E Dent & Company
On the 1st October, 1840, the firm, known as E. J. Dent, London began its existence at 82 Strand.
On March 21, 1842, Dent applied for a Patent, to be entitled "Certain Improvements in Chronometers and other Timekeepers". This Patent covered various designs of compensation balance and the invention of a Remontoire for use in Marine chronometers.
In January 1843, Dent opened his second premises, at 33 Cockspur Street, just off Trafalgar Square. The shop would display timepieces made by Breguet – whom Dent met during his time with John Roger Arnold – as well the owner's creations.
On July 1, 1843, Edward John Dent married Elizabeth Rippon – widowed when Richard Rippon died in 1835. Dent gained two stepsons (Frederick William and Richard Edward) and two-stepdaughters (Mary Elizabeth and Amelia Lydia Sophia).
Dent won the esteem of Sir George Airy, the Astronomer Royal, who recommended him as the maker of a large clock for the tower of the new Royal Exchange. Dent's tender was accepted and was announced in the ‘’Herald’’ on 20 August 1843:
NEW ROYAL EXCHANGE At the east end there is to be a Tower, one hundred and forty feet high, containing the Clock and Chimes which latter characteristic is to be revived. This Clock is to be the best specimen that can be produced of modern skill in clock-making, and is intended to furhish the Merchants and Captains with the most accurate record of time in the City of London. It is to be made by Mr. Dent, the Clock and Chronometer Maker, under the direction of the Astronomer Royal, Professor Airy. The Peal of Bells will consist of nine Bells. The tenor will weight one ton, and the others in proportion. These Bells are now being cast by Mr. Mears, who cast the Monster Bell for Canada.
Dent established a workshop in Somerset Wharf, Strand, to produce this excellent timepiece, which was installed in 1844.
In 1852 Dent won the commission to make the great clock—now called Big Ben—for the Houses of Parliament at Westminster, but he died before completing the project. Edward John Dent died on 8 March 1853, at the age of 62 and his adopted son completed the Great Clock.
Frederick Rippon Dent finished Big Ben in 1854. Dent's stepsons, Frederick and Richard, took his name and succeeded to his business and eventually became E.Dent & Co Ltd which ceased to trade in the early 1970s.