of plugs and sockets
|Logos and short
notes on history of manufacturers of British Standard plugs and sockets. The list
is primarily based on items in the museum collection. More companies /
bands have existed.
Sources: internet sites of given companies, Grace's Guide to British Industrial History and information given by Jonathan Miles.
® shown logos are registered trademarks of given companies and brands. Logos may not be copied, except for strict encyclopedic purposes in relation to plugs and sockets.
1. British companies, most of which are represented in the
museum collection, are listed in alphabetical order:
A - C D - G H - L M - R S - W
2. Company producing vitreous parts for electro-technical
3. Non-British companies that have made material shown in the
museum BS 546 section.
4. Logos of unknown companies.
|Ashley Accessories Ltd. Company
founded in 1923 in Liverpool, initially registered as
Ashley Wireless and Telephone Co. In 1935 the company changed its name
Ashley Accessories Ltd. Production moved to Ulverton, Cumbia. In 1980
Ashley was merged with Rock Accessories. For a period products were
branded Rock Ashley. From
1998 Ashley is a part of the German Hager Group (Hager UK in Telford).
Ashley still produces a full range of socketss, switches, lampholders
and junction boxes.
|Belling Lee. Founded in 1922 by
Charles R. Belling and E. Lee in Enfield. They were renown for coaxial
radio plugs and cables. Besides a range of audio connectors, filters
and fuses, Belling Lee also produce mains appliance
couplers. Since 1992 the company is a subsidiary of Dialight LED
Electrical. The company British General, also known as British
Gauge, has been founded in 1952. Products include sockets, switches,
fuse boxes and cable management accessories.
BG Electric is a member of the Luceco plc group, London. In the 1970s or '80 the logo with six pointed star has been replaced by the blue logo.
|Britmac. The Britmac trademark has
with a number of companies over the years. The first registration that
could be traced dates back to 1931 by C.H. Parsons of
Britannia Works in Tyseley,
Birmingham. Parsons launched a subsidiary company called the
Electrical Co. Ltd to handle sales of electrical accessories. In time
became part of BICC, Dorman & Smith,
then Hanson and finally Electrium (now owned by Siemens UK).
Today Britmac focuses on BS 1363 underfloor tracks and floor boxes. Information has been provided by Lucien
A.F. Bulgin & Co. Ltd started production of radio components in
1923 in Barking, Essex. Bulgin is now a brand of Elektron
Technology in Cambridge. They offer a large range of circular
connectors, switches, fuses, IEC couplers etc.
|Countrywide Electrical Distributors Inc.
An electrical wholesaler since 1994; based in Dagenham (Essex). Plugs,
sockets etc. are made by Axiom, the lighting brand of CED. Details
about Axiom have not been found.
Founded in 1932 by Curt Lange in Cricklewood, London. Production
started with Bakelite domestic electrical accessories, table
lamps and torches. The company still exists, but now focuses on
electrical fittings for automotive industries.
British Mechanical Productions, founded in 1937 in London, was the
manufacturer of Clix electric accessories. In 1945 BMP acquired a large
interest in General Accessories,
distributor of Clix fittings. In 1952 Edison Swan Co (subsidiary of
Associated Electrical Industries) purchased British Mechanical
Productions. In 1956 Edison Swan Electric Co and Siemens UK merged and
became Siemens Edison Swan. The Clix trademark
|CMD Ltd was founded in 1984 in Rotherham, South Yorkshire. The company focuses on creating solutions to meet the challenges of integrating power and media access in offices, among others with modular desk power systems. Ideal Industries Inc. acquired CMD in 2017.|
|Contactum. In 1936 founded and still based in Cricklewood, London. Manufacturer of electrical wiring accessories and circuit protection products. In 2009 the company became part of the Electric Division of the Alfanar Group in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.|
Electrical Industries. Founded in 1919 by John Ashworth Crabtree
in Walsall, Staffordshire. He started in a disused leather works. One
of the first successful products was the 'Quick
Make and Break' tumbler switch. To accommodate the growing business,
Crabtree used a derelict music hall and a former church, but in 1926 he
build large, new
premises that became known as Lincolns Work. Around
1930 the company had its own Bakelite moulding plant. In 1947 the
Crabtree South Africa branch was established. Crabtree Electrical
Industries was acquired in 1972 by battery manufacturer Ever Ready Co.,
which was itself
acquired by Hanson Trust in 1981. Hanson Electrical was bought in 1997
by Electrium, a newly created business led by ex-Crabtree
apprentice Chris Thomas. Lincolns Work was closed; production moved to
Wythenshawe, Manchester. In 2006 the Electrium Group became a part of
The Dencon Group of Companies, founded in 1964 by Samuel Sullam in
Harlow, supplies wholesale and retail electrical trade. Both Dencon and
Lyvia are brand names for plugs, sockets and other electrical
|Deta Electrical Co Ltd.
