It takes a great bond and friendship to run a business with family – and brothers Sidney and Percy Kirk were thick as thieves. Despite starting their company ‘Kirk Brothers’ which saw them become founders of modern day optical manufacturing, it seems that Sidney and Percy trod the boards before entering optics!
Vaudeville luminaries such as George Burns were regular visitors to their London home in the 1920's. The two brothers were incredibly close, they bought houses next door to each other and even had the same cars with consecutive number plates, and believe it or not they even married two sisters, Miriam and Sarah!
After the Great War they were looking for a career more financially rewarding than acting. They found an old sewing machine and used it to make buttons and lenses. They sold the lenses to optical companies, many of which were owned by their friends, and they sold the buttons to Woolworths. Pretty soon the lens business grew and they opened a shop and factory in Holborn (London) - and the rest, as they say, is history.