Following this guy's question [requires login].

According to Wikipedia model ships are dated to ancient Greece, Egypt, and Phoenicia but those, and later models up to sometime in the 1800's, were all custom made by specialists.

According to scalemates and the above article Amati was founded 1897 and Bassett-Lowke 1898 or 1899, both offering kits to the general public.

Scalemates has a list of 10,000 companies but it is hard to search and incomplete.



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