Metropolitan-Vickers
Overview
Metropolitan-Vickers, Metrovick, or Metrovicks, was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 heavy electrical engineering company of the early-to-mid 20th century formerly known as British Westinghouse
British Westinghouse
British Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Company was a subsidiary of the American Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. British Westinghouse would become a subsidiary of Metropolitan-Vickers in 1919; and after Metropolitan Vickers merged with British Thomson-Houston in 1929, it...

. Highly diversified, they were particularly well known for their industrial electrical equipment such as generators
Electrical generator
In electricity generation, an electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge to flow through an external electrical circuit. It is analogous to a water pump, which causes water to flow...

, steam turbine
Steam turbine
A steam turbine is a mechanical device that extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam, and converts it into rotary motion. Its modern manifestation was invented by Sir Charles Parsons in 1884....

s, switchgear
Switchgear
The term switchgear, used in association with the electric power system, or grid, refers to the combination of electrical disconnects, fuses and/or circuit breakers used to isolate electrical equipment. Switchgear is used both to de-energize equipment to allow work to be done and to clear faults...

, transformer
Transformer
A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another through inductively coupled conductors—the transformer's coils. A varying current in the first or primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's core and thus a varying magnetic field...

s, electronics
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 and railway traction equipment. Metrovick holds a place in history as the builders of the first commercial transistor computer
Transistor computer
A transistor computer is a computer which uses discrete transistors instead of vacuum tubes. The "first generation" of electronic computers used vacuum tubes, which generated large amounts of heat, were bulky, and were unreliable. A "second generation" of computers, through the late 1950s and...

, the Metrovick 950
Metrovick 950
The Metrovick 950 was a transistorized computer, built from 1956 onwards by British company Metropolitan-Vickers, to the extent of six or seven machines, which were "used commercially within the company" or "mainly for internal use"...

, and the first British axial-flow jet engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

, the Metrovick F.2
Metrovick F.2
The Metropolitan-Vickers F.2 was an early turbojet engine and the first British design to be based on an axial-flow compressor. It was considered too unreliable for use during the war, and never entered production...

.
Encyclopedia
Metropolitan-Vickers, Metrovick, or Metrovicks, was a British
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 heavy electrical engineering company of the early-to-mid 20th century formerly known as British Westinghouse
British Westinghouse
British Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Company was a subsidiary of the American Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. British Westinghouse would become a subsidiary of Metropolitan-Vickers in 1919; and after Metropolitan Vickers merged with British Thomson-Houston in 1929, it...

. Highly diversified, they were particularly well known for their industrial electrical equipment such as generators
Electrical generator
In electricity generation, an electric generator is a device that converts mechanical energy to electrical energy. A generator forces electric charge to flow through an external electrical circuit. It is analogous to a water pump, which causes water to flow...

, steam turbine
Steam turbine
A steam turbine is a mechanical device that extracts thermal energy from pressurized steam, and converts it into rotary motion. Its modern manifestation was invented by Sir Charles Parsons in 1884....

s, switchgear
Switchgear
The term switchgear, used in association with the electric power system, or grid, refers to the combination of electrical disconnects, fuses and/or circuit breakers used to isolate electrical equipment. Switchgear is used both to de-energize equipment to allow work to be done and to clear faults...

, transformer
Transformer
A transformer is a device that transfers electrical energy from one circuit to another through inductively coupled conductors—the transformer's coils. A varying current in the first or primary winding creates a varying magnetic flux in the transformer's core and thus a varying magnetic field...

s, electronics
Electronics
Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

 and railway traction equipment. Metrovick holds a place in history as the builders of the first commercial transistor computer
Transistor computer
A transistor computer is a computer which uses discrete transistors instead of vacuum tubes. The "first generation" of electronic computers used vacuum tubes, which generated large amounts of heat, were bulky, and were unreliable. A "second generation" of computers, through the late 1950s and...

, the Metrovick 950
Metrovick 950
The Metrovick 950 was a transistorized computer, built from 1956 onwards by British company Metropolitan-Vickers, to the extent of six or seven machines, which were "used commercially within the company" or "mainly for internal use"...

