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British Industrial History

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Peel-Conner Telephone Works

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of Peel Works, Adelphi, Salford, Lancs

1888 GEC opened its first factory in Manchester, known as the "Manchester Works" even though it was in Salford. Another factory, in Salford, was known as the Peel Works because it overlooked Peel Park[1].

1895 Following a fire in the Manchester Works (not 1893 as listed in Company histories[2]) production was moved to the Peel Works.

1909 GEC recorded as having invested in the Works, expanding its telephone manufacturing capacity.

Around 1909 Merritt Scott Conner moved to Britain and joined the Peel Works where he improved the quality of the telephones[3].

1910 On 24th December GEC incorporated the factory as a separate company, employing 1000 workers. The Electrical Review noted that the company had been formed to adopt an agreement between GEC and Conner to take over the Peel Works' telephone manufacturing. Conner was nominated to the Board of the new company which produced telephones exclusively. GEC's (check) Annual Report noted "Switchgear, arc lamps, fans and small motors departments have now been moved from Salford to Witton. Peel Works is now entirely devoted to telephone and telegraphic apparatus. The Directors have thought it desirable to carry on these departments as a subsidiary company". The Works produced everything from parts to full telephone exchanges. The first exchanges installed were at Glasgow (10,000 lines expandable to 14,400) and Willesden. Export markets were actively sought.

1911 First export sale to Australia of 6 exchanges in the Adelaide area.

1912 GEC's catalogue noted that it held sole sales rights of the products of the Peel-Conner Telephone Works Ltd. Peel-Conner was also making Western Electric-pattern telephones and parts for the British Post Office under the BPO's contract-sharing arrangements, designed to support local manufacturers.

1914 Manufacturers and installers of telephone apparatus of every description. 1,000 employees[4].

After WW1, developments in the telephone industry were met by GEC by investment at the new Coventry Works. Also BPO standardized on a limited number of designs of telephone.

1921 GEC liquidated the Peel-Conner company and moved all its manufacturing to the larger Coventry factory. GEC continued to use the name Peel-Conner Telephone Works for the Coventry factory but its products were gradually rebranded GEC. Eventually the Peel-Conner name fell into disuse.

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