Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,127 pages of information and 245,598 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Brush Electrical Engineering Co

From Graces Guide


December 1889.
1891. Independent Air, Circulating and Feed Pumps. Constructed for Mr. Massingham's Bath Electric Light Works.
1893. Rolling Stock for the Beira Railway.
1896. Brush-made Raworth high speed engine and dynamo unit
Brush steam engine and generator at Tokomaru Steam Museum
1893. Brush Mordey Victoria alternator at Snibston Discovery Museum
1893. Brush Mordey Victoria alternator at Snibston Discovery Museum.
June 1898.
August 1899.
August 1899.
January 1902.
1902. Enclosed motors.
September 1902.
October 1903.
October 1903.
September 1913.
1914 Brush-Ljungstrom turbine-generator No: 691. Exhibit at Abbey Pumping Station, Leicester.
1914 Brush-Ljungstrom turbine-generator No: 691 (detail). Exhibit at Abbey Pumping Station, Leicester.
1915. Name plate.
1922. 5000kW Brush-Ljungstrom Turbo-Generator - The Birchills Power Station.
August 1928.
May 1930. Bus bodies.
1933. 160 B.H.P 103-kw Vis-A-Vis Oil Engine Generator Set.
1939. Brush two-cylinder horizontal diesel engine at Snibston Discovery Museum.
1939. Brush two-cylinder horizontal diesel engine at Snibston Discovery Museum.
1939. 37,500kW Ljungstrom Turbo-Generator.
1941. 37,500kW Ljungstrom Turbo-Generator.
22nd March 1941.
May 1944.
May 1944.
March 1945.
April 1945.


April 1946.
1946. Small Battery Electric Truck.


August 1946.
1947. ABOE engine.
1948. Shuntarc oil circuit breaker 132kV.
1952. Steelworks Locomotive.
Brush Pony. Exhibit at the National Motor Museum.
GEC + Brush. Exhibit at the Museu de Electricidade, Madeira

Brush Electrical Engineering Co, of Belvedere Road, Lambeth, London

of Falcon Works, Loughborough, Leics

Also see sub-sections:

1880 Company established in Lambeth, London, as The Anglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation, to work the patents of Charles Francis Brush (born in Cleveland Ohio in 1849) who had invented an electric dynamo in 1876, and whose system of light was commercialised by the American Brush Electric Light Company.

1881 The Electric exhibition at Crystal Palace was organised for 1882; it was planned that the north end would be lit by Brush Co using arc lights; other parts at that end would be lit by Lane Fox incandescent lamps; Electric Light and Power Generating Co would also use arc lights; Maxim, Crompton, Pilsen, Edison, Werdermann, Siemens and Hammond system would also be used to light other parts of the building[1].

1883 Emile Garcke joined the Anglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation as Secretary.

1889 As the business grew at Lambeth due to the demand for new electrical apparatus, larger premises were required. Company acquired the assets of Henry Hughes and Co at Falcon Works, Loughborough. Also acquired the business of the Australasian Electric Light, Power and Storage Company. New company incorporated as Brush Electrical Engineering Co to take over the business of the former company[2].

1890 One of two contractors providing the lighting for the Edinburgh exhibition. The other was King-Brown and Co. [3]

1891 Emile Garcke became Managing Director of Brush Electrical Engineering Co.

1892 Crystal Palace Electrical Exhibition. Lighting installations (ships). [4]

1897 The Falcon Engine and Car Works continued to offer locomotives, railway and tramway rolling stock, and omnibuses.[5]

1898 British Electric Traction Co and Brush Electrical Engineering Co established the Electrical Power Distribution Co to provide electricity supply in municipal areas to a range of users who would otherwise obtain supplies from more than one source. This would thereby effect economies of operation[6].

1900 June. C. E. Hodgkin resigns his position as works manager and joins the Board.[7] Company appoints Mr. Edward A. Lesson to be works manager at the Falcon Works.[8]

1900 November Public offer of shares in Electrical Power Distribution Company guaranteed by British Electric Traction Co and Brush Electrical Engineering Co [9].

