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Nicholas Kove

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Name  Nicholas Kove

Organizations founded  Airfix
Died  March 17, 1958, London, United Kingdom

Nicholas Kove (born Miklós Klein 1891 in the village of Anarcs, Szabolcs County, Kingdom of Hungary — died 17 March 1958 in London) was a Hungarian-British businessman best known for founding the Airfix plastic toy company.

His birth name was Klein but he magyarised this to Köves (pronounced "Kurvesh") and subsequently Kove. An energetic and resourceful man, he was a cavalry officer in Austro-Hungarian army in the First World War but was captured by the Russians. He was interned in a camp near the Korean border but escaped across Siberia with the help of Catholic priests. It took him four months to return home to Anarcs.

After the war he worked as an assistant minister in the short-lived Communist government of Béla Kun. After the fall of the Hungarian Soviet Republic, he emigrated to Algiers in 1922 with his wife Clothilde and baby daughter Margit. In 1934 the family moved to Barcelona where Kove started a plastics factory; at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in August 1936, they fled to Milan. There Kove patented a process for stiffening shirt collars, which he called "Interfix".

In the autumn of 1938, he moved his family from Milan to London, where he established Airfix Products in 1939, originally to manufacture rubber inflated toys. After the Second World War he switched to producing plastic combs, and was the first manufacturer to introduce a plastic injection moulding machine. For a while he was the largest supplier of die-stamped metal belt buckles to the War Office. After an operation for cancer in 1950, he took on Ralph Ehrmann as assistant manager, who together with John Gray persuaded him to move into construction kits.

Shortly after seeing Airfix become a public company in 1957, Kove died at his home at 252 Finchley Road, London, on 17 March 1958, three weeks after the death of his wife.

Daughter Margit, later renamed Margaret Elliott inherited Kove's estate. A Society hostess both in London and Mallorca, Spain. She subsequently lost a significant part of her Airfix wealth investing in Mr. Dennis Lorraine many schemes and the notorious Cadco Pig Farm scheme, a major public scandal in the 60's, as it attracted substantial public funding, and the backing of Mr George Sanders, the film actor. ]] Mrs Elliott was a prolific society hostess. She eventually sold her majority shareholding in Airfix and took up painting in oils.


Nicholas Kove Wikipedia

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