Isaac Slater was born in Manchester in 1803. By 1818 he had become an apprentice to the publisher James Pigot.
The company produced trade directories and Slater became totally involved in these publications. There is some debate as to when, but James Pigot made Slater a partner some time between 1833 and 1840. The latter date coincides with the period just after Pigot’s son died and there is suggestion that there was a very close bond between Slater and Pigot and that he eventually replaced the position the son would have occupied had he lived.
The company name was changed to Pigot and Slater and remained until the death of Pigot in 1843 at which point Slater published directories eponymously.
In 1845, Fredric Festus Kelly’s company Kelly & Co was beginning to expand their publishing horizons from the London area. Their approach was both fierce and aggressive and in 1852 Slater decided to focus on Scotland, Ireland and northern England , leaving southern England to Kelly.
Slater died on the 3rd of December 1883 and at this point the status of his company was formalised and became Slater Limited. It was no surprise that by 1892, the majority shareholding had been acquired by Kelly & Co.
It was decided that the Slater’s Directory brand should continue on new issues and remained so for quite some time until 1921 when the Scottish directories were the last to finally change to “Kelly & Co”.