Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,812 pages of information and 211,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Hilger and Watts

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1947. Optical Theodolite.
March 1957. Cowley Level Department.
March 1958.
June 1958
August 1958
1959. Autocollimator with Remote Electronic Indicator.

Hilger and Watts, makers of optical measurement instruments, Camberwell Road, London SE5.

Hilger Division - 98 St Pancras Way, Camden Road, London NW1

1948 Incorporated as a public company to acquire 3 old established firms engaged in theodolites, microscopes, etc[1] E. R. Watts and Son, Adam Hilger and James Swift and Son.

1959 Measurement devices across a wide spectrum of radiation ultra-violet through visible to infra-red and microwave; new development of use of spectrograph for measuring wear in engine bearings; development of digitising equipment had proved commercially successful; had collaborated with competitor Cooke, Troughton and Simms Ltd to develop a surveyor's automatic level; had acquired Collimator Cases Ltd[2].

1965 Proposal to acquire 40% of Grubb Parsons with view to collaborating on some activities[3]

1968 Queen's Award to Industry for Technological Innovation [4]

1968 Acquired by Taylor, Taylor and Hobson, part of Rank Precision Industries. Presumably it was at this point that James Swift was disposed of.

Board of Directors in 1951: Chairman and Managing Director: G. A. Whipple Directors: F Twyman, A C Menzies, R Stanley, V W H Towns, A H Campbell


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 25 February 1948
  2. The Times, 1 April 1959
  3. The Times 20 August 1965
  4. The Engineer 1968/04/26 p650
  • [1] Company history at Hall and Watts
  • [2] London Science Museum Collections
  • [3] Wikipedia