Geo Wostenholm founded his company in 1745, in Sheffield, England. The IXL trademark (for I Excel) was added 1826. They grew their company name during the Industrial Revolution, and they had very successful business in the United States. Their rival brand Joseph Rodgers & Sons also had a great reputation and they both worked hard to stay the cream of the Sheffield crop. Ironically, both brands are owned currently by a parent company, but are still produced in Sheffield and craftsmanship has remained high quality.