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was a 19th century biscuit maker and innovator, who lived in the English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...
town of Reading
Reading is a large town and unitary authority area in England. It is located in the Thames Valley at the confluence of the River Thames and River Kennet, and on both the Great Western Main Line railway and the M4 motorway, some west of London....
. In 1822 he founded a small biscuit baker and confectioner shop at number 72 London Street.
At this time, London Street was the main stage coach route from London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...
, Bath and the West Country
The West Country is an informal term for the area of south western England roughly corresponding to the modern South West England government region. It is often defined to encompass the historic counties of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset and the City of Bristol, while the counties of...
. One of the main calling points of the stage coaches was the Crown Inn, opposite Joseph Huntley's shop and he started selling his biscuits to the travellers on the coaches. Because the biscuits were vulnerable to breakage on the coach journey, he started putting them in a metal tin. Out of this innovation grew two businesses: Joseph (the elders) biscuit shop that was to become the famous biscuit manufacturer Huntley & Palmers
Huntley & Palmers was a British firm of biscuit makers originally based in Reading, Berkshire. The company created one of the world's first global brands and ran what was once the world’s largest biscuit factory. Over the years, the company was also known as J...
, and Huntley, Bourne and Stevens, a firm of biscuit tin manufacturers founded by his younger son, also called Joseph. In 1838, Joseph Huntley was forced by ill-health to retire, handing control of the shop to his older son Thomas.