Brush Electrical Machines
Brush Electrical Machines is a manufacturer of electrical generators typically for gas turbine and steam turbine driven applications. The main office is based at Loughborough in Leicestershire, United Kingdom.
In 1879, a company was established in Lambeth London, called the Anglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation. Its formation was to exploit the invention of Charles Francis Brush, who was born in Cleveland Ohio in 1849 and who had invented his first electric dynamo in 1876.
He founded a company called the American Brush Company, which stayed in business in the USA until about 1891.
As the business grew in Lambeth due to the demand for new electrical apparatus, larger premises were required and the Anglo-American Brush Electric Light Corporation moved 100 miles north to the Falcon Works at Loughborough in 1889.
In 1914, the company began manufacturing Ljungstrom steam turbines under licence.
Over the next sixty years the business grew by acquisitions until in 1957 the Brush companies were incorporated into the Hawker Siddeley Group under the new name of the Brush Electrical Engineering Company Limited. Within the Hawker Siddeley Group the company manufactured a vast range of electrical products including; turbo-generators, salient pole machines, induction motors, traction motors and generators, traction locomotives, switchgear, transformers and fuses.
In November 1991 Hawker Siddeley Electric Power Group was subject to a hostile takeover bid of £1.5 billion from BTR plc, the large engineering conglomerate. The bid was successful so the Brush companies then became part of the BTR organisation.
In November 1996 the FKI Group of Companies acquired the Hawker Siddeley Electric Power Group from BTR for a price of £182 million.
During the last 125 years, various Brush companies (Brush Switchgear, Brush Transformers, Brush Traction and Brush Control Gear) have existed on the Falcon Works site, but throughout this period Brush Electrical Machines Ltd manufacturing generators and motors has always been the largest company. Over 5,000 staff were employed on the site during the 1960s and 70s.
The following products are manufactured by Brush:
- Air-cooled turbo-generators in the range of 20 to 300MVA
- Turbomotors from 10 to 100MW
- Associated control equipment
In 1915, Brush Electrical were one of a number of companies outside the established aviation contractors selected by the Royal Navy to receive orders for aircraft to meet the expanding needs of the Royal Naval Air Service. Brush completed 650 aircraft by the end of 1919, including 400 Avro 504s and 142 Short Type 184s. It also built de Havilland Dragon Rapides during the Second World War, taking over production from de Havilland in 1943 and building 346 aircraft (47.5% of the total number produced) by the time production ended in 1945.
- Jackson, A. J. De Havilland Aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam, Third edition, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-802-X.
- Robertson, Bruce. "Brush-built Aircraft, 1915-1919". Air Pictorial, November 1970, Vol. 32 No. 11. pp. 396–398.