Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Data Recording Instrument Co

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Maker of computer peripherals (tape and disc memories, printers, etc), of Hawthorne Rd, Staines, Middx (1974)

1956 Founded by C. Hardy[1] and Stanley W. Grundy to make magnetic recording heads[2]

1968 Was a subsidiary of ICT; had 2 teams working on development of disc stores for computers[3]; ICT became part of ICL that year.

1972 ICL sold its 70 percent share in the company to Grundy (Teddington) Ltd which already held 30 percent; DRI supplied 70 percent of its products to ICL but expected the non-ICL parts of the business to grow; Geoffrey Cross, managing director of ICL, would join the board of DRI[4]

1974 NRDC provided support for research and development at the company, initially taking 10 percent of the equity and making a loan available[5] later rising t 45 percent, with Grundy (Teddington) owning 55 percent

Employed about 1000 people in Staines

1974 Formed JV with US company Nortronics, called DRI-Nortronics, to serve the European market with recording heads for a variety of tasks[6]

1976 National Enterprise Board provided funds for the company, giving the NEB controlling interest[7]

1977 With Grundy and Partners of Stonehouse, Glos, jointly marketed a display panel TRUEDATA[8]

1978 Acquired Newbury Laboratories, maker of low cost visual display units, which would help the group expand its range of products. The company was reorganised with a new company Data Recording Equipment Co created to continue the computer peripheral activities; this and Data Recording Heads and Newbury Labs would be subsidiaries of Data Recording Instrument which would become the holding company[9]

1980 Invested $9 million in Decision Data Computer Corporation of the USA, in exchange for a stake in the company; allowed DRI to make equipment for Decision Data which sold them in the USA[10]

1982 BTG created a new company, Newbury Data Recording, combining 2 of its client companies Data Recording Equipment Co of Staines, maker of dot matrix printers, and Newbury Laboratories, maker of visual display unit; the new company would be the largest British-owned supplier of computer peripherals and would market peripherals from other British companies too[11]

1983 Received $22 million from sale of part of the holding in Decision Data; now only held 4.2 percent of that company

1984 DRI was one of BTG's more profitable subsidiaries; 65 percent was sold to financial institutions[12]. Renamed DRI Holdings

1986 Reported lower turnover but higher profits[13]

1987 Sold the cluster-controller business to Micro-Scope[14]

At some point after this must have been acquired by FKI Electricals but not sure when this happened

1994 One of a number of businesses which were acquired by Wellmann from FKI[15]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Wireless World, Volume 70, 1964
  2. Electronic Engineering, Volume 46, 1974
  3. Data and Control, 1968
  4. The Times, Sep 21, 1972
  5. The Times Mar 12, 1974
  6. Billboard 13 Jul 1974
  7. The Times, Jul 22, 1976
  8. Data Systems, 1977
  9. The Times, Jan 13, 1978
  10. The Times, Dec 01, 1983
  11. The Times, Jun 10, 1982
  12. The Times, Aug 14, 1984
  13. The Times August 28, 1986
  14. The Times, April 02, 1987
  15. The Times, July 19, 1994