[ John Player & Sons, tobacco manufacturers. ] Six substantial ledgers of itemised and audited accounts of the firm's Dublin plant ('Summary of Stock. No. 1', 'Private Ledger No. 2', 'Private Journal No. 5 [6]', and two 'Impersonal Ledger').

John Player & Sons [ Player's ], tobacco and cigarette manufacturer, based in Nottingham, now part of the Imperial Tobacco Group: the firm's Dublin cigarette manufacturing plant, 1924-1960
Publication details: 
John Player & Sons, Dublin, Ireland. The ledgers dating from between the firm's foundation in Ireland in 1924 and 1960.
SKU: 20200

Six substantial ledgers (the heaviest 37 x 41 x 8 cm, and the widest 39 x 52 x 3 cm), containing itemised accounts providing a mass of information regarding the tobacco industry and economic history in Ireland, and one of Dublin's notable employers, whose sales in the 1950s were in the tens of millions. (On 9 December 2004 the Irish Times described the closure of the plant as marking 'the end of an era'. The firm's first Dublin factory, at 56-75 Botanic Road, was constructed by G. & T. Crampton in 1923, and is now the Botanic Business Centre. In 1935 the firm moved to a plant on the South Circular Road, designed by Beckett and Harrington, which finally shut its doors in 2005.) Apart from the wear to the cloth covering the last volume in good condition, although the last volume has worn and taped pages. There is a marked decline in the standard of book-keeping as time proceeds. The first ledger begins at the start of the firm's involvement in Ireland. ONE: 'John Player & Sons. | Summary of Stock. | No. 1.' 30 June 1924 to 31 October 1948. 93pp. Dimensions: 39 x 52 x 3cm. In brown calf binding with title in gilt on red leather label on front cover, marbled endpapers. Double-page entries for the fields 'Leaf in Bond', 'Cutting Tobacco and Cigarette', 'Materials & Stores Cigarette', 'Tobacco', 'Cigarette', 'Miscellaneous', 'Engineers Material' (with subsections 'Cigarette', 'Molins', 'Electrical', 'General'), 'Stationery &c', 'Fancy Tobacco Miscellaneous', 'Advertising', 'Restaurant', 'Branch Cars'. The expenditure in these fields is arranged in printed columns with headings: Departmental Stock Book Folio; Department; Total Amount; Leaf in Bond; Leaf in Transit; Leaf (Duty paid) including Duty (subdivided into 'Leaf (excluding Duty)' and 'Duty paid'); Leaf in Operation; Manufactured Tobacco; Cigarettes; Smalls; General Materials and Stores (subdivided into: 'Tobacco', 'Roll', 'Cigarette', 'Warehouse and Stores', 'Miscellaneous (including Manufacturing Sundries)'); Other Manufacturers' Goods; Engineers; and Joiners' Stores and Repairing Material; Motor Lorries; and Miscellaneous Items (subdivided: 'Advertising', 'Printing and Stationery', 'Stamps', 'Fuel', 'Cleaning Materials', 'Restaurant', 'General Expenses', 'Cases'). At the end of the volume are: 'Analysis of Miscellaneous Stocks Account' (3pp.), 'Analysis of Advertising Expenditure' (3pp.), 'Analysis of Despatching Expenses' (2pp.). The sums involved are substantial. The first double-page entry (30 June 1924) totals £151,326 8s 10d; the last (31 October 1948) totals £909,920 15s 0d. The first double-page entries carry a signed declaration, with the firm's stamp, replicated in the subsequent entries: 'We hereby certify that the foregoing Stock has been taken and calculated in accordance with the requirements of Head Office. No obsolete Stock has been included and all depreciated articles have been valued as such. | Dublin 30th. June 1924 | A. E. McIver | for Manager'. The stamp reads: 'For JOHN PLAYER & SONS, | Branch of | The Imperial Tobacco Company, | (of Great Britain & Ireland) Limited, | Incorporated in England.' TWO: 'John Player & Sons | Private Ledger | No. 2'. 456pp. Dimensions: 39 x 30 x 8 cm. Tooled leather binding with stationer's label of Alex. Thom & Co. Ltd, Dublin, in oat-cloth covering with 'John Player & Sons | Private Ledger | No. 2' stamped in black on front. The volume begins with a 'John Player & Sons Nottingham Current Account' in double-entry over 112pp, beginning 1 November 1933 and ending 31 October 1944, showing a balance at the beginning of £322,955, and at the end of £609,693 18s 0d, and recording expenditure in the various fields listed in a twelve-page thumb index: 'Advertising', 'Auditors Files', 'Bad Debts', Bank Account', 'Bonus to Customers', 'Bought Ledger Account', 'Bad Debts Reserve', 'Cash Account', 'Capital Expenditure', 'Depreciation of Buildings, Plant &c', 'Discounts allowed', 'Discounts received', 'Duty on Leaf in Factory Stock', 'Duty on Leaf & Leaf Room Smalls', 'Duty on Leaf used – Charges on Offal', 'Depreciation Reserve', 'Discounts allowed Reserve', 'Factory Supervision and miscellaneous labour', 'Gift to Staff and Work people', 'Gift Schemes' (comprising 'Cigarette Card Scheme', 'Churchman', 'Gilt Edge'), 'Leaf Stored in U.S.A.', 'Leaf in Transit', 'Leaf in Bond', 'Leaf in Factory Stock', 'Leaf used', 'Leaf used – Labour, Hogshead and Leaf Wetting Down Rooms', 'Leaf Used – Claims for Damaged Leaf', 'Marine Insurance Claims (profit on claims), 'Manufacturing and Packing Labour', 'Overhead Charges', 'Other Debts', 'Office Salaries and Wages', 'Overhead Charges Reserve', 'John Player & Sons Nottingham Current Account', 'Pension Fund Contributions', Pensions Fd. Contributions Reserve', 'Provision for labour & P[ac]k[in]g. material', 'Rates', 'Rents Receivable', 'Rebate on materials', 'Stock in Trade', 'Sales Ledger Account', 'Sales' (comprising 'Tobacco', 'Cigarettes', 'Other Branch Goods', 'Digger Tobacco'), 'Special Expenditure', 'Traveller Salaries and Expenses', 'unexpired and Provision Account', 'Wages and Salaries' (totalling £32,847 18s 6d on 30 April 1934, and £60,633 13s 6d at the last entry on 31 October 1942). THREE: 'John Player & Sons | Private Journal | No. 5'. 