Switchgear & Cowans Ltd 1911

Switchgear & Cowans Ltd were manufacturing electrical engineers. The company was incorporated in 1911 to combine two predecessor companies, the Switchgear Co. Ltd and Cowans Ltd. The original premises were at Cowans’ Victoria Works in Springfield Lane, Salford, but by 1922 the company had moved to Elsinore Road, Old Trafford, Manchester. The company manufactured high and low tension switchboards for power stations and sub-stations, solid armour-clad switchgear for collieries and steelworks, and electrical controlling gear for public electricity supply works, battleships and dockyards. By 1914, the company employed 200 to 300 people. The company was made public in 1936, and the founding company directors sold their shares to W. H. Botsford and Co. In 1960, Switchgear & Cowans Ltd amalgamated with Hackbridge and Hewittic Electric Co Ltd to form a new company, Combined Electrical Manufacturers Ltd. From 1961, the company specialised in high and low voltage switchgear and mining switchgear and had 1,200 employees. Switchgear & Cowans Ltd eventually became a subsidiary of the English Electric Co. and finally part of the Marconi group of companies. The company was dissolved in May 2003.