Kelvin Hughes has a proud and enviable history dating back over 250 years tracing its roots back to Thomas Hughes a Master of the Clock-makers Company and William Thomson who became Lord Kelvin a prolific inventor and one of the world’s greatest scientists.
Few companies can boast a history as varied and intriguing as Kelvin Hughes. In this section you can find detailed information covering the "250 years in the making" programme. A series of downloads are being produced covering the unique and diverse topics of significant periods of the company, its founders and time periods.
Always the market innovator for radar sensors and systems, Kelvin Hughes has an unprecedented list of technology firsts, from the first type approved radar in 1947 to today the world’s first commercially available, affordable and multipurpose solid state radar for maritime navigation, port vessel traffic services, coastal surveillance and ground and marine security applications.
|2013||SharpEye™ SxV launched, the world’s first 360 degree X-Band pulse Doppler radar for ground surveillance and marine security applications.|
|2013||SharpEye™ upmast carbon composite multipurpose navigation radar, the first radar of its type to produce the sensor housing and turning unit from a carbon composite material and also adopt a stealth or low RCS design to compliment modern day ships design techniques.|
|2011||SharpEye™ SCV the world’s first small boat situational awareness Doppler surveillance radar, providing capital ship capability to small watercraft.|
|2010||Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) and coastal surveillance the first to bring solid state radar technology to these markets.|
|2006||SharpEye™ solid state radar is born. The launch of the first commercially available and affordable solid state radar.|
|2006||First widescreen bridge system and radar display called MantaDigital™.|
|1988||First colour radar (raster scan and naval CTD).|
|1971||First navigational chart tracing service.|
|1956||First slotted waveguide array.|
|1947||First commercial radar.|
The videos below highlight the history and development of Kelvin Hughes and mark the move from 100 years of manufacturing in Hainault, Essex to the new modern manufacturing and development premises in Enfield, London.
In the image galleries historical photos can be found of past equipment, operations, people, product advertisements and technical documentation.
- 250 years in the making Kelvin Hughes has been at the forefront of design and supply of maritime navigation for over 250 years.
- Lord Kelvin of Largs Much has been written about the great scientist William Thompson 1st Baron Lord Kelvin of Largs.
- Arthur J. Hughes of Henry Hughes & SonArthur Hughes was part of the Henry Hughes & Son business from his youth where he studied the art of making nautical instruments in the company’s workshop.
- The bottom of the Sea and Fish & Chips Many may not know that at the time of developing the first commercial Maritime Radar in the late 1940's, Kelvin Hughes was already at the forefront of developing and supply of Maritime Echo Sounders.
- New eyes for a new world New Eyes for a New World was an article written by Arthur Hughes in 1946 that offered an introduction to the concept of commercial marine radar.
- Kelvin Hughes Type 1 Radar This is a copy of the original sales brochure for the Type 1. The handbook shows the company name as Marine Instruments Ltd this being the name for the combined forces of Kelvin Bottomley & Baird and Henry Hughes & Son before the two companies formerly merged as Kelvin Hughes in 1947.
- Kelvin Hughes Type 1 Radar Handbook This is a scanned copy of the original Type 1 Marine Radar maintenance handbook.
- 70 Years of Radar In 1947 the first Type 1 radar was produced and installed on a new fishing trawler. The Type 1 then went on to be the first Type Approved radar, gaining its Type Approval certificate on 11th August 1948.
- 100 years of production at Hainault 2017 sees Kelvin Hughes celebrating two milestones. Not only is it the 70th anniversary of the installation of the company’s first commercial Marine Radar but also the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Henry Hughes & Son HUSUN works at New North Road, Hainault, Essex.