Hilger & Watts

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Hilger & Watts was a well-known British manufacturing company that made theodolites and scientific instruments.


It was founded on 20 February 1948 when Adam Hilger, Ltd, founded in 1874, merged with Messrs E. R. Watts and Son, founded in 1865.[1]


It employed around 1,300 people in six factories in the late 1940s. It was situated on Camberwell Road (A215 road) in Camberwell, near the junction with the B214, between Walworth (to the north) and Camberwell (to the south) on the western edge of Burgess Park, now part of the London Borough of Southwark. There was a factory in Highbury, together with the head office in Camden Town and a small factory situated between Margate and Ramsgate in Kent. These locations were primarily "Hilger" products, whereas Camberwell was primarily Watts products. Amongst other devices, the Camden location produced PDP-8 computer driven X-Ray diffractometers in the late 1960's. At least one of which is believed to be still functional at Oxford University Chemistry Dept. in 2017.



  • Times, page 9, 25 February 1948