Kirk Brothers – lenses or buttons?

As teenagers, Sidney and Percy Kirk had a successful Vaudeville act.
Their tap-dancing routine took them around the world and, at their peak,
they even supported the great escapologist, Harry Houdini.

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If anybody out there has any old photos or theatre posters, we would love to hear from you.
After The Great War, like so many young men, they were not sure how they were going to make a living. By chance they stumbled across a dilapidated sewing machine and set their engineering skills to work. We always tell the story that this became their first lens cutter but things nearly took a very different turn.

As well as cutting lenses, the brothers also made buttons and had a successful business selling them to haberdashers and stores around London, their biggest client being Woolworths.

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Pictured above Esme in Corn from the new Centena collection which celebrates 100 years of the Kirk family in optics.

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