The General Electric Company (G.E.C) | Edwardian Shell Reading Lamp | England c.1925
A bronzed reading desk lamp with flexible stem and the original adjustable shell shade by the General Electric Company. England c.1925. Apparently unsigned
Ht.(in reading position) 56cm/22in, L.(of shell shade) 18/7
Provenance: See catalogue photo 1922 Flexolet F2957
The General Electric Company (G.E.C)
- GEC had its origins in the G. Binswanger and Company, an electrical goods wholesaler established in London in the 1880s by a German-Jewish immigrant, Gustav Binswanger
- 1887 the company published the first electrical catalogue of its kind. The following year, the company acquired its first factory in Salford, where electric bells, telephones, ceiling roses and switches were manufactured.
- In 1889 the company was expanding rapidly, opening new branches and factories and trading in ‘everything electrical’, a phrase that was to become synonymous with GEC.
- In 1893, it decided to invest in the manufacture of lamps. The company was to lead the way in lamp design, and the burgeoning demand for electric lighting was to make GEC’s fortune.
- In 1902, its first purpose-built factory, the Witton Engineering Works, was opened near Birmingham.
- The company expanded both at home and overseas, with the establishment of agencies in Europe, Japan, Australia, South Africa, and India. It also did substantial trade with South America.