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The author, a past employee of the company, traces its early history from the time, in 1878, when Robert Fulcher and Albert George Dew-Smith began making instruments commercially in Professor Stuart's departmental workshop at Cambridge University. The company's name originated in 1881 when Horace Darwin entered into partnership with Dew-Smith, Darwin, who subsequently became sole owner, was regarded as a father figure by the firm's employees. Reference is made to a number of the innovative instruments for which the company became world renowned. The narrative concludes with the takeover of the company by the George Kent Group in 1968.