The Company was formed in 1956 and became a Livery in 1963
There are 110 Livery Companies based in the City of London. The Worshipful Company of Scientific Instrument Makers are numbered 84 in precedence. They are London’s original trade associations and guilds representing crafts, trades or professions. London’s Liveries play a significant part in the City’s life by providing networking opportunities and a significant amount of charitable giving.
The companies were originally formed in the 12th century. They guaranteed that a member was trustworthy and fully qualified and that the goods they produced were of reputable quality. They also proved alms for members in difficulty and education for those who had no access to it. Many were formed until the 17th century, when political upheaval and the growth of London around the City meant the companies, which only controlled trade in the City itself, began to struggle to compete.
From the 1870s however, there was a revival, with the companies extending their original educational purpose to technical education. They started to support new industries and provide training. Perhaps the most famous example is the City and Guilds of London Institute.
Most livery companies still maintain contacts with their original trade, craft or professional roles. Some still exercise powers of regulation, inspection and enforcement, while others are awarding bodies for professional qualifications. The Scriveners' Company admits senior members of legal and associated professions, the Apothecaries' Company awards post-graduate qualifications in some medical specialties, and the Hackney Carriage Drivers' Company comprises licensed taxi drivers who have passed the "Knowledge of London" test. Several companies restrict membership only to those holding relevant professional qualifications, e.g. the City of London Solicitors' Company and the Worshipful Company of Engineers. Other companies, whose trade died out long ago, such as the Longbow Makers' Company, have evolved into being primarily charitable foundations.
After the Carmen received City livery status in 1746 no new companies were established in London for 180 years until the Master Mariners in 1926 (granted livery in 1932). Post-1926 creations are known as modern livery companies. The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars, the newest, was granted livery status on 11 February 2014, making it the 110th City livery company in order of precedence. The Guild of Norses are soon to follow suit in 2020.
Founded in 1956 the Company became a full Livery in 1963. It has a rich history (see links below) and a Coat of Arms. We anticipate being granted a Royal Charter in 2020. It follows that pattern of all Liveries by supporting a profession i.e. scientific instrument making and using.
Members today come from a wide range of industries including measurement and control, medical and biomedical, communication electronics and lighting components, as well as research, development and manufacturing. Members also come from a wide range of levels within their specific fields We welcome everyone from those embarking on their chosen careers to those nearing retirement or indeed already retired.
SIM promotes the craft of scientific instrument making and the exchange of ideas and information by members and guests through meetings, visits, lectures and social events. Equally SIM is very much about providing opportunities for members to give something back through encouraging and mentoring other members or engaging with young people through schools and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) days.
Our history has been recorded in two detailed books covering the periods 1964 to 1989, and 1989 to 2014.
You can download them. Each is ~10Mb. Or, you can browse them in in this browser.