Manufacturer and distributor of wiring and electrical accessories since
1958. Based in Luton.
|Dorman & Smith. Late 1870s John
S. Raworth, representative of Siemens Brothers in
London, installed electric light installations in Lancashire and
Yorkshire. In 1886 Raworth left Manchester and joined the
Anglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation in London. His business
was sold to two of his employees, Charles Mark Dorman and Reginald
Arthur Smith. They decided to focus on manufacturing electrical parts,
notably switches and switchboards. The factory moved in 1892 to
Salford. Private company Dorman & Smith Ltd was registered in 1914.
In 1939 the flourishing company became involved in production of army material. To compensate for the very high war 'excess profits tax' Switchgear Units Ltd was incorporated in 1940. Among others Switchgear Units designed in 1943 a fused plug by using a replaceable cartridge fuse as one of the power pins. D&S plugs and sockets have been used until the 1980s. Dorman Smith Switchgear Ltd in Preston still produces electricity distribution and control apparatus.
|Duraplug Electricals Ltd.
Subsidiary of MK Electric, specialized in production of weatherproof,
high impact resistant sockets, plugs, cable couplers and adapters, made
of ABS/polycarbonate and rubber. Duraplug is based at Westwood Works,
Note that until 2008 Duraplug also manufactured fittings for Woolworth, which were branded Hercules and later under its own (Woolworth) brand.
power distribution division of Legrand Ltd in West Bromwich. Electrak
offers a range of non standard sockets and matching key plugs.
Furthermore, powertracks, busbar trunking systems and floor boxes for
offices and businesses that need adaptable power distribution systems.
Electrak products are manufactured in Consett, County Durham.
|General Accessories Corporation Ltd.
Founded in 1896 in Bristol. It was one of the oldest electrical
accessory and fitting manufacturers in the U.K. Maker of Genacco
electrical fittings and distributor of Clix products. In 1945 British
Mechanical Production Ltd acquired a large interest in General
Accessories. See Clix (above) for details about B.M.P.
|General Electric Company.
G. Binswanger was electrical wholesaler in London. With Hugo Hirst he
founded The General Electric Apparatus Company in 1886. In 1888 the
company acquired a factory in Salford, near Manchester were telephones,
electric bells,ceiling roses and switches were manufactured. In 1900
General Electric Company Ltd was formed as private company.
Business expanded and during the 20st century. GEC acquired many companies and merged with others. GEC was active in a quite diverse range of activities. Production of electrical accessories for the domestic market ended in the 1990s.The company was closed down in 2006 due to failed US acquisitions and the stock market collapse in 2002.
Note that British General Electric Co is not linked to US General Electric Co.
Trademark of Grafton Electric Co, founded in London in the early 1930s
and shifted to Minehead, Somerset in 1951. 1950s-'60s advertisements
for multi-plug adaptors indicate that they are made by Grelco Ltd,
suggesting that Grelco was 'upgraded' to subsidiary or independent
company. Grelco multi-plugs were mostly known as theatrical
stage lighting devices.
Do It Yourself market, founded in 1979 by supermarket chain Sainsbury's
and Belgian retailer GB-Inno-BM. The Australian retailer Wesfarmers
acquired Homebase in 2016.
