Parkinson Cowan

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Parkinson Cowan
HeadquartersUnknown, England
ProductsGas metering equipment, stoves and appliances

Parkinson Cowan is now a brand of cooking appliances, owned by the Electrolux Group.


  • 1900: The company formed by the amalgamation of W. Parkinson Ltd founded by William Parkinson of London and Birmingham and W. and B. Cowan Ltd of London, Manchester, Edinburgh and New South Wales. The new enterprise was known as Parkinson and W. and B. Cowan.[1]
  • 1919: The company opens a new factory at Stretford, Manchester to manufacture gas meters.
  • 1928 The company was renamed Parkinson and Cowan.[2]
  • 1937: Parkinson and Cowan (Gas Meters) Ltd was a Listed Exhibitor at the British Industries Fair. They advertised 'Gas Apparatus for Measuring and Recording, including Tin and Iron Meters, Optional Coin Meters, Rotary Meters, Station and Retort House Governors, Test Meters, Gauges, Meter Parts and Accessories'.
  • 1939: The company, like many other engineering concerns of the period, turned their attention to being an Aircraft Industry Supplier.
  • 1971: The company is taken over by Thorn becoming part of Thorn Gas Appliances; many of the gas meters manufactured during this period are still in use today.
  • 1987: Electrolux purchases the white goods division of Thorn-EMI including the Parkinson Cowan brand.[3]
  • 1989: Gas Metering operations, now under the banner of Thorn EMI Gas Metering (formerly Thorn EMI Flow Measurement), are sold to Schlumberger (later Actaris, now Itron)
  • 1991: Sales, marketing and logistics functions of the Parkinson Cowan appliance business relocate to the former Coca-Cola distribution facility in Minworth, Birmingham. Moffat sub-brand of built-in appliances re-launched.
  • 1993: Closure of the Minworth site.
  • 1995: Production of gas cookers ceases at the Stetchford, Birmingham factory. Gas cooking appliances marketed under the Parkinson Cowan brand are made at the Electrolux cooker factory in Spennymoor, County Durham.

The name Parkinson Cowan still exists in the UK as a brand of gas stoves, one of the company's early products.

Cultural references[edit]

The English Post-punk band 'Empire' wrote a song about a cooker entitled Parkinson Cowan, which was commercially released on their long-player entitled Expensive Sound (2003).[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Parkinson and W. and B. Cowan". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  2. ^ "Parkinson Cowan". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  3. ^ "History 1980-1989". ELECTROLUX. Retrieved 24 December 2013.
  4. ^ Entry in online 'Discogs' website for 'Expensive Sound' (2003).

External links[edit]