, and the first British axial-flow jet engine
Jet engine
A jet engine is a reaction engine that discharges a fast moving jet to generate thrust by jet propulsion and in accordance with Newton's laws of motion. This broad definition of jet engines includes turbojets, turbofans, rockets, ramjets, pulse jets...

, the Metrovick F.2
Metrovick F.2
The Metropolitan-Vickers F.2 was an early turbojet engine and the first British design to be based on an axial-flow compressor. It was considered too unreliable for use during the war, and never entered production...

. Their factory in Trafford Park, Manchester, was for most of the 20th century one of the biggest and most important heavy engineering facilities in Britain and the world.

History

Metrovick started as a way to separate the existing British Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Company
British Westinghouse
British Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Company was a subsidiary of the American Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. British Westinghouse would become a subsidiary of Metropolitan-Vickers in 1919; and after Metropolitan Vickers merged with British Thomson-Houston in 1929, it...

 factories from United States control, which had proven to be a hindrance to gaining government contracts during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. In 1917 a holding company was formed to try to find financing to buy the company's properties.

In May 1917, control of the holding company was obtained jointly by the Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Company, of Birmingham
Birmingham
Birmingham is a city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands of England. It is the most populous British city outside the capital London, with a population of 1,036,900 , and lies at the heart of the West Midlands conurbation, the second most populous urban area in the United Kingdom with a...

, chaired by Frank Dudley Docker
Frank Dudley Docker
Frank Dudley Docker CB , known as Dudley Docker, was an English businessman and financier. He also played first-class cricket for Derbyshire in 1881 and 1882.-Cricketer:...

, and Vickers Limited
Vickers Limited
Vickers Limited was a famous British engineering conglomerate that merged into Vickers-Armstrongs in 1927.-Early history:Vickers was formed in Sheffield as a steel foundry by the miller Edward Vickers and his father-in-law George Naylor in 1828. Naylor was a partner in the foundry Naylor &...

, of Barrow-in-Furness
Barrow-in-Furness
Barrow-in-Furness is an industrial town and seaport which forms about half the territory of the wider Borough of Barrow-in-Furness in the county of Cumbria, England. It lies north of Liverpool, northwest of Manchester and southwest from the county town of Carlisle...

. On 15 March 1919, Docker agreed terms with Vickers, for Vickers to purchase all the shares of the Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Company for almost thirteen million pounds. On 8 September 1919, Vickers changed the name of the British Westinghouse Electrical and Manufacturing Company to Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company.

The immediate post-war era was marked by low investment and continued labour unrest. Fortunes changed in 1926 with the formation of the Central Electricity Board
Central Electricity Board
The United Kingdom Central Electricity Board was set up under The Electricity Act 1926 to standardise the nation's electricity supply. At that time, the industry consisted of more than 600 electricity supply companies and local authority undertakings, and different areas operated at different...

 which standardized electrical supply and led to a massive expansion of electrical distribution, installations, and appliance purchases. Sales shot up, and 1927 marked the company's best year to date.

BTH merger and transition to AEI

In 1928 Metrovick merged with the rival British Thomson-Houston
British Thomson-Houston
British Thomson-Houston was a British engineering and heavy industrial company, based at Rugby, Warwickshire, England. They were known primarily for their electrical systems and steam turbines. They were merged with the similar Metropolitan-Vickers company in 1928, but the two maintained their own...

 (BTH), a company of similar size and basically the same product lineup. Combined, they would be one of the few companies able to compete with Marconi
Marconi Company
The Marconi Company Ltd. was founded by Guglielmo Marconi in 1897 as The Wireless Telegraph & Signal Company...

 or English Electric
English Electric
English Electric was a British industrial manufacturer. Founded in 1918, it initially specialised in industrial electric motors and transformers...

 on an equal footing. In fact the merger was marked by poor communication and intense rivalry, and the two companies generally worked at cross purposes. The next year the combined company was purchased by the Associated Electrical Industries
Associated Electrical Industries
Associated Electrical Industries was a British holding company formed in 1928 through the merger of the British Thomson-Houston Company and Metropolitan-Vickers electrical engineering companies...