1 September 1953 to 31 December 1956. 357pp. Dimensions: 39 x 27 x 4.5cm. Leather binding, in oat cloth covering with title stamped in black on cover. Stationers' label of Irish Carton Printers, Ltd., 33 Botanic Road, Dublin. Recording, in a number of different hands, the branch's various expenditure across a wide range, as for example: 'Leaf in Transit and in Bond', 'Salaries – General', 'Office Salaries', 'Rents', 'Customs & Excise', 'Duty on Leaf used', 'Engineers Stores Stock', 'Hogshead materials', 'Advertising – Vans', 'National Insurance', 'Medical Fees', 'Co[mpan]ys. Pension Fund Contrib[utio]ns.', 'Repairs & Renewals', 'Factory Supervision', 'Sundry Creditors', 'Bad Debts', 'Other Debts', 'Packing Materials Cigarette', 'General Charges' ('Travelling', 'Postage', 'Restaurant Fuel', 'Telephone'), 'Travellers Expenses – Motor Accidents', 'Factory Supervision', 'Packing Material', 'Storages', 'Advertising', 'Despatching', 'Capital Expenditure', 'Cleaning', 'Repairs to Premises', 'Customer Complaints', 'Discounts Allowed', 'Travellers Salaries'. There are regular entries of the monthly 'Cost of Sales of Goods', often topping the million-pound mark. The following entry, made on 31 December 1953, is not unusual in recording £1,061,389 8s 10d as the 'Cost of Sales of Goods Manufactures | To Manufacture Stock O. Goods. | Being Cost of Sales for the month.' This is followed, on the same day, by £2546 7s 10d, being the 'Cost of Sales Goods Purchased | To Manufacture Stock | Cost of Sales. - Goods purchased for the month.' An entry for 30 April 1953, with itemised prices, gives an idea of the range of entries: 'Following Accounts | To Sundry Creditors | Being provision for O/S. Invoices. | Despatching Expenses <?> Out. | Advertising Expenses – Sundries | Loss in Sales Returns | Miscellaneous Stocks RM's | Traveller Expenses | Miscellaneous Stocks Office Utensils | [Miscellaneous Stocks] Cases | Engineers Stores | Repairs in Renewals Direct (General) | Repairs in Renewals Stock | Engineering Work in Progress | Deferred Repairs | Repairs to Premises Direct'. FOUR: 'John Player & Sons | Private Journal | No. 6'. 15 January 1957 to 31 January 1960. 361pp. Dimensions: 39 x 27 x 4.5cm. A continuation of Item Three, in similar leather binding with oat cloth covering, and also with title on front cover, and Irish Carton Printers label. FIVE: 'John Player & Sons, | Dublin. | Impersonal Ledger.' Entries between 1944 and 1950. A substantial volume of several hundred pages, in a reinforced metal ring-binder bound in brown leather, thumb-indexed with 51 leather tabs. Dimensions: 37 x 41 x 8 cm. This volume, along with Item Six, would appear to be a set of working accounts, added to periodically, for working up into the formal accounts in Items Two to Four. It contains numerous sections of accounts in fields ranging from 'Advertising Stock Account – Materials' and 'Accident Pay – Head Office', to 'Subscriptions' and 'Travelling Expenses', and including 'Employees War Allowances', 'National Insurance – Employers' and 'Retirement Supplements', 'Fuel, Lighting, Dates, etc., used'. A few leaves of accounts are loosely inserted, including two in the section on 'Loans – Travellers' Cars', both listing the names of ten 'travellers'. A section on 'Advertising Expenditure' includes entries regarding the 'Sale of Playing Cards'. SIX: 'John Player & Sons | Dublin. | Impersonal Ledger.' Entries between 1955 and 1960. A companion volume to Item Five, and around half the length, still a substantial volume of several hundred pages. In the same style of metal ring-binder bound in brown cloth, but with a worn oat-cloth binding on the cover of which the title is stamped. Dimensions: 37 x 41 x 6 cm. Thumb-indexed with six brown-leather tabs stamped in gilt: 'Sales Less Discounts', 'Cost of Manufacture | Cost of Sales etc', 'Manufacturing & Selling Exps' (including 'Factory Supervision & Miscl. Labour'), 'Advertising', 'Other Items' and 'Section 11'. The volume begins with 'Sales Less Discount', beginning with £9,229,755 14s 4d on 1 August 1956, and ending with £14,196,321 3s 6d on 31 October 1960. Similar sections for 'Our Cigarettes', 'Our Tobacco', 'O.G.M.O. Branches', 'Other Branch Goods' and 'Foreign Cigars' follow. The last section in the volume ('Section 11') includes labour costs, including National Insurance and 'Voluntary Health Insurance'.