Elliott Brothers, technical instrument manufacturers of Lewisham, Kent
Immediate source of acquisition:
Received from Siemens Plessey Controls Ltd. on 18 February 1993
Administrative / biographical background:
In 1800 William Elliott founded a business in Tash Street, Gray's Inn as a maker of drawing instruments (after serving an apprenticeship, see /8). By 1807 he had moved to a shop and workshop in High Holborn, and by 1816 he was manufacturing such items as telescopes and barometers. In 1830 he moved to 56, Strand and took his sons into partnership. The company began to manufacture instruments for surveying, for railways (e.g. steam pressure indicators) and scientific instruments of all kinds.
William Elliott died in 1853 and his sons Charles and Frederick William continue the business as Elliott Bros. In the second half of the 19th century the company began manufacturing electrical instruments, and in 1893 they amalgamated with Theiler & Co, telegraph and instrument makers.
In 1900 the company moved to new premises: Century Works, Connington Road, Lewisham. They began making speedometers, and instruments for ships and aircraft.
In 1947 the company merged with the weighing machine manufacturers B and P Swift. A research laboratory as set up at Boreham Wood. The company began to manufacture computers and flight automation equipment (made at Rochester).
In 1967 the company was taken over by G.E.C and in 1979 by Fisher Controls Ltd. In the later 1980s they were taken over by Plessey, later Siemens Plessey. About 1989 their operations were moved from Century Works to New Century Works, Marine Wharf, Plough Way, SE16. Operations on this site ceased in 1993.
A list is available at the Local History Centre of the archives which were held by Fisher Controls Ltd. at Century Works in 1984. It is understood that these are now held by G.E.C. The Siemens Plessey records at Marine Wharf (other than the deposit listed below) were transferred to their office at Poole in 1993.