Henry Clay applied for a patent for heat resistant panels of laminated paper in 1772. This invention was initially called 'paper ware' and was an evolution of papier mâché, which had been produced in France from the 17th century. Clay's trade card noted his occupation as 'Japanner in ordinary to his Majesty and to his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales'. He moved to London in 1802, where the company remained active until 1860. Clay's Birmingham workshop was purchased in 1816 by the well-known firm of Jennens & Bettridge.