(Londres, 1861-Earl's Court, 1913)

Jean-Claude SEGUIN


Edward Wrench (Londres, 16/01/1797-Londres, [06/1866) épouse Ann Holmes (Hull, [1799]-). Descendance :

  • John Holmes Wrench (Holborn, 14/02/1830-Londres, 10/04/1883) épouse (Londres, 10/09/1833) Maria Elizabeth Davies (Holborn, 27/06/1835-). Descendance :
    • Edward John Wrench (Londres, 30/06/1854-[Middlesex], 16/10/1878) épouse (Londres, 03/07/1875) Emily Conolly (1857-)
    • Robert Frank Wrench (Londres, 28/04/1856-[Middlesex, 20/05/1915).
    • Edith, Maria Wrench (Hornsey, 1859-[Middlesex, 20/07/1935) épouse (Londres, 22/08/1891) Charles Frederic Bailey (Londres, [1861])
    • Alfred Wrench (Londres, bapt. 25/09/1861-Earl's Court, 10/07/1913) épouse (Londres, 08/02/1883) Edith Dwyer Way (Londres, 17/11/1862-Eastbourne, 04/03/1948). Descendance :
      • Lilian Marguerite Wrench (Londres, 1882-) épouse (Londres, 10/02/1909) Thomas Douglas Weston.
      • Margaret L. Wrench (Londres, 31/12/1884-)
      • Herbert Holmes Wrench (Londres, 07/05/1885-)
      • Mabel Edith Wrench (Londres, 03/06/1886) épouse (Londres, 23/06/1909) Alexander Fletcher Keith Mackenzie.
    • Mary Ann Wrench (Londres, 1866-)
  • Eliza Mary Wrench (1834-)


Edward Wrench ouvre un magasin d'optique en 1816. Il met en vente, en particulier, des baromètres, thermomètre... et obtient une rapide reconnaissance au-delà de la Grande-Bretagne :

The business of John Wrench & Son dates back as far as 1816, and was founded by Mr. E. Wrench, the grand father of the present proprietor, at No. 6, in what, at those times, was called Gray's Inn Terrace. Many years afterwards the name was altered, and the address then became 39, Gray's Inn Road. Here, as manufacturing opticians, the nucleus of the present business was commenced, and the firm's barometers, thermometers, opera and field glasses, telescopes, spectacles, etc., became world renowned commodities.

"A Visit to the 'Wrench' Works", Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 10 mars 1910, p. 1021.

Encore jeune, John Holmes Wrench intègre l'entreprise de son père, qui continue à se développer. Lorsque Edward prend sa retraite, en 1850, John devient le seul propriétaire de l'affaire familiale et change son nom :

The founder's son, Mr. J. H.Wrench, entered the business at an early age, and it was about this time that they commenced to make optical lanterns and accessories. In addition, a large trade was done in locomotives and engines, a work shop being used exclusively for their manufacture, At that time the firm had an extensive Continental connection for the above specialities, and employed a resident agent in Paris. In 1850 the founder retired front the business, when it was left entirely in the hands of his son, who changed the title to John Wrench.

"A Visit to the 'Wrench' Works", Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 10 mars 1910, p. 1021.

La famille Wrench est recensée, en 1871, à Londres (Saint-Pancras) où John et Maria habitent avec leurs cinq enfants. En 1875, Edward John Wrench, le fils aîné de John, rentre dans l'entreprise qui change à nouveau de nom et deux ans plus tard c'est au tour d'Alfred de rejoindre l'affaire familiale, peu avant la mort accidentelle d'Edward John :

Twenty-five years later, Mr. E. J. Wrench, the eldest son of Mr. J. Wrench, became associated with the business, and in course of time was taken into partnership, when the title was again changed to that by which the firm is so well known to-day. Mr. A. Wrench, the youngest son and present proprietor, entered the firm in 1877, but shortly after his becoming associated with it, his brother, Mr. E. J. Wrench, was killed by an explosion consequent upon the making of oxygen for limelight purposes.

"A Visit to the 'Wrench' Works", Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 10 mars 1910, p. 1021.

La presse se fait amplement l'écho du tragique accident, et Alfred Wrench reprend seul, malgré lui, les commandes de l'entreprise :

Needless to say, this came as a staggering blow to the remaining member of the family, and it left the whole of the work of organisation in the hands of the present proprietor.

