Birth of Eric Kirkham Cole at 14th July.
Cole started a small business manufacturing wireless “sets” of valve receivers at a production rate of 6 per week.
Founder, Eric Kirkham Cole.
Cole Devised and patented H.T. Eliminator.
Cole started a partnership with Mr. W.S. Verrells which was a customer being extremely interested in the H.T. Eliminator.
An EKCO assembly line, 1932
First (50-100 men) factory was build behind London Road – Leigh on Sea to accommodate the rapid growth.
Start of using Bakelite and a new Factory in Priory Crescent in Southend and expanded shortly after.
Compression-moulding presses were installed at the Southend factory.
Introduction of the add-on television unit which was to be used in combination with existing radio receivers.
An Ekco AD65 Wells Coates Radio from 1934
EKCO entered the electric lamp market.
The outbreak of the war caused EKCO to open a ‘shadow’ factory in Malmesbury. The resources were used for the development of standard Air Interception (AI) and the Anti-Surface Vessel (ASV).
Opening of multiple ‘Shadow’ factories in Aylesbury, Woking and Rutherglen in Scotland.
EKCO’s main assembly line, 1942.
Southend started producing for the domestic market again, but EKCO continued the production of telecommunications, radar, electronic and nucleonic equipment at the other factories.
Essex’s plant the Hadleigh started radio production. EKCO also started national production in India of radio receivers, components and electric devices.
EKCO’s expanding activities resulted in another formation of a new subsidiary; EKCO Electronics Ltd. which took care of the marketing of radars, VHF radio, nucleonic equipment, etc.
Business partner, William Streatfield Verrells’ Rolls Royce, 1932, fitted with an EKCO radio system
Increasing demand for radio and television receivers caused the Southend factory to expand to 30.000 square feet.
The plastics division, which is now one of the biggest producers of industrial mouldings and plastic domestic ware, installed vacuum sheet forming presses
A controlling interest was acquired in Dynatron Radio Ltd. which produced high-grade radio, radiograms, television and electronic equipment.
EKCO manufacturing facility, Priory Crescent Southend-On-Sea, 1947
ECKO introduced the world’s first main/battery portable television receiver.
The millionth television receiver left the ECKO factory. Ferranti Radio and Television Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary started selling receivers under the Ferranti trademark.
1945 EKCO Malmesbury Factory Logo.
The EKCO heating equipment was being expanded with the complete range of domestic reflector fires and ‘Warm glow’ electric blankets.
The EKCO car radio was being used by the most leading car brands and the ‘Superbath’ got awarded the Gold Seal for the Design of the Year Award by the Council of Industrial Design.
Eric Cole received the CBE from Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
EKCO was involved in the manufacturing of RAF machinery, indluding the Avro Anson plane
The 1959 Radio Show experienced the Introduction of the slimmest television ever – the ‘Ekcovision’ portable.
Extension of EKCO Plastics moulding shop was completed and so included the largest injection press which enabled the production of the first moulded refrigerator liners.
Domestic manufacture encompassed mains and portable TV’s, mains and portable radios, radiograms, tape recorders, car radio’s electric heaters, thermotubes, electric blankets, plastic toilet seats, various plastic utensils, plastic bathroom fittings and ‘Superbath’ baby-baths.
A Lancaster cockpit wiring room, 1943.
Resignation of Eric Cole and his son Derek Cole from the joint and the separate EKCO board.
Start of developing colour television. Black and White television faced a strong decline in sales.
The 625 line standard TV sets enter production in anticipation of the launch of BBC-2.
In this year, EKCO won the contract to develop the weather radar for Concorde.
EKCO A22 3-band Radio, 1945
Death of Eric Kirkham Cole.
Philips Electronics Industries emerged as the new owner of the business.
International Audio Group Ltd. (IAG) acquired the trademark EKCO and it was added to its portfolio of British and Japanese consumer audio brands including Wharfedale, Audiolab, Quad, Mission and Luxman to name but a few.
International Audio Group Ltd (IAG) begin to develop strategies for the relaunch of the EKCO brand. Utilisig their own expertise of audio equipment manufacturing and understanding the success of the ‘golden age’ of Ekco’s early Bakelite radios, a plan was to develop a new consumer audio product range influenced by the retro charm of Eric Cole’s original designs with a focus on high quality, enjoyable sound reproduction.
An advert for the EKCO TMB 272 vacuum tube portable TV, 1956
EKCO’s new strategy was implemented, firstly featuring the release of the EV55SE, integrated vacuum tube amplifier.
EKCO announced and started producing the EV55DP, EKCO’s first CD-Player ever, at the end of the year.
International Audio Group’s (IAG) 400,000 sq ft manufacturing facility.
With continued success and the unique offering of EKCO’s retro-influenced valve products combined with modern technologies, the EKCO EV55DP picks up a 5 Globe review with industry recognised Hi-Fi World Magazine, for being a ‘Well designed KT88 valve amplifier that sounds clean and punchy’.
Part of EKCO’s current product line-up, the EV55SE vacuum tube amplifier.
While the new strategy of EKCO’s valve amplifiers struck a chord with consumers, the range was extended with two power amplifiers, the EV55ST, stereo power amplifier and EV80M, mono power amplifier.
Part of EKCO’s current product line up, the EV55DP CD player, DAC & Preamp with valve output stage