About Astell

Our History

  • 1884
  • 1900
  • 1910
  • 1920
  • 1930
  • 1940
  • 1950
  • 1960
  • 1970
  • 1980
  • 1990
  • 2000
  • 2010
  • 2020
  • Charles Hearson established
    Charles Hearson & Co. offering
    autoclaves and incubators.

  • Electrically powered autoclave developed.

  • Tom Ashton & Reg Cuttell establish Astell Laboratory Service Co. The Astell name is derived from their two surnames.

  • Charles Hearson & Co. combines with Astell Lab. Service Co to become Astell Hearson.

  • Current chairman, David Pennock joins the board of directors.

  • First use of a microprocessor autoclave controller.

  • Introduction of a PLC Based colour touch-screen autoclave controller.

  • Adoption of Astell Scientific Ltd. as corporate name.

  • Manufacturing takes place at
    Hope Works Bermondsey, London.

  • Early front opening Autoclave.

  • Hearson's relocate from Bermondsey to Catford, London.

  • Introduction of the swiftlock single action closure.

  • First Autoclave with autofill reservoir launched.

  • New factory established at Cray Road, Sidcup in Kent.

  • Latest launch featuring new look exterior casing and other new features.

Although the current name Astell Scientific was adopted in the late 1980s, the company can trace a rich history in sterilization and autoclave manufacturing over 130 years.

Charles Hearson established Charles Hearson & Company in 1884, as specialist manufacturers of autoclaves and incubators for medical practitioners. The company continued to evolve through the early half of the twentieth century offering temperature-controlled equipment and other laboratory apparatus.

In the 1950s, two gentlemen named Tom Ashton and Reg Cuttell established Astell Laboratory Service Company to offer a range of products and consumables to the growing laboratory sector, the name ‘Astell’ being an amalgamation of parts of both their surnames. A decade later the business merged with Charles Hearson & Company to form one company under the name Astell Hearson. This company, renamed Astell Scientific in 1988, remains the leader in steam sterilization technology. This long heritage and vast experience enables Astell to produce industry leading autoclaves and steam sterilizers for a global market.

Browse our Industry or Products pages for further information or Contact us to discuss your requirements.

1884 Autoclave

Custom solutions

Global Reach

Service and maintenance

Made in the UK since 1884


Astell Scientific is a pioneering manufacturer and supplier of autoclaves and sterilizers, understand more about the cornerstones of our business.

Find out more

  • Custom and standard solutions to meet your specification
  • Our products are used in over 100 countries, worldwide
  • Quality maintenance and rapid after-sales support
  • Over 130 years experience goes into every unit we manufacture


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