"A Visit to the 'Wrench' Works", Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 10 mars 1910, p. 1021.

Il vit encore, lors du recensement de 1881, à Londres, avec ses parents et ses trois sœurs. Son intérêt pour les projections fixes le conduit à développer le secteur des lanternes qui connaît une diffusion mondiale. Il se souvient, bien des années, de la fabrication à la main des plaques en couleurs :

The optical branch, together with the making of model engines, was gradually dropped by Mr. A. Wrench, as he had a predilection for the lantern, and felt there was wide scope in this direction for his initiation and enterprise. Time has proved the justification of his decision, and the result has been that the Wrench lanterns are known in every civilised country for their stirling worth and general practicability. Mr. Wrench can speak with authority on the changes which have occurred in the history of the optical lantern. He remembers the time when hand-coloured slides were the only ones procurable, and was the first to introduce a slide manufactured more or less mechanically; a drawing was made which was partially shaded in black and white, and was then transferred to glass from lithographic stones, and later on from copper plate. These were coloured, the effect being to reduce the price of slides from several guineas apiece to 3s. each. Biunial and triunial lanterns were then used extensively, and Mr. Wrench is of opinion that these will again become popular, especially when the present generation re-learn the beautiful effects that can be obtained in this way.

"A Visit to the 'Wrench' Works", Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 10 mars 1910, p. 1021.

En 1882, l'établissement se déplace du 39 au 50 Gray's Inn Road. La maison publie des catalogues des nombreux appareils mis en vente. Celui de 1889-1890 compte 250 pages.

wrenche catalogue 1889
John Wrench & Sons's, Ilustrated Catalogue of Magic, Optical, & Dissolving View Lanterns, 1889-1890.
collection François Binétruy

Il réside à Herne lors du recensement de 1891, avec sa femme et sa fille Margaret et figure comme Whosale Optician. En 1894, Alfred Wrench dépose un brevet (GB 12,230 du 23 juin 1894) pour des "Improvements in Collapsable Magic Lanterns".

La Wrench & Son (1896-1906)

Alfred Wrench découvre, à Paris, les projections des frères Lumière dans le sous-sol du Grand Café :

Moreover, I could not close my eyes to the fact that Messrs. Wrench and Son are the oldest-established manufacturers connected with the kinematograph trade, and that Mr. Alfred Wrench has taken the keenest interest in the moving picture industry. He visited Paris to see the demonstration given by the Brothers Lumiere in 1896.

"A Visit to the 'Wrench' Works", Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 10 mars 1910, p. 1021.

Son intérêt pour les projections animées va donc le conduire à déposer plusieurs brevets. Le premier concerne des "improvements in or connected with Cameras and Optical Lanterns" (GB 13,674 du 20 juin 1896) et le second, un appareil cinématographique (GB 17,881 du 12 août 1896). Sa simplicité et sa robustesse vont en faire l'un des projecteurs les plus appréciés outre-Manche :

However, he was alive to the fact, immediately on hearing the announcements that moving pictures were un fait accompli, that the kinematograph would, to a large degree, replace the lantern in popular favour, and with this thought in mind he set about devising a satisfactory, yet inexpensive, machine. The first one was sold on September 24th, 1896, and since that time hundreds of machines have been placed on the markets both in this country and the continent. I might also mention, en passant, to show how keenly alive Mr. Wrench has been with everything appertaining to optical projection that he took the keenest interest in Pro. Muybridge's experiments with the Zoepraxiscope, but came to the conclusion that the system was altogether outside the pale of commercial practicability.

 "A Visit to the 'Wrench' Works", Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 10 mars 1910, p. 1021.

wrench cinematographThe Magic Lantern Journal and Photographic Enlarger. Almanac & Annual 1897-8.
Edited by J. Hay Taylor, Londres, Magic Lantern Journal Company, Limited, octobre 1897, p. XXV.
© Le Grimh

Parmi les premiers acheteurs du cinématographe se trouve James Williamson :

An interesting Reminiscence.
Messrs. John Wrench and Son write us: "May we draw your attention to an error on page 1237 of your International issue, which may lead to come misapprehension. In the article by Mr. James Williamson, he states that he procured a "Wrench machine, which he subsequently converted into a kinematograph camera, and with it took a procession on Jubilee Day, 1907. This should, of course, read 1897, for it was on October 12th, 1896, that we supplied Mr. Williamson with the machine in question. Mr. Williamson also states that if a Kinematograph Museum is established, this old machine will be one of the curiosities. Be this as it may, you will no doubt be interested to learn that many of these machines are still doing yeoman service. Oft-times, when they are returned to have some worn out part replaced, we suggest to the exhibitors that they should speculate in a more up-to-date machine, but they very often reply that their first love has been well tried and not found wanting."

