Thompson, John Thomas
116 Long Acre, London; cabinet maker, army upholder, auctioneer, appraiser, military bed and camp equipage maker to their Majesties, patentee of the light military and travelling bed (fl.1818–40)
Advertised in The Times, 1 January 1816, and 8 January 1818, his ‘PATENT EAST and WEST INDIA WELLINGTON BED — This elegant and portable BEDSTEAD is made of Wrought Iron Tubes, plated with brass, thereby rendering it extremely light, not liable to rust, or harbour vermin, by its ingenious and simple construction being only one piece, it forms in two minutes into a most complete bed, weighing only 56 lb, with the bedding complete; and by its portability and very small size into which it folds, will fix to any part of a carriage; to the invalid in particular travelling for health it has been invaluable, as by the elasticity of the sacking turning in bed is rendered less painful and when in a warm climate its use will enable them to enjoy the blessing of sleep, often denied to them in the beds of the country which cannot be kept from vermin. As a spare bed in a house it has been found to be extremely useful, it being soon put up, and also forming an elegant couch; a very extensive assortment of different sizes, fitted up with an entire new pattern of Mosquito-Nets are now on show at the warerooms of the patentee J. T. Thompson 116 Long-acre.’ Probably the John Thompson of Long Acre who, in 1839, took out patent no. 8320 in connection with making of bedsteads and couches. In November 1824 Thompson supplied unspecified goods to the value of £31 to John, 6th Duke of Bedford. In January 1840 provided Lord Fitzalan with three sets of iron bedsteads, curtains, hair mattresses, feather bolsters, pillows, blankets and quilts, at £11 a set. A patent campaign bed of iron tubes plated with brass and stamped ‘THOMPSON & Co’ is illustrated in Gilbert (1996), fig. 901, sold Christie’s New York, 29 Jan 1994, lot 357.
Sources: DEFM; Kirkham, ‘The London Furniture Trade 1700-1870’, Furniture History (1988) p.182; Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840 (1996).