Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Henry Hughes and Son

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February 1919
1925. Echo-Receiving Apparatus.
1929. Holmes magnetic compass.
1929. Holmes magnetic compass - dismounted.
1929. Path and position indicator.
1933. Echo Sounding Recorder.
c1930s. Model No 757 barograph with oak casing.
c1930s. Model No 757 barograph with oak casing.
c1930s. Instructions for self-recording instruments.

Hughes of 59 Fenchurch Street, EC3, works at Forest Gate and Ilford.

1828 The company was founded in London as a maker of chronographic and scientific instruments.

1903 The firm was incorporated as Henry Hughes and Son Ltd[1]

1914 Marine opticians. Specialities: all instruments and appliances required for the navigation of ships; nautical instrument makers for the navy. [2]

WWI Developed the first compass for use in aeroplanes[3]

1919 New works at Henault featured in The Engineer 1919/10/31. Plans illustrated.

1923 The business produced its first recording echo sounder.

Post-WWI: the company was awarded £2,250 by the Royal Commission on Awards to Inventors in respect of communication to the US government of inventions, designs, etc in relation to aircraft and aircraft accessories, specifically aircraft compasses[4]

1935 Controlling interest in the company was acquired by Smiths resulting in the development of marine and aircraft instruments.

1937 Navigational instrument makers. "Husun" Navigational Instruments. [5]

1939 See Aircraft Industry Suppliers

1941 Following the London office's destruction in the Blitz of 1941, a collaboration was entered into with Kelvin, Bottomley and Baird, resulting in the establishing of Marine Instruments.

1947 As a result of the success of this collaboration, the two companies amalgamated as Kelvin and Hughes; existing shareholders were invited to contribute to new shares; the semi-private nature of the business was not changed and no shares were offered to the general public[6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times 27 November 1903
  2. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  3. The Times 19 July 1921
  4. The Times, Jan 13, 1925
  5. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  6. The Times, Sep 01, 1947
  • [1] HUB Archives