Albert Isaac Myers

Albert Isaac Myers (1865-1944) was born at Aldgate in London in 1865, the son of Moss (Morris) Myers and his wife Hannah Isaacs, who had married in 1852.  His father was variously described as a general dealer or auctioneer, but by 1881 was employed as the superintendant of the Kingsbury Road Jewish Cemetery.  The Census return for that year records Albert Isaac Myers – here, as in all early archival records, referred to simply as Isaac – as a fourteen-year-old bookseller’s apprentice. 

By 1889 he was in business for himself as Myers & Co., initially in partnership with Samuel Isaacs (until 1892) with premises at both 12 Borough High Street and in Holywell Street (or Booksellers’ Row) off the Strand.  In 1893 he married Frances Kate Gumbrinski , the daughter of a twice-widowed local fruiterer and florist, with whom he had a daughter, Phyllis May Myers (1895-1966).  The marriage was short-lived, his wife dying on 2nd April 1898.

The business meanwhile was thriving, dealing extensively in prints as well as books, trading briefly as Myers & Rogers around the turn of the century, and relocating in or about 1901 to No. 59 High Holborn – an address well-known since the late eighteenth century as the premises in turn of the ‘Architectural Library’ of Josiah Taylor and his successors the Weale family.   Catalogues published by the firm at this time included Catalogue of Engraved Portraits of Noted Personages Principally Connected with the History, Literature, Arts and Genealogy of Great Britain 1903 and Vanished & Vanishing London : Catalogue of Topographical Views of London and its Vicinity, being a Selection from the Extensive Stock of Engravings on sale by Myers & Co. 1906.

Myers was remarried in 1907 to Louie (Louise or Louisa) Hess (1866-1948), a schoolteacher and daughter of Samuel Hess, a German-born cap-peak manufacturer, and his wife Alice Cantor, the family moving at that time to Teignmouth Road, Cricklewood.  A daughter, Winifred Alice Myers, was born in 1909.  The business continued to prosper and in 1920 Myers became the tenth president of the ABA.

In 1922 the firm produced An Illustrated Catalogue of Illuminated Manuscripts, Rare Books, and Autograph Letters : Including the most important Bacon Manuscript ever offered for sale and in 1925 or thereabouts made a final move to 102 New Bond Street.  Myers died at his home at 73 Chatsworth Road, Brondesbury, on 27th November 1944.  His daughter Winifred continued the business, becoming a specialist in autograph manuscripts.  She herself became ABA president in 1950.

Laurence Worms 2013