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 138,884 pages of information and 225,312 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.


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November 1907.
November 1908. Sparking plug.
May 1913.

of Birmingham

1904 J. A. Thomson met Peter Bennett, then manager of the Electric Ignition Company of Birmingham

1907 with Thomson's backing, Bennett set up Thomson-Bennett Ltd to manufacture products similar to those of EIC. Thomson-Bennett began making magnetos for specialized purposes; at that time, the German company Bosch had a virtual monopoly of the car magneto market.

When the first World War broke out Thomson-Bennett's expertise as manufacturers of magnetos was key to development of British supplies essential for mechanized transport and aircraft.

1914 Thomson-Bennett had c.100 employees when it was acquired by Joseph Lucas Ltd, particularly for their magneto expertise.

1920 issued catalogue of magnetos

Peter Bennett became joint managing director of Lucas.

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