The Kinematograph & Lantern Weekly, vol. 6, nº 131, 11 novembre 1909, p. 19.

Ce premier appareil va également servir à Alfred Wrench à filmer, lui aussi, le Jubilé de la reine Victoria qui est célébré le 22 juin 1897 :

[...] and in 1897 he himself took the first picture over 60 feet long, namely, the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of our late beloved Queen. This film measured 700 feet, and was shown at the Alhambra for 21 weeks.

"A Visit to the 'Wrench' Works", Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 10 mars 1910, p. 1021.

The Era, Londres, 25 décembre 1897, p. 25.

Pourtant ces souvenirs rentrent en contradiction avec certains articles publiés à l'époque où "Phil & Bernard" sont désignés comme les auteurs de cette vue :

TO-NIGHT, MAGNIFICENT CINEMATOGRAPHE VIEWS of the JUBILEE PROCESSION, taken by Messrs. Phil and Bernard (Wrench's Patent). This  Splendid Panorama is composed of the most interesting and striking feature, of the whole of the Procession, and presents a series of animated pictures never excelled. THIS and EVERY EVENING at 9.30.

The Pall Mall Gazette, jeudi 8 juillet 1897, p. 1.

wrench j publicite 1897The Magic Lantern Journal and Photographic Enlarger. Almanac & Annual 1897-8.
Edited by J. Hay Taylor, Londres, Magic Lantern Journal Company, Limited, octobre 1897, p. 125.
© Le Grimh

En octobre 1897, John Wrench va présenter un modèle perfectionné avec un nouveau système à l'épreuve des incendies comme le rapporte, en 1914, Edward George Turner :

These [appareils Lumière et Paul] were the only kind of cinematographs to be obtained until September, 1896, when Messrs. John Wrench and Son, 50, Gravy’s Inn Road, produced their famous 100A machine. This machine carried 3 in. spools, and the first one sold by Messrs. Wrench was purchased by Mr. Walker and myself in September, 1896. This machine was complete; it had spool arms and spools, and the film was rewound on to the bottom spool after passing through the machine, as is done to-day. No cinematograph had a fireproof shutter until the advent of the 100B machine in October, 1897. This machine carried 5 in. spools and also rewound the films on the bottom spool arm. This was the machine that I mentioned in my interview, wherein I stated I had a conversation with Messrs. John Wrench, asking why the fire-proof shutter could not be interposed between the film and the light, when the film was stationary in the gate. The 100B, with its first automatic direct driven shutter was the out-come of my conversation with Mr. John Wrench. Mr. Walker and I purchased this machine, as we did every first machine of a new type made by Messrs. Wrench up to four years ago.

The Bioscope, mars-juin 1914, p. 99-101.

C'est en 1897 qu'Alfred Darling va commencer à collaborer avec Alfred Wrench. En juillet, les deux hommes déposent un brevet pour des "Improvements in Cinematographic Apparatus" (GB 17,248 du 21 juillet 1897) et un autre, en novembre 1898, pour "An Improved Camera and Apparatus for Producing Cinematograph and other Pictures and for Exhibiting Cinematographic Pictures." (GB 23,591 du 9 novembre 1898). Toujours avec Alfred Wrench, il dépose un nouveau brevet dont il est en fait l'inventeur, pour une "kinetographic Camera" (brevet nº 635,466 du 6 mars 1899). The Optical Magic Lantern Journal va consacrer un article développé à cette invention dans son numéro d'avril 1899. Il s'agit d'un cinématographe destiné aux amateurs ou à un usage familial que la Warwick Trading Company et la John Wench & Son vont commercialiser, dès le 15 avril 1899.

darling alfred 1899 opticalThe Optical Magic Lantern Journal and Photographic Enlarger, vol. 10, nº 9, avril 1899, p. 119. 

