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eleco: history

Engineering and Lighting Equipment Co. Limited
Sphere Works
St. Albans

I remember finding a wealth of material about ELECO on the Internet - pages put up by the company itself. However, when I came to write this brief history, the website had disappeared.

Therefore going from memory, ELECO was founded to provide street lighting for the city of London in the later half of the 19th century. At that time, the company would have been supplying gas and arc lamps, cast iron columns and brackets, but nothing from this time seems to have survived.

The first tangle evidence of ELECO are columns and brackets dating from the 1930s. The 1950s and 1960s, the period for which catalogues have appeared, found the company making a large range of lanterns, brackets and steel, aluminium and concrete columns. And their diversity and almost unique design philosophy (providing a lantern for all column heights, as epitomised by the later Goldenray series) saw the company being very successful. ELECOs were regularly used for new installations and casual replacements.

The company joined the merging and empire building of the 1950s and 1960s, emerging as ELECO Holdings by the late 1970s. At this time, their range, whilst still popular, had strong competition and whilst the company kept up to date with new developments and technologies, the number of products and options started to decrease.

At some point in the 1980s, ELECO Holdings transferred all its street lighting business to one of their subsidiaries, Davis Engineering. The proud round ELECO logos would no longer grace a column or lantern, but their range continued under the new banner for several years.