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Smiths clocks

Interior of 9 Strand shop

Founded in 1851, Smiths was once the largest clock manufacturer in Europe. Smiths clocks were ubiquitous and could be found everywhere from homes to aeroplanes. Even today Smiths clock faces are instantly recognisable.

The company was originally founded in 1851 by Samuel Smith who opened a shop in Newington Causeway (just down the road from us at Britain Can Make It). It was Samuel's son who incorporated the business and he also opened shops in central London including one at 9 Strand.

Exterior of 9 Strand shop

Over the years the company expanded, both organically and through acquisition. The Smiths group was particularly good at developing instruments for new inventions such as the motor car and the aeroplane and the two world wars helped drive demand for such technology.

In 1931 the company moved into the domestic market for clocks and in particular aimed to make their clocks affordable to the average household.