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

1950-1960s logo

1970s logo

In 1895, the company were founded as The Gilbert Arc Lamp Company, Chingford, Essex. They supplied the original lighting for the Victoria Embankment. - ELECO Website

In 1920 they changed their name to The Engineering And Lighting Equipment Company. However, later adverts made by the firm suggest that the name was changed in 1905. (Also the provenance of the official website record is slightly in doubt as they suggest the name was the Electric Lighting and Engineering Company.) - ELECO Website

In 1932 the firm were manufacturing Street Lighting Lanterns, ornamental brackets for spigot cap and pole clamp mounting, Contact Gear (used for raising and lowering equipment), Raising and Lowering Equipment, Time Switches (by Acme), heavy duty lampholders and Anti-Vibrator attachments. - APLE Exhibition Catalogue 1932

The firm were exhibiting a range of fittings for mercury and sodium vapour discharge lamps including the Orbital lamp for the first time. - Public Lighting #3, 1936

The firm were showing a range of fittings specially designed for Mercury and Sodium discharge lamps plus a new fitting for use with the 80 and 125 watt quartz high pressure Mercury discharge lamps. They were also exhibiting:

  • Raising and Lowering Gear. Enables the lantern to be lowered and cleaned at ground level, is self-sustaining, the weight of the lantern is not taken by the wire rope, and the lantern is always returned in the same orientation which is necessary for directional lighting.
  • Suburban Street Lighting. A range of fittings suitable for low wattage Merucry and Sodium lamps.
  • Brackets. A range of brackets and boxes designed to accommodate chokes, condensers and time switches, and of the required mounting height to comply with the recommendations of the MOT's Final Report.

Additionally they were showing new lanterns for Mercury and Sodium for the first time. (Perhaps the Vapoura and Golden Ray). The Sunray and Golden Ray were being shown. - Public Lighting #10, 1938 and APLE Conference Programme 1938

Exhibition installations of Goldenray lanterns and Lanark lanterns were planned (the conference didn't take place due to the start of the war.) The firm were also keen to mention their comprehensive range of street lighting fittings and extensive range of brackets and control gear boxes. They could also supply steel and concrete columns and would undertake erection work. - APLE Conference Programme 1939

Adjacent to the factory is a modern highway complete with a group of high-mounting columns, from which actual demonstrations of street lighting with various forms of lamps and lanterns can be arranged for visitors. - Public Lighting #35, 1944

The company anticipate being in a position to place on the post-war market at least five models of distinct design, which of which has been tried in many districts. These are the Orbital, Lanark, Golden Ray, Vapoura, Highway and Pinnacle. - Public Lighting #35, 1944

The advert cites 40 years of experience suggested the firm was founded in 1905. Lanterns described include the Orbital, Hamilton, Golden Ray, Welwyn, Calcutta, Hamilton Junior and Pinnacle. An entirely new design of Raising And Lowering Gear, along with Winches and Control Gear Boxes are being shown. - APLE Conference Programme 1945

Are exhibiting the Orbital, Hamilton and Golden Ray fittings. The new range of fittings for tungsten filament lamps includes the Royston, Stevenage, Welwyn, Ware, Baldock, Calcutta and Pinnacle. Other street lighting related exhibits includes raising and lowering gear, winches and control gear boxes. - APLE Conference Programme 1946

Have a trial installation of Golden Ray fittings. Manufacture a complete range of fittings for main and secondary road lighting for use with all types of electric light sources, filament and discharge, except tubular fluorescent. This source for street lighting is still very embryonic, and until such time as it has been proved a fully efficeint medium, both as regards capital, running and maintenance costs, we are continuing our experiments and investigations so that, should the fluorescent tubular lamp eventually justify its use for public lighting, we should be in a position immediately to go into production. - APLE Conference Programme 1947

In 1968, the firm purchase the Davis Sheet Metal Engineering Company. Davis were one of the original innovators that developed the uniquely British system of cable trunking. - ELECO Website

The Illuminating Engineer 1928
APLE Exhibition Catalogue Blackpool 1932
APLE Conference Programme Folkestone 1937
APLE Conference Programme Bournemouth 1938
APLE Conference Programme Glasgow 1939
APLE Conference Programme Glasgow 1945
APLE Conference Programme London 1946
APLE Conference Programme Southport 1947

External Links:
ELECO (Official Website)
Grace's Guide