 (AEI) holding group, who also owned Edison Swan (Ediswan); also Ferguson & Pailin, manufacturers of electrical switchgear in Openshaw, Manchester. Rivalry between Metrovick and BTH continued, and AEI was never able to exert effective control over the two competing subsidiary companies.

Problems worsened in 1929 with the start of the great depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, but Metrovick's overseas sales were able to pick up some of the slack, notably a major railway electrification project in Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

. By 1933 world trade was growing again, but growth was nearly upset when six Metrovick engineers were arrested and found guilty of espionage
Espionage
Espionage or spying involves an individual obtaining information that is considered secret or confidential without the permission of the holder of the information. Espionage is inherently clandestine, lest the legitimate holder of the information change plans or take other countermeasures once it...

 and "wrecking
Wrecking (Soviet crime)
Wrecking , was a crime specified in the criminal code of the Soviet Union in the Stalin era. It is often translated as "sabotage"; however "wrecking" and "diversionist acts" and "counter-revolutionary sabotage" were distinct sub-articles of Article 58 , and the meaning of "wrecking" is closer to...

" in Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 after a number of turbines built by the company in and for the Soviet Union
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

 proved to be faulty. The British government intervened; the engineers were released and trade with Russia was resumed after a brief embargo.

During the 1930s Metropolitan Vickers produced two dozen very large diameter (3m/10 ft) three-phase AC traction motors http://www.freeweb.hu/kzsoci/magyar/kepes/v40/v40-hajtomotorfoto.jpg for the Hungarian railway's V40 and V60 electric locomotives. The 1640 kW rated power machinery, designed by Kálmán Kandó
Kálmán Kandó
Kálmán Kandó de Egerfarmos et Sztregova was a Hungarian engineer, and a pioneer in the development of electric railway traction.-Education:...

, was paid for by British government economic aid.

In 1935 the company built a 105 MW steam turbogenerator, the largest in Europe at that time, for the Battersea powerstation.

In 1936 Metrovick started work with the Air Ministry
Air Ministry
The Air Ministry was a department of the British Government with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964...

 on automatic pilot
Autopilot
An autopilot is a mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic system used to guide a vehicle without assistance from a human being. An autopilot can refer specifically to aircraft, self-steering gear for boats, or auto guidance of space craft and missiles...

 systems, eventually branching out to gunlaying systems and building radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

s the next year. In 1938 they reached an agreement with the Ministry to build a turboprop
Turboprop
A turboprop engine is a type of turbine engine which drives an aircraft propeller using a reduction gear.The gas turbine is designed specifically for this application, with almost all of its output being used to drive the propeller...

 design developed at the RAE
RAE
RAE can stand for:*Radiodifusión Argentina al Exterior, Argentina's shortwave international broadcaster*RAE Bedford, Royal Aircraft Establishment *RAE tube, a type of Endotracheal tube used in anaesthesia...

 under the direction of Haine Constant. It is somewhat ironic that BTH, their erstwhile partners, were at the same time working with Frank Whittle
Frank Whittle
Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS was a British Royal Air Force engineer officer. He is credited with independently inventing the turbojet engine Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS (1 June 1907 – 9 August 1996) was a British Royal Air...

 on his pioneering jet designs.

Wartime aircraft production

In mid-1938, MV's were given a contract to build Avro Manchester
Avro Manchester
|-See also:-References:NotesCitationsBibliography* Buttler, Tony. British Secret Projects: Fighters and Bombers 1935–1950. Hickley, UK: Midland Publishing, 2004. ISBN 978-1857801798....

 twin-engined heavy bombers under licence from A.V. Roe
Avro
Avro was a British aircraft manufacturer, with numerous landmark designs such as the Avro 504 trainer in the First World War, the Avro Lancaster, one of the pre-eminent bombers of the Second World War, and the delta wing Avro Vulcan, a stalwart of the Cold War.-Early history:One of the world's...

