Category Archives: Scientific Equipment

British made magnifying glasses, magnifiers and inspection mirrors

Gowlland Optical Limited make magnifiers and inspection mirrors, all made in England, very keenly priced and of top quality.  They make various chrome-plated and plastic pocket magnifiers (various magnifications) and watchmakers eye glasses, as well as various lengths, sizes and types of inspection mirrors (for looking under vehicles and so on).  They are available on Amazon, at Claritas Online and elsewhere.

http://www.gowllandoptical.co.uk

Gowlland Inpection Mirrors.  Made in England.

Gowlland Inpection Mirrors. Made in England.

Gowlland New Light Magnifier #215.  Made in England.

Gowlland New Light Magnifier #215. Made in England.

Gowlland Compound Magnifier #1067A.  Made in England.

Gowlland Compound Magnifier #1067A. Made in England.

Gowland Watchmaker's Eyeglass #231.  Made in England.

Gowland Watchmaker’s Eyeglass #231. Made in England.

Gowlland Twin Magnifier #216.  Made in England.

Gowlland Twin Magnifier #216. Made in England.

Pyser-SGI make their Inspecta range of loupes (magnifiers) and magnified measuring scales in Britain and various other optical and electro-optical equipment including night vision goggles and monoculars, measuring equipment, and specialist optical & monitoring equipment for broadcasting and CCTV.  It says on their website that “all manufacturing is UK based in … two specialised factories in South East England’ – http://www.pyser-sgi.com

Pyser-SGI Measuring Magnifier MAG 6.  Made in Britain.

Pyser-SGI Measuring Magnifier MAG 6. Made in Britain.

Coil make some of their magnifying glasses and magnifiers in Slough in England, but it does not say which on their website. For example, the Coil 6262 Sliding Pocket Magnifiers are made in China. You will have to ask them if you are interested in a particular product or look at the packaging if you can find a retailer I guess.  There is a list of Coil distributers on their website. The Vision Enhancers website has a rather useful “what will I see with this product” feature.

H Roberts & Sons (D.I.) LTD sell search and detection, torque and metrology equipment, including inspection mirrors and bench magnifiers. They no longer seem to sell Roberts branded magnification equipment. Their bench magnifiers used to be made in the UK but I am unsure if this is still the case, so please check before purchase – http://www.hroberts-di.com

ACO Electronics specialises in the design and manufacture of equipment for the detection of counterfeit and forged documents, including search equipment, forgery detection equipment, magnifiers, ultra-violet lamps, infra-red document examination and fingerprint comparison equipment. Some of their products are made in the UK, for example all their ultraviolet desk lamps are manufactured by them in the UK, but please check before purchase. Non of the magnifiers ACO Electronics sell are made in the UK. Of their portable ultraviolet lamps only the battery powered UV-Illuminator and the mains powered UV-Illuminator II are manufactured in the UK – http://www.acoelectronics.com

http://www.deskaccessories.co.uk make magnifying glasses (handheld or with a stand) in brass in Wales and various other desk accessories – http://www.deskaccessories.co.uk

Other than the above it seems most other magnifiers, etc are now made abroad.  Does anyone know of any more magnifiers or magnifying glasses that are still made in Great Britain please?

Brushed Brass Magnifying Glass by www.deskaccessories.co.uk

Brushed Brass Magnifying Glass by www.deskaccessories.co.uk

 

 

British Made Tools – British Made DIY, Trade, Agricultural and Garden Tools and Equipment – British Made Engineering Tools and Equipment – Building Work – Scientific Equipment

British Made Tools – British Made DIY, Trade, Agricultural and Garden Tools and Equipment – British Made Engineering Tools and Equipment – Building Work – Scientific Equipment

British Made Tape Measures  and Rulers

Fiscohttp://www.fisco.co.uk – make tape measures in Essex in England.  They make tape measures (the kind used by builders and in DIY), spirit levels, laser measures, long tape measures and surveyor’s tape measures, set squares, wooden rulers (bench rules, surveyor’s rods), steel rulers, and chalk line reels.  I am not sure if everything they sell is made in England, so best to check before buying.  Their products are available in Jewson, on the net, etc. Fisco are not British owned, rather they are part of the Hultafors Group AB which is in turn a business area wholly owned by Swedish Investment AB Latour.  I have a Fisco Pro-Flex and it is a really good tape measure at a reasonable price.  I also have a Fisco Un-Vision tape measure. I note their tape measures, whilst still made in England, are now marked Hultafors Fisco rather than just Fisco.

