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McGeoch’s Warwick Works
Published 4th February 2019
William McGeoch & Co acquired their Warwick Works in Birmingham in 1887 and almost immediately began
manufacturing lighting fittings for the new Atlantic flyer – ‘SS City of Paris’ - being built on the Thomson yard (later to
become John Brown’s) at Clydebank.
Their range included some curious designs of lampholders which were in common use before the Edison-Swann type of
lampholder became the industry standard. It was the heaviest and most robust lampholder on the market. The brass tube
used for the body was thicker and the binding rings more solid than any other make. The porcelain used for the insulated
interior was the best available.
However, important as they were in the functional sense, lampholders were not the main priority for the Admiralty and
McGeoch cleverly set up their newly acquired Warwick Works to manufacture a whole new range of watertight electrical
equipment required for the safe wiring of ships and in particular for the connection of electricity supplies to and from the
main switchboard. These included pendants, brackets, plugs & sockets, switches, control panels and many of the original
patterns designed by the Admiralty.
Some of these fittings also found use in railways, tramcars and motor buses as can be seen in the archive poster below.
Many of these patterns, with modifications in some cases, are still in use today despite the increasingly sophisticated
equipment that has been developed since those pioneering days.
Click poster for enlarged view.
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