Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,396 pages of information and 233,518 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Allen West and Co

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July 1938. Metal Clad Switchgear

of Lewes Road, Brighton, makers of motor control gear and switchgear.

1910 Allen West founded the company in space rented from the Reason Manufacturing Co Ltd at Brighton[1]. One of the first products was a finger contact for drum controllers which was adopted by the Admiralty.

1911 Electrical Exhibition. Drum controllers for crane and general industrial work etc.

1914 Allen West was invited by the principal shareholders of Reason Manufacturing Co Ltd to take over that company.

WWI Allen West joined up; his company made the firing head for the Stokes mortar and 100 rounds; Allen West smuggled it to France in his luggage and as a result of the trials there, it was adopted for service use.

1929 Public company; also owned Electric Control Ltd and Reason Manufacturing Co Ltd.[2]

1929 Acquired disused rolling mills at Southampton from the government; would be used for heavy engineering construction[3].

1939 Expansion of the Brighton site.[4]

WWII The company produced radar equipment, electrical switchgear and motor control gear for the war effort.

1953 Company founder Allen West retires.[5]

1960 Fifty Years of Control Gear Development.[6]

1961 Manufacturers of electrical motor control gear for all applications. 3,000 employees. [7]

c.1962 Acquired Digital Engineering Co[8].

1965 Digital Engineering Co was renamed Allen West Automation and moved to Brighton[9].

1968 Acquired Electrical Apparatus Co after West raised its offer; acquired Hackbridge-Faraday Electronics of Brentford from GEC-AEI.[10]

1973 Tube Investments in conjunction with General Electric of the USA acquired Allen West and Co.[11] Allen West operated in similar area to Simplex GE.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 6 August 1929
  2. The Times, 6 August 1929
  3. The Times, 20 December 1929
  4. The Times, 13 April 1939
  5. The Times, 17 June 1953
  6. 1960 Advert.
  7. 1961 Dun and Bradstreet KBE
  8. The Times, 19 June 1963
  9. The Times, 16 June 1965
  10. The Times 15 February 1968
  11. The Times, 12 January 1973