Vickers plc, Vickers Instruments

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

Vickers plc, Vickers Instruments

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



In 1959 Cooke Troughton & Simms acquired C. Baker Microscopes and Casella (Electronics) Ltd so in 1962 the name of the combined company was changed to Vickers Instruments Ltd, trading from 1 January 1963. On 1 April 1965 the name changed to Vickers Ltd, Vickers Instruments and on 1 January 1982 to Vickers PLC, Vickers Instruments.

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Vickers Instruments continued to develop a large range of surveying equipment and microscopes for which they won British design awards. In 1968 the microscope side of the Croydon Works (previously C. Baker Microscopes) was transferred to York. Later Laser Range Finders were developed for Vickers tanks and Fibercheck was introduced for the optical glass fibre industry.

In the early 1980s, after reviews and appraisals, it was decided to concentrate on the semi-conductor market which lead to the acquisition of Semco Instruments Co Ltd of Ottawa, Canada. In 1987 Quaestor, an instrument for the high precision measurement of microchips, won the Queen's Award for Technology and the Queen's Award for Export.

In 1988 Vickers Group sold Vickers Instruments (York) to Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. USA, becoming Bio-Rad Micromeasurements of York. The ordnance side of the business was acquired by British Aerospace, thus keeping it in British hands.


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

General context

Relationships area

Related entity

Cooke, Troughton, and Simms Ltd, scientific instrument manufacturers (1922-1962)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship


Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Related entity

C. Baker Ltd, scientific instrument manufacturers (fl 1765-1959)

Identifier of the related entity

Category of the relationship


Dates of the relationship

Description of relationship

Access points area


Control area

Authority record identifier

Institution identifier


Rules and/or conventions used

ISAAR(CPF): International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2003); Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997).


Level of detail

Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created 28.02.17.




Description written by Alison Brech, 2003.

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