Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,972 pages of information and 229,026 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
of 69 Mortimer Street, London, W1. Telephone: Museum 9696. Cables: "Objective, Wesdo, London"
R and J Beck was a renowned British optical company based in London.
1847 Formation of the partnership Smith and Beck
1851 James Smith and Richard Beck exhibited at the 1851 exhibition
1852 Listed as "Smith and Beck, opticians and microscope ma., 6 Coleman Street, City" 
1853 "The optical factory of the firm was opened at Holloway in 1853, appropriately named the Lister Works, and it clearly followed the Quaker tradition. The microscopist Thomas Hudson recorded in his diary a visit to the works in May 1854, finding it 'a model optical manufactory having a Steam Engine working Lathes &c this is a most complete establishment having a Library and Reading and Refreshment Room' (Turner, Frederick Thomas Hudson's microscopical diary, 198)."
1854 the company was named Smith, Beck and Beck.
1861 Employing 40 men, and 35 boys and girls 
1865 Smith retired; the company became R. and J. Beck.
1876 Robert Kemp, of the firm of R. and J. Beck, of Lister Works, Holloway, in the county of Middlesex, and of Cornhill, in the city of London, has given the like notice in respect of the invention of "improvements in microscopes"
1884 Listed under Opticians and under Philosophical Instrument Makers as Beck, R and J., 68 Cornhill Street. Manufactory, Lister Works, Holloway Road, N. 
WWI Produced a wide range of optical products: microscopes, telescopes, trench periscopes for army officers, eye test glasses for opticians (optometer lenses), other optical equipment, and last not least camera lenses and some cameras.
Best known in the camera area are some cameras of the brand Ensign which bear lenses branded as "Beck Ensign".
T. E. Lawrence, better known as 'Lawrence of Arabia', used a plate camera made by Beck.
1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Microscopes and Accessories, Spectroscopes, Photographic Lenses, Opaque Projectors, Sound Recording Apparatus, Optical Units, Lenses, Prisms, Flats in Glass, Quartz, Iceland Spar and Flurospar, Magnifiers, Specialised Optical Instruments. (Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. A.1084)