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History of the manufacturer  

Ediswan, Siemens Edison Swan Electric Co.; London

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Name: Ediswan, Siemens Edison Swan Electric Co.; London    (GB)  
Abbreviation: ediswan
Products: Model types Tube manufacturer

Edison Swan Electric Company Ltd.; 155 Charing Corsss Road, London W.C.5: Founded 1893 / 1916. One of the first valve makers in GB (The Untited Kingdom). Brands: Ediswan, Mazda (there is another brand Mazda in France which is not of Edison-Swan.

Also listed as 1a Newman Street Oxford Street, W1.

B.T.H. acquired Ediswan in 1928-1929 and Ediswan offered no new models after that but continued the Power Pentode receiver until 1932.

c.1956 Siemens and Edison Swan Electric Co were amalgamated as Siemens Edison Swan

Products reported included; test equipment, telephone handset, transatlantic telephone cable, subsea power cables, water-cooled power cable, uniselector for switching.

Founded: 1883

From Graces Guide:

1875: Joseph Swan experimented with incandescent lamps but lacked an adequate vacuum pump. He heard about a newly invented air pump known as a Sprengel pump and applied this to his experiments. He demonstrated a carbon filament light bulb in Newcastle. Swan received a British patent for the light bulb in 1878.

Thomas Edison turned his attentions to electric lighting towards the end of 1877. He believed that commercially successful lighting needed to have similar characteristics to the existing gas lighting. His early experiments using carbonized paper and carbon were failures. The lamp usually cited as his first success was made on 19th October 1879 but the carbonized cotton used as the conductor was still very fragile. He later found that a particular type of Japanese bamboo was the most satisfactory.

Edison was not the first to patent the modern design of the light bulb - Swan's patent predated his. Edison lost in the British courts for infringement of Swan's patent. As part of the settlement, Edison was forced to take Swan in as a partner in his British electric works. The company was called the Edison and Swan United Electric Light Co. Eventually, Edison acquired all of Swan's interest in the company. In 1882 it seemed the obvious choice to merge their British companies and join forces in developing the electric filament light.

1883 In the United States, Edison didn't have the chance to put up a fight. The U.S. Patent Office had ruled on October 8, 1883 that Edison's patents were based on the prior art of a man named William Sawyer and were invalid. In addition, Swan had already sold his U.S. patent rights to the Brush Electric Company in June of 1882. The Edison and Swan United Electric Light Co Ltd was registered on 26th October, manufacturers of electric lamps and fittings.

1883 The Swan catalogue from 1883 displays the number and types of lamps available. The catalogue lists more than 100 houses and other buildings and 25 ships all lit by Swan's lamps.

1889 Engines and dynamos for the electric light installation at the Adelphi Theatre.

1889 Electrical lamp for optical lanterns.

1892 The company was merged into the General Electric Co.

1893-4 Patents expired. Market opened up to domestic and foreign competition.

1896 Absorbed the Manchester Edison and Swan Co Ltd in November.

1904 Professor Sir Ambrose Fleming's original diode valve was made in the Edison Swan (later Mazda) factory at Ponders End near London. Professor Fleming was Technical Consultant to the Edison Swan Company at the time. It was this close co-operation between University and Factory which resulted in the first radio valve in the world.

1905 British Carbon Lamp Association formed with membership including: Ediswan, BTH, GEC, Siemens, Cryselco, Popes Electric Lamp Co, Stearn Electric Lamp Co.

After this time the company seems to have been known mostly as Edison Swan Electric Co

1909 Tungsten filaments had largely replaced carbon filaments in lamps made by all manufacturers for most purposes.

1914 Manufacturers of drawn wire (tungsten) and carbon filament lamps, general electric light apparatus and fittings.

1916 Ediswan set up Britain's first radio thermionic valve factory at Ponders End. This area, with nearby Brimsdown, subsequently developed as a centre for the manufacture of valves, cathode ray tubes etc and nearby parts of Enfield became an important centre of the electronics industry for much of the 20th century.

WWI: Edison and Swan Electric Light works (Ponder's End, Middlesex) doubled production of bulbs and tubing; special glasses developed for 0.5W lamps, signalling lamps and wireless valves. Edison Swan and Cossor began quantity production of thermionic valves for the armed forces.

1920s Ediswan became part of British Thomson-Houston Co (BTH) and subsequently AEI.

1920 Jan. Physical and Optical Societies Exhibition. Exhibited wireless telegraphy.

1925 Ediswan Crystal Set was designed for personal listening through a single pair of headphones. It used a mineral crystal, commonly galena, as a detector. Ediswan is a trademark name conflated from the name of the Edison and Swan United Electric Light Co Limited, the company formed between Joseph Swan and Thomas Alva Edison as a result of the major court battle they fought over who was the original inventor of the electric light bulb.

1928 As part of the formation of AEI, the new company bought Edison Swan Electric Co (Ediswan) which then took on valve production for the whole company.

1928 As part of the rationalization involved in forming AEI, Metropolitan-Vickers's merchandising businesses, including Cosmos, were transferred to Edison Swan Electric Co. The domestic appliance work was mainly transferred to Harcourts and the Cosmos works concentrated on the manufacture of lamps and valves.

1936 Started production of cathode ray tubes for the new BBC television service.

1937 Radio valves, accumulators, electric lamps and cable manufacturers. "Ediswan" Electrical Products.

1949 The Edison Swan Electric company absorbed Edison Swan Cables Ltd of Lydbrook and Cosmos Manufacturing Co manufacturing valves at Brimsdown and Sunderland and it was expected later that year to absorb Harcourts Ltd, another subsidiary of AEI and maker of electrical light fittings.

1952 The Edison Swan Co purchased British Mechanical Productions Ltd and its subsidiary General Accessories Co Ltd, which made electrical accessories under the Clix brand and radio and television components, thereby filling a gap in parent AEI's range of products.

A 1958 transistor packaging shows Ediswan Mazda semiconductors being sold by Siemens Edison Swan Ltd. - An AEI Company.

According to "70 Years of Radio Tubes and valves" by J.W.Stokes, page 190, in the early 1920's light bulbs (from 1913) and some tubes used the name "Royal Ediswan". This came about as the company supplied bulbs, in particular, to the Royal Household and originally to Queen Alexandra in 1913. This entitled the company to apply for a Royal Warrant permitting them to use the words "By Appointment to H. M. Queen Alexandra, purveyors of Electric Lamps and fittings" in their advertising. The appointment lasted until the death of King George VI in 1952. Light bulbs were branded "Royal Ediswan in all this time.

Concerning the use of the word "Royal", for an unknown period on Ediswan tubes made till around 1922-23, these carried the name until just after the release o the AR tube in 1922. From the abrupt cessation of the word "Royal" in tube branding, it is assumed that the word should not have been used on tubes in the first place. 



Some models:
Country Year Name 1st Tube Notes
GB  25 R.C. Coupling Unit A   Ediswan R.C. Coupling Unit A; Unit with two resistors each in holder, four screw terminal... 
GB  59 Transistor Test Set R2285   Transistor Test Set for PNP transistors. Made in England.  
GB  65/66 Transistor Test Set R2446 XC121  Used for dynamic testing of PNP & NPN  transistors. Very similar to the Test Set... 


Further details for this manufacturer by the members (rmfiorg):

AR06 Valve Carton.tbn_gb_ediswan_tubebox.jpg
Werbung in "das Elektron" 1/1956.tbn_dsc_4596.jpg
Ediswan tube poster c.1924tbn_ediswan_valve_poster_c_1924.png
Modern Wireless March 1925tbn_ediswan_pv6demw325.jpg
Ediswan battery charger ad c. 1927tbn_ediswan_battery_charger_public.jpg
Wireless World January 13, 1926tbn_ediswan_wireless_world_january_1926.jpg


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