The Smiths company was founded by Samuel Smith in London in 1851 as a clock and watch business. At the start of the 20th century, the age of the early motorcycles and automobiles, the company produced the first British odometer “mileometer” and speedometer. In the 1930’s, Smiths agreed to a trading deal with Lucas whereby the two would not compete in certain areas and Lucas took on part of Smiths non-instrumentation assets. Smiths became the dominant supplier of instruments to British motorcycle and motorcar firms.
In 1946, Smiths and the Ingersoll Watch Company founded the Anglo-Celtic Watch Co. Ltd., which produced watches in Wales, this became one of the largest producers of watches in Europe. From the late 60’s the production of Smiths instruments was integrated into the watch factory and eventually became its entire output. Smith’s Instruments are still manufactured in this Welsh factory in the UK as they have been continuously since the breakup of the larger Smiths Industries organization in the early 80’s.
In 2010 the employees purchased the company and reinvigorated the Smiths range with the production of digital motorcycle instruments, maintaining the look and feel of their original Smiths instrument heritage but upgraded with modern electronics for reliability and longevity.