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Biographical entry Baker, Henry Herbert (1867 - 1940)

6 October 1867
Yeovil, Somerset, England
13 August 1940
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Optician and Business executive


Henry Baker, an 'enthusiastic student of science' was a member of various astronomical, microscopical and photographic societies in Melbourne. He was managing director of W. Watson & Sons Ltd from 1919.


Born Yeovil, Somerset, England, 6 October 1867. Died Sydney, 13 August 1940. Took an English course in optics and sight-testing and about 1900 obtained the diploma of the Spectacle Makers' Company. Clerk in his grandfather's firm, W. Watson & Sons, came to Melbourne to represent his firm at the Centennial International Exhibition 1888; arranged to open a branch of the business with his brother Frank; obtained coils and vacuum tubes in 1896 and made available the benefits of X-rays; acquired the Australian business 1903; registered the firm as a proprietary company 1916; registered as a public company 1919, with Henry as managing director; established a factory for manufacturing electro-medical equipment 1921; moved into Watson House in Sydney 1928; chairman until 1940. Founder and first president, Victorian Optical Association 1911-14.

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McCarthy, G.J.