Joseph Britton (1825 - 1901) and Jacques Joseph Rey (1820 -1892) were partners in a lithography firm in San Francisco, California.

Britton was born in Yorkshire, England, and immigrated to the United States in 1835 with his family, living in New York City, becoming a lithographer by 1847. In 1849, he left New York to seek his fortune in California during the California Gold Rush. He made the journey with George Gordon’s ‘Gordon’s California Association’, and chose the voyage which included an overland trek via Nicaragua. The voyage was supposed to last 60 days, but instead lasted an incredible 8 months. After several unsuccessful years in various gold mining camps, Britton relocated to San Francisco and established a lithography firm, probably in 1851, and then entered into a short-lived collaboration with C.J. Pollard in 1852, named Pollard and Britton. By late 1852, Britton had formed a partnership with the lithographer Jacques Joseph Rey.

Jacques Joseph Rey was born in Bouxwiller, Alsace, France, and apparently was trained in art and lithography. Around 1850, he immigrated to California. While working with Britton, Rey served as the principal artist, traveling around making sketches of views and designing prints. Even so, Britton also designed views, and served as the chief lithographer, along with managing the business aspects of the firm. Britton and Rey collaborated with several other artists, such as Thomas Almond Ayres (1816-1858), George Holbrook Baker (1824 - 1916), and others. They also collaborated with other lithography firms.

Rey married Britton’s sister in 1855, but Britton remained a life-long bachelor and lived with the Rey family. Rey and Britton were well integrated into San Francisco. They owned a plumbing and gas-fitting firm, which apparently Rey managed. They also worked with several different lithographers off and on, but their partnership solidified by 1867. Britton was one of the three original investors in Andres Hallidie’s first San Francisco cable-car line on Clay Street and served twice as a San Francisco City and County Supervisor.

Following Rey’s death and Britton’s retirement, Rey’s son, Valentine J. A. Rey, took over the business and ran it at least until the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. The remnants of Britton and Rey’s business was sold to A. Carlisle and Company, another San Francisco lithographer, in 1916.