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Dennison’s Birmingham's first light switch

Dave Riley

master brummie
I came across this amusing however very dangerous set up in a old copy of Practical Mechanics Magazine, June 1937. Thank the Lord we now have modern Wiring Regulations in place.

I am sure this is obvious, but please, don't try this at home!

Light Switch.jpg
 

Richard Dye

master brummie
I came across this amusing however very dangerous set up in a old copy of Practical Mechanics Magazine, June 1937. Thank the Lord we now have modern Wiring Regulations in place.

I am sure this is obvious, but please, don't try this at home!

View attachment 147978
Dave, this is a great piece of history, thank you! just think how much for granted we take light switches and how our expectations of them are SO high.........
 

Johnfromstaffs

Johnfromstaffs
I have a watch in one of their cases. I hope it’s not going to catch fire or give me a shock!

Seriously, 50 volts not so bad, 230 - lethal. I wonder if they had trouble with arcs? No doubt it was d.c. as the word dynamo implies, perhaps they stopped the machine before they used the switches.
 
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Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
Aaron Lufkin Dennison.
[1874] “...After adventures in Switzerland he moved to England, where he founded a very successful watch case company, Dennison Watch Case Co...”

Dennison Watch Case Company Grace Guide...
 
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Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
Grace Guide say AL Dennison came to England in 1874, but there is a record of a provisional protection patent issue in the London Gazette for February 3, 1872.

In August 1904 the watch case manufacturers at Terrace Road were Messrs Dennison, Wigley and Co. The partnership was dissolved in January 1906.

In 1904 they were summoned for omitting to register an accident. The magistrates indicated that it was the 5th time complaints heard under the factories Act.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
think this is what was the dennison watch co...not much left of it now

 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
It looks like the Watch Case Company had two entrances, and mentioned as Villa Road and Terrace Road.
 

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
The earliest Kellys mention I have (1888) lists only the Terrace Road address, though on the c1889 map it could also have entrance on Villa Road. By the c1904 map below he factory has enlarged towards Villa Road.

map c1904 showing Dennison watch cases , terrace road..jpg
 

Pedrocut

Master Barmmie
The Franklin Dennison mentioned in the article, in the 1901 census, was 47 and born in Boston, USA. He had a son Andrew Dennison (11). They were living at Roxbury, Church Lane, Handsworth and entered as a watch case maker.

By 1960 the Dennison Watch And Case Co. was referred to as Soho Hill. At the death of David Lee Dennison, in May 1963, the Dennison Watch and Case Co. was one of the subsidiaries of Denbro Ltd. Soho Hill

A report in August 1967 says Denbro underwent changes, with Andrew L Dennison remaining on the Board. Denbro Group had been founded in 1936, and Dennison Watch Case Co in 1894 by Aaron L Dennison.

In 1968 Denbro formed a link with Igniters Ltd, specialists in torch ignite systems for large oil and gas burners in power stations and kilns.
 

Johnfromstaffs

Johnfromstaffs
The newest car in Carolina’s picture is the Mk1 Cortina just under the word “Birmingham”.

The picture can’t be older than late 1962.
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
crikey i did not realise it expanded that much mike...a lot of it is car park space now but this could have been the villa road entrance

 
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