Timeline for Bassett-Lowke Ltd

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This page gives an overview of the timeline of the history of W.J. Bassett-Lowke Ltd. up until the end of World War Two.

1899

  • Bassett-Lowke & Co. established in Kingswell Street, a premises owned by WJ's parents' company.
  • Catalogue produced (with photographs pasted in by hand!) and advertised in "The Model Engineer magazine

1900

  • A gauge 1 steam loco
  • WJ visits the Paris Exhibition and meets Stefan Bing.

1901

1902

  • George Winteringham's model railway track joins the catalogue.
  • Winteringham joins the company, in charge of a new B-L works.

1903

  • B-L get the contract to build a 1:16-scale "simulator" table for the GWR, for teaching railway signalling. This alerts them to the possibility of producing other large custom "exhibition" and "architectural" models.

1904

  • "Miniature Railways of Great Britain" company formed for producing garden railways and exhibition/fairground railways.

1905

1906

  • Maharajah's Sterling Silver table railway
  • B-L's first electric railway set produced

1907

  • B-L shows three-rail system.
  • LOWKO brand appears for new electric motors

1908

  • Winteringham Ltd. set up, with larger manufacturing facilities.
  • Retail outlet at 257 High Holborn, London, managed by naval architect E.W. Hobbs.

1909

  • B-L becomes a "Limited" company, at a new location.

1910


1914-18

  • Shutdown due to war work (manufacturing screw gauges)


1919

  • factory enlarged, and new equipment added.

1922

  • 00-gauge production in bulk, Edinburgh retail store, US agency established.

1923

  • Works extended to cope with larger models.

1927

  • Manchester showroom opened.

1929

  • Mass-produced "Royal Scot" loco.

1935

  • Introduction of Trix Twin Trains.


1940-45

  • B-L model production continued through the war, but now for military purposes. Models are built for military identification of friendly and enemy vehicles, and B-L also build planning models and models of hardware to be used in the D-Day landings, such as the Mulberry harbours.


1945

  • Towards the close of the war (and for some years afterwards) B-L are involved in making models of the planned post-war town and city-centre reconstruction projects.