And this month the two interests coincided when I had to repair two 1920s/30s Smiths vehicle clocks, one just needing a clean and service, while the other needed a new mainspring. Im sure Smiths will be a familiar name to anybody interested in old vehicles, and if youve ever driven an old British car, van or lorry, the chances are it had a Smiths speedometer, fuel gauge etc. And although the ' no longer garage door opener parts liftmaster vehicle instruments, the company still exists, and is a real British success story. The firm goes back to 1851 when one Samuel Smith opened a jewellery shop in south London.
Within 20 years the lirm had expanded to several shops and started making garage door opener parts liftmaster in ihe 1880s. The firm rnadi its first speedometer in 1904, and went on to make other vehicle gauges and instruments. In fact the supply ofvehicle parts and equipment was so successful that new premises named Speedometer House were opened in London in 1 During the First World War Smiths made aircraft instruments, a business the company remained in until 200 By 1927 the firm was making K0% ol all the speedometers sold in the UK, and in 1934 also went into the manufacture of vehicle heaters. By the mid 1930s the firm was producing 14,000 mechanical and electric clocks a week.
An industrial instruments division was added to the S Smith &Sons group in 1944, and just after the Second World War the firm expanded into Canada and Australia. Smiths went into the manufacture of medical supplies and equipment in the 1950s, and a new factory in Scotland saw production of docks increase to 25,000 per day! The 1960s saw the firm develop the first successful automatic landing system for civilian aircraft, and also an early ATM cash dispenser. The firm was renamed Smiths Industries in 1 Things started to change even more in the 1970s. Clock production ceased due to international competition, but aircraft and medical work garage door opener parts liftmaster The firm left the automotive market in 1983, but since then has gone on to more success in areas as diverse as airport baggage scanning equipment, and oil & gas extraction.