Mark of A.P. Lundberg & Sons. He founded in 1882 the company that
invented and manufactured accessories needed for electric lighting,
such as lampholders, switches and plugs. Lundberg was also supplier to
the aircraft industry.
|IEClock. Subsidiary of Scolmore Group (see below), specialized in manufacturing lockable IEC 60320 connectors and outlets.|
|Lewden Electrical Industries Ltd. In 1946 founded by Lewis and Denfield
(hence Lew den), in London. The company started as Lewden Metal
and used metal die-casting techniques for manufacturing door
furnishings, motor industry components and lighting. In the 1970s the
company started production of plastic moulded plugs and sockets
according to IEC 309 standard (now IEC 60309) that superseded BS 4343.
To enhance global marketing, Lewden joined in 2006 the Italian
Palazzoli Group. Lewden and Palazzoli now offer a wide range of
electrical products used in construction industry and activities in
hazardous environments. Lewden is now based in Braintree, Essex.
|Loblite Electric Ltd.
German roots that goes back to Bamberg, Bavaria where Hugo Löbl
started in 1916 an electro-wholesale. In 1924 he and his sons Sali,
and Robert established a manufacturing company of electrical
The Jewish company Hugo Löbl Söhne was confiscated in 1938 by Nazi
Germany. Soon after the Kristallnacht (9-10 Nov. 1938) several
family members managed to escape from Germany. Fritz and Robert reached
England in 1939. They built up a new factory in Gateshead under the
From 1956 the company was managed by George and
sons of Fritz Löbl. When George retired in 1994 business was sold.
Loblite Electric Ltd in Gateshead has gone out of business around 2010.
Sources: Juden in Bamberg (book in German, see pages 273-276) and We were Europeans (book about Löbl family, see pages 10-17, 20-21, 42, 65-66 and 94).
|Lyvia Electrical Ltd.
The Dencon Group of Companies (see above) distributes electronic and
telecommunications equipment and electro-technical parts under the
brand name Lyvia. Details about the
manufacturer are unknown.
|Marbo. Brand of Marbourn Ltd, manufacturer of electrical accessories. The company was founded in 1930 at Roslyn Works, South Tottenham, London. Larger production facilities were opened in 1972 in Hartlepool, county Durham. For some time Marbourn was a subsidiary of Ever Ready Holding Ltd. Later Marbo became a brand of the Electrium Group. Production ended in 2000 and Marbo brand disappeared.|
member of the Luceco plc Group in London, founded in 1984. Manufacturer
of home power solutions, surge protected extension leads, outdoor power
equipment and accessories for light industrial use.
|Midland Electrical Manufacturing.
Founded in 1908 by Walter Barber in Birmingham. Started with
manufacturing switch and fuse gear and added in 1927 motor control
gear to the range of products. In 1971 Delta Metal acquired MEM. In
2003 the Electrical Division of Delta, including MEM and Holec brands,
was acquired by Eaton Corporation.
manufacturer of electrical accessories, home appliances, lighting and
security products. Established in 1985; based in London, but products
are manufactured in Ireland. Micromark is
owned by Micard LLP.
|MK Electric. In 1912 Charles Arnold and Charles Belling formed Belling and Company, an electric fire venture. In 1914 Arnold was enlisted in the army and sold his interest in the company to Belling. At the end of war, when Arnold was demobbed, his old friend Belling pointed out the need of making switches and sockets. In 1919 the Heavy Current Electrical Accessories Company was founded by Charles Arnold. He designed a new, safe socket, named Multy Kontact that was patented in 1919. The socket was very successful and in 1923 the company was renamed MK Electric. No-one knows why it was decided to spell Multy with a y and Kontact with a K, rather than using an i and C. In 1928 the first socket with safety shutters was produced. Nowadays MK material is omnipresent in the UK. Since 2005 MK Electric is a subsidiary of Honeywell International.|
|Made in Mind Ltd
is the company that develops and produces MU folding plugs. Matthew
Judkins and Min-Kyo Choi founded the company in 2009 in Marlow,
Buckinghamshire. The folding plug has been designed by Min-Kyu Choi to
reduce the discrepancy between progressively thinner laptops and cell
phones and invariable thick UK plugs on appliance cords of chargers.
The name MU was suggested by Robin Freeman.