En mars 1900, la presse annonce un nouveau cinématographe Wrench baptisé "The Grand".

wrench cinematograph grand 1900
The Era, Londres, 10 mars 1900, p. 27.

Ce nouveau cinématographe porte le nº100 D et il est vendu au prix de £50.

wrench alfred 1900 grand
The Showman, vol 1, nº 1, septembre 1900, p. 4.

Le conflit qui oppose les Britanniques et deux territoires boers, l'État libre d'Orange et la République sud-africaine du Transvaal, va provoquer deux guerres, dont la deuxième (11/10/1899-31/05/1902) donne lieu à une production cinématographique importante, non seulement en Grande-Bretagne, mais également dans d'autres pays comme la France. Si certains de ces films sont tournés in situ, d'autres sont des actualités reconstituées. La situation politique va donc conduire la John Wrench and Son à se lancer dans la diffusion de vues animées sur ces événements, en revendiquant, en outre, leur caractère de films "truqués" :

Important Notice.
We intend issuing front time to time a number of these so-called "Faked War Films," like the above, as we find from experience that they are infinitely more exciting and interesting to an audience than the so-called "Genuine War Films," as the latter will never be anything more than scenes of soldiers or sailors parading, &c., before the camera In time of peace. It would be more appropriate to call them "Genuine Peace Films," for it is a sure thing that the times were never more peaceful than when the films were taken. It Is absolutely impossible to take a film of a genuine battle scene or any film of fighting, as, apart from the danger, modest warfare is carried on with the armies or navies miles apart, and therefore the subject does not lend itself to Cinématography.

The Era, Londres, 21 juillet 1900, p. 24.

Il reste délicat de savoir s'il s'agit d'une production propre ou de films réalisés par d'autres éditeurs. Il semble malgré tout que la société ait envoyé, sur le terrain, un opérateur, Mr. A. Underwood pour tourner des vues :

Films front the Front:
We are informed that several new war films have been received from Mr. A. Underwood, one of Messrs John Wrench and Son's war staff now with Lord Roberts, of which the three following are of special interest. Sir Alfred Milner arriving at the Presidency at Bloemfontein; change of guard outside the Presidency; and the hospital into the ambulance waggon, the scene changing to he driving off of the waggon.

The Optician, vol. 18, 18 mai 1900, p. 347. [cité par BARNES, 1979: 110].

En 1901, Alfred Wrench est recensé avec sa famille à Margate et figure comme " Wholesale Optician ". Un nouvel appareil est mis en vente cette même année, le "Twecent Grand", destiné aux professionnels :

The "Wrench " Cinematograph Projectors and Cameras are well-known to showmen, but we are pleased to call the attention of showman who are considering the advisability of investing in a new outfit to the " Twecent Grand," a machine adapted to the best professional use, for showing films and slides, fitted with large spools for taking a long length of film for a continuous exhibition. The construction and design of the instrument are such as to give the exhibitor every confidence in undertaking exhibitions in any size hall, and all interested, should apply to Messrs. John Wrench & Son, 50 Grays Inn Road, London, W.C.

The Showman, 6 septembre 1901, p. 585.

L'année suivante, l'appareil qui est annoncé en octobre, permet de projeter à la fois des vues animées et des vues fixes :

The Greatest Invention since the introduction of the
Moving Gate and Lens.
We have just Invented and Protected a
with a
by means of which the Film can be adjusted.
without moving, the Lens and without moving the Mechanism.
You will see at once the importance of this Invention, as it allows the Projecting Lens to be a Fixture and always Central to the Condeneer and the Illuminant, thereby doing away with the objectionable results given on the Screen by moving the Lens (with the Gate) out of the Optical Centre.
The Adjustment is also Double that on any other Machine-viz, Two Whole Pictures.
As this Novel Adjustment is in the Film Trap or Gate only, and has nothing to do with the Mechanism, the rigidity of the Machine is not affected in the least degree.
For Particulars and Prices, apply to

The Era, Londres, 18 octobre 1902, p. 32.

