Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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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.
June 1961. Cowley Level Department.

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.

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

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.

1969 Hilger Microscopes Ltd and Hilger and Watts (International) Ltd were liquidated[5]:



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
  5. London Gazette 17 June 1969
  • [1] Company history at Hall and Watts
  • [2] London Science Museum Collections
  • [3] Wikipedia