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English Clocks & Gramophones
Ltd (extracts from the abridged prospectus dated 8th March 1920):
'This company has been formed for the
purpose of carrying on the business of clock manufacture on a system of
'massed production'. With that business it will combine the manufacture of
gramophones for which its wood-working factory and the greater part of its
engineering plant will be suitable, and which can be carried on under
substantially the same overhead charges.
For these purposes the Company has
entered into an agreement to acquire from the Portholme Aircraft Company
Ltd, which has recently been preparing to take up this branch of manufacture
exclusively, its recently erected and equipped freehold factory at
Huntingdon, known as the 'Precision Engineering Works' now in running order,
and in course of being specialised for clock manufacture by mass production,
together with the plant, machinery, tools, fittings and fixtures used in and
in connection with the business and also the benefit of a contract dated
28th February 1920 made with the company by Messrs H Willliamson Ltd of 83
Farringdon Road EC1, the old established and well known watch and clock
manufacturers to take their entire output of clocks up to 1,000,000 per
annum for the first five years on highly favourable terms.
At the same time this Company will
take over the business as a going concern, including stock in trade, plants,
patents, trade mark and goodwill of the Bellaphone Company Ltd, now engaged
in the manufacture and sale of the gramophone known as the 'Diaphone'
The manufacture of clocks by 'mass
production' has hitherto been practically unknown outside Germany and
America and in pre-war times this country drew its supplies mainly from
those countries. It may be presumed that Germany is, for this time being,
eliminated from this field and there is evidence that America is not as
present in a position to supply this country's requirements. Further there
is now a duty of 33.3 per cent upon clocks imported into this country. There
is, therefore, a great opportunity to establish a lucrative industry which
has hitherto been in foreign hands.
The company will commence business
with the following advantages:
1. A contract to take the
Company's output of clocks, up to 1,000,000 per annum for the first five
2. A new factory, already
partially equipped for mass production of clocks, which will save at
least six months work, and enable the Company to commence deliveries under
the contract within the next few months.
3. The benefit of arrangements
made for the provision and installation of the plant required to complete
the equipment of the factory.
4. The existing import duty of
33.3 per cent upon imported clocks.
The Portholme Aircraft Company Ltd,
was incorporated as a private Company in 1911 and has a capital of £60,000
of which £30,000 has been issued. The Company is on the list of Government
Contractors, and during the war it was occupied in the production of
armoured lorries, travelling cranes, motor pinnacles, seaplanes, aeroplanes
and airship parts, manufacturing among other things, a large number of the
celebrated Camel and Snipe aeroplanes.
War work, however, beginning to wind
up early in 1919 the Company subsequently carried on the business of general
engineers and woodworkers and recently as above stated its factory has been
specially laid out for the mass production of clocks. The business which has
been mainly conducted by Mr G F Joseph has been highly profitable
throughout. Mr Joseph will act as Managing Director of the this company.
The directors of English Clocks &
Gramophones would be:
Sir Clement Kinloch-Cooke. KBE, MP of
3 Mount Street, London, W1, Chairman
Henry Billinghurst of 18-22 Wigmore
Street, London W1
William Edward Tucker of 81Farringodn
Road, London EC1
Commander Oliver Locker-Lampson DSO,
MP of 13 Park Mansions, London SW1
Thomas Edward Geoffrey Farrow of West
Hill Lodge, St Leonards on Sea
George Frederick Joseph of 118
Victoria Street, London, SW1