- 1815-1961 (Creation)
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0.15 cubic metres
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The firm of C Baker was established probably at 244 High Holborn in 1765. Charles Baker (1820-1894) was in business by 1851 and prospered on the sales of good-quality microscopes and accessories.
In 1894 Charles Baker died and several generations of the Curtis family then continued to run the business. From 1918 premises were taken in Balham, later named the Metron Works, until 1947 when the company relocated to Purley Way, Croydon, Surrey. The shop and office at 244, High Holborn were retained.
The business was acquired by Cooke, Troughton & Simms in 1959, together with the services of Francis Smith, internationally respected as an optical engineer, who brought a large collection of patent specifications to the combined company. The Holborn premises and business were left out of the acquisition and the business continued in new premises as Rekab Ltd in the hands of Michael Curties.
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The archives of T. Cooke & Sons; Troughton & Simms; Cooke, Troughton & Simms; 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
The archive of Vickers Instruments' parent company Vickers Ltd, 1850-1970, is deposited at Cambridge University Library (Reference: GBR/0012/MS Vickers).