Austin Automatic Electric Lighting and Power Plants

It was in 1925 that a new company was formed when Austin bought Walker Horrocks & Co Ltd, lighting-plant manufacturers, in October 1915 for £3,500. This gave the company three of their patents that had been applied for in 1909, for the generation and storage of electrical power for house lighting. The Austin lighting plants sold in large numbers from l916 to 1925, and in January 1925 the business was taken over by a new firm, the Austin Electric Co Ltd which was to develop the sales of automatic and semi-automatic house and village lighting plants.

The new company was jointly owned by Austin’s, British Thompson-Houston Co Ltd, Callenders Cable & Construction Co Ltd, Mirrlees, Bickerton & Day Ltd and R.B. Matthews. It was registered as a private company on 19 February 1925, with a capital of £50,000 in £1 shares, directors being Sir Herbert and senior representatives of the other companies. R.B. Matthews was a consulting engineer who was entitled to a place on the board for as long as he held 500 shares, and the managing director was C.B. Walker, an electrical engineer. Austin's interest was in supplying static Austin 7 engines to replace the old pre-war engines that had been used in the Austin plants since 1915.

The use of electricity for lighting and power supply has made great strides during recent years, and after the war a need for electricity in the countryside will undoubtedly increase. So it was felt that small self contained plants for country districts would be worth entering into the market. In the case of farms, railway stations, hotels, laundries - to mention only a few, such plants will be invaluable, uniting as they do the advantages of cleanliness, reliability and efficiency, with low running cost. Entire villages may equally well be lighted by a large sized plant, and where it is possible to utilise water power for generating current, the expense of fuel is avoided, the cost of running being thereby considerably reduced.

The Company's patented system of automatic control and regulation of lighting and power plants has been thoroughly tested during the past seven years. It has given general satisfaction for all kinds of' service, often under very difficult circumstances; not only will the Austin Electric Lighting and Power Plants provide current for lighting, but the larger plants can also be used for heating and cooking. In dairies a machinery can be conveniently driven; in such buildings as churches, institutions, hotels and theatres, vacuum-cleaners can be effectively operated, and one can readily realise that there are many other ways in which the power thus produced may be utilised.

These plants are entirely automatic in their action, being , self-staring. self-regulating and self-stopping, and therefore, require only the minimum of attention. Under ordinary conditions they will run for weeks, only needing occasional oiling and cleaning, and, where petrol or paraffin is use the replenishment of the fuel supply. It may here be mentioned that these plants run equally well on coal gas if this can be obtained. a slight alteration of the carburettor being all that is needed. It is proposed that the Plants be made in the following sizes:

All of these can be supplied either with automatic or hand control, but the many advantages of the automatic system cannot be too strongly urged. For export, radiators or cooling tanks will not be supplied (unless specialty ordered), but, in lieu thereof, that packing of the plants for shipment will be free of charge,

Electric Light and Power Plants
One cylinder -0.75 kw Generator --50 lamps capacity austin---1918-aug-2kw
Two cylinders Generator 2.0 kw 120 lamps capacity austin---1918-aug-4kw-generator
Two cylinders Generator 4.0 kw 200 lamps capacity
Four cylinders Generator 8.0 kw. 400 lamps capacity.
All the above can be supplied at the following voltage 25 - 50 - 100


Advert for a small 1/2 kw generator in 1927

The Austinlite Company was formed by the following Companies
Austin Motor Co. Ltd
Bar & Stroud Ltd
BTH Co. Ltd
CCC. Co. Ltd