. As this type of work was very different from their traditional heavy engineering activities, a new factory was built on the western side of Mosley Road and this was completed in stages through 1940, to be supplied with Rolls-Royce Merlin
Rolls-Royce Merlin
The Rolls-Royce Merlin is a British liquid-cooled, V-12, piston aero engine, of 27-litre capacity. Rolls-Royce Limited designed and built the engine which was initially known as the PV-12: the PV-12 became known as the Merlin following the company convention of naming its piston aero engines after...

 engines from the Ford Trafford Park
Ford Trafford Park Factory
The Ford Trafford Park assembly plant was a car assembly plant established by the UK subsidiary of the Ford Motor Company. The plant was located at a recently established Industrial park called Trafford Park, beside the Manchester Ship Canal, a short distance to the west of Manchester...

 shadow factory. The first 13 Manchesters were destroyed in a Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe is a generic German term for an air force. It is also the official name for two of the four historic German air forces, the Wehrmacht air arm founded in 1935 and disbanded in 1946; and the current Bundeswehr air arm founded in 1956....

bombing raid on Trafford Park
Trafford Park
Trafford Park is an area of the Metropolitan Borough of Trafford, in Greater Manchester, England. Located opposite Salford Quays, on the southern side of the Manchester Ship Canal, it is west-southwest of Manchester city centre, and north of Stretford. Until the late 19th century it was the...

 on 23 December, but the firm went on to complete 43 examples. With the design of the much improved four-engined derivative, the Avro Lancaster
Avro Lancaster
The Avro Lancaster is a British four-engined Second World War heavy bomber made initially by Avro for the Royal Air Force . It first saw active service in 1942, and together with the Handley Page Halifax it was one of the main heavy bombers of the RAF, the RCAF, and squadrons from other...

, MV switched production to that famous type. Three hangars were erected on the southside of Manchester's Ringway Airport for assembly and testing of their Lancasters, before a policy switch was made to assembling them in a hangar at Avro's Woodford airfield. By the end of the war, MV's had built 1,080 Lancasters. These were followed by 79 Avro Lincoln
Avro Lincoln
The Avro Type 694, better known as the Avro Lincoln, was a British four-engined heavy bomber, which first flew on 9 June 1944. Developed from the Avro Lancaster, the first Lincoln variants were known initially as the Lancaster IV and V, but were renamed Lincoln I and II...

 derivatives before remaining orders were cancelled and MV's aircraft production ceased in December 1945.

In 1940 the turboprop effort was re-engineered as a pure jet engine after the successful run of Whittle's designs. The new design became the Metrovick F.2
Metrovick F.2
The Metropolitan-Vickers F.2 was an early turbojet engine and the first British design to be based on an axial-flow compressor. It was considered too unreliable for use during the war, and never entered production...

 and eventually flew in 1943
1943 in aviation
This is a list of aviation-related events from 1943:-Events:* Watanabe Iron Works transfers its aircraft manufacturing business to a new subsidiary, the Kyushu Airplane Company Ltd.-January:...

 on a Gloster Meteor
Gloster Meteor
The Gloster Meteor was the first British jet fighter and the Allies' first operational jet. It first flew in 1943 and commenced operations on 27 July 1944 with 616 Squadron of the Royal Air Force...

. Considered to be too complex to bother with, Metrovick then re-engineered the design once again to produce roughly double the power, while at the same time starting work on a much larger design, the Metrovick F.9 Sapphire. Although the F.9 proved to be a winner, the Ministry of Supply
Ministry of Supply
The Ministry of Supply was a department of the UK Government formed in 1939 to co-ordinate the supply of equipment to all three British armed forces, headed by the Minister of Supply. There was, however, a separate ministry responsible for aircraft production and the Admiralty retained...

 nevertheless forced the company to sell the jet division to Armstrong Siddeley
Armstrong Siddeley
Armstrong Siddeley was a British engineering group that operated during the first half of the 20th century. It was formed in 1919 and is best known for the production of luxury motor cars and aircraft engines.-Siddeley Autocars:...

 in 1947 to reduce the number of companies in the business.

