Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Metropolitan Electric Supply Co

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Inspection cover.

Metropolitan Electric Supply Company.

1887 Registered 26 November, as South MET.

1888 Renamed 28 July. Purchased the Whitehall Electric Supply Co in July.

1889 Operated using the "transformer" (i.e. AC) system. The company had generating stations in 5 locations in London[1].

1890 Westinghouse arrived late on the British scene but had caught up in one stride with the Sardinia Street Power Station[2]

1891 The company had 4 generating stations - 3 (Sardinia St. WC, Rathbone Place W, Manchester Sq. W) used the a.c. system of distribution at 1000V and step-down transformers; the fourth (Whitehall) used d.c. distribution with accumulators at 100V[3]

c.1898 In response to observed vibrations in high speed engines at the company's plant, Belliss and Co developed a 6 cylinder tandem compound engine using 3-cranks, which were also more suitable for powering the alternating current dynamos then coming into use[4].

1911 Tested high-tension direct-current transmission of electricity between Willesden Power Station and a subtation at Ironbridge, on the main Uxbridge road between Hanwell and Willesden.

1912 A correspondent to The Times identified the company's Willesden Junction station as one of 6 which should be considered for bulk supply in an integrated London network; it generated 2 phase 60 Hz 10kV, with AC distribution at 100V and 200V[5].

1913 Six London companies placed a large advert about potential uses of electricity in the home and office - in the drawing room, in the dining room, in the bedroom, for cooking and for vacuum cleaning[6]

1920 One of 9 London electricity supply companies who formed London Electricity Joint Committee (1920) in opposition to the schemes proposed by the Electricity Commissioners for London

1924 The Acton Lane, Willesden and Amberley Road generating stations and certain main transmission lines were acquired by London Electricity Joint Committee

1948 Nationalised[7]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Apr 09, 1889
  2. The Electrical Engineer, 28 February 1890
  3. The Times, Aug 19, 1891
  4. The Engineer 1904/04/29
  5. The Times Jun 12, 1912
  6. The Times, Dec 01, 1913
  7. The Times, 10 March 1948