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 150,661 pages of information and 235,200 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.

Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co

From Graces Guide
September 1925.
February 1929.
May 1929.


Aug 1935.
January 1936.
June 1936.
October 1936.
February 1937.
February 1937. Electric vehicles for Midland Counties Diary.
5th March 1937.
August 1937.
August 1937.
August 1937.
September 1937.
31st December 1937.
March 1938.
July 1938.
December 1938.
6th January 1939.
November 1943.
June 1945.
October 1945.
December 1945
January 1946. Battery Chargers.
November 1946.
1947. Rectifiers for Radio.
February 1947.
September 1947
December 1947.
March 1948.
April 1948.
June 1948.
August 1948
January 1949.
March 1949.
May 1949.
June 1949.
September 1949.
November 1950.
April 1951.
December 1951. Metal Rectifiers.
January 1953. Electro-Pneumatic Brakes.
September 1953. Westalite Battery Chargers.
November 1953.
September 1954.
June 1955. Rectifiers.
March 1957.
February 1959. Rectifier.
May 1961.
Sept 1962.
November 1968. Metal Rectifiers.

of London, Chippenham and Kingswood (Bristol).

Westinghouse Brake and Saxby Signal Co, of 82 York Road, London, N1. Telephone: North 2415 (6 lines). Cables: "Westinghouse, London". (1929)

Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co, 82 York Road, King's Cross, London, N1. Telephone: Terminus 6432. Telegraphic Address: "Westinghouse, Nordo, London". (1937)

Ditto 1937 Address and Telephone. Cables: "Westinghouse, London". (1947)


1871 Shortly after a visit to Europe, George Westinghouse set up the Europe Brake Company[1].

1872 The Westinghouse air-brake was used by the London and North Western Railway between Euston Square and St Albans[2].

1874 Tests on the Midland Railway using a specially equipped train

1876 North British Railway organised a series of trials between Westinghouse's automatic air-brake and Smith's vacuum brake supplied by the Vacuum Co[3] which demonstrated the advantages of the air-brake.

By 1880, 37,000 sets of Westinghouse apparatus had been supplied to railways around the world[4].

Public Company Incorporated

1881 Public company. The Westinghouse Brake Co was registered on 7 November. [5]

1894 Antwerp Exhibition. Train braking systems. (Westinghouse Brake Co). [6]

1894 Antwerp Exhibition. Awarded Grand Prix Diploma for Railway Plant. (Westinghouse Brake Co). [7].

1899 The Westinghouse Brake Co in conjunction with Messrs McKenzie and Holland was the first to introduce power signalling into Great Britain with the installation at Bishopsgate Street station on the Great Eastern Railway[8].

1907 Separate company formed to carry on the power signalling business: McKenzie, Holland and Westinghouse Power Signal Co[9] which equipped the whole of the underground railways of London with power operated automatic signalling.

By 1910, 3 million sets of Westinghouse brake apparatus had been supplied to railways around the world[10].

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Marine Motors see the 1917 Red Book under the Westinghouse-Cross name.

Reorganisation and Expansion

1920 Recognising the interdependence of effective braking and signalling in train safety, Westinghouse Brake Company acquired certain assets of the Consolidated Signal Co[11]. By these means, Westinghouse Brake secured controlling interests in the signal manufacturing concerns of[12]:

The name of the company was changed to Westinghouse Brake and Saxby Signal Co.

1925 Introduced metal rectifiers, not long after the discovery that Copper Oxide could act as a rectifying medium.

1929 British Industries Fair Adverts for Low Tension Battery Eliminator and Metal Rectifiers. Manufacturers of All-metal Rectifiers for use in Radio apparatus and Battery Chargers, and for other purposes, where direct current is required from alternating current supply. (Wireless section - Stand No. MM.39). [of York Road, London] [13]

1932 The London works of Westinghouse Brake Co were moved to Chippenham

1935 The name was changed to the Westinghouse Brake and Signal Co.

1937 Listed Exhibitor - British Industries Fair. Metal Rectifier Equipment for all purposes requiring direct current conversion from alternating supplies, including Rectifiers for Electro Plating, Battery Charging, Cinema Arc Operation. (Stand Nos. Cb.614 and Cb.616) [14]

1947 British Industries Fair Advert for "Rectifiers for Radio". Also units for use in measuring instruments and battery chargers. Manufacturers of Metal Rectifiers of HT and LT supplies to radio receivers and transmitters; detection and AVC telecommunication: and for use with measuring instruments. Commercial Battery Chargers and Trickle Chargers. (Music and Radio Section - Olympia, Ground Floor, Stand No. C.1531) [of York Way, King's Cross, London, N1]. [15]

1956 Acquired Douglas (Kingswood) Ltd

1959 Main divisions were[16]:

as well as several foreign companies. Signals and Colliery Division had introduced the first "Westronic" centralised traffic control installation; also first use of Westinghouse electro-pneumatic retarted manufactured in the UK.

1961 Manufacturers of power and mechanical signalling equipment, compressed air and vacuum brakes, rectifiers and rectification apparatus, power operated tub handling plants for the mining industry, brakes for road transport, and pneumatic control equipment. 7,000 employees. [17]

1962 Short-lived venture into making automatic transmissions - see Westinghouse Hobbs

1963 Motor Show exhibitor. Mobile car lift. [18]

1966 Demand for brakes for commercial vehicles had increased substantially[19]

1970 Semiconductors business was expanding; continued demand for railway signals, recitifiers and commercial vehicle brakes[20]

1979 Acquired by Hawker Siddeley[21]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co 1899-1949 by John Dummelow: 1899-1909
  2. The Times, 24 October 1872
  3. The Times, 26 December 1876
  4. The Times, 28 June 1912
  5. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  6. The Engineer of 1st June 1894 p469
  7. The Engineer of 2nd November 1894 p387
  8. The Times, 15 August 1921
  9. The Times, 15 August 1921
  10. The Times, 28 June 1912
  11. The Times, 8 November 1920
  12. The Times, 9 November 1920
  13. 1929 British Industries Fair Adverts 246 and 247; and p179
  14. 1937 British Industries Fair p432
  15. 1947 British Industries Fair Advert 79; and p296
  16. The Times Feb 17, 1959
  17. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  18. 1963 Motor Show
  19. The Times Tuesday, Aug. 2, 1966
  20. The Times Tuesday, Feb. 24, 1970
  21. The Times Monday, Apr. 21, 1980