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 148,478 pages of information and 233,898 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Brown, Boveri and Co

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1899. DC motor for locomotive
1901. Low speed alternator
Electrical Power Plant At Colliery. Interior 1909.
Electrical Power Plant At Colliery. Exhaust Steam Accumulators- 1909.
1909. Electrical Power Plant At Colliery. Exhaust Steam Turbine.
1909. Electrical Power Plant At Colliery. Condenser Plant.
1911. Bird's-Eye View of Works at Baden.
1911. Plan of works.
1922. Continuous Service Condenser.
1948. 4000 HP locomotive plant.
1948.10,000 kW plant on test.
No 96. Steam engine by Brown Boveri Norsk Elektricitets Aktieselskab of Christiania, Norway. Exhibit at Pearns Steam World.
No. 96 (detail). Exhibit at Pearns Steam World.

Electrical engineers, of Baden, Switzerland.

See also British Brown-Boveri

1891 BBC Brown Boveri was founded by Charles Eugene Lancelot Brown and Walter Boveri. Brown Boveri’s first generator factory was built in Oerlikon, Switzerland.

1893 BBC supplied Europe’s first large-scale combined heat and power plant producing alternating current.

1900 Was the first European company to licence Parsons' turbine patents[1].

1900s Brown Boveri took the lead in electrification of Europe’s railway network by electrifying, at its own risk, a 20-km line on behalf of the Swiss Federal Railways using 3-phase electification.

1912 Developed the steel enclosed mercury arc rectifier[2].

c.1914 Brown Boveri supplied the world’s largest steam turbine (40,000 h.p.). Steam turbines became the company's largest and most important product. Set up subsidiaries all over the world but with the main operations in Switzerland and Germany.

By the 1920s, the European Westinghouse Companies had been sold to Brown, Boveri and Co.

1924 The title of Brown, Boveri and Co of Trafalgar House, Waterloo-place, London, SW1 was changed to British Brown-Boveri.[3]

1939 BBC built the first combustion gas turbine for generating electricity.

1944 BBC developed the first high-speed electric locomotive with drive shafts fitted exclusively in bogies.

1986 The Group employed 97,000 people.

Formation of ABB

1988 Merger between ASEA AB of Sweden and BBC Brown Boveri Ltd forming ABB (ASEA-Brown Boveri) with 850 subsidiary companies and 180,000 employees operating in 140 countries. The merged entity became the world’s leading supplier in the electric power industry. At that time ABB controlled as much as a third of Europe’s business and more than 20 percent of the world market. The two parent companies retained their separate names, boards and stock listings.

1989 ABB acquired Combustion Engineering of USA, boiler maker[4]

1989 British Rail Engineering (1988) Limited was purchased by a group consisting of ABB (40%), Trafalgar House (40%) and management (20%) forming BREL.

1995 ABB acquired and combined all of the Ljungstrom Air Preheater interests from USA, Japan, Germany, Czech Republic & Brazil

1996 ASEA AB and BBC Brown Boveri AG changed their names to ABB AB and ABB AG, respectively. BREL was later bought out by ABB to form ABB Transportation Ltd. ABB Transportation was subsequently merged with Daimler-Benz to form ADtranz (ABB-Daimler Benz Transportation)

1999 Creation of joint venture ABB ALSTOM Power

2000 ALSTOM acquired ABB’s JV share of the Ljungstrom air preheater business and operated it as part of ALSTOM Power.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 5 October 1959
  2. The Times, 5 October 1959
  3. The Engineer 1924/11/07
  4. The Times, November 14, 1989
  • ABB History [1]
  • ABB in the UK website [2].
  • [3]Ljungstrom