MU plugs have one or two build in USB outlets.
|Niphan. Simmonds Brothers Ltd, in
Holborn, London was a manufacturer of ships' watertight plugs and cable
couplings. From ca. 1910 they used Niphan as registered trade name for
electrical connectors. An advertisement in a 1946 issue of Electrical
Review shows that metal clad plugs and sockets were manufactured by
Simmonds & Stokes Ltd. Comparable Niphan connectors are now
produced by LPA Niphan Systems, in particular for the railway market.
|PowerConnections. Brand of Sandal
Plc in Harlow, Essex. Plugs are manufactured in China and stocked in
the Far East, Australia and UK. PowerConnections offer a range of
plus, converter plugs, power cords and extension sockets.
|A. Reyrolle & Company Ltd.
Alphonse Reyrolle, born in 1864 in Juillac, Correze, France, moved in
London. In 1886 he founded an electrical engineering company. In
1901 he moved to Hebburn, Tyneside and formed A. Reyrolle and Co. Ltd.
The company focussed on switchgear for power stations and heavy duty
plugs and sockets. After several mergers, among other with C.A. Parsons
and Co., Reyrolle was acquired by the industrial conglomerate Siemens
|William Sanders & Co. Founder
in 1897 of Falcon Electrical Works in
Wednesbury. The company manufactured electrical switchgear and fuse
gear to a high standard and undertook a lot of pioneering design for
domestic and industrial use. In 1977 the company became part of the
Ottermill Group, subsidiary of Westinghouse Electric Corporation. The
Falcon Works in Wednesbury closed in the early 1980s. In the mid 1980s
Westinghouse transferred production to Ireland.
|Scolmore International Ltd.
Scolmore Group designs, develops, manufactures, and
distributes electrical products and accessories in the United Kingdom.
Since 1989 based in Tamworth, Staffordshire. Among others Scolmore
distributes IEC Lock appliance couplers (see above) and Click
electrical accessories. The no longer used logo shown left has been
found on a BS 546
5A socket, bought in 2000.
|Slimplug. John Gillis in Sheffield
finished in 2006 the design of a folding plug that solves the problem
of the awkwardness of British power plug and still complies to British
standards. Slimplug has been developed in consultation with ASTA BEAB
certification services. Slimplug is a registered trademark of Ridings
Ltd in Sheffield.
|Smiths. Timeguard Ltd used to be
as Smiths Industries Environmental Controls Company. Smiths was the
first UK company to manufacture RCD switched BS 1363 sockets. RCD
sockets are now a part of
Timeguard Valiance product line. Timeguard Ltd in London is a
subsidiary of the German Theben Group.
|Sperryn & Co. Founded in 1889
in Birmingham by George Sperryn, Herbert E. Wright and W. Salters. The
company made gas fittings, stove cocks and from 1898 also water
fittings and electrical accessories. In 1919, after several
acquisitions, the company renamed British Brass Fittings Ltd, and
changed its name in 1952 back to Sperryn & Co. Ltd. For various
products the brand name Spersom has been used.
Among others Sperryn has made in the 1920s and '30s plugs, sockets and switches made of porcelain, ebonite and Bakelite. Among others, products were made for the Australian and New Zealand market. In 1960 Sperryn & Co was acquired by Delta Metal Co.
|Strand Electric. Company founded in
1914 by two London theater electricians, Arthur Earnshaw and Phillips
Sheridan. It became, and still is, a leading company in stage,
television, motion pictures and architectural lighting services. The
name changed to Strand Lighting. In 1968 it was acquired by Rank Film
Corporation. Since 2008 it is a separate, independent company within
the Dutch Royal Philips Lighting group.
|Swan. Thomas Bulpitt founded in1868
Birmingham the firm Bulpitt and Sons. They started out as
brass founders. The company registered the trade name Swan Brand. In
the 1920s Bulpitts moved into electrical appliances
including kettles, irons, heaters and steamers. An electric cut-out
registered, that automatically switched off an overheated kettle. In
1988 Moulinex bought Swan Housewares and Swan trademark.
Folding plug designed by Zihni Yalcin in 2009. Two types exist, a
folding UK plug to IEC C7 connector and a USB UK mains travel charger.
Manufacturer of Thinplug is unknown.