In addition to building aircraft, other wartime work included the manufacture of both Dowty
Dowty
Dowty may refer to:*Alan Dowty, an international relations scholar*David Dowty, an American linguist.*Dowty Group, a British aircraft equipment manufacturing business.**Ultra Electronics was created by the demerger of seven Dowty companies in 1993....

 and Messier undercarriages, automatic pilot units, searchlights and radar equipment.

Metrovicks postwar

The post-war era led to massive demand for electrical systems, leading to additional rivalries between Metrovick and BTH as each attempted to one-up the other in delivering ever-larger turbogenerator contracts. Metrovick also expanded their appliance division during this time, becoming a well known supplier of refrigerators and stoves.

The design and manufacture of sophisticated scientific instruments, such as electron microscope
Electron microscope
An electron microscope is a type of microscope that uses a beam of electrons to illuminate the specimen and produce a magnified image. Electron microscopes have a greater resolving power than a light-powered optical microscope, because electrons have wavelengths about 100,000 times shorter than...

s, and mass spectrometers, became an important area of scientific research for the company.

In 1947 a Metrovick G.1 Gatric gas turbine
Gas turbine
A gas turbine, also called a combustion turbine, is a type of internal combustion engine. It has an upstream rotating compressor coupled to a downstream turbine, and a combustion chamber in-between....

 was fitted to the Motor Gun Boat
Motor Gun Boat
Motor Gun Boat was a Royal Navy term for a small military vessel of the Second World War. They were physically similar to the Motor Torpedo Boats but equipped with a mix of guns instead of torpedoes. Their small size and high speed made them difficult targets for E-boats or torpedo bombers, but...

 MGB 2009, making it the world's first gas turbine
Gas turbine
A gas turbine, also called a combustion turbine, is a type of internal combustion engine. It has an upstream rotating compressor coupled to a downstream turbine, and a combustion chamber in-between....

 powered naval vessel.

Another major area of expansion was in the diesel locomotive market, where they combined their own generators and traction motors, with third-party diesel engines to develop in 1950 the WAGR X class
WAGR X class
The WAGR X class was a class of 48 diesel electric locomotives built for Western Australian Government Railways by Beyer Peacock and Metropolitan Vickers, at Bowesfield Works, Stockton-on-Tees between 1954 and 1956.-The Crossley engine:...

 2-Do-2
UIC classification
The UIC classification of locomotive axle arrangements describes the wheel arrangement of locomotives, multiple units and trams. It is set out in the International Union of Railways "Leaflet 650 - Standard designation of axle arrangement on locomotives and multiple-unit sets". It is used in much...

 locomotive and in 1958 the type 2 Co-Bo, later re-classified under the TOPS
TOPS
Total Operations Processing System, or TOPS, is a computer system for managing the locomotives and rolling stock owned by a rail system...

 system as the British Rail Class 28
British Rail Class 28
The British Rail Class 28 diesel locomotives, or 'Metrovicks' as they were popularly known, were built as part of the British Railways 1955 Modernisation Plan. The locomotives had a Co-Bo wheel arrangement – unique in British Railways practice though not uncommon in other countries, notably Japan...

. This diesel-electric locomotive was unusual on two counts; its Co-Bo wheel arrangement and its Crossley
Crossley
Crossley, based in Manchester, United Kingdom, was a pioneering company in the production of internal combustion engines. Since 1988 it has been part of the Rolls-Royce Power Engineering group.More than 100,000 Crossley oil and gas engines have been built....

 2-Stroke diesel engine (evolved from a WW2 marine engine). Intended as part the British Railways Modernisation Plan, the twenty-strong fleet saw service between Scotland and England before being deemed unsuccessful and withdrawn towards the end of the 1960s. Metrovick also produced the CIE 001 Class
CIE 001 Class
The Córas Iompair Éireann 001 Class locomotive was manufactured by Metropolitan-Vickers at their Dukinfield Works in Manchester.The 001 Class locomotive was the backbone of mainline passenger and freight train services on the Irish railway network for forty years from 1955 until the mid-1990s when...

 (originally 'A' Class) from 1955, the first production mainline diesels in Ireland
Ireland
Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

.

