MANY of us remember the remarkable development during the Four Years War of what was then practically a new British industry engaged upon the design and manufacture of scientific instruments, particularly of the optical variety. Without belittling in any way the pioneer work of many famous scientists in certain fields—some whose names remain enshrined in the titles of honoured units in the industry—it is true to say that in 1914 we were largely dependent on Germany for instruments of precision and that the “capacity”—to use the present‐day jargon—available in this country was very small and quite inadequate to cope with the demands from the three Services, to say nothing of industry. By 1918, however, a large and flourishing industry turning out products of the highest class had been built up which retained its reputation through the period between the two wars. Though, like other industries—and none more so than the aircraft world—cut down in proportions, the instrument firms continued to evolve tools of quality and were among the enlightened communities which formed a research association for their mutual benefit and the public advantage.
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