During 1910, Mr Hugh Steeper married into the Winterflood family and as such began to work for the company firm manufacturing geysers for water heating. During the war, Mrs Steeper invited mutual friends to reside in safety; the Vindevogal brothers who were in the wine trade, and Cauet, a limb maker. They came to England during the early part of World War 1 as refugees and were given permission to use the top floor of the Woodstock’s premises for the production of artificial arms based on the Cauet principle. Mr Hugh Steeper, unfit for war service, became interested and following his normal daily occupation, spent many hours an evening learning what he could about the limbs being made in the Woodstock premises.


With demand high for artificial limbs, the Vindevogals and Cauets were making a small but important contribution to helping provide prostheses for those returning from war. After cessation of hostilities in 1918, our Belgian friends naturally wished to return to their homes and did so in 1919. By this time the Prothesia Company had moved to 49 Greek Street, Soho and when the Vindevogals and Mr Cauet left, the company went into liquidation. Mr Hugh Steeper had continued on a part-time basis and after 18 months, on 19th November 1920 he bought the company. Now as the new owner, he attended Roehampton Hospital measuring and fitting arms and helping create turning points in the lives of those returning from war.

On the 5th March 1921, Hugh Steeper Limited became the operating company.