W. B. Hilliard & Sons
W. B. HILLIARD & SONS, Surgical Mechanists, Makers of Surgical Instruments, 65, Renfield Street, Glasgow.
The eminent house to whose successful operations as Surgical Mechanists, and to whose contributions to surgical science the public are indebted, occupies a distinguished place at the head of those British concerns that have rendered the production of instruments one of the most valuable of technical and scientific industries. As specialists in the branch of work with which their name is now so widely identified, Messrs. W. B. Hilliard & Sons have, at all times, led the way in all its numerous developments, and they have devoted the results of almost fifty-five years close and assiduous study to the constant improvement of all forms of surgical apparatus, and the continuous introduction of new instruments intended to alleviate the whole distresses to which the human anatomy is subject.
As far back as in the year 1862 Messrs. Hilliard were the recipients of a bronze medal at the International Exhibition, held in London ó the only medal gained by a Scottish firm. This distinction has been since followed up by a series of prizes and certificates of merit ó notably, those of London, 1881, and Glasgow, 1883 ó and the immense expansion of their business and the far-spreading popularity in which their productions are held indicate fully that these well-merited awards have not been without their significance. The firm, while devoting due attention to those improvements which their own inventive skill has suggested, have not hesitated to adopt with readiness any forms of surgical mechanism introduced by European doctors and scientists, and thus from Germany, where the art of instrument making ranks paramount, they have derived many specialties of incalculable service to the profession. Other worthy preparations have been gleaned from the surgeries of Austria and France, while the productions of the well-known Birmingham firm of Parkes have received full representation at the hands of Messrs. Hilliard.
As importers of every class of obstetric, opthalmic, and surgical requisites, Messrs. Hilliard have been enabled to cover a wide field of operations, and have become noted everywhere throughout this country for the tact with which they discover any novel or ingenious appliance devised to serve the ends of chirurgical science. Of this class of subjects the well-known instruments of Dr. McEwen present an interesting example, and, as invaluable aids to the examination of the bones and the brain, these are now in use at all ends of the earth, to which they are being daily consigned by Messrs. Hilliard. To recapitulate the heads of the several branches of surgical mechanism in which Messrs. Hilliard have acquired prominence would be to fill an opuscule. It is sufficient for the obvious purposes of this brief sketch to state that there is no department of scientific work in which they have fallen short of the highest attainable distinction, and their own matured ideas and inventive powers have expiscated many appliances that have so far enhanced the already numerous capabilities of doctors as to grapple with surgical difficulties which hitherto the hand had failed to accomplish. The firmís instruments are provided to the Royal Infirmary, the Western Infirmary, the Royal Asylum, Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow, and to all the principal infirmaries, asylums, and institutions of Scotland ; and in all similar institutions at home and abroad the firmís specialties are in daily requisition.
With reference to the purely technical features of their productions, it should be here stated that the firm make everything of a fine class of steel, obtained distinctly for this purpose, and no expense is spared to attain the perfection and finish so indispensable to the manufacture of all subjects of the kind. The assistants are all selected workmen, engaged for their special experience in this trade, and in the whole departments of the work the latest mechanical improvements are brought into operation. Messrs. Hilliard have also two patent skates, which are universally used throughout Scotland, and have also patented a spinal traction cure for curvature which is highly appreciated by the medical profession ; all of these patents are secured both at home and in the United States of America.
The establishment at Renfield Street is the one in which the firm have carried on business since the year 1856. Previous to that year it was located at the original centre in Buchanan Street, where the late esteemed founder of the business, Mr. W. B. Hilliard, first commenced in 1836. Until 1880 this much respected gentleman remained at the head of affairs, and on his demise was succeeded by his two sons, who had joined the firm only two years before. Since the death of Mr. John C. Hilliard, which occurred in 1883, the valuable interests and eminent repute of the house have been vigorously preserved by Mr. Joseph B. Hilliard, who is the only proprietor of the firm, and is well-known in business and social circles alike for his genial courtesy and professional skill, and for the ability with which the interests of his calling are promoted. The control of a series of active agencies on the Continent, and of branch establishments in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Dundee, is well sustained by Mr. Hilliard ; and his constant recognition of all those commendable principles under which the house has been advanced to its present dignity and status among the institutions of note in the commercial metropolis, is a marked feature of its present guidance and administration.
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