Metropolitan Vickers also produced electrical equipment for the British Rail Class 76
British Rail Class 76
The British Rail Class 76, also known as Class EM1 , is a class of 1.5 kV DC, Bo-Bo electric locomotive designed for use on the now-closed Woodhead Line in Northern England.-Tommy — the prototype:...

 (EM1), and British Rail Class 77
British Rail Class 77
The British Rail Class 77, also known as Class EM2, is a class of 1.5 kV DC, Co-Co electric locomotive. They were built by Metropolitan-Vickers in 1953–1954 for use over the Woodhead Line between Manchester and Sheffield.-Description:...

 (EM2), 1.5KV DC locomotives, built at Gorton Works
Gorton locomotive works
Gorton Locomotive Works, known locally as Gorton Tank was located in Openshaw near Manchester, England and was completed in 1848 by the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway.- History :...

 for the electrification
Electrification
Electrification originally referred to the build out of the electrical generating and distribution systems which occurred in the United States, England and other countries from the mid 1880's until around 1940 and is in progress in developing countries. This also included the change over from line...

 of the Woodhead Line
Woodhead Line
The Woodhead Line was a railway line linking Sheffield, Penistone and Manchester in the north of England. A key feature of the route is the passage under the high moorlands of the northern Peak District through the Woodhead Tunnels...

 in the early 1950s. The company also designed the British Rail Class 82
British Rail Class 82
The British Rail Class 82 electric locomotives were built by Beyer, Peacock and Company between 1960 and 1962 as part of the West Coast Main Line electrification.- History :...

, 25KV AC locomotives built by Beyer Peacock in Manchester using Metrovick electrical equipment. The company also supplied electrical equipment for the British Rail Class 303
British Rail Class 303
The British Rail Class 303 electric multiple units, also known as "Blue Train" units, were introduced in 1960 for the electrification of the North Clyde and the Cathcart Circle lines in Strathclyde...

 "Blue Train" electric multiple units.

During the 1950s the company built a large power transformer works at Wythenshawe
Wythenshawe
Wythenshawe is a district in the south of the city of Manchester, England.Formerly part of the administrative county of Cheshire, in 1931 Wythenshawe was transferred to the City of Manchester, which had begun building a massive housing estate there in the 1920s to resolve the problem of its inner...

, near Manchester. The factory was opened in 1957 and later closed by GEC in 1971, after which it was sold to the American compressor manufacturer Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll-Rand plc is a $13 billion global diversified industrial company founded in 1871. The Ingersoll Rand name came into use in 1905 through the combination of Ingersoll-Sergeant Drill Company and Rand Drill Company...

.

In 1961, the Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Gagarin
Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin was a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space, when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on April 12, 1961....

 was invited to the company's factory at Trafford Park as part of his tour of Manchester.

The rivalry between Metrovick and BTH was eventually ended in an unconvincing fashion when the AEI management eventually decided to rid themselves of both brands and be known as AEI universally, a change they made on 1 January 1960. This move was almost universally resented within both companies. Worse, the new brand name was utterly unknown to their customers, leading to a noticeable fall-off in sales and AEI's stock price.

GEC takeover

When AEI then went on to attempt to remove the doubled-up management structures, they found this task to be even more difficult. By the mid-1960s the company was struggling under the weight of two complete management hierarchies, and they appeared to be unable to control the company any more. This allowed AEI to be purchased by GEC in 1967, which was later restructured into many other companies, including Marconi plc in 1999, later Marconi Corporation plc, and others.

Sources

  • Scott, J.D. (1963). Vickers: A History. London: George Weidenfeld and Nicolson Ltd.
  • Gillham, J.C. (1988). The Age of the Electric Train: Electric trains in Britain since 1883. London: Ian Allan Ltd. ISBN 0-7110-1392-6.

External links

  • John Dummelow M.A., A.M.I.E.E. Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Co. Ltd. 1899 - 1949. The History of a great company. More than 200 pages of text and pictures, on line.
  • Frank Rowlinson. Contribution to Victory. Metropolitan-Vickers, Manchester, 1947. Contains 200 pages on MV's war effort with many illustrations.
  • Nic Doncasters page on WAGR Crossleys
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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