Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Sinclair Research

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1980. Sinclair ZX80. Exhibit at Powerhouse Museum.
Sinclair Spectrum Computer.

1979 Clive Sinclair set up Sinclair Research

1980 Launched the ZX80 personal microcomputer which sold for £100; it did not include a display unit and used a separate cassette recorder to store programs[1]. The company would pursue development of the microcomputer, a flat tube television display, a novel electric motor and a new electronic instrument.

1981 Launched a flat screen television; manufacturing would be at Timex's plant in Dundee[2]; the Microvision TV with FM radio was due to be ready for sale in 1982.

1982 The ZX81 was said to be the best selling computer ever[3]. Timex Corporation was given full rights to manufacture it and sell it in the USA[4]. Another computer was launched, the ZX Spectrum[5]. Plans to float a fraction of the equity[6]. Thorn EMI was subcontracted to manufacture ZX Spectrum computers[7]

1983 Private sale by Clive Sinclair of 10 percent of the company to raise funds for further development of the electric car[8]. Announced £2M funding for incubator Metalab in Cambridge[9]. Launched new flat screen television[10]

1984 Offered the new QL computer, serving the top-end of the educational market, which was made under contract by Thorn EMI at Feltham[11]

1985 Having suffered substantial losses because of over-stocking, Sinclair Research was offered a bail-out by Robert Maxwell's Hollis plc; Clive Sinclair would step aside to become life president[12]. But this deal failed and instead a deal with retailers Dixons was announced[13].

1986 After substantial losses, the manufacturing and marketing rights for the computer were sold to competitor Amstrad[14]

1997 Offered a belt drive system for battery-assisted bicycles[15]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Jan 30, 1980
  2. The Times, Feb 19, 1981
  3. The Times, Jan 14, 1982
  4. The Times Feb 13, 1982
  5. The Times, Apr 24, 1982
  6. The Times Jun 28, 1982
  7. The Times, Nov 01, 1982
  8. The Times, Jan 25, 1983
  9. The Times, May 31, 1983
  10. The Times, Sep 17, 1983
  11. The Times, Jan 09, 1984
  12. The Times, Jun 17, 1985
  13. The Times (London, England), Saturday, Aug 10, 1985
  14. The Times, April 08, 1986
  15. The Times, September 27, 1997