A World of Knowledge

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In August 1947 two talented men, who at that time were working for Coxeter and Sons decided to return North and start a Company called Cyprane Ltd. This was located in a garage in Oxenhope. The men were Bill Edmonson and Wilf Jones. They had a third sleeping partner called George Wellesley. Three years later the Company moved to larger premises in Haworth. During these years, much valuable work was done to develop the Tec range of anaesthetic vaporizers, but as the saying goes, that is another story…

By 1962, the Haworth site was becoming cramped so an old mill building was purchased. This was in West Lane, Keighley – 18,000 sq ft. The Haworth works were retained for some time, but gradually all work was transferred to Keighley. In 1964, Bill Edmonson was ready to retire and the Company was purchased by Fraser-Sweatman – a Canadian, with Wilf Jones retaining a small interest and being appointed Managing Director. Fraser Sweatman owned a Company called Fraser Sweatman Inc which had a property in Buffalo, New York. Their Sales and Design Engineer at that time was Gary Porter who went on to form Porter Instruments – the current manufacturer of the Quantiflex range.

At some point after 1964, a U.K. manufacturing license was granted and production of the Quantiflex Mark 1 (Fig.1) and later, the Quantiflex MDM (Fig.2) and Quantiflex R A Mark II (Fig.3) was started. This continued until the Company purchase, in 1972 by BOC and following this, production ceased. Manufacturing of the MDM and Fraser R A (Mark II) continued at Buffalo, N.Y.S. until the purchase of the Matrx Nitrous Oxide Sedation Division, by Porter Instruments in November 2008 and all production was transferred to Hatfield, P.A. where it continues to date.

Footnote written by Chris Pickles (always known as John to his Cyprane colleagues):

In 1960 I got a part time job at Cyprane during the summer holidays. My Father, Thomas Pickles was Works Manager at the time. The work involved assembly and testing of the Fluotec 2 Vaporizer and I found this and my involvement in the early years of compensating vaporizer design, absorbing. Leading on from this, I was offered a full time position.

New products continued to be developed at Cyprane and in the late 1960’s the dental flowmeters were produced, starting with the QRA Mark I and Mark II and then the MDM. As Quality Controller, I was responsible for writing procedures for assembly and test of this range, which also included the A.E.Gas Machine (Fig.4).

I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Fraser Sweatman in the early days of his involvement with Cyprane and witnessed many changes that took place at Cyprane over the years. One amusing incident with Fraser was a comment I made regarding the large, loud kipper tie he was wearing; “I like your tie” to which the reply came “You do – here it is” – at which point he whipped it off and presented it to me!

The MD at that time was Wilf Jones, a very clever man and a real gentleman. His son, Keith Jones and I were friends, an association which has continued to this day, even though Keith now resides in Buffalo, NYS. Wilf continued an interest in this equipment to his death and would often visit the R A Medical premises in the mid to late 1990’s, prior to his death, to see what we were up to! Keith still visits us from time to time on his trips to the UK to visit family. The photograph (Fig.5) was one taken on a Cyprane works outing – sometime in the early 60’s and shows Thomas Pickles on the extreme right and Keith Jones 6th from the left.

RA Medical Services Ltd