1871 - 1956
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Frederick Henry Brigden (Fred Brigden Jr.) was born in 1871 in England. His father, Frederick Brigden Sr., was an artist and engraver who worked in the printing industry in London from a young age. The family immigrated to Canada in 1872 and Brigden Sr. cofounded the Toronto Engraving Company (later called Brigden's Limited) in 1877. By 1888 Brigden was sole owner of the company, which employed a large number of artists and engravers, and included Eaton's among its clientèle. In the same year, he founded the Saturday Club, an arts and letters group for artists and engravers working at his company.
By 1898, Brigden’s sons, George and Frederick Jr. were both working in the company, as business manager and art director respectively. With the advent of new technology at the turn of the century, The Toronto Engraving Company expanded its business to include photography, photo-engraving and a printing department.
In 1910 the firm’s name was changed to Brigdens Limited. The company attracted many artists from around Toronto, employing them through World War I. In 1914, a branch in Winnipeg was opened by Frederick Henry to provide artwork for the T. Eaton Company’s western catalogue. The Winnipeg office was a highly successful venture, with many major Canadian artists, including Charles Fraser Comfort and Fritz Brandtner in its employ.