1900 June. Tramways and Light Railways Exhibition at Islington. Exhibited a tramcar. [10]

1902 January. Employ 1,500 persons at the Falcon Works.[11]

1903 June. Catalogue issued on Nos' 1 and 2 steam dynamos and turbo-generators.[12]

1903 April. British Electric Traction Co became the principal shareholder in Brush Electrical Engineering Co by exchange of shares, one BET share for 12 in Brush[13].

1903 British Electric Traction Co acquired the Electrical Power Distribution Co.

1904 British Electric Traction Co was still of the opinion that the purchase of Brush would turn out be a good investment[14].

1905 Built the first all-steel railway carriage to be constructed in Britain, at the suggestion of Mr Charles Yerkes for the Underground Electric Railways of London[15]

1905 The rolling stock and general engineering departments had experienced good levels of business but the profit of the electrical engineering department was expected to be small because of tight margins[16]

1905 The company had won the only substantial orders for steel railway carriages and continued to build wooden ones for other railway companies. Developed Brush-Parsons turbine and a new type of reciprocating engine. Increased production of dynamos, motors and transformers[17].

1906 Had established a department to make motor omnibuses, for sale in areas where tramways were not accepted[18]

1907 Brush had taken a lease of the works of the British Automobile Development Co, adjoining the works at Loughborough, and were producing motor omnibuses and every type of commercial motor vehicle[19].

1909 Emile Garcke agreed to become chairman in order to help achieve a capital reorganisation of the company.

1911 Electrical Exhibition. Steam turbo-generating set of the Brush-Parsons type. [20]

1912 The company had been building turbines for many years and recently orders had exceeded capacity, both for power stations and large industrial installations. Orders were in hand for railway rolling stock for a number of countries as well as the Central London Railway. The capital reorganisation had still not been completed but it was anticipated it would be implemented in this year.[21]

1914 Specialities: electrical machinery and apparatus, steam engines and turbines, railway and tramway rolling stock, electric traction and supply contractors. Employees 2,750. [22]. Supplied the first Ljungstrom Turbine made by the company to the Willesden Station of North Metropolitan Electric Power Supply Co. Also supplied textile machinery, rolling stock to the Central London and Bakerloo railways, tramway stock, and motor omnibuses[23]

WWI Manufacturer of aeroplanes.

Post-WWI Production of steam locomotives finished after WWI. In all, about 250 steam locomotives had been built in addition to tram engines. The company concentrated on electrical equipment, particularly the Brush-Ljungstrom turbine, and rolling stock for railways, tramways and other purposes, trolleybuses and battery-operated vehicles but the coachworks also continued.

1920s-51 Major builder of bodies for single- and double-deck buses.

1924 5 MW Brush-Ljungstrom turbine generator exhibited at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition[24]

1926 Mr E. Garcke was chairman of the company.[25]

1927 See Aberconway for information on the heavy electrical engineering side of the company.

1937 Engineers[26]. Makers of turbo-alternators with outputs up to 60,000 kW.; Diesel engines with outputs from 60 b.h.p. to 1,000 b.h.p.; electric motors and generators; rotary and motor converters; complete Diesel-electric plants; switchboards and switchgear; homogenizers; power and distribution transformers; and road transport passenger vehicles.

1938/9 Purchase of Petters oil engine production plant and business; transfer from Yeovil to Loughborough[27] in exchange for shares in Brush. The name Petters was to be made available to Brush together with the goodwill once Petters have held the necessary EGM[28].

1939 The name of the Petters engine business was changed to Associated British Engineering - essentially a holding company with aim of consolidating the oil-engine industry [29].

1939 A. P. Good appointed deputy chairman. Good went onto implement his vision for the British diesel engine industry with each factory focussed on a limited range of products, within a group covering a wide range of engines. He became chairman of the executive committee in 1941[30].

By 1939 Brush Coachwork was a subsidiary at Loughborough making bodies for road vehicles

1939 Brush Electrical Engineering acquired manufacturing rights to the Koela gas producer. It was marketed under the name Brush-Koela[31]

1945 Acquired Oil Engines (Coventry) Ltd from Lagonda Ltd as part of Brush's plans to extend their range of diesel engines[32].

