MSE History

The History of MSE Laboratory Centrifuges

The Birth of MSE

Dr. Ernest Foulkes
Dr. Ernest Foulkes

MSE (Measuring and Scientific Equipment) was first formed in 1936 by Dr Ernest Foulkes and was funded with a capital of just £500. At the time, MSE was not a manufacturer of laboratory equipment, but instead specialised in the importation of machine tools into the UK.

The Outbreak of War

At the start of World War Two, the UK Ministry of Supply appointed MSE as lease lend agents for American machine tools. The company was also required to provide servicing facilities and established a small workshop in the heart of Westminster, employing and training about a dozen high precision engineers who later became the nucleus of the MSE production unit.

After the war, the newly formed National Health Service requested MSE to develop a range of hospital microtomes. At the same time the Atomic Energy Authority approached MSE to make centrifuges to replace instruments that up until then were only available as imports from the USA. It was from this point that MSE moved away from importing machine tools and instead reinvented itself as a manufacturer of specialised laboratory equipment, particularly laboratory centrifuges.

The First Production of Centrifuges

The MSE 'Mushroom'
The MSE 'Mushroom' centrifuge

Like today, the first centrifuges were developed for research purposes and proved very popular in hospitals and research departments of universities.

The Minor, or 'the Mushroom' as it was affectionately called, was the first centrifuge manufactured by MSE. Production began in the early 1950s and the model became a huge success. The MSE Minor has played an important role in scientific research throughout the years.

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