Ediswan Way, EN3

Place Name

Industrial heritage. Named after the portmanteau trade name which was formed when Joseph Swan’s, Swan United Electric Light Company, merged with Thomas Edison’s American Edison Company. The pair had both claimed to have developed and perfected the electric light bulb. In 1882 Edison sued his British rival claiming patent infringement but Swan produced evidence proving that his work had been independent of Edison’s own experiments. Facing protracted and expensive litigation, the two chose to merge forming the Edison and Swan United Electric Light Co Ltd, which had been shortened to Ediswan by the time they opened up Britain’s first radio thermionic valve factory at Ponders End in 1916. They had already been established in the area since 1886 at a former jute mill, when the company’s previous factory at Benwell had reached the limits  both in building size and by the availability of skilled workers. This area, with nearby Brimsdown, subsequently developed as a centre for the manufacture of valves, cathode ray tubes etc and nearby parts of Enfield became an important centre of the electronics industry for much of the 20thCentury. In 1928, the company was acquired by Associated Electrical Industries. The company was renamed Siemens Ediswan following the takeover of Siemens Brothers by AEI in 1957.

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