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British Industrial History

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1930 Industrial Britain: Graham Amplion

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Note: This is a sub-section of 1930 Industrial Britain

See also Amplion and Alfred Graham and Co

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On the sea, in the air and on the land, Alfred Graham and Graham Amplion products have been rendering faithful and unfailing service for many years.

In the Navy and the Mercantile Marine, innumerable executive and other officers rely upon Graham electrical communication devices for transmitting orders and signals and for generally maintaining communication between the bridge and other positions of the ship.

In the aerial services, Graham Radio apparatus enables the machine in flight to exchange communication and signals with ground stations, to ascertain its location and to keep in touch with meteorological information.

Radio intercommunication equipment for use in mining undertakings, on surveys and explorations, and in any circumstances where communication is required between remote points and isolated posts is another speciality of the Company.

In the sphere of broadcasting, the Amplion loud speaker, now a product of Graham Amplion Ltd., was amongst the pioneers, and it has consistently retained the position established in the early days. In all parts of the world, in all climates and under all kinds of conditions, Amplion Speakers are interpreting to contented listeners the messages and music that flow over the ether. Of more recent date are the various Amplion Radio Sets, already widely known for the great advance in quality of reproduction which is invariably associated with the famous name.

Yet another sphere of activity lies in the equipment of Automobile and other race tracks, Military Tattoo and sports grounds, Aerodromes, Large Halls and so forth with Amplion Public Speech apparatus for making announcements, conveying orders and providing entertainment to large assemblies and, more recently, for providing speech and music in Cinema Theatres.

The Company is also well known as designers and constructors of the principal Racecourse Totalisator installation in this country.

It was over forty years ago that Alfred Graham, the electrical inventor, laid the foundations of the two firms which have now grown to such huge proportions.

The Works at Slough - to which the two companies moved from London in 1928, on account of the huge expansion in their business - are a model of large scale scientific production. They cover 165,000 square feet, and employ nearly 1,000 efficient and contented workers under most healthy and comfortable conditions. There are two railway sidings within the works, with receiving .d dispatching platforms which take in the raw material at one end and deliver the finished product at the other. This "one-way" traffic throughout the works promotes an even flow of production from shop to shop without interruption. There is a die-casting foundry where the cast metal parts for loud speakers, telephones and other articles of equipment are made; a Robot-like machine shop, a coil winding department, an assembling shop, where deft fingers with the latest technical and scientific aid work wonders in turning heaps of components into finished instruments; and there are plating, finishing, polishing, stowing and cabinet-making shops - so that every operation connected with the products of the firm, from firs to last, is performed under the one roof. Finally, there is a most rigid system of inspection before the products leave the factory, but so high a standard of production and assembling has been reached that the proportion of instruments which fail to pass the stringent test is very small indeed. Nevertheless, it is there as the purchaser's safeguard.

Throughout, the works bear the Hall Mark of the highest efficiency, and are equipped for executing any order, no matter how large, with the greatest degree of accuracy at the short notice. One example of "hustle" will be enough to quote. On the occasion of the Manchester Exhibition recently, the Company's representative there telephoned one afternoon for a large consignment of loud speakers. Early next morning, before many of the Manchester business men had reached their offices, he was advised that a truck load awaited him at a Manchester station I

The Wireless Department - Graham Amplion Ltd. - frequently turns out from 7,000 to 8,000 loud speakers a week. These are made in all types, in both wood and metal, and the receiving sets that the Company has now placed on the market provide adequate volume with reproduction of the highest quality, and are unusually sensitive. The Radio Gramophone, a combined gramophone and wireless set, which the Company introduced recently, is in great demand among the musical fraternity. And the Standard Radio Sets and Speakers are experiencing a popularity which is merited by their abnormal efficiency.

The Marine Equipment Branch - Alfred Graham and Co., Ltd. - specializes in loud-speaking naval telephones of various patterns, fire control Navy telephones, exchange switchboards for loud-speaking telephones, Admiralty pattern electric hooters, fire gongs, signal and alarm apparatus, "anti-din" telephones and special types of switchgear.

The Aircraft branch deals with equipment for continuous wave and interrupted wave telegraphy, radio telephony, direction-finding apparatus, and everything required by the pilot for signal and communication purposes.

An associated undertaking in Australia is known as Amplion (Australasia) Ltd., and there are agencies and service organisations in practically every part of the Empire.

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