After World War II, produced omnibus bodies mounted on Daimler chassis using Gardner five-cylinder diesel engines and Daimler preselector gearboxes.

1947 Licensed South African subsidiary to manufacture the Petter and Brush ranges of diesel engines[33].

1947 Close to Derby and its railway workshops, Brush retained its contacts with the railways; joined with W. G. Bagnall to produce diesel locomotives. When British Railways began to replace its fleet of steam engines, Brush entered the market for main line diesel-electric locomotives

1948 Production of small and heavy engines increased, sold under the Petter trade mark; costs reduced through redesign since the end of WWII. Plans underway to acquire Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day Ltd (Stockport), and J. and H. McLaren Ltd (Leeds) which made diesel engines in complimentary sizes to the Petter range[34].

1948 Approval of acquisition of Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day Ltd and J. and H. McLaren Ltd, subsidiaries of Associated British Engineering[35].

1949 Company meeting told about working arrangement with W. G. Bagnall Ltd of Stafford to enable delivery of complete diesel-electric locomotives from one source. Manufacture of small diesel engines had been transferred from Loughborough to McLaren's plant at Staines. Manufacture of large diesel engines to be transferred to Mirrlees plant at Stockport which made engines of similar size. Medium size diesels were manufactured at McLaren's plant at Leeds. Heavy engines were produced at Loughborough and Stockport. Announcement of close liaison with Henry Meadows Ltd of Wolverhampton which had one of the most modern engine factories in the country. This would enable production of a new range of diesel engines that Brush had designed, without expenditure on new tooling and production plant. Henry Meadows also produced gear-boxes which they would supply to Brush for use with their diesel engines, meeting a large proportion of Brush's needs from one source [36].

1950 Brush Electrical Engineering Co, as parent of the Brush ABOE Group, acquired a shareholding in National Gas and Oil Engine Co of Ashton under Lyne at cost from Associated British Engineering with option for Brush to acquire the remainder of Associated's holding which would enable Brush to own more than 50% of National. There was some competition in the two ranges of engines but National was recognised as having expertise in gas engines for which there was growing demand. Brush's annual production of diesels under all the various arrangements amounted to 750,000 h.p., more than any other manufacturer outside the U.S.A. [37].

1950 Purchased Associated British Engineering's shareholding in Hopkinson Electric Co Ltd of Cardiff, manufacturer of small electric motors, to enable Brush to expand production[38].

1950 Sold shares in Heenan and Froude Ltd of Worcester to Associated British Engineering for £200,000 [39].

1951 Rationalization of production sites resulted in movement of heavy diesel engine production from Loughborough. Production of the Petter-Fielding horizontal engines continued to expand at J. and H. McLaren. Production of standard range of small Petter engines at Staines and Burton on the Wolds[40].

1952 Acquired remaining shares in National Gas and Oil Engine Co. 20% of Petter engines produced at Staines were air-cooled diesels[41].

1953 At this time, the Brush ABOE Group consisted of Brush Electrical Engineering Co and Associated British Oil Engines which contained Mirrlees, Bickerton and Day, Petters, J. and H. McLaren, the National Gas and Oil Engine Co and Henry Meadows[42].

1954 Half of Petter engines produced at Staines were air-cooled engines[43].

1955 Name of the Brush ABOE Group would be changed to The Brush Group Ltd[44]. New name and group organisation was implemented with effect from 1 January 1956. Brush Electrical Engineering Co became a subsidiary of the Brush Group, which was a holding company.

1956 100,000th Petter water-cooled diesel produced at Staines; air-cooled diesels in full production; new range of marine diesels introduced; lighter-weight, higher-speed air-cooled diesels in development[45].

1957 Offer received from Hawker Siddeley Group for Brush Group which would help alleviate Brush's shortage of capital. Proposal also made to take-over ASEA Electric Ltd, the UK subsidiary of ASEA of Sweden. Based at Walthamstow, ASEA Electric manufactured transformers and other electrical equipment. Its name would be changed to Fuller Electric Co Ltd[46]. The Brush companies were incorporated into the Hawker Siddeley Group under their trading names. Within the Hawker Siddeley Group the company manufactured a vast range of electrical products including turbo-generators, salient pole machines, induction motors, traction motors and generators, traction locomotives, switchgear, transformers and fuses.

