Learn more about our history and how we became a leading manufacturer of titanium reusable ophthalmic surgical instruments
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 1960s 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 instruments, 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
In spite of the global challenges that have arisen as a consequence of Coronavirus, Duckworth & Kent remains focused on the design, manufacturing, marketing and sales of its product range of over 500 instruments. The family-owned business continues to evolve, responding to the needs of a rapidly changing business world, with the intention of remaining a global leader in the manufacture of high-quality titanium reusable ophthalmic instruments.