Tag: Workmate > Made up in Britain: Workmate : Ron Hickman 1961
Workmate
Inventor
Inventor Ron Hickman
Ron Hickman
Born21 October 1932
Greytown, S.Africa
Died17 February 2011 | Age 78
Jersey


Ron Hickman 1961



Ron Hickman invented the massively popular Black & Decker 'Workmate®' workbench in 1961 after a home DIY disaster. He had sawn a chair in half while struggling to hold an item on top of the chair. He decided to make an 'extra hand' to help with his DIY.
 

workmate
workmate


Sell the Idea
His idea was rejected by manufacturers for many years, so Hickman sold the benches himself to professional builders at trade shows, building up a client base of tradesmen. Slowly the demand increased.
 


Lotus Car
Ron moved to London and in 1954 started working for the Ford Motor Company at Dagenham as a clay modeller and later he helped to style the 105E Ford Anglia. Ron was not your average amateur inventor: he was already an accomplished product designer, and went on to design the famous Lotus Elan, as chief engineer for the car company.
But this still did not impress any manufacturer to take on his Workmate, including Black & Decker, who consistently rejected his DIY help mate idea.
Classic Lotus Elan designed by Ron Hickman
Classic Lotus Elan designed by Ron Hickman


But after he began manufacturing the Workmate® workbench. It was an instant hit.

Black & Decker saw the potential and took on exclusive rights of the Workmate in 1973 and started production. To date more than '60 Million' Workmates have been sold.


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In History
  • 21 September 1936.
    This month 87 years ago the world lost Frank Hornby
  • 01 September 1976.
    This month 47 years ago the world lost Percy Shaw
  • 10 September 1960.
    This month 63 years ago the world lost Harold Gillies
  • 01 September 1806.
    This month 217 years ago the world lost Edward Nairne
  • 21 September 1836.
    This month 187 years ago the world lost John Stafford Smith
  • 01 September 1846.
    This month 177 years ago the world lost Edwin Beard Budding
  • 25 September 1936.
    On this day 87 years ago William Horlick
  • Christmas Cracker. 200 years ago 18/10/1823 Tom Smith was born
  • 17 September 1877.
    This month 146 years ago the world lost William Henry Fox Talbot
  • 18 September 1938.
    This month 85 years ago the world lost William Fletcher
  • Marshall Amplification. 100 years ago 29/7/1923 Jim Marshall was born
  • 10 September 1938.
    This month 85 years ago the world lost Charles Cruft
  • 18 September 1967.
    This month 56 years ago the world lost John Cockcroft
  • 16 September 1890.
    This month 133 years ago the world lost Louis Le Prince
  • 50 years ago in 1973 The first stable LCD is announced to the world.
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