Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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of Wolverhampton

1882 Formed by Paul Bedford Elwell and Thomas Parker on the basis of previous collaborations; started by building accumulators in a corner of the Commercial Road works[1] of the Patent Tip and Horseshoe Co.

1883 Manufactured the first dynamo in Wolverhampton for clients in Manchester who needed to electro-plate rollers with Nickel[2]. Subsequently received an order for 6 dynamos from Manchester Edison Co. Further order for dynamos and electric lighting at the Trafalgar Colliery in the Forest of Dean, the first underground electrical installation[3].

1883 Company name changed to Wolverhampton Electric Light, Power, Storage and Engineering Company. The company started making a new type of accumulator: the Elwell-Parker[4]. The company admitted that the accumulator was similar to the Plante accumulator with roughened surfaces to the plates[5][6]

1884 Ceased manufacturing horseshoes. Soon after the name was changed to Elwell-Parker. Mr Charles Moseley of Manchester became chairman; 30 employees [7].

1884 Gramme's patent on the dynamo expired. Parker and others developed improved versions.

1884 Began to construct electrical equipment for the Blackpool tramcar system which used underground current pickup.

1884 Demonstrated a "new" method of electric lighting[8]

1884 Messrs Elwell and Parker had invented a high-speed engine, made exclusively by the Coalbrookdale Co, which they had named the "Electric"; the engines had mainly been supplied to Elwell and Parker in connection with their use with their dynamos and accumulators[9]

1884 A battery powered car was running as early as this year (according to Thomas Hugh Parker).

1885 Supplied dynamos for lighting the London Stock Exchange and Lloyd's

By 1886 Electric lighting had been installed in a number of major works using Elwell-Parker dynamos[10]:

1887 Elwell left Elwell-Parker[11].

1887 Land acquired at Bushbury to expand the works but development delayed by death of Charles Moseley.

1888 Developed a battery-powered tram for Birmingham Central Tramways Co to run on their existing system (which used steam locomotives) whilst avoiding the need for overhead lines. After a successful demonstration, the Council wanted a one month trial to prove reliability but the company required an order to justify investment in the recharging plant[12]. The protoype continued operating for 10 months; in 1890 the Tramway Co. ordered 12 cars using the Julien method of laying out the storage accumulators in the car. Electric tramcars started operating on the line in July 1890 [13].

1889 Thomas Parker and William Low patented a dynamo. Lowrie-Parker dynamos machine were fitted at Kensington Electric Lighting Station[14]

1889 400 employees [15].

1889 Incorporated in Electric Construction Corporation.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Powered Vehicles made in the Black Country by Jim Boulton and Harold Parsons. Published 1990. ISBN 0 904015 30 0