Fisco Pro-Flex tape measure. Made in England.

Fisco Pro-Flex tape measure. Made in England.

Big T tape measure by Fisco. Made in England

Big T tape measure by Fisco. Made in England

A vintage Fisco Uni-Vision 3m 10ft tape measure. Made in England. Photograph by author.

Rabone Chesterman (a company resulting from the 1963 merger of Rabone of Birmingham and Chesterman of Sheffield), maker of spirit levels and rules, of Whitmore St, Birmingham, were sold to Stanley in 1989. Rabone had previously acquired Dean Tape measures, the main British maker of non-metallic tape measures for the haberdashery trade, in 1986. In 1989, Stanley Tools purchased the assets of Rabone Chesterman from Bardsey PLC.  Since then, the name and the name Dean have disappeared from their product lines.

Vintage Rabone Chesterman Handiflex 3.5meter/12′ Tape Measure. Metric and Imperial. Made in England.

VINTAGE STEEL RULE IMPERIAL/ METRIC 6" MADE IN ENGLAND (1)

VINTAGE STEEL RULE IMPERIAL/ METRIC 6″ MADE IN ENGLAND.

I also found made in England tape measures branded Lion Heart on e-bay.

Does anyone know of other companies making tape measures in the UK?  What about sewing / tailor’s measuring tapes (Dean as far as I know no longer exist)?

Vintage Tape Measure with brass ends by Dean. Made in England

Vintage Tape Measure with brass ends by Dean. Made in England.

Woodworking tools, engineering tools, DIY tools, trade tools and equipment, glues, and other Tools

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British made penknives, pocket knives, survival knives, bushcraft knives and safety knives

The United Kingdom and in particular Sheffield, England is world famous for its steel products and contrary to popular belief many fine quality steel products are still manufactured in Sheffield.  There is a wide choice of quality British made kitchen knives, cutlery, pocket knives, pen knives, folding knives, survival knives, bushcraft knives, safety knives and scissors available at reasonable prices, for example from:

A.Wright and Son Limited – http://www.penknives-and-scissors.co.uk – make scissors, cutlery, kitchen knives, pen and pocket knives, hunting knives, sheath knives, British Army knives, ettrick knives, boating knives, throwing knives, commando knives, bowie knives, bushcraft and survival knives. Started in 1947, Arthur Wrights is a traditional Sheffield Pen and Pocket knife manufacturer. Everything is done in-house in Sheffield.  The quality of their products is excellent and they are good value for money.  I have an Arthur Wright 70W 70mm Farmers Sheepfoot Pocket Knife and it really is a sturdy no-nonsense knife and a fabulously useful tool. My 70W Farmers Sheepfoot weighs 80 grams (2.8 oz), has an overall blade length of 70mm (2.75″), a straight cutting edge of 63mm (2.48″) and an overall length of 158mm (6.25″). The Farmers Sheepfoot Pocket Knife is iconic and very much a traditional country knife.

Arthur Wright 70W Farmers Sheepfoot. A sturdy no-nonsense utility knife with a wide blade, brass linings, nickel bolsters and Rose Wood scales on handle. 70mm blade.

Arthur Wright 70W Farmers Sheepfoot. A sturdy no-nonsense utility knife with a wide blade, brass linings, nickel bolsters and Rose Wood scales on handle. 70mm blade. Made in England.

Arthur Wright 70W 70mm Farmers Sheepfoot

Arthur Wright 70W 70mm Farmers Sheepfoot.  Made in England.

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