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He made his name quickly, with a series of brilliant innovations that transformed the design and performance of sporting and military firearms, such as the ‘screwless’ lock.
His interest in weaponry made him an international authority on arms.
It emerged that many bayonet swords were bending and breaking, thus resulting in the unnecessary loss of many lives.
The scandal outraged the public and the Board of Ordnance took immediate action, leading to Wilkinson Sword being given its largest order ever, to manufacture 150,000 bayonets.
The company was founded by Henry Nock in the year 1772.
Although accounts of his background are sketchy, it is thought that Henry Nock learnt his craft as a gun maker in Birmingham and came to London to seek his fortune.
After many years in the City of London, this large order prompted the company to starting looking for a larger factory, which it finally managed in 1899 when Wilkinson Sword moved to Oakley Street, Chelsea.