As Hatry was emerging from the excitement of the Debenhams transaction, the stock exchange was experiencing another boom which was characterised by shareholders’ fascination with technology. Many companies were floated, offering a stake in new industries: gramophones, radios, performance cars and synthetic silks. Often these were ‘shilling shares’, designed with low prices to appeal to investors who wanted to take part in the boom but had little to invest. It would have been unrealistic to expect that Hatry would not participate in the frenzy that overwhelmed the market.

In February 1928, an Oxford Street store, Selfridge’s, celebrated a ‘double first’: the first television department in the world and the first demonstration ...

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