Smiths Group plc marked its centenary as a listed company today by opening the trading session of the London Stock Exchange (LSE).
Exactly 100 years after Smiths joined the LSE on the eve of the First World War, Chief Executive Philip Bowman signalled the start of electronic trading from the balcony of the Exchange.
“Everyone at Smiths is immensely proud to be associated with a company that has not only reached this remarkable milestone but also created so much history as it repeatedly transformed itself to survive and prosper,” he said.
Smiths began life in 1851 as a family jeweller and clock-maker in London. Its products, which would range from speedometers and precision instruments to medical devices and security sensors, played crucial roles in a string of historic exploits. The maiden transatlantic flight, the conquest of Everest, the development of ultrasound scanners and autopilots, and the first test-tube baby all featured Smiths technologies.
“Such a rich industrial heritage, allied to the business acumen and innovation that have sustained Smiths since Victorian times, affords us great confidence in tackling the challenges of the 21st century,” Bowman added.
The first official history of the company, A Long Time in Making: The History of Smiths by Dr James Nye, will be published in October by Oxford University Press.