Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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George Kent

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Kent's Knife Cleaner - the product that started the company's success. Exhibit at Lawrence House Museum
1927. Kent's 'M' Type Meter.
1927. Kent's Venturi Meter.
1933. Electric Flow Transmitter.
1938. Ice Cabinet.
1938.
1974. Kent Exhibition at Olympia, London.
Part of water meter at The Bratch Pumping Station
Kent's Telerecorder. Exhibit at the Museum of Power.
Kent's Telerecorder. Exhibit at the Museum of Power.
1953. KU Flow meter.
'Venturi' Water meter.
'Venturi' Water meter.

George Kent Ltd, of 199 to 201 High Holborn, London WC and Luton, Beds

1838 Company established by George Kent.

1848 Advert. G. Kent, Patentee of the Rotary Knife Cleaner, 329 Strand and 101 Holborn Hill.[1]

1858 Patent. '2381. To George Kent, of High Holborn, in the county of Middlesex, Machinist, for the invention of "an improved churn."'[2]

1862 Patent. '3022. And to George Kent, of High Holborn, in the county of Middlesex, and Edward Paige Griffiths, of High-street, Camberwell, in the county of Surrey, for the invention of "improvements in apparatus for producing cocoa berries and other vegetable and animal substances to powder or pulp, and for mashing potatoes."'[3][4]

1864 Patent. '3106. And to George Kent, of High Holborn, in the county of Middlesex, for the invention of "improvements in apparatus for cleaning and polishing knives."'[5]

1864 Advert. Knife Cleaning Machines[6] - see Kent's Knife Cleaner

1865 Patent. '1520. To George Kent, of High Holborn, and William Hayward West, of Orange-street, Red Lion-square, Holborn, both in the county of Middlesex, for the invention of "improvements in apparatus used when boiling milk."'[7]

1865 Advert. 'George Kent at his Warehouse for the applications of Science to the Comforts of Life'[8]

1866 Listed as 'George Kent, of No. 199, High Holborn, in the county of Middlesex, Manufacturer of Articles for promoting Domestic Economy'[9]

1867 Patent. '3224. To George Kent, of Holborn, in the county of Middlesex, for the invention of "improvements in kneading machines." - A communication to him from abroad by George King, a person resident at 93, 6th Avenue, New York, United States of America.'[10]

1868 Patent. '1469. To George Kent, of No. 199, High Holborn, in the county of Middlesex, for the invention of "improvements in ice preservers, refrigerators, and ice safes."'[11]

1871 Employing 72 men and 12 boys.[12]

1873 Patent. '825. George Kent, of No. 199, High Holborn, in the county of Middlesex, Machinist, for an invention of "an improved combined carving fork and knife-sharpener." - Dated 19th March, 1870.'[13]

1876 Patent. '4222. To George Kent, of High Holborn, in the county of Middlesex, Manufacturer, for the invention of "an improved apparatus for cutting or slicing fruit, vegetables, and other substances."'[14]

1890 Advert. Speedwell Crystal Churn. George Kent (Manufacturer), 199 High Holborn.[15]

1891 Released a catalogue of their water meter.[16]

1907 Incorporated as a Limited Company.

1908 New works at Luton for George Kent and Co.

1914 Mechanical and Domestic Engineers. Manufacturer of rotary knife cleaning machines, ventilated ice safes and refrigerators, fluid meters for water, sewage, air, gas or oil. [17]

1921 After an absence of several months, Mr W. G. Ardley, a director of the company at the time returned to England from South Africa in March 1921.

1921 Merged with J. Blakeborough and Sons under the title of George Kent Ltd and J. Blakeborough and Sons Ltd. [18]

1925 They transferred their sales branch from 199-201, High Holborn, London, WCI to Luton.[19]

1965 George Kent took over Evershed and Vignoles[20].

1968 Digital control system. [21]

1968 Supplied turbo-alternator instrumentation for the Winfrith power station. [22]. Acquired Fielden Electronics[23].

1968 Took over Cambridge Instrument Co, forming the largest independent British manufacturer of industrial instruments, after competition with Rank Organisation but with the support of the Industrial Reorganization Corporation.

1971 George Kent sold Evershed and Vignoles to Thorn Electrical Industries; Rank Organisation increased its interest in the company to 18%[24].

1971 Acquired Introl which remained an autonomous company in the Group[25]

1973 Abortive attempt by George Kent to sell Cambridge Instrument Co to private company Metals Research[26]

1974 Acquired by Swiss company Brown, Boveri and Co - the group was split into two parts Brown Boveri Kent and a new company Scientific and Medical Instruments; Brown Boveri would inject funds into Brown Boveri Kent and be the largest shareholder with 49 percent of the equity [27]; SMI would take in Cambridge Instrument Co but needed state aid in order to establish the business[28]


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