Date: 1888

Origin: Keith Walden, Becoming Modern in Toronto: The Industrial Exhibition and the Shaping of a Late Victorian Culture (Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1997) p.186. Information on The Grip is from Wikipedia

The Grip

Grip was the name of the Toronto, Ontario design firm that was home to many of Canada’s premier designers and painters during the first half of the 20th century.

The company was founded in 1873 by the cartoonist J.W. Bengough to publish his satirical weekly magazine Grip. In addition to publishing the magazine, Bengough published chapbooks and did design work and advertising for various clients. After Bengough lost control of the company in the 1890s, the company became better known as an important design firm, providing artwork, wood cuts, and other services for merchandise and print advertising. Many artists like C. W. Jeffreys, Tom Thomson, and members of the Group of Seven were employed there. The company was later renamed Rapid Grip. Later it became known as Batten, then Bomac Batten, until it was finally purchased by the Laird Group. Grip magazine was briefly revived in 2000 as a satirical quarterly, published by Toronto-based Lategan Media Group.