Au cours des années suivantes, la société John Wrench & Son est de moins en moins présente dans la presse. Occasionnellement, il est question de projections de films de l'entreprise. Ainsi lors de la 4e Photographic Trade and Pictorial Exhibition le collaborateur d'Alfred Wrench, John Hay Taylor présente une vue cinématographique :

The Animated pictures shown by Mr. J. Hay Taylor, on behalf of Messrs. John Wrench and Son, as well as the kinematographic lantern by which they were projected, which combined smoothness and accuracy of movement with brilliancy and clearness of definition in a very high degree ; were amongst the most notable features of the Exhibition. The film which appeared to the writer to be the most deserving of commendation was the one showing a Caravan entering Afghanistan through the Khyber Pass. The deliberation with which the heavily laden camels and their attendants marched over the rugged pathway, the movements of the heads of the animals and their jaws as they masticated their food, gave an impression of reality which it would be difficult to surpass, and reflected great credit upon the skill of the enterprising photographers who successfully performed so difficult a task.

Kinematograph Weekly, lundi 15 mai 1905, p. 166.

Et après... (1906-1913)

L'année 1907 marque une reprise - au moins journalistique - des activités de la famille Wrench que l'on peut attribuer, en partie du moins, à William Engelke avec lequel John co-signe plusieurs brevets : 

22.108.-Alfred Wrench and William Engelke, South-street, Finsbury, London. Improvements in apparatus for perforating cinematograph films.
22.109.-Alfred Wrench and William Engelke, South-street, Finsbury, London. Improvements in or relating to cinematograph apparatus.

The Era, Londres, samedi 21 décembre 1907, p. 27.

wrench alfred 1907 publicite
The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly, 19 septembre 1907.

Pour sa part, le fils de John, Herbert Holmes, qui travaille dans les affaires cinématographiques, a maintenu des relations commerciales avec la Warwick Trading Company :

Dissolved Partnership.-Mr. H. H. Wrench, son of Mr. Alfred Wrench, has dissolved partnership with the Warwick Trading Company, Ltd. He will shortly be making an announcement to the trade, stating his inventions, and the lines he intends to pursue in the future.

Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 12 septembre 1907, p. 11.


C'est également le cas l'année suivante :

17,765.-Alfred Wrench and William Engelke, of London. Improved means for effecting the synchronous running of gramophones and the like, and cinematographic apparatus.

The Era, Londres, samedi 12 septembre 1908, p .27.


The Wrench Film Company (1909-)

After finishing his education, Mr. H. H. Wrench, the son of the proprietor, became actively associated with the business, but he left it in order to take up the manufacture of films, and after being interested as a proprietor in the Warwick Trading Ltd., commenced a film business at 50, Gray's Inn Road, under the title of the Wrench Film  Company.

But to refer to my history of the firm-in 1882 a move was made from 39 to 50 Gray's Inn Road, the freehold of the five storey building being secured. Here in the basement there is a good projecting-room, on the ground floor are the showrooms and offices. The first floor is used as stock-rooms, while the floor above is utilised exclusively by the Wrench Film Company, Here everything is of the latest design, no expense having been spared to fit up the dark rooms with the most effective perforators, printers, etc., all of which are run by electric power, as are the drying drums, etc. It is with the utmost confidence I say that Mr. Wrench, jun., has every facility for turning out film subjects under the latest and most improved system. He informed me that he has a large open-air studio on the heights of Barnet, and here surrounded by the most sylvan scenery, the firm is enabled to take pictures of every description. Already they have had many successes which bas made the "Wrench" mark known wherever kinematograph films are used. 

The floors above the Wrench Film Company are fitted up as workshops, the whole of the machinery being electrically driven. Here are made under the best conditions, lantern and kinematograph accessories, while a special, workshop is devoted to optical work, the firm's "Anasval" objectives having justly secured a wide popularity since their introduction about twelve months ago. Here also is a repair workshop, the firm making a special feature of repairs of every description, not only in connection with the lantern and kinematograph, but also microscopes and other optical instruments are here "put right" by experienced workmen. There is also a complete experimental workshop, but my eyes bad to be closed when entering therein. The main workshops, however, are at Crawford Passage, Farringdon Road, where I was introduced to the genial works manager, Mr. W. Engelke, who has given many year's attention to the trade, and he is an electrical expert of no mean standing. 

