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 148,151 pages of information and 233,681 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

W. Watson and Sons

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June 1901.
July 1901.

1927. Van Heurck Microscope.
1927. Kima Microscope.
1927. Watson Greenough Binocular.
1928. Vickers-Watson Universal Micrograph.
1928. The 'Wands' Microscope.
January 1932.
June 1932.
March 1932.
November 1932.
1934. Service Microscope.

W. Watson and Sons, optician and camera maker, of 313 High Holborn, London, WC1, and Edinburgh. Telephone: Holborn 2767. Works: Bells Hill, High Barnet, Hertfordshire. Cables: "Optics, London". (1929)

Ditto Addresses and Telephone. Cables: "Optics, Holb., London". (1947)

Made fine wooden view cameras and others as well as binoculars, microscopes, movie projectors

1837 Founded.

1889 Participated in the formation of a Photographic Trades Section of the London Chamber of Commerce[1]

1894 Exhibited scientific instruments at the Antwerp Exhibition[2].

1900 acquired John Browning and Co.

1912 Demonstrated use of ac to enhance the growth of plants in a nursery near London[3]

1929 Advert in British Industries Fair Catalogue as an Optical, Scientific and Photographic Exhibit. Manufacturers of Microscopes for Medical, Industrial, Educational purposes and for the Amateur, Prism Binoculars, Astronomical and Portable Telescopes, Photographic Lenses and Cameras, Surveying and measuring Instruments, Photometers, Scientific Apparatus of every description. (Scientific Section - Stand No. N.24) [4]

1947 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Manufacturers of Microscopes for all purposes and auxiliary optical and mechanical accessories. Photometers, Telescopes, Prism Binoculars, Photographic Lenses (all types) Optical Elements in every form. (Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. A.1020) [5]

1951 Demonstrated improved zoom lens for TV cameras[6]

1956 Company closed (perhaps this refers to the optical side, since the company continued as a subsidiary of Pye).

By 1959 was a subsidiary of Pye[7].

1959 Part of Pye Instruments Group. Introduced the Barnet Ventilator, an electronic replacement for the iron lung[8]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Oct 10, 1889
  2. The Times, Oct 22, 1894
  3. The Times, May 15, 1912
  4. 1929 British Industries Fair Advert p124; and p176
  5. 1947 British Industries Fair p292
  6. The Times, Jun 30, 1951
  7. The Times, Dec 08, 1959
  8. The Times, Nov 06, 1959
  • Camerapedia [1]