1959 Brush Electrical Engineering Co acquired the rotating machine activities of Veritys Ltd of Birmingham which was in voluntary liquidation[47].

1961 Electrical and mechanical engineers specialising in turbines, transformers and heavy generating equipment for power stations. [48]

1963 English Electric Co acquired the turbo-charger business of Hawker Siddeley Brush Turbines Ltd[49]

1968 Four 7,000 hp electric motors to Sulzer Brothers for circulating water at the CEGB Cottam Power Station. Brush was part of Hawker Siddeley. [50]

Over 5,000 staff were employed on the Loughborough site during the 1960s and 70s.

1971 Formation of 3 new trading companies as subsidiaries:[51]

The other activities of the Brush group remained the direct responsibility of Brush Electrical Engineering.

1972 Brush companies included Brush Electrical Engineering Co, Brush Electrical Machines, Brush Switchgear, Brush Transformers and the Traction Division, subsequently Brush Traction; others which have existed on the Falcon Works site have included Brush Control Gear.

1991 November: Hawker Siddeley Electric Power Group was subject to a hostile takeover bid of £1.5 billion from BTR Industries, the large engineering conglomerate. The bid was successful so the Brush companies then became part of the BTR organisation.

1996 November: FKI Group acquired the Hawker Siddeley Electric Power Group from BTR for a price of £182 million. Became part of FKI Energy Technologies. Approximately 680 staff, 450 of which are direct production personnel.

2008 FKI was acquired by Melrose

2021 One Equity Partners acquired BRUSH Group. Shortly afterwards Brush acquired Aprenda Ltd to enhance their networks products.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Bristol Mercury, 6 December 1881
  2. The Times, 15 July 1889
  3. The Engineer of 2nd May 1890. p351
  4. 1892 The Practical Engineer
  5. The Engineer 1897/05/14
  6. The Times, 6 November 1900
  7. The Engineer 1900/02/23]] p 214.
  8. The Engineer 1900/06/22, p 658.
  9. The Times, 6 November 1900
  10. The Engineer 1900/06/29 p667
  11. The Autocar 1902/01/25
  12. The Engineer 1903/06/05, p 582
  13. The Times, 7 April 1903
  14. The Times, 12 July 1904
  15. The Times Sept. 19, 1905
  16. The Times Dec. 13, 1905
  17. The Times, 4 April 1906
  18. The Times June 30, 1906
  19. The Times, 24 May 1907
  20. The Engineer of 6th September 1911 p362
  21. The Times July 23, 1912
  22. 1914 Whitakers Red Book
  23. The Times Jan 28, 1914
  24. Engineering 1924/07/11
  25. The Engineer 1926/06/18
  26. 1937 The Aeroplane Directory of the Aviation and Allied Industries
  27. The Times, 2 August 1939
  28. The Times, 9 September 1938
  29. The Times, 9 December 1938
  30. The Times, 12 February 1953
  31. The Times May 24, 1940
  32. The Times, 10 July 1945
  33. The Times, 15 January 1947
  34. The Times, 28 January 1948
  35. The Times, 1 January 1949
  36. The Times, 16 May 1949
  37. The Times, 3 May 1950
  38. The Times, 3 May 1950
  39. The Times, 3 May 1950
  40. The Times, 7 June 1951
  41. The Times, 30 May 1952
  42. The Times, 12 February 1953
  43. The Times, 29 April 1955
  44. The Times, 29 April 1955
  45. The Times, 24 April 1956
  46. The Times, 7 May 1957
  47. The Times, 15 June 1959
  48. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  49. The Times Mar. 6, 1963
  50. The Engineer of 12th January 1968 p114
  51. The Times July 3, 1971
  • Aeroplanes of the Royal Flying Corps (Military Wing) by J. M. Bruce. Published 1982 ISBN 0-370-30084-x
  • British Steam Locomotive Builders by James W. Lowe. Published in 1975. ISBN 0-905100-816