Mr. Engelke very courteously showed me all that there was to be seen, and I must confess it came as a revelation.There are three floors at the Crawford Passage workshops, packed with workmen busily engaged in the manufacture of kinematograph parts of every conceivable description. On the ground floor is a forge and japanning room, with its immense oven, and here also is an assembling department. Another room is devoted exclusively to lacquering, a subject which I hear has received a good deal of attention by the management, the results being that a colour and high finish is obtained by which the "Wrench" projectors are known the world over. Leading out from this room is the store for finished parts, the whole department being splendidly arranged, and proving that the word "System" is well understood by the firm of John Wrench and Son. With the unique system adopted, I could well see that there is no time lost in assembling, especially as everything is standardised. It has taken years to get to this pitch of complete standardisation of all parts, but as Mr. Engelke truly said, "It was worth all the thought and time expended on it." The main workshop is on the first floor, and here I was bewildered with the whirring machinery, and an almost endless number of driving belts. Special machines have been devised for special and accurate work, and I was informed that nothing was placed in the market until it was proved to be thoroughly efficient. As an instance, experiments were made for over a year in the construction of the present Model C mechanism, before it was announced to the trade. Machines were specially constructed for making the Maltese cross and locking ring, and when I state that these machines work to the 1-1,000,000th part of an inch, our readers may gain some idea of their accuracy. After all, it is this attention to detail which has made the "Wrench" projectors occupy the position they do to-day, and the result is that the firm find it difficult to cope with the demands made upon them for their latest kinematograph. In the main workshop, only the most up-to-date, machines are employed for drilling, turning, planing, shaping, grinding, and sawing, and they are all electrically driven. Indeed, this department was a veritable hive of industry, and everything seemed to be going with a "swing," the secret of which I afterwards learnt and will refer to later. What is known as the "Tin" shop adjoins the main workshop. Here kinematograph and lantern bodies were being made, seemingly by the gross, by very powerful presses, worked also by electricity. Another floor is devoted to the manufacture of accessories, e.g., lime-light jets, condensers, and other lantern accessories. On this floor also, is the store for raw material, and I noticed a large consignment of Russian iron, which had just arrived from the Baltic, proving that the firm always uses the real article, and not a cheap substitute, as is done by some of Messrs. Wrench's many imitators. Indeed, Mr. Engelke informed me that the system of copying the firm's specialities has been carried to a fine art, but in every case it is the details which are omitted-details which have cost considerable thought, and which, after all, make the "Wrench" products so superior to the imitated article. I was also interested to learn that every machine, resistance, arc lamp, jet, etc., has to go through a practical and rigorous test before leaving the workshops, so that the word "Thorough" is indelibly stamped on everything emanating from Crawford Passage.

And now a few words as to the social side of the organisation, in which I was particularly interested. Messrs. Wrench and Son have risen above the difficulties attendant upon capital and labour. Through the exertions of Mr. Engelke there is a close feeling of comradeship prevalent throughout the works, brought about through the existence of a Social and Scientific Club among the workmen. In this connection there is a Swimming and Cricket Club, and a Co-operative branch for purchasing the necessaries of life. Smoking concerts are held during the winter, and at times helpful lectures are given on subjects which are of interest to all. Of all these ramifications Mr. Wrench is honorary president, while Mr. Engelke acts in the capacity of president. I asked him if be found there social societies to interfere with the general routine of business, and he informed me, as I fully expected he would, that quite the contrary was the case, and that it made a close bond of union between one and all. Although the workshops are run on quite twentieth century lines, there is one thing Mr. Wrench will not do, and that is to enlarge his staff to an overwhelming extent when the workshops are busy, and then discharge the greater bulk of them through the quieter months in midsummer. After bidding a hearty farewell to Mr. Wrench, and his works' manager Mr. Engelke, I could not help thinking, as I wended my way back to the purlieus of Tottenham Court Road, that there was at least one manufacturer connected with the trade who had solved the problem of working on absolutely up-to-date lines, and yet bad kept the old British spirit alive, of working with the employees in one common weal. There was not a hint of braggadacio throughout the whole of my interview; everything seemed to be taken for granted, and when hundreds of pounds have been expended on experiments, and in new machinery for producing a certain article (as has been the case times without number), it is looked upon as what is required; in the best interests of the firm's customers. It is not too much to say. · And here I can speak from experience, that the "Wrench" workshops are conducted in precisely the same way as our largest engineering concerns are conducted in the north, with "Efficiency" and "Stirling Worth" written large on everything which emanates therefrom.

