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 148,137 pages of information and 233,680 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

John Edward Thornton

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John Edward Thornton (1865-1940) of Thornton-Pickard Manufacturing Co, the Thornton Film Co and of the Thornton Motor Co

From 1880 to 1886 John Edward Thornton was apprenticed at the printing company of George Faulkner and Sons. There he invented a new camera (the Jubilee) and the Time roller blind shutter.

1886 Founded his own company that sold cameras and shutters, including designs he had patented that were produced for him by others.

1888 Edgar Pickard joined him as a partner and the firm became Thornton-Pickard Manufacturing

1891 Living at 103 Princess Road, Moss Side, Manchester: Edward Thornton (age 56 born Bradford), French Polisher - Employer. With his wife Catherine Thornton (age 50 born Manchester) and their two children John E. Thornton (age 25 born Manchester), Manufacturer of Photographic Apparatus - Employer, and Florence M. Thornton (age 19 born Manchester), Day School Teacher. Also his sister Martha A. Thornton (age 57 born Bradford).[1]

1899 Formed a new business partnership with Charles Rothwell, a chemist who shared his interest in photography and this became the Thornton Film Co. Gained a patent on a film pack which he called 'Daypack'. Rochester Optical Co became interested in it which resulted in a treaty with Thornton. Kodak took over Rochester Optical Co. in 1903; Thornton received royalties for his patent since that time. He died in 1940.

1900 Director of Thornton Motor Co

1913 Emigrated to the United States, and patented a three-colour cine film that was manufactured by Eastman Kodak.

c1919 Returned to the U.K.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1891 Census