Best of British: Oliver Goldsmith marks a milestone

Very few optical companies stick around to see their 90th birthdays, but the iconic British firm Oliver Goldsmith has done just that. Simon Jones sits down with Goldsmith to talk about the company’s history and where it goes next

When it comes to memorable names in optics, Oliver Goldsmith stands out from the rest.

Some would say it is so memorable because the company has maintained the ability to sell high quality products and services for such a long time – and they would be right. But without a piece of advice given to the company’s founder, Philip Goldsmith, nearly 100 years ago, history could have been very different.

In 1919, Philip Goldsmith was a salesman for well-known Hatton Garden optical firm, Raphaels. He drove a van that was used as a mobile showroom and generally sold the company’s sight testing products to jewellers who stocked frames and lenses. Goldsmith’s boss saw something in the salesman and sensed he wanted to go it alone. He said that if he ever did set up a company, he should drop the Philip part of his name and call it Oliver Goldsmith, so that it would be more recognisable and a play on the Irish poet of the same name.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting Optician Online. Register now to access up to 10 news and opinion articles a month.


Already have an account? Sign in here