- 1773-c 1950 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
0.17 cubic metres
12 boxes, 1 oversize folder and 1 roll
Name of creator
The mathematical instrument-making business founded by John Troughton Senior in London in 1756 was subsequently continued by his nephews, John and Edward Troughton. After John died Edward took into partnership William Simms who also came from an instrument-making family. The firm of Troughton & Simms expanded to produce a wide range of scientific instruments including levels, theodolites and astronomical equipment.
The company was involved in a notorious lawsuit in the 1830s brought against the astronomer Sir James South by Troughton & Simms concerning an equatorial telescope which they had constructed for him. South claimed this was defective and refused to pay. After much wrangling the case was eventually won by Troughton & Simms, but later South reduced the telescope to pieces and advertised it for sale.
The firm continued to trade until 1922 when it was bought out by T. Cooke & Sons Ltd of York.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
System of arrangement
Conditions of access and use area
Conditions governing access
Conditions governing reproduction
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
Existence and location of copies
Related units of description
The archives of T. Cooke & Sons; Cooke, Troughton & Simms; Charles Baker; and Vickers Instruments, are also deposited at the Borthwick Institute.
Books from the Vickers Instruments library, including 17th, 18th and 19th century works on surveying, astronomy and microscopy, form part of the University of York's Special Collections. A catalogue can be viewed online: https://www.york.ac.uk/media/library/documents/collections/vickers.pdf
Instruments manufactured by Troughton & Simms; T. Cooke & Sons; Cooke, Troughton & Simms; and Vickers Instruments are on display at the Department of Physics at the University of York.