History of Duckworth & Kent
 
 

 
 
Foundation of Duckworth & Kent Ltd.
Duckworth & Kent was founded on the 30th January 1959 as a small engineering company in the town of
Hitchin, England. Shortly afterwards the company moved to the neighbouring town of Baldock, where it
has remained to the present day. During the 1960’s Duckworth & Kent was primarily involved in
high-precision contract engineering work for the UK Ministry of Defence.
 
Introduction to Ophthalmic Surgery
In 1968 a London-based Consultant Eye Surgeon approached the company regarding it’s assistance
in the manufacture of surgical instruments for cataract operations. This new development within the
company remained relatively small scale until 1972. Following a meeting with a metallurgist, the company
was advised to consider titanium alloy as the raw material, as used in the aerospace industry. It wasn’t
long before Duckworth & Kent saw the substantial advantages of this material and moved away from
manufacturing surgical instruments in stainless steel. The new alloy proved to be very well suited to the
requirements for surgical instrumentation, offering advantages such as no oxidation, relatively lightweight
and yet extremely durable.
 
Expansion into the Surgical Arena
In 1983 the company devoted more resources into the manufacture of surgical instruments, not only for
ophthalmic surgery, but also for the neurosurgical and ear, nose and throat specialties. Duckworth & Kent
became an independent surgical instrument manufacturer, subcontracting for well-known companies.
In 1988 Duckworth & Kent ventured further into the arena by producing its own label instrumentation.
Subsequently, Duckworth & Kent has enhanced its knowledge and gained considerable experience in
the field of ophthalmic surgical instruments, such that it now markets and distributes its own range on a
world-wide basis.

The Present Day
The workforce continues to expand and diversify as the need arises, whether it be in design,
manufacturing, sales or marketing. The ophthalmic product range now extends to over 800 instruments
and continues to change to meet the needs of this ever-advancing surgical specialty. As a consequence,
Duckworth & Kent is now the leading manufacturer of high quality titanium ophthalmic surgical
instruments.
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