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 148,344 pages of information and 233,846 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

St. James' and Pall Mall Electric Light Co

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of Mason's Yard, Duke St, St James's, London SW

1888 The St. James' and Pall Mall Electric Light Company was incorporated as a public company[1] in response to dissatisfaction with the service provided by the Grosvenor Gallery. Their area consisted of 2 parts - south of Piccadilly there were clubs and other premises requiring lighting, to the north the area was inhabited by working people who would require motive power. The company provided direct current on the 3 wire system which could be worked without batteries but they intended to use 35,000 storage batteries[2].

1891 Generated electricity at Mason's Yard, St. James, using a 2000hp generator; distributed it at 200V using the d.c. system without accumulators[3]

1892 were generating using the 3-wire system.

1893 Lost a legal case that the company was infringing the patent of Dr John Hopkinson concerning the 3-wire system, owned by the Westminster Electric Co[4]; the injunction was suspended for 6 months in order to avoid inconveniencing the users[5]

By 1896 was a public company[6]

1897 St. James' and Pall Mall Electric Light Co and Westminster Electric Supply Co formed the Central Electric Supply Co[7]

1906 Legal case brought by London Hydraulic Power Co for damage to its mains; counter-suit for damage from water escaping from the hydraulic mains[8]

1909 One of 5 companies in London that the London County Council proposed to acquire[9]

1912 The loss of revenue due to the use of metallic filaments had been recovered. The Mason's yard generating plant had been removed and in its place there was a transformer (and a large storage battery) which reduced the voltage of the current brought in from Grove Road. In view of the good results a similar change would be made at the Carnaby St plant. The Central Electric Supply Co would instal an extra 3000kW generator at Grove Road in order to supply this company[10]

1913 Six London companies placed a large advert about potential uses of electricity in the home and office - in the drawing room, in the dining room, in the bedroom, for cooking and for vacuum cleaning[11]

1920 One of 9 London electricity supply companies who formed London Electricity Joint Committee (1920) in opposition to the schemes proposed by the Electricity Commissioners for London

1923 Linked their mains to the Metropolitan, Kensington and Notting Hill companies. Carnaby St was no longer used as a generating station. Began upgrading the supply voltage to customers from 110-220v to 220-440v[12]

1923 The main transmission lines were acquired by London Electricity Joint Committee[13]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Apr 17, 1888
  2. The Times, Apr 25, 1889
  3. The Times, Aug 19, 1891
  4. The Times Jan 16, 1893
  5. The Times Jan 17, 1893
  6. The Times, Jan 29, 1896
  7. The Times, Apr 12, 1921
  8. The Times, Jul 07, 1913
  9. The London Gazette 19 November 1909
  10. The Times (London, England), Wednesday, Feb 14, 1912
  11. The Times, Dec 01, 1913
  12. The Times, Feb 27, 1924
  13. The Times, Nov 26, 1926