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Abbatt [née Cobb], (Norah) Marjorie (1899–1991), promoter of toy design and businesswoman, was born on 18 March 1899 in Surbiton, Surrey, daughter of a well-to-do fur broker. She was educated at Roedean School, Brighton, and at Somerville College, Oxford; but her postgraduate studies at ...

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Beckman, Sir Martin (1634/5–1702), pyrotechnist and military engineer, was born in Stockholm, Sweden, the son of Melcher Beckman and his wife, Christiana van Benningen. Their names and his profession suggest a Dutch origin.

By his own account Beckman left his native Sweden about 1645 in order to serve the English crown. His brother served as a royalist captain in the civil war and was royal engineer to the exiled ...

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See Britain, William, junior

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Britain, William, junior (1859–1933), toy-soldier manufacturer, was born on 14 December 1859 at 36 Caroline Place, off Copenhagen Street, London, the fifth child and first son of William Britain senior [see below] and his wife, Anna Maria, née Messenger (1830–1902).

His father, ...

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See Britain, William, junior

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Goddard, (Cecil) John (1923–2012), fishing tackle manufacturer, angler, and entomologist, was born on 27 August 1923 at 66 Wiltshire Road, Brixton, London, the elder son of Cecil Henry Albert Falecki Goddard (1892–1970), businessman, and his wife, Olive Augusta Mary, née Venning (1892–1969). At the time of his birth registration his parents lived at ...

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Hardy, John James (1854–1932), manufacturer of fishing tackle, was born at Grosvenor Terrace, Alnwick, Northumberland, on 4 April 1854, the second son of John James Hardy (b. 1831), coroner for north Northumberland, and his wife, Jane Newton. After attending Duke's School, Alnwick...

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Hengler, Sarah (c. 1765–1845), artist in fireworks, was born in Surrey and became the second wife of John Michael Hengler (d. 1802), circus performer. There were two sons and a daughter of this marriage, the eldest of whom, Henry Michael Hengler (...

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Hornby, Frank (1863–1936), toy manufacturer, was born at 77 Copperas Hill, Liverpool, on 15 May 1863, the only son of the three children of John Hornby, provisions dealer, and his wife, Martha Thomlinson. He was educated at local council schools until he obtained employment as a shipping clerk, working with several companies until he was thirty-eight. In 1887 he married ...