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Taylor-Hobson are precision instrument manufacturers based in Leicester, England.

The company was founded in 1886 by engineer William & optician Thomas Smithies Taylor. In 1887, W. S. H. Hobson joined the company.

In 1893 they produced their first Cooke lenses, designed by H. Dennis Taylor (no relation to the company founders) - optics manager of T. Cooke & Sons, York. Taylor was attempting to eliminate the aberrations at the outer edge of lenses, and in 1893 patented the Cooke triplet design (British patent no. 1991)[1]. Manufacturing rights were offered to Taylor, Taylor & Hobson, as the company was then known. As part of this arrangement, lenses produced by Taylor, Taylor & Hobson were branded as Cooke lenses.

In 1932, the first Cooke zoom lens was introduced for cine applications. By 1939, Taylor-Hobson claim to be producing over 80% of lenses for film studios across the world[2].

The company still exists, producing lens measurement equipment, bearings, instruments and medical replacement joints - among other precision items[3]. The separate lens company, Cooke Optics Ltd, was formerly the lens manufacturing part of Taylor-Hobson, and continues to design and manufacture lenses for the movie industry.

William Taylor was also responsible for testing golf balls in a wind tunnel, and developing a dimpled golf ball[4].

  1. Cooke Optics website, history page
  2. T-H Company web site: Beginning
  3. T-H Company website: Products
  4. T-H Company website: Evolution of the Dimpled Ball
British companies
Adams & Co. | Agilux | APeM | Artima | Barnet Ensign | Beck | Billcliff | Boots | British Ferrotype | Butcher | Cooke | Corfield | Coronet | Dallmeyer | Dixons | Dollond | Elliott | Gandolfi | Gnome | G. Hare | Houghtons | Houghton-Butcher | Hunter | Ilford | Jackson | Kershaw-Soho | Kodak Ltd. | Lancaster | Lizars | MPP | Newman & Guardia | Perken Son & Rayment | Purma | Reid & Sigrist | Ross | Ross Ensign | Sanderson | Shackman | Shew | Soho | Standard Cameras Ltd | Taylor-Hobson | Thornton-Pickard | Watkins | Watson | Wray

Taylor-Hobson LensesEdit

  • Apotal
  • Aviar
  • Cooke triplet
  • Cooke Amotal
  • Ental
  • Ortal

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