Appliances for rewinding kinematograph films.-Nº 24,992. Nov. 9, 1911.-Alfred Wrench and William Engelke.Kinematograph Weekly, jeudi 23 novembre 1911, p. 177.

wrench alfred 1911 publicite
The Kinematograph and Lantern Weekly (supplement), 23 novembre 1911, p.  xliv.

recensement 1911

Au moment de son décès en 1913, le journal Kinematograph Weekly lui rend hommage dans son article nécrologique :

Death of a Trade Pioneer.
THE TRADE, and particularly the older members of the industry, will regret to hear of the somewhat sudden death of Mr. Alfred Wrench, the much respected head of the firm of John Wrench & Son, of Gray's Inn Road, the well-known optical lantern and kinematograph apparatus makers.
The deceased gentleman was aged 52, and for upwards of thirty years was connected with this well-known firm. He passed away on Thursday last, July 10th, and the body was cremated at Golders Green on Saturday.
The business of John Wrench & Son dates back to 1816, when it was founded by Mr. E. Wrench, grandfather of the gentleman whose loss we mourn. The firm has from the first held a reputation for the best and most thorough work. In the old days it possessed a unique reputation for its optical lanterns, and with the advent of the kinematograph industry added considerably to its prestige by bringing upon the market projectors and mechanical appliances of the best possible quality. The development of the business to a great extent was due to the careful methods and determination to produce nothing but the best, ever the rule of the late head of the firm.
Mr. Alfred Wrench, who for only about three weeks has been laid aside from his work, curiously enough, passed away on his birthday, and we, in conjunction with the whole of the trade, offer our sincere sympathy to the family and to those who have worked so many years under him.
We understand that the business will be continued by Mr. Herbert Wrench, the son, who is also well known in the trade.

Kinematograph Weekly, jeudi 17 juillet 1913, p. 1247.

An Important Transfer.
We have received notification of an important change in the following lette:-
re John Wrench and Son,
I am pleased to inform you that this company has arranged to take the goodwill of this business, the assets, stock-in-trade, and book debts from Herbert Holmes Wrench, of 50, Gray's Inn Road, W. C. I, as from October 17.
William Engelke, who has been associated with the business for about eighteen years as works manager and technical adviser, is a director of this company, and will have the management of the optical and lantern department, which will be carried on at this adress.
For and on behalf of Cinema Traders, Limited, WILLIAM A. GUY (Secretary), 26, Church Street, W. I.Kinematograph Weekly, jeudi 20 octobre 1921, p. 65.

Well-Known Veteran Passes
The funeral of William Engelke, who, as briefly reported in last week's KINE., died suddenly on Sunday, February 8, at his home at St. Albans, took place at Fulham Cemetery, where he was buried in the family vault.
Mr. Engelke, who was only 57 years of age, was a director of Cinema Traders, Ltd., and had spent a lifetime in the machine and accessory side of the business. Many members of the Trade were present at Fulham, including a large deputation from the Cinema Veterans, and many of his fellow Townsfolk of St. Albans. He leaves a widow, a son and two daughters.

Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 20 février 1936, p. 18.



The Aphengescope (190)

Aphengescope. —Yes, this is a commercial apparatus, and can be obtained to order through any photographic dealer, the makers being Messrs John Wrench & Son, 50, Gray'slnn Road, London. As it depends for its results on the priucipal of reflection, it would hardly be suitable for animated picture projection : though it would probably be practicable for this purpose if only a small projection was wished for. I see that a Stereoscopic Aphengescope is referred to under Stereoscopic Notes, page 7S, last month's issue ; this may interest you. Light.


"A Visit to the 'Wrench' Works", Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, jeudi 10 mars 1910, p. 1021-1024.

"Views on Machine Construction", Kinematograph Weekly, Londres, 23 juin 1910, p. 403.

BARNES John, The Beginnings of the Cinema in England, "volume Five: 100", Exeter, University of Exeter Press, 1997, 330 p.