Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,180 pages of information and 233,419 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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Exhibit at Oakham Treasures.
November 1922.
Blick Universal Clocking Machine. Blick Time Recorders Ltd. 186 Grays Inn, London, WC 1.
Blick Universal Clocking Machine. Blick Time Recorders Ltd. 186 Grays Inn, London, WC 1.
Blick Time Recorder located at Titanic Exhibition, Belfast.

Blick is named after the blickundsderfer typewriter which, in turn, was named after a Dutchman living in America[1]

Around 1900 the Blick Typewriter Co Ltd marketed these machines in the UK.

1917 the MD of Blick typewriters (a Mr Rimington) visited the USA and bought sales rights to a time recording machine called the Follett time stamp.

1919 This was successfully marketed and a subsidiary company was established called Blick Time Recording Devices.

1920 Rimington met a Mr Lowe, director of the National Time Recorder Co (another British company) and agreed to market their machines as Blick National in the UK.

1922 The subsidiary company Blick Time Recording Devices was established as an independent company under the name of Blick Time Recorders Ltd.

1927 The word National was dropped from Blick National and the machines were redesigned and sold under the name of Blick.

1933 Blick developed the "telegraphic electric time stamp" in conjunction with Gents.

1963 The company was sold to Dufay Ltd.

Between 1963-5 Dufay acquired British Time Recorders Ltd, and Unusual Electric Time and Telephone Systems Ltd.

1964 Blick Communications acquired UK distribution rights for Call-O-Phone of Sweden[2].

1966 Dufay sold all its investments not concerned with paint. Allan Elliott, MD of Dufay, and his family bought the recorder business to form Blick Time Recorder (Holdings) Ltd.

1971 Management buyout as Blick plc

1971 Blick was made UK distributor for Amano Corporation of Japan.

1972 Blick bought Internal Telephone and Clock Systems Ltd, and National Time Recorder Co Ltd, who had been their largest supplier in early days.

1973 The name was changed to Blick National Systems Ltd.

1974 Introduced a 'vandal-resistant' time recorder with time card inserted from below and the recorder being mounted at height.[3]

1975 Moved to Swindon

1979 Acquired 2 companies in the Tannoy Group concerned with public address systems and limited use of the Tannoy name[4]

1980 They acquired English Clock Systems from Smith's Industries.

1982 They acquired ITR International Time Ltd but sold the manufacturing business

1983 Acquired Blick Communications (paging systems) and Blick Engineering[5]

1985 Sold Colnium Ltd and Radio Link Ltd

Later the name was changed to Blick (UK) Ltd.

1993 Blick bought the Time and Security business of Mercury Communications; neither company was involved in manufacturing but bought products from a range of suppliers and configured their own systems[6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Virtual Clock Museum
  2. The Times, Mar 16, 1964
  3. The Engineer 1974/02/14 p 23.
  4. The Times May 29, 1986
  5. The Times, May 29, 1986
  6. The Times, October 23, 1993