John Joseph Mechi (1802-80) was a London businessman & innovator of the Victorian era. His father was Italian and was employed by the household of George III, marrying a local girl.
Beginning his career in 1818 training as a clerk, he set out on his own in 1828 as a ‘cutler’ in Leadenhall Street. He moved into his address at 4 Leadenhall Street in 1830.
Products included his ‘magic shaving strap’, which made him a small fortune early on (until beards became fashionable!) , and items made of Papier-mâché.
He was a prolific inventor, coming up with all sorts of interesting concepts he patented. He had a thriving farming business later on, and published a series of accounts on ‘Profitable Farming’. He was an Alderman of the City of London, but unfortunately became involved in a failed financial scheme, and was declared bankrupt -right when he was destined to become the Mayor of London….