The inventor of the Black & Decker Workmate bench died last week after a fall at his home in Jersey. He was aged 78 and had suffered illness resulting from the fall which occurred five months ago.
The Workmate bench is probably one of the most useful and well used products needed by tradesmen and DIYers.
Mr Hickman designed the workbench after he accidentally sawed through a chair which he was using as a make-shift workbench. This was in 1961.
It wasn't until 1972 that Hickman was able to start selling his product through tradeshows. He was forced to market the product himself after he was refused investment by various tool companies including Black & Decker, who said it would have limited use for the home DIYer. They felt it was too big and that he would only sell a few.
The product started to pick up in sales and Black & Decker decided to come on board and began mass production. By 1981, 10 million units had been sold.
A spokesperson from Black & Decker has said that Hickman's effect on the world of DIY has been huge and that it shows that even if something is not popular at first it can still be a great idea.
The workmate has been described by builders as being essential and not having one is like a chef not having an oven.