This account of a patent issued to Messrs. Reeves, of Bratton, Wiltshire was first published in The London Journal of Arts, Sciences and Manufactures and Repertory of Patent Inventions conducted by Mr. W. Newton of the Office for patents, Chancery lane, London in 1852.
Joshua Cecil Whitaker was born in 1841 at Bratton, Wiltshire, England the second son of Joshua Whitaker and Jane Saffery. His father was a prominent local farmer, having some 950 acres and employing 36 men. His mother was the daughter of Baptist minister John Saffrey of Salisbury, Wiltshire and his hymn writing wife Maria Grace Andrews.
Marjorie Ethel Reeves was born at Bratton, Wiltshire on July 17, 1905 the second daughter of Robert John W. Reeves and Edith Sarah Whitaker. Her father’s family owned and ran a successful iron works in the village making agricultural machinery. Her mothers family could trace its continuous presence in Bratton from 1576. Marjorie was brought up in Wiltshire and educated at the High School for Girls in Trowbridge before studying modern history at St Hugh’s College, Oxford.