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Neptune Street, Hull: Smith & Nephew

One hundred years of supplying war fronts

Today it’s a global medical technology business with offices worldwide, but go back 100 years and you’ll discover its roots tied firmly to the events of World War One.

In 1913, under the supervision of Horatio Nelson Smith, TJ Smith and Nephew Limited was a firm with around 50 employees. The company had mostly moved away from its initial business of cod liver oil to a manufacturer of surgical dressings and were well prepared for events that would change the company forever.

Days after the outbreak of WW1, H.N Smith had been given orders from the French president to provide surgical and field dressing supplies for his government; awarding TJ Smith and Nephew Limited with a contract for £350,000 for delivery within 5 months.

The company expanded its base on Neptune Street in Hull during the war; growing to over 1,200 employees and is still there 100 years on. The company now produces the modern equivalent of the first field dressing, developing products with surgeons currently dealing with the aftermath of modern warfare.

Location: Smith & Nephew, Neptune Street, Hull HU3 2BP
Image: Label from a field dressing pack supplied to troops by Smith & Nephew

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