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British Industrial History

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House To House Electric Light Supply Co

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1889. Kensington house to house light installation.

The House-to-House Electric Supply Co was one of the early companies supplying electricity in London. It used the a.c. method of generation and distribution[1].

1889 The company opened its central generating station in Kensington, adjacent to West Brompton station. The system was designed by the company's engineer, William Lowrie, on the lines of his design for Eastbourne. The high voltage electricity was converted to low tension at each house by a converter known as Lowrie-Hall. 3 sets of generating equipment, each capable of lighting 4000 lamps were installed initially[2].

By 1891 the company had one generating station, which was located at West Brompton (presumably also described as Kensington - see illustration), within its area of supply. It generated at 2.0kV so only needed to step down the voltage once, using a transformer in cellar of the customer's premises[3]

Later became Brompton and Kensington Electric Supply Co

1928 The Kensington station was finally closed by the Brompton and Kensington Electric Supply Co when the supply was replaced by that from the London Power Co[4].

Associated Companies

1891 The Irish House-to-House Company promoted a similar scheme in Dublin. This company was also headed by Robert Hammond who was in charge of the London company; Mr William Lowrie was engineer for both companies. Hammond said that he had erected the first generating plant in England, at Brighton, Eastbourne and Hastings; the largest scheme they had been involved with was the Electricity Supply Co for Spain in Madrid[5]

1892 The Yorkshire House-To-House Electricity Supply Co was formed. John Fowler and Co built the power station in Leeds to Mr Hammond's design; generating capacity 250kW producing 2000V ac; Lowrie-Hall electrical distribution system used to supply customers up to 2.5 miles from the station [6]

1893 Leeds station opened by Yorkshire House-To-House Electricity Supply Co.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Aug 19, 1891
  2. The Pall Mall Gazette, January 25, 1889
  3. The Times, Aug 19, 1891
  4. The Times, Oct 16, 1928
  5. Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser (Dublin, Ireland), February 6, 1891
  6. The Engineer 1893/05/12