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 148,515 pages of information and 233,946 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

British Insulated Wire Co

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Detail. Exhibit at Crich Tramway Museum.

of Prescot

1890 A factory was established in Prescot to manufacture paper-insulated power cable under licence from U.S. patentees. The people behind this venture were the Atherton Brothers, T. P. Hewitt (Managing Director of the Lancashire Watch Co), Colonel Pilkington of St. Helens and Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti (the Liverpool-born innovator who contributed much in the field of electricity). They became directors of the company, recognising the potential of the emerging field of electricity with its many uses, including electric traction which is said to have been sufficient to justify the venture[1].

1897 The company was registered on April 28th, as the British Insulated Wire Co, Ltd. to take over the business of the company of the same name, registered October 20th 1890. [2]

By 1900 the firm had secured its position in the power distribution industry, while continuing to establish itself locally - lighting for Lord Derby’s house, Knowsley Hall and street lights in Prescot and its surrounds.

1900 Manufactured the largest diameter cables in the world for the Port Dundas electricity works in Glasgow [3]

1902 Manufactured the Mordey-Fricker electricity meter[4]

1902 Merger with the Telegraph Manufacturing Co of Helsby to form British Insulated and Helsby Cables.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. BICC, Archives Department, National Museums Liverpool
  2. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  3. The Engineer of 14th September 1900 p260
  4. The Engineer 1902/5/30