W.B. Hilliard & Sons
W.B. Hilliard & Sons, Surgical Mechanists, 65, Renfield Street .—
There is no technical or scientific industry that has received that has received better or more creditable development in Great Britain of recent years than that which embraces the production of surgical instruments and appliances, and in tins most important line, no firm has, in Scotland at least, achieved greater reputation or celebrity, by reason of the perfection to which its manufactures have been brought, than that of Messrs W.B. Hilliard & Sons., of tie above address. This distinguished house was founded as far back as 1836 by the late Mr. W.B. Hilliard, who, in 1878, assumed as partners, his two sons, Mr. John C. and Mr. Joseph B. Hilliard. The decease of Mr. Hilliard, sen., eight years ago, was followed three years later by that of Mr. John C. Hilliard,, and Mr. Joseph B. Hilliard is now the sole principal and proprietor of the concern.
The house was originally established in Buchanan Street, and has been located at its present address in Renfield Street for upwards of thirty years. The premises occupied at this address are spacious, commodious, handsomely appointed, effectively equipped with all working facilities, and in every respect well suited to the purposes and requirements of the trade engaged in. During the last twenty years Messrs. Hilliard’s business has undergone marked and continuous extension of scope and enhancement of resource, and it would hardly be too much to say that it is now facile princeps among the representative undertakings of its kind in Scotland.
The firm manufacture every description of surgical instrument and appliance, and are famed both at home and abroad for the many valuable improvements they have devised, perfected, and introduced. Among the many surgical specialities in whose manufacture they have been particularly successful may be mentioned Dr. McEwan's special instruments for his famous operations in bones, brain, &c, which have been sent to all parts of the world ; a well known patented pattern of skate which has been received with great favour, and a successful method of curing spinal curvature, also patented ; Reid's speculum, which has given universal and world-wide satisfaction ; Dr. W.J. Fleming's pneumatic collar, highly efficacious in cases of hydocephalus-torti-collis, paralysis agitans, &c. ; Professor George Buchanan's excellent and most complete hospital dresser’s pocket case (price, two guineas) ; some admirable sets of special boxes with every requisite for the treatment of wounds, bums, and for the removal of fires from the eyes; and Dr. W.J. Fleming’s modified form of arethrotome. Of all those appliances and instruments Messrs. Hilliard are sole makers, and their work has in each case given full satisfaction to the eminent surgeons by whom the apparatus have been designed.
The firm are also large importers of superior surgical requisites, principally from Germany — a land noted for the excellency of its instruments and appliances in this respect. Among the specialities that have been developed under this latter head are noticeable : correctly coloured models in papier-mache of anatomical preparations for the use of lecturers and the instruction of students ; the celebrated Leclanché battery, and the superior medical microscopes of Zeiss (Jena), Hartnack (Potsdam), Prazmowski (Paris), Nachet (Paris), and Parkes (Birmingham). For these excellent and widely famous goods the firm are agents, and have been instrumental in greatly increasing their far-reaching renown. Messrs. Hilliard & Sons hold a very large and comprehensive stock at their establishment in Renfield Street, and have also regularly appointed agents in all the European capitals, and in Aberdeen and Dundee. Their number in connection with the telephone in Glasgow is 3096.
They have obtained many eminent medallic honour by reason of the great excellence of all their manufactures, and notable among these well-merited distinctions have been those gained at the International Exhibition, London, 1881, viz. : the highest possible award for obstetric instruments, an award of merit for surgical instruments, and an award of merit for ophthalmic instruments. The trade of this house is one of very volume and extent, particularly well developed in both its home and export branches, and the firm supply, with but few exceptions, all the principal infirmaries, asylums and institutions in Scotland with surgical instruments and fine steel goods. They are all large suppliers of the same to the leading railway companies. The business in its every department is most capably and judiciously controlled by Mr. Joseph B. Hilliard, who has displayed conspicuous and commendable energy and enterprise in maintaining the high repute and progressive spirit which have always been characteristic of this old and noted concern.
In Mr. Hilliard's private office it is interesting to record that a case of instruments is to be seen which was carried by Dr. Livingstone until his death in Ilala. This case was presented to Mr. Hilliard by the great explorer's son, Dr. W.O. Livingstone, and is duly valued by its possessor as a memento of his illustrious countryman — one of the most famous travellers the world has ever known.
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