Dutch industrialist Gerard Leonard Frederik Philips (October 9, 1858 – January 26, 1942) founded Philips and Co in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, as a private firm making electric lamps in 1891. Within a short time the company had acquired a global market. In 1924 NV Philips purchased a 50 per cent share in the Mullard Radio Valve Company, a British company that had begun mass manufacturing radio valves for the military and emerging domestic market since the 1920s. With its cheaply produced valves, Mullards had been in the perfect position to exploit the boom in wireless demand and had opened a new factory at Hackbridge, in Mitcham. Eventually the call for research facilities beyond the scope of such a young company led to the establishment in 1924 of close links with NV Philips in Holland and over the next few years Philips acquired all the shares in the company. Mullard was appointed managing director by the Philips board but resigned a few years later. At one time the Hackbridge site employed around 5,000 people but in 1993 the factory closed and has since been demolished. The new residential roads of Mullards Close, Philips Close and Eindhoven Close now occupy the site of the former A Building.