Ward & Goldstone (see below) introduced the brand name Volex for
dry batteries, motorcycle lighting sets and electrical accessories. In
1983 the wiring and electrical accessories company of Ward and
Goldstone was renamed to Volex Group. Volex accessories is now a brand
the Electrium Group, a company under ownership of Siemens AG UK.
|Walsall. The logo has been found on
non-standard BS 1363 Walsall Gauge plugs and sockets. It is likely that
they have been made by Walsall Gauge and Tool Company Ltd in
Manchester, incorporated in 1984. More information has not been found,
except that the company is dissolved.
Note that Walsall Electric Co, founded by Frederick Brown in 1884, produced ammeters and voltmeters. Indications that Walsall Gauge is linked to Walsall Electric have not been found.
|Wandsworth Electrical Manufacturing
Co. Ltd (WEMCO). Founded in 1904 in Birmingham by Edward Thomas
Davies, Arthur Reynolds and Francis John Ritchie., manufacturers of
switches, plugs and sockets. The name Wandsworth
has been chosen as a founding member came from the Wandsworth area of
London. The still
existing, independent, Wandsworth Group is now based in Woking, Surrey.
|Ward and Goldstone.
Founded in 1892 in Salford by James Henry Ward and Meyer Hart
Goldstone, manufacturers of electrical cables, lighting sets,
electrical accessories and
electrical systems to motorcycles and cars.
Brand names: Goltone and Volex (see above). In the early 1950s Temco,
the electrical accessories branch of the Telephone Manufacturing
Company, London was sold to Ward and Goldstone. In the late 1970s /
early 1980s the once flourishing company was in deep trouble. Wiring
and electrical accessories division changed managements and its
name to Volex Group. Now Volex offers standard and custom cable
George Hamer Scholes
commenced business in 1897. He started with house lighting and widened
its scope to complete electrical installation. In 1924 he
concentrated on manufacturing of electrical accessories and fuse boxes.
In 1934 the Wylex Works at Wythenshawe were build. Wylex became a
subsidiary of the Electrium Group, a Siemens UK company. Wylex is now
active in domestic, commercial and industrial circuit protection
Company producing vitreous parts of sockets and switches on behalf of electro-technical companies.
|Taylor, Tunnicliff & Co. Ltd.
Thomas Taylor and William Tunnicliff started production of electrical
insulators in 1898 at Eastwood, Hanley,
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. Gradually the range of vitreous products
for industrial business grew, including parts of sockets and switches
for several British manufacturers. The museum has a 1920s Sperryn
switch with brass cap. The vitreous switch base has the Taylor,
Tunnicliff & Co. logo.
T,T&Co logo has been recognized by John Cooper.
Details about the company history are given in the History of Stoke-on-Trent website.
Non-British manufacturers of BS 546 / BS 1363 plugs and sockets that are represented in the museum collection.
Alfred Edward Gerald in Adelaide, Australia founded in 1908 the company
Gerald & Goodman. In 1920 Gerald started production of conduit
brand name Clipsal referred to the design of an adjustable, one size
"clips all" metal conduit fitting. Clipsal expanded and diversified to
one of the leading manufacturers of electrical accessories in
Australia. Products are exported to Asia, among other Malaysia that
type plugs and sockets. In 2004 Clipsal was acquired by Schneider
|PMS Electrical Manufactury PTE Ltd, Singapore. Subsidiary company of Ming Kee Manufactory Ltd in Hong Kong, established in 1980. PMS production comprise plugs, adapters, power cords sets, extension sockets and cable reels.|
Keung Electrical Accessories Ltd. Company founded in the 1969 in
Europe, in particular the UK and Ireland, is an important export market. Wing Keung offers among others a range of BS1363 and BS 546 sockets, plugs and adapters.
The logos shown below belong to still unknown companies.
The possibility cannot be excluded that a logo relates to a company that is not based in the UK.
Click plugs for larger images and details.
|Logo with tumble switch and letter B.
|Logo found on a 15A BS 546 multi-plug with
various types of outlets.
with TK logo found on a 5A BS 546 multi-plug.
|Plug carries name EMPIRE and coat of arms
with W and T
Two slightly different coats of arms exists.
|Please mail me if you recognize a logo. Find my address at the start page.|
|D i g i t a l M u s e u m o f||P l u g s a n d S o c k e t s|