Adam Hilger Limited

Adam Hilger Limited, optical instrument makers

Adam Hilger Limited originates in 1874 when the business was established by Adam Hilger, who died in Brighton on 1897, his brother Otto then took over the business. The following year in 1898 a Frank Twyman joined the company and he took over as manager in 1902 when Otto died. The company was incorporated as a limited company in 1904.

Pre-war, Hilger's main products had been optical parts, sold mainly to rangefinder manufacturers Barr and Stroud, and specialized finished instruments, including spectrometers. Hilgers developed use for the large quartz spectrograph for metallurgical analysis; sold instruments to the American Brass Company.

Post-war: A significant holding in the company was sold to T. Cooke and Sons of York without knowing that Vickers held the majority of shares in Cooke's; the new parent company wished to bring Hilgers into line with the rest of its organization; Twyman did not believe this to be in the best interests of Hilgers and, in 1926, bought back the shares.

In 1946 E.R. Watts acquired 78% of the company and in 1948 Adam Hilger Ltd amalgamated with E. R. Watts and Son as Hilger and Watts Ltd which was incorporated as a public company.

They were listed at 75a Camden Road, London, NW1 and 98 St. Pancras Way, Camden Road, London, NW1.