Reuben Heaton has its historical roots firmly set in the angling industry and was founded in 1857 by its namesake Reuben George Heaton on the manufacture of brass fishing reels and brass goods such as paraffin lamps.
The company was predominantly a manufacturer of fishing reels and angling equipment and by the early 1870’s Heaton’s fishing reels and angling products were sold worldwide in their tens of thousands. Reuben Heaton himself was responsible for many of the early innovations that have shaped the angling equipment we know today.
The first scales appeared in the company catalogue as simple handheld tubular spring balances around the turn of the century, but it was not until the late 1920’s that the first dial scales appeared. Being an engineering based company, Heaton’s were often involved in the manufacture of products other than angling equipment. Products as diverse as bicycle wheels and brake testing equipment appeared in addition to the angling products which dominated the company’s catalogues up to the early 1970’s. During the war years, Heaton’s produced gun cleaning kits, specially adapted car headlights for the blackout and bullet casings. It was as a result of one such engineering project that the first dial scales appeared. First catalogued by the company circa 1929, these scales were derived from brake testing units being manufactured by Heaton’s for a company called Bendix. Initially made of cast iron and then much lighter aluminium Heaton’s match scales were a soon common sight on canal and riverbanks. In a bid to take a wider share of the match scale market Heaton’s bought out a rival match scales manufacturer Contesta. Later in the 1980’s scales designed for uses by individual anglers were added to the range and this aspect of the company has continued to develop to the present day.
In the early 1990’s, the hanging scales side of the business was further developed in collaboration with scale manufacturer Waymaster of Reading. A series of lightweight, plastic bodied scales designed for individual anglers was developed based on the iconic Waymaster 400 series hanging scale. Following the acquisition of Waymaster by the Kenwood Company, manufacture of the 400 Series Waymaster scale was moved from Kenwood to Reuben Heaton in 1998 along with manufacture of the Waymaster catering scale. Since the acquisition of Kenwood by the French company De Longhi, Reuben Heaton has continued to produce the original Waymaster 400 Series hanging scale and 300 Series Flyweight hand held scale alongside its other scales and weighing products under its own Reuben Heaton and Sportscale brands.
Reuben Heaton is still an engineering based firm based in Warwickshire, manufacturing high quality weigh scales and weighing equipment as well as angling products. Scale manufacture now dominates production and Heaton’s supply many markets both home and abroad, with an extensive range of products covering both general and sporting markets including the angling trade where Heaton’s high profile is underlined by its sponsorship of national teams and international events. As well as having an overseas production facility, Heaton’s continue to manufacture much of their hanging scales range in the UK, an aspect of the company that after 150 years, we are very proud of. Heaton’s now import and export scales and weighing accessories around the world. With recent investments abroad, Heaton’s are now able to design and build scales to suit most markets.