northern Ireland's top 100 businesses adding to the company's position as the largest bookseller, newsagency and stationer in Ireland.