- 1783-1929 (Creation)
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1.28 cubic metres
59 boxes and 1 oversize folder
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The scientific instrument manufacturing business of T. Cooke and Sons was founded by Thomas Cooke in York in 1837. He was a self-taught optical engineer who from 1855 built his own factory on Bishophill, York, producing a great range of goods from spectacles, telescopes and surveying equipment to sundials, clocks and lathes.
On his death in 1868 his sons took over the firm which continued to expand and export goods worldwide, particularly astronomical and surveying equipment. By the turn of the century defence products for the home market had also become an important field and in 1914 a new factory was built on Bishophill, York, to cope with war work.
In 1915 the control of Cooke's was acquired by Vickers Ltd who had long had an interest in the military side of Cooke products such as rangefinders and gunsights. Cooke's continued to expand in York and in 1922 they took over the instrument-making business of Troughton & Simms of London.
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