Thursday, March 20, 2014

Sir Thomas Lipton, man about town

"Get around, get around, I get around ..." Any Beach Boys fans reading today? I love that song, and it could certainly be used to describe one of tea's early celebrities, Sir Thomas Lipton. He's on the cover of the new Upton Tea Quarterly, shown aboard his yacht (!) in 1920 with Rose Kennedy and her sisters, Eunice and Agnes. The name "Lipton" is so common today it's easy to forget that Thomas Lipton was quite a popular man back in the day.

As the Upton Tea Quarterly article notes, Lipton was a millionaire "even before he sold his first ounce of tea." He had opened his first store in 1871, when he was just 21, and soon had a successful chain of stores. He would eventually sell tea in his stores before deciding to source the tea himself by becoming a tea grower. (If you'd like to know more about Lipton, I recommend this book.)

The Upton Tea Quarterly article also has a great story about why Lipton became known as "Jubilee Lipton," and as you might suspect, it has something to do with royalty. If you'd like to read the entire Upton article, go here.


  1. Love that Upton Tea Quarterly and all of the fun information it provides.

    I wonder what Sir Thomas Lipton would think about the newest Lipton Tea ad campaign featuring the Muppets encouraging us all to "Be More Tea."
    Have you seen it, Angela?

  2. He was really something! I have an Edwardian tea tin from Lipton's and a brass art deco Lipton's tea caddy from the 1925 British Empire Exhibition. A fascinating man and company!

  3. Great post today Angela! Sir Thomas Lipton sounds so interesting, love the photo.


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