Misprints that cost big money

The Telegraph has an amusing gallery of misprints that ended up costing the perpetrators big money in fines, court judgments and other losses.  Here are a few examples.

Last year, the High Court found Companies House liable for the downfall of Taylor & Sons Ltd, the Government website mistakenly recorded that the Cardiff engineering firm had been wound up.

It was actually another company, Taylor & Son Ltd, that had gone bust. The error – just one pesky little “s” – caused the Welsh company to lose a lot of business, including a £400,000-a-month deal with Tata Steel, as partners assumed it had gone under, and cost Companies House £8.8m ($12.9m).

. . .

In 1631, Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, the Royal printers, were stripped of their publishing licence and fined £300 – worth tens of thousands today – after missing out three small but crucial letters in a version of the Bible.

The seventh commandment, in this run of 1,000 copies, instructed its readers: “Thou shalt commit adultery”.

King Charles I ordered the “Sinners’ Bibles” to be burnt, but nine copies are believed to exist today, with one put to auction for £15,000 last year.

. . .

In 2007, a bottle of Allsopp’s Arctic Ale, brewed specifically for Sir Edward Belcher’s Arctic Expedition in 1852 by the company that would late evolve into AB InBev, was auctioned on eBay. The rare beverage, which was carried on the ship that was later turned into the US President’s desk in the White House, attracted 157 bids and eventually sold for $503,300.

That was a big return for the seller, who had bought it on eBay just weeks earlier for $304 because the original vendor mistyped the name “Allsop”. By losing one “p” the seller missed out on more than half a million dollars.

There are more mistakes at the link.  Amusing reading.

(By the way, that Arctic Ale apparently tastes pretty good, even after so long in the bottle.  I wonder what the original seller – who misspelled the name and so lost out on over half a million dollars – used to drown his or her sorrows?)



  1. I used to collect Hallicrafters radios. Common misspellings in Ebay ads would allow you a chance to get a great deal on them. I'm still trying to find a deal on a SX-28…..

  2. I was visiting friends, one of whom was a Ranger at Shiloh National Military park, and we drove to Jackson, TN to buy a window Air Conditioner at Sears. On the way north, we came across a pair of signs that put together said "Dr. Pepper, good for athlete's foot." They almost looked like the two signs were one sign. We had to go back for another look, and wished we had a camera.

    This was in the late 70s.

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