GEC & S Cardowan

The photograph is depicted in a book entitled “And so we graft from six to six” by Warwick Gemmell.

This brick was found in New South Wales, Australia.

I am not in possession of this brick.

Cardowan Fire Clay Works, Stepps, Glasgow.

I am uncertain as to what the GEC & S refers to. Also found in the area was a GEC & S Stourbridge brick.

Could the bricks have been manufactured for the General Electric Company or could the GEC & S refer to another Australian customer?


Update – 26/11/2022 – Thanks to John Bramall for the following information.  So could GEC & S represent the ‘General Electric Company and Siemens’?

Siemens Plessey was the name given to the Plessey assets acquired by Siemens in 1989. Today most of these units are part of BAE Systems while some units are now part of EADS.

Background : before 1989

The history of the evolution of Siemens Plessey division traces to 1988, when the UK regulatory authorities rejected a full merger between the British-based industrial conglomerate – General Electric Company plc (GEC), and the Plessey company – a historic British-based international electronics, defence and telecommunications company founded in 1917. Plessey was at the time the second largest defence electronics contractor to the Ministry of Defence and the largest supplier of traffic control equipment. As a solution, GEC and Plessey merged their communications businesses the same year to form GEC Plessey Telecommunications (GPT).[1]

Acquisition of Plessey, and Siemens Plessey : 1989-1997

In 1989, GEC and Siemens AG set up a joint holding company, GEC Siemens plc, to launch a hostile takeover of Plessey, which succeeded. Most of Plessey’s assets were divided between the companies (see : Plessey#Break-up of the business); except the 1988 founded GEC-Plessey joint venture – GPT, which was converted to a ’60/40 GEC/Siemens joint venture’.[2]

The division of Plessey between these two partners meant the deal met with little regulatory opposition. Siemens acquired Plessey’s radar systems, defence systems and traffic control businesses. The defence electronics operations became Siemens Plessey Systems (commonly referred to as Siemens Plessey) and Siemens Plessey Electronics Systems (Australia).

In 1997, Siemens came to an agreement with British Aerospace and DaimlerChrysler Aerospace AG (DASA) for the takeover of its defence electronics unit. BAe acquired the Siemens Plessey’s defence businesses in UK, while DASA acquired the German part of the operations.[3][4]

Subsequent history : 1997 – to date

The BAe acquired parts were eventually amalgamated into BAE Systems – formed by the 1999 merger of BAe and Marconi Electronic Systems (MES). The DASA acquired assets became part of EADS in July 2000 when DASA merged with the French Aérospatiale-Matra and Construcciones Aeronáuticas SA (CASA) of Spain.

Siemens Traffic Controls continues to operate as a unit of Siemens.


Grace’s Guide – Plessey Co

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