Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,638 pages of information and 235,472 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

S. Smith and Sons (Motor Accessories)

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Early Speedometer probably for Russian market.
March 1916.
March 1916.
April 1916.
April 1916.
January 1919.
March 1919.
March 1919. Four Jet Carburetter.
November 1919
January 1920.
January 1920.
January 1920.
January 1920.
January 1920.
February 1921.
February 1922.
March 1922.
June 1928. ML Magnetos.
December 1929.


July 1931.
October 1931.
March 1932.
February 1935.
September 1936.
November 1936.
October 1936.
February 1937.
September 1937.
October 1937.
November 1937.
October 1938.
January 1939.
May 1939.
April 1940.

‎‎ 1914 Formed a public company S. Smith and Sons (Motor Accessories) Ltd to acquire from S. Smith and Sons[1] that part of the business concerned with manufacture of speedometers, carburretors, and other motor accessories[2] with headquarters at Great Portland Street. The company was run by Samuel Smith Junior's son Allan Gordon Smith and the turnover was more than £100,000.

1914 Released their design of Self Starter to the British automotive market.

1914 Raised additional capital of £100,000. S. Smith and Sons (Motor Accessories). The board members were- [3]

1915 Raised additional capital of £200,000. [4]

1915 September 30th. First OGM of S. Smith and Sons (Motor Accessories). [5]

1916 October 2nd. Second OGM held. [6]

1917 November 14th. Third OGM held. [7]

1918 December 20th. Adjoined third OGM held. Have increased employees from 280 at outbreak of war to 2,000 now. Previously obtained the patents of Trier and Martin and retained the services of Vernon Trier. [8]

1919 Raised additional capital of £1,000,000. Recently purchased 95% of the M. L. Magneto Syndicate and the sole selling rights for the world for KLG Sparking Plugs. [9]

1919 December 3rd. Fifth OGM held. [10]

1920 February 13th. Shareholder meeting [11]

1920 Raised additional capital of £2,000,000. The board members were[12]:

1920 December 31st. Adjoined fifth OGM and the sixth OGM held. Charles Newman takes the chair as Samuel Smith is ill. [13]

1925 December 10th. Eleventh OGM held. Main products of the company were speedometers (3,000 per week), clocks and carburetters. Walter Henderson-Cleland is chairman. [14]

1927 January 20th. Twelfth OGM of S. Smith and Sons (Motor Accessories) held. Walter Henderson-Cleland is chairman[15]

1929 Smiths acquired the British Jaeger Company, which later became British Jaeger Instruments

1929 Formed an Aircraft Instruments Department.

1931 S. Smith and Sons (Motor Accessories) Ltd, entered the domestic clock market and formed a new company, Smiths English Clocks, as the Clock and Watch division of S. Smith and Sons (Motor Accessories) Ltd, with Cricklewood as the main factory. Smiths, as they were later known, were one of the first companies to produce synchronous electric clocks. These were put on the market towards the end of 1931.

1935 Acquired controlling interest in Henry Hughes and Son

1937 23rd general meeting. Walter Henderson-Cleland was chairman[16]

1939 Ralph Gordon-Smith, the son of Allan Gordon-Smith arranged for a new site to be purchased at Bishop's Cleeve near Cheltenham to protect the business from potential bombing in the London area. The site at Bishop's Cleeve was Kayte Farm of 300 acres and it was purchased for £25,000 on the 6th April 1939. On 1st June S. Smith and Sons (Cheltenham) Ltd was formed as a subsidiary of the main business

British Precision Springs was set up to manufacture the hairsprings used in clocks as the source in Germany was not available during the war years

1940 In August the the main instrument repair department at Cricklewood was destroyed by bombing

World War II Production expanded. There was a demand for motor, aircraft and marine instruments for the Services and the production of industrial instruments, hitherto imported, was begun. Fuses for shells were also manufactured.

1944 A major regrouping of the whole Smiths organisation was carried out.

1944 The name of the principal company was changed to S. Smith and Sons (England) Ltd with four divisions[17]:

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Companies House filing
  2. The Times 21 July 1914
  3. The Times, Tuesday, Jul 21, 1914
  4. The Times, Thursday, Sep 09, 1915
  5. The Times, Friday, Oct 01, 1915
  6. The Times, Tuesday, Oct 03, 1916
  7. The Times, Thursday, Nov 15, 1917
  8. The Times, Saturday, Dec 21, 1918
  9. The Times, Tuesday, Jul 29, 1919
  10. The Times, Thursday, Dec 04, 1919
  11. The Times, Saturday, Feb 14, 1920
  12. The Times, Tuesday, Feb 17, 1920
  13. The Times, Saturday, Jan 01, 1921
  14. The Times, Friday, Dec 11, 1925
  15. The Times, Friday, Jan 21, 1927
  16. The Times 19 November 1937
  17. The Times 1 January 1945