History of Science Museum: Collection Database Search

Narratives

Exhibition Label: ''Elliott Brothers" (24/05/2011 - 24/7/2011) - General Introduction

Elliott Brothers

Introduction
The Museum has acquired the archives and collection of one of the most important instrument manufacturers in Britain in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The instruments have now all been added to our online database. To mark their cataloguing, a small selection is displayed here. It illustrates the range of Elliott's work, from drawing instruments to industrial measurement, navigational devices to engineering models.

The Evolution of a Business
The Elliott firm had a complex history over nearly two centuries. The founder William Elliott was apprenticed in 1795 and by 1804 he was independently established. After his death in 1853 his two sons took over and the business became Elliott Brothers.

The development of telegraphy and electrical supply provided a new focus in the late 19th century. In the 20th century the company expanded into industrial automation, computing and aviation. The trading name of Elliott Brothers finally disappeared in 1988, the business having been absorbed into what is nowadays BAE Systems.

Everyday Instruments
By the second half of the 19th century, Elliott Brothers based much of their business on innovative developments in the physical sciences and
engineering.

Nevertheless they continued to make and sell a wide range of 'bread and butter' devices - standard instruments for professional users in Britain and overseas, along with some for a more general public.

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