British Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Co Ltd

The British Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company Ltd was formed in 1889 by George Westinghouse as a manufacturing subsidiary of the American Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, of Pittsburgh, USA. Initially it was an agency for American exports, based in London. From 1902, the company was operating in newly-built offices and factory at Westinghouse Road, Trafford Park, Manchester. Products manufactured included gas engines, stationary steam engines, electric generators, transformers, switchgear, meters, motors, control gear, and arc lamps. During the First World War, British Westinghouse built some small petrol-electric locomotives for the War Department Light Railways.

By 1916 British Westinghouse felt that the American ownership of its operations during World War One had been a hindrance, so a British holding company was created to obtain the American shares. In 1917 the Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Co provided the capital for British Westinghouse to become independent of US control. Finally, in 1919 Vickers Ltd acquired the Metropolitan Carriage, Wagon and Finance Co and with it the British Westinghouse business. Vickers wished to be able to supplement their production of steel, ships, trains, and machinery with that of the associated electrical equipment. The company name changed to Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company on the 8th September 1919.