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Carpenter and Westley, 24 Regent Street, London

Carpenter and Westley, 24 Regent Street, London

Originally founded in Inge Street, Birmingham in 1808 by Philip Carpenter, an optical specialist.

From his workshops they manufactured  barometers, microscopes, kaleidoscopes, thermometers, sympiesometers, spectacles, and Claude glasses. Such was Carpenter’s talent that he was commissioned to produce achromatic lenses for Peter Dollond and John Benjamin Dancer. In 1815 the company expanded into Bath Row opening a shop in New Street and soon after, in 1817, Sir David Brewster invented the kaleidoscope and chose Carpenter as the manufacturer.

Carpenter developed a process for mass producing magic lantern slides by a copper plate printing process. A fruitful venture that enabled the business to relocate to Regent Street, London in 1826 and saw the opening of The Microcosm, a shop and public gallery centered around microscopes.
Upon Philip’s death in 1833, his sister Mary, her husband and William Westley took over the running of the business renaming it 1835 'Carpenter and Westley’. The company’s mainstream success was sales and during the 1850’s the company bought in much of their stock from the renowned manufacturer Negretti & Zambra. They continued trading right through until the early 20th century when the business closed in 1914.
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