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 149,270 pages of information and 234,239 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Francis Watkins

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Francis Watkins, an American, arrived in England about 1856[1]. He was introduced to Arthur Keen by Thomas Astbury and became Keen's first business partner, probably in 1856[2].

Astbury had recognized the potential of a patent for a nut-making machine that Watkins was trying to sell in Britain.

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Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Daily Post 28 February 1862, repeating an article from the London American
  2. Biography of Arthur Keen, by Barbara M. D. Smith, ODNB