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Lower Ford Street

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Annewiggy
Tamworth
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91 of 98  Wed 29th Apr 2020 2:50pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1789

British Thompson Houston or BTH commenced manufacture in 1902 in Rugby. Due to increased volume it was decided in 1911 to expand and it was decided to set up in Coventry. The company leased premises in Stoney Stanton Road, known as the Progress Works. Later more accommodation had to be found for switchgear manufacture, so the Progress Works was used for this and the manufacture of meters and regulators, and the factory of the Humber Cycle Company was taken over in Lower Ford Street. At the start of WWI the company decided to concentrate their resources in the manufacture of high-tension magnetos for aircraft. In 1912 BTH had a gentleman on the staff at Rugby, Mr R C Clinker. He had to check the clocks in various parts of the factory. He periodically checked a master watch at the Rugby Post Office. He made a crystal receiver capable of picking up the morse time signals from Paris and thereafter the works clocks were synchronized with the Eiffel Tower. He then developed a portable receiver. This receiver with 2 original type R valves was used to receive the works time signals. They then started to build radio apparatus. One of the products made at Coventry were the headphones and in order to meet the demand for radio apparatus an additional factory in Alma Street adjoining the Lower Ford Street Works was acquired from the Singer Motor Co which doubled the space of the factory. During the war BTH had made radio valves for the government, particularly the type R valve. When the moving coil loudspeaker was developed the BTH Coventry factory was the first to produce it in England. In 1924 the moulding department was transferred from Rugby to Coventry for magnetos and radios. The electrical gramophone was first developed in Coventry in 1925 for British Brunswick Corporation Co Ltd. By 1927 a silent motor for driving gramophone turntables was produced at the Coventry factory at over 10,000 per year. One of the first radio main outfits were being produced in 1928 which included a 4 valve amplifier with RK loudspeaker. All this information is from “BTH Reminiscences, sixty years of progress”, 1946. A very interesting book stacked full of developments achieved and people who worked there, far too much to add here but the company were responsible later for the development, engineering and manufacture of all kinds of radar sets. Also in 1936 they were approached by Flight Lieutenant Frank Whittle and as a consequence a new company was formed known as Power Jets and together with a team of 19 men from BTH they designed and manufactured the first experimental jet-propulsion gas turbine and subsequently the flight engine which was installed in the first successful jet-propelled aeroplane in the world, flown in England 15th May 1941. In 1946 the chief products listed for Coventry were Aero and Commercial type magnetos, Aero Accessories, Sound reproducer equipment, Fractional HP Motors, Domestic Appliances
Memories and Nostalgia - Lower Ford Street
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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92 of 98  Wed 29th Apr 2020 3:28pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3827

Annewiggy, But were they still in Lower Ford Street in 1950? I believe they moved but not sure, I thought it was GEC?
Memories and Nostalgia - Lower Ford Street
Annewiggy
Tamworth
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93 of 98  Wed 29th Apr 2020 3:59pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2013  Total posts:1789

My book only goes up to 1946, Kaga but there seems to be a lot of taking over going on but it seems to eventually have finished up in the hands of the GEC
Memories and Nostalgia - Lower Ford Street
scrutiny
coventry
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94 of 98  Wed 29th Apr 2020 4:03pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:715

In 1950 Kaga they were in Alma St, Hood St and at Read St, parts of the building overlapped into other streets including Lower Ford St. GEC and AEI I think all became the same company or parts of. Don’t know who owns who anymore. Smile Edited by member, 29th Apr 2020 4:04 pm
Memories and Nostalgia - Lower Ford Street
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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95 of 98  Wed 29th Apr 2020 4:47pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3827

Thanks everyone, when I came out the forces I applied for a job there. I was almost sure it was the GEC
Memories and Nostalgia - Lower Ford Street
argon
New Milton
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96 of 98  Wed 29th Apr 2020 4:57pm  
Member: Joined Jun 2016  Total posts:369

Kaga, BTH was a British subsidiary of the American General Electric Company I believe
Memories and Nostalgia - Lower Ford Street
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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97 of 98  Thu 30th Apr 2020 10:04am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:3827

Argon, Maybe you’re right, but the big sign above it just said GEC and that's all Cov kids took notice of. Thumbs up
Memories and Nostalgia - Lower Ford Street
scrutiny
coventry
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98 of 98  Thu 30th Apr 2020 3:24pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:715

The BTH name was dropped on the 1st Jan 1960 Thumbs up
Memories and